Brandon Boyer

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With Thursday’s update to the PlayStation Network Stores, Sony has landed a major milestone in integrating its PSP and PS3 hardware — though currently in Japan only. Alongside its local Metal Gear Solid 4 demo and “Rare Week 1″ LittleBigPlanet in-game T-shirt, the “Adhoc Party for PSP ¤ÉVerison” is a free download which wirelessly links PSPs to a host PS3 and brings the majority of the PSP’s local-only multiplayer games properly online for the first time.

NeoGAF forum users have been scouring Japan’s message boards for compatibility lists, and are reporting that games like Phantasy Star Portable, Street Fighter Zero 3, Tekken Dark Resurrection and Final Fantasy Tactics have all made the online leap.

More importantly, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G — consistently both Capcom and the PSP’s top selling title in Japan — has made the jump, coming just as Capcom makes its some-might-call-it-a-defection to the Wii for the third console volume of the Monster Hunter series. With online chat (a necessity for Hunter’s party-based tactical action) added to all games via the PS3s Bluetooth headsets, the update issure to breathe new life into that and a number of other since-neglected PSP games.

The catch? Apart from needing a Japanese PSN account to download the software (easily done with a little clever hacking about), Ad-Hoc Party requires both built-in wifi and a wired PS3 connection, so owners of the original 20 gig PS3 model, and anyone currently outside an ethernet cable’s reach of the nearest router are out of luck. Otherwise, U.S. and EU versions of PSP games have already been confirmed as working, so consult the demonstration video above and let us know how it’s working for you in the comments below.

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