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Sony bids to stimulate new indie surge on PS Vita

Plus, Super Crate Box co-creator gives PlayStation's indie team a shining endorsement

Sony Computer Entertainment has opened a new indie-friendly developer portal for its PlayStation Mobile games framework, in a new bid to lure app developers onto its range of smartphones, tablets and handhelds.

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The company has launched a new PlayStation Mobile Developer Program, a one-stop online portal that offers access to the official SDK, the PlayStation license agreement, as well as options to pay for a developer licence.

Developers will need to pay $99 per annum to be part of the program - a fee similar to App Store dev licences - granting them access to publish as many projects as they want per year.

The new dev portal arrives as PlayStation executives hope to cultivate an indie community for PS Vita. The acclaimed handheld has not been backed by as many traditional triple-A games as expected, while the more popular games on the system appear to be low-price downloadable titles.

A statement from PlayStation read: "We believe we're in a golden age of game development and the [PlayStation] Dev Portal lowers the barriers of entry for developers to create and publish titles including games directly to the most diehard and passionate fans in the industry."

The new phase in Sony's plan has already been endorsed by a highly acclaimed indie studio, Vlambeer, which took the App Store by storm last year with its platform game Super Crate Box.

"Our experiences with PlayStation Mobile have been positive," said Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail.

"There's always a sense of reluctance going into a project working with forces larger than you can control, but the time we worked with Sony has been great. Not only were all aspects of our cooperation professional and on equal footing, we also had access to a great developer support team and technical support for the PlayStation Mobile SDK. We were impressed."

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