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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

First Sony PSP Pictures Revealed 257

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-it-fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.
iamhassi writes "Pictures of the PSP concept design have shown up on The Register. I'm impressed: when I first heard the screen was 4.5" I was afraid the device would be unusually large compared to the GBA with its 2.9" screen. Obviously those worries were unfounded." Update: 11/06 15:28 GMT by S : A section-specific post from yesterday provided the concept pictures from a different source.
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First Sony PSP Pictures Revealed

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  • by sweeney37 (325921) * <mikesweeneyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:03AM (#7406898) Homepage Journal
    just so there's no confusion this is the same story, with the same pictures that was run on Tuesday [slashdot.org]

    Mike

    • Of course this thing will be great to put in your pocket for easy carrying.

      Oh wait, no it wouldn't.

    • Taco must've borrowed the ring of duplication. Anyway, that was a sectioned story, this one isn't, more people will see it besides us game nuts. So I hope people realize this and don't bitch and moan about the dupe. I mean, not many have the ocular fortitude necessary to read the games page. =)

      Anyway here's my comment [slashdot.org] from that story:
      Disc format, which as I said elsewhere means moving parts. Also means certain tricks won't be easily doable(like rumble) and there's a chance the device will screw up durin

      • Slower load times, cart over disc usage. We'll see if they can work around that.


        Note the use of mini-discs. The load times are going to be on par with what you see from the Gamecube, which is not much at all.
        • You forget that the Gamecube disc is continuously spinning, as is the case for most consoles.

          I wonder how Sony is going to deal with this concept: continuous motion would make their game loads more responsive, but would also drain the battery faster. Even with a smaller diameter, the spin-up for an optical drive is measured in seconds.

          Another problem everyone else overlooks concerning spin and power usage: isn't this thing going to waste a significant amount of power counter-acting rotation of the spinni
          • I always recall that old demonstration in my physics class, consisting of a bike wheel mounted on an axle with handles. You spin up the wheel, then try to turn it, and you HAVE TO DO SIGNIFICANT WORK to change the axis of rotation.

            You emphasized the wrong words there. I would have said that YOU have to do significant work. The bike wheel, on the other hand, keeps on spinning quite rapidly even with no further work input.
        • Note the use of mini-discs. The load times are going to be on par with what you see from the Gamecube, which is not much at all.

          Beyond what the previous poster stated, Nintendo has occasionally stated that they try to work around the load times to make them appear much smaller than they actually are (ie pop up something for you to look at like an animation/FMV rather than just a loading screen). Not to mention that the GC discs are written from the outside edge of the disc rather than the inside to make m
    • The parent comment was posted BEFORE the update was.

      It is not redundant.
  • Scale? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:04AM (#7406906)
    These pictures have no objects that would indicate exactly how big these things are. How big can we expect this to be? I honestly believe the GBA is doing so well mostly because it's so small..
  • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:04AM (#7406910) Homepage
    DAMMMIT! I had finally organized my holiday wishlist, arranged it JUST RIGHT so that I had good odds of getting everything I wanted.

    Now they throw this into the picture and fuck everything up. Thanks a lot Sony. Bastards.

    P.S.
    Don't worry, you'll still probably be getting my parents money.

  • So how do you feed those little fish inside the new PSP "concept" aquarium? With a memory stick?

  • by Hi_2k (567317) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:06AM (#7406925) Journal
    But this thing will inevitably be called the Playboy.
  • by FrankGibson (722021) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:06AM (#7406934)
    It's also reminiscent of the Megadrive/Genesis "Mars" portable system. At least Sony has the cash to put behind such a product, unlike Sega did.
    • You're probably thinking of the Sega Nomad when you're talking about a portable Genesis. They go pretty cheap on Ebay. I think the problem was that by the time Sega put the Nomad out, they were producing higher quality games. When you're talking PSX/Saturn/N64/etc, nobody wants to carry around a Genesis... especially when you're talking about full size carts and a large handheld. With it's video out and controller in ports, it was basically a Genesis with an LCD.
  • Then I'll buy one.

    Maybe tekken 2 as well.
  • Hm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Worminater (600129) <worminater@gma i l . com> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:10AM (#7406961)
    I have played extensively with gameboy from the first itteration to the current, and honestly, does sony expect to compete with that?

    Look at Segas Game Gear way back when. Yea that thing was sweet as a system, but could it hold its own against a plain ol gameboy, even though better gphx, backlit, and color?

    hell no, it got clobbered. Same with Nomad, and there the difference was even greater SYSTEM wise.

    I look at this, and I see a cell phone. No raised buttons... I like the screen though.

    I also like the integrated 802, meaning it will be easy to get a web browser on it :) If they release it to be competative with the GBA series price wise, I might pick one up just for the 802 support, whith the assumption that it will be hacked later(probably will wait for it though)
  • Features (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhytTiger (595699) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:10AM (#7406967)
    7.1 surround? MP3 Playback? Is it just me, or are these things unnecessary on a PORTABLE device that will only accept proprietary discs (no burning MP3's and playing them).
    • why? portable devices can be used in other situations
      Archos 340, I own one, I can (and have) hook it up to a tv..

      ok, 7.1 strikes me as silly too, but audio/video out doesn't

    • If the production model includes some form of video out, then you effectively have a portable DVD player that not only supports watching movies on a tiny screen (with quality sound through headphones) but can also be plugged into high quality sound systems and a big screen.

      Not that I think that's a super idea, but that might be part of the motivation for including 7.1 sound on a portable device.

    • Well, the story does say that PSP is not a single device but a family of many. Also with the coin size disk which they are introducing and which can store 1.8 GB, it can take on the existing MP3 players.And Sony owns Sony (music) so getting songs released in the new format should be trivial.That would certainly be a good thing, the sony records guys have been holding back the real Sony for a looong time, long enough for Apple to be the new age Sony with their iPod.
      • you should look to the minidisc for the statement that "And Sony owns Sony (music) so getting songs released in the new format should be trivial."

        I don't know about the JDM, but prerecorded disc's here in the U.S. are pretty hard to find. Even BEFORE the Minidisc became popular, there was a VERY small collection of disc's at places like BestBuy. Only time will tell if we the consumer will adopt this new format enough to warrant a new section at Tower Records and BestBuy for them.
    • 7.1 surround? MP3 Playback? Is it just me, or are these things unnecessary on a PORTABLE device that will only accept proprietary discs (no burning MP3's and playing them).

      It DOES have 802.11b, so maybe you can download MP3s to the device?

      Just a thought, I have no idea. Maybe it's another way for sony to make money by selling a burner for these proprietary discs. Maybe they'll even start SELLING the discs with music on them. Who knows?
    • Re:Features (Score:3, Interesting)

      by afidel (530433)
      Personally I think it's retarded that they spec'd a 664Mpixel/s. 33Mtriangle/s graphics core for a handheld with a resolution of only 480*272, at 60fps that means each triangle can be 1/4th of a pixel, or each pixel can be refreshed 5,000+ times a second, somehow I doubt their lcd refreshes that quickly! The one thing that would be cool would be streaming mp3's to the device over the 802.11b radio link, but somehow I doubt it would get decent battery life that way =)
    • Speaking of proprietary disks, the description of the UMD includes this nugget (along with a bevy of crypto/parental locking/drm)

      "Repeat ordering system"

      So my money's on a system that only allows you to play the game for a set time, and then you have to pay again. Interesting. If the original price point was low enough, it might even be worthwhile...particularly for things like trying out games. Maybe they'll learn from those self-destructing DVDs - rights-managed content has to be really really cheap.
  • but will it feature Toy Story quality graphics?
  • I know, I know. This is conceptual work only. But it looks damned sweet. I love this formfactor. Give me a way to put ebooks on it and maybe a map/reference work and I'll be one happy traveller.
  • Uh.. battery life? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rinikusu (28164) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:12AM (#7406986)
    2 MIPS CPU's, LCD backlit screen + oodles of other things, my guess is that you might be able to squeeze about 5 minutes from a quad of AA's..

    A portable game machine with a crappy battery life won't go too far.... I hope they have something up their sleeve, because even if they go battery-pak route, my experience with their laptop batteries is that they pretty much suck, too.
    • Maybe they won't be taking the battery route in favour of this? [wired.com]
    • by tuffy (10202) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:20AM (#7407069) Homepage Journal
      Reportedly, the PSP uses rechargable batteries and gets 3-6 hours per charge. That means it'll need recharging twice as often as a GBA-SP with the side lights on. That's not a good sign for the PSP, but it isn't surprising given all the hardware involved.
    • That's exactly what I thought when I first head about it, and what I continue to think everytime I see anything about it. Barring some sort of MagicCell (TM) invention in the next twelve months, I just don't see how Sony are expecting to pull it off. This thing has almost as much horsepower as my iBook and my iBook battery lasts about three hours. Not to mention that my iBook battery weighs at least twice what any entire handheld should.

      Or there's price, of course. I'm sure there's some caveat because when
    • Umm, my guess would be they're going to go with some form of Lithium-ion battery that holds a decent charge, perhaps a type of NiMh. How many high-end devices do you know nowadays that take standard nicad batteries?
    • Ok, if we assume that you mean AA NiMH cells, we would be talking about 1800-2000 mAHrs at 4.8V or about 8.6-9.6 WHr. We can assume that the LCD and backlight eat about 1.5W, the CPU is probably no more than 1W and we can throw in another 1W just for good measure, for a grand total of about 3.5W. That should give us about 3 hours of battery life if we run the thing flat out. If we can throttle back the processor or, occasionally dim the screen, we can probably get that up to 4 or 5 hours.

      If we use non-rech

    • I think you'll end up wearing a belt pack of D batteries.
  • Founded on what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hellfire (86129) <deviladv.gmail@com> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:13AM (#7406997) Homepage
    I was afraid the device would be unusually large compared to the GBA with it's 2.9" screen. Obviously those worries were unfounded."

    As the article states, this is only a concept design, and that the final product may be less sleek. I wish people would pay attention, this is not the final PSP and its not coming out next week.

    I also wish /. would do more content proofreading but oviously those worries continue to be founded and unaddressed.
  • Anyone know if it's a launch game?
  • > The machine's UMD media can hold up to two hours' of DVD-quality video or four hours 'standard' quality,

    And that is oh-so-important on a 4.5" screen...

  • only 8MB? That doesn't bode well to me for doing much more than playing games...how will this be the next Walkman again?
  • Some other pictures (Score:3, Informative)

    by I_l00P (714392) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:24AM (#7407096)
    This link has some pics that soh the psp side by side with the GBA.... http://www.outerspace.com.br/news/2003/novembro/06 a.asp
  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:24AM (#7407098)
    ... that this mockup (and it's just a mockup) appears just as the NGage goes on sale. Personally I reckon the NGage is bulky crap having seen it working, but Sony looks like it is sowing a little FUD here.
    • Not that anyone REALLY needs to be discouraged from the N-gage, it seems to be doing just fine on its own [penny-arcade.com], but for the 5 dorks who said "yeah, I just might buy this thing" at least 4 of the have been dissuaded by Papa Sony's mention of making something, someday, that might be portable. Even if its "portable" like the original Macintosh (luggable, actually).
    • Not only that, but the PSP looks like it's modeled similarly to the NGage - and very different from the GBA. I dunno. Both of 'em look like devices which would get scratched screens very quickly, as opposed to the GBA SP which can close up when it's in your pocket. Oh right, plus, it'll fit in your pocket! I wonder what Sony is thinking here.

      This may actually be a more frustrating form factor than the taco/ngage.
      • The thing with the NGage is that it's just too bloody big. On the positive side, the screen is very high res, the games look impressive (all three of them or whatever tiny number it is) and Nokia phones are very user friendly.

        But unfortunately as a phone it's as portable as something from 1995, as a game station the buttons suck, the cartridge slot is under the battery (doh!), and as an MP3 player... well did I mention it was big? Or that other handhelds / MP3 players don't require you sign a 12 month con

        • Yeah. The NGage is 137x69x20mm . That's roughly 5.3" long. This Sony device looks like it's 6" long (according to /. estimates due to its 4.5" diag screen). I imagine it scales up in the other dimensions as well. It just seems so very big.
  • by N8F8 (4562) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:25AM (#7407104)
    I wish Sony would quit with the proprietary media. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who looks at this and thinks, "neato, but if I can't use the disc elewhere slese it is just eyecandy"
    • Amazing how persistent culture, even just a corporate culture, can be. It's not always truly "proprietary"; what they're trying to do is get the rest of the market to follow them to their own compression methods (and tapes) for the latest, smallest camcorders, or their memory sticks... or Betamax...

      But geez, you'd think someone at Sony would eventually get a clue. No, guys, you're not doing well in the market because you've got your own funky formats that don't play well with others. It's the whole design

    • Uhhh...you can't use the "proprietary" gamecube discs in anything else. You can't use the "proprietary" gameboy advanced carts in any other system.

      Proprietary for a portable game console is just fine.
      • Proprietary for a portable game console is just fine.

        True, but the Gamecube doesn't deign to be anything more than a game machine. If Microsoft said that it could only play Microsoft DVD's instead of any one you wanted on the Xbox, it might have affected sales (more adversely than they are now). Similarly, if Sony is going to trump up the PSP's ability to play MP3s or movies and require yet another new technology or data format, it will likely not offer enough motivation for customers to dump their GBA's

  • by rf0 (159958)
    does it run Linux. Its got a MIPS chip so it might do. Then again it might even run an old copy of IRIX :)

    Rus
  • What's Missing. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Malicious (567158) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:34AM (#7407194)
    Where are:
    The USB Port;
    HDD Size;
    Headphone jack;
    Battery

    All these things will take up a great deal of space, that their design hasn't incorporated. That design looks AWEFULLY hopeful...

  • by Ridgelift (228977) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:38AM (#7407223)
    It will support MP3, AAC and Sony's own ATRAC3 sound formats.

    Anyone notice the lack of WMA support? Obviously Sony is out to compete hard against Microsoft (who recently dropped to #3 in the console wars. Sony's still #1). And with the PS3 slated to include Linux support, maybe the PSP will be hackable too.
  • built in FUD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:41AM (#7407246) Homepage
    The device in the top right corner is the PSP Universal Media Disc (UMD), a DVD-like dual-layer medium offering 1.8GB of storage. UMD comes with DVD-style region coding and copy-protection mechanism based on the Advanced Encryption System (AES). Each disc has a unique ID number too.

    unless they are planning on making the discs even more expensive, this is nothing but FUD.

    when you make CD's you have them pressed, and you cant make a sequential serial number in the discs as you press them.

    they can do it in printing, and maybe have the laser read a barcode, but in the pressing process? no way.
    • They're probably talking about disks preformatted with Sony's FooBarBaz filesystem, with the ID hiding somewhere in the superblock. I doub they could hide it anywhere else on an unformatted disk, and they probably decided on a new filesystem anyway to implement the AES support.
      • I dont care what filesystem or software you use. when you press it into plastic you CANT change the number or contents.

        DVD's and CD's are manually pressed into hot plastic from platters on a pressing machine. you CANT change a few bits on the platter without making a new platter. and no filesystem on the planet can move plastic pits on a disc. and that is the cheapest way of making discs, significantly cheaper than burning.
        • I couldn't find any additional information regarding the serial number, but the article on The Register just mentions that it has one. It doesn't say where. For all we know, it's stamped into the plastic. Doesn't say that it's written into the filesystem or anything (although that would make more sense, from a copy-prevention standpoint).
        • And I never said that they did. It shouldn't be too hard to copy the master filesystem into a ramdisk, increment the serial number and then push it to the stamping machinery. They wouldn't have to mess with the media at all.

          Either way, though, I doubt that the ID is on the physical media.
        • But you can burn a few holes later into a special region on the disk where the rules are slightly different.

          Disk fabrication then might look like: apply metallic base to master, flow resin over base, harden, separate disk half from master, flow resin over other side, harden, burn serial number and inspect for data integrity.

          Regards,
          Ross
  • Dolby 7.1 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gyorg_Lavode (520114) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:44AM (#7407269)
    Seriously, why in the world do you need dolby 7.1 on a hand held device. I'd be happy with stereo. Hell, I can't get over dolby pro logic in my home theater. What am I going to do? Wear a halo thats got 7 speakers w/ a sub strapped to my ass?
    • Re:Dolby 7.1 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zed2K (313037)
      They've advertised this so far as also being able to play movies. Add a digital out and video out and you have a portable dvd-like player.
      • Yeah, except where do you stick in the DVD???
        • And I quote from what I wrote:

          "Add a digital out and video out and you have a portable dvd-like player."

          dvd-like. Thats really the only way to explain how the movies will be since obviously its not dvd's but a different disc format. But you probably already know that because you read the article...right...right?
    • Because they can (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      That's probably all it comes down to. Whatever sound chip they chose was probably capable of 7.1 as a side effect (seems even cheapie chips do that these days) so they advertise it. Does it matter? No, but like much else in the consumer world, what matters doesn't always drive sales. It's another feature they can claim never mind if it's useful or not.
      • Well downsampling from the 7.1 signal to a stereo signal with a 3D spatializing engine would probably work a lot better than taking a stereo signal and trying to generate the 3D positional information. The amount of 3D positioning you can get out of a pair of stereo headphones and good algorithms is amazing.
  • by MhzJnky (443677) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @12:25PM (#7407635) Homepage
    "The PSP will feature Dolby 7.1 multi-channel audio, with 3D sound"

    7 speakers and a sub-woofer kinda defeats the definition of portable.
  • more photos (Score:5, Informative)

    by i4u (234028) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @12:26PM (#7407652) Homepage
  • UMD comes with DVD-style region coding

    Fopr me, one of the great things about the gameboy range is taht it doesn't have region coding - so if I travel round the world with it, I know I can buy new games anywhere that will work on it.

    Stick region coding on it and you've not only cut down your library of games considerably, but it's no longr a universal travelling games machine...

  • Anyone know how the media for this thing will be managed? More precisely, how the rights to use the media.

    With the UMD discs holding 1.8 GB and a CPU(s) to handle it easily, it seems like the PSP could make an awesome portable MP3 player. I'd love to be able to burn my whole collection on a few UMD discs, and have one or two with me when I want to listen to some tunes. I use my PDA these days, but with newer PDAs no longer having PCMCIA slots, it'll be a while until I can have a couple GB or more on a ca
  • The PSP looks pretty cool, the processor specs are impressive and the UMD disk sounds very interesting. Much discussion has centered on the DRM and serial # imposed on the UMD and many are discussing the MP3 or general storage capabilities. But I have seen no mention if the UMD are pressed (ROM) or read/write I assume that they are indeed like DVD's and can't be written, this seems to fit with Sony's copy protection interests. There is way too much hardare and capabilities in the PSP that Sony wouldn't p

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