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Portables (Games)

The PSP's Birthday Party 95

Posted by Zonk
from the little-tiny-hats dept.
Joystiq and EnGadget were there for the PSP Launch party, and have plenty of photos to prove it. Looks like it was a great opportunity to enjoy another uncomfortable marketing event. Hats off to the folks who endured it to bring us back the photos. From the article: "The weather outside is awful, but that didn't stop us, a few hundred Sony fanboys, and lots of B-list celebs (who clearly needed to collect the appearance fee) from hitting Sony's official launch party for the PlayStation Portable this evening."
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The PSP's Birthday Party

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  • ::Caution:: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Brainboy (310252) <iamchillin@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:36AM (#12033483) Journal
    I hope no one was hurt due to flying game discs.
  • Durability Concerns (Score:3, Informative)

    by Da Rabid Duckie (731742) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:39AM (#12033496)
    I've held a PSP, and it's pretty solid for what it's worth, and the design is noteworthy. So of course, the one picture that stood out the most to me in that article was the picture of the PSP that had the broken screen from being dropped. I wonder what it took to do that kind of damage... maybe a stiletto heel from one of the cheap actresses there?

    On another note, I have a new favorite quote: (from the article) "If someone told you that the PSP is a portable gaming device, shoot these people. The PSP is not a portable gaming device, it is really a convergent portable entertainment device." -- SCEA president Kaz Hirai
    • The pictures of how the X button barely lines up with it's censor still concern me more...
      • It's the Square button, the one closest to the screen. Though I think almost everyone confuses those idiotic button names.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Troll?

          Maybe PS3 should have buttons like "the artist formally known as the artist formally known as Prince's former name," "pentagram rotated 35 degrees," "upside-down Christmas tree besides a thumbs-up sign," and "silhouette of Abraham Lincoln's head with his tongue sticking out." Would that make FAQ writing better for you guys? Would it help your memorization of the button locations?

          Or maybe Sony could just catch a fucking clue that such abstract associations do not help people remember the buttons AT
    • by unclethursday (664807) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:30AM (#12033855)
      Never know. It could have been dropped and landed at just the right angle to break the screen is all.

      I had dropped my old cell phone tons of times over the course of a few years, and nothing ever happened to the screen. Then one time it fell, and hit at just the right angle to nearly shatter the screen.

      It's possible that the PSP was just dropped, and it just happened to land at that angle to break the screen.

      Still, it makes me wary for people throwing it in backpacks or pockets full of stuff. No screen cover is just a bad design decision by Sony. And we all know there's no way in hell they'll replace a broken screen for free because it isn't covered under their warranty (hell, dead pixels in Japan, not the fault of the consumer, are not covered by the warranty, it says so in the Japanese manual).

  • fools (Score:5, Funny)

    by cgenman (325138) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @04:15AM (#12033617) Homepage
    If someone told you that the PSP is a portable gaming device, shoot these people. The PSP is not a portable gaming device, it is really a convergent portable entertainment device.

    Right, because the history of convergent [ngageworld.com] entertainment [psxfanatics.com] devices [epinions.com] is [vidgame.net] long [igateway.net] and [play-asia.com] illustrious [bestprices.com]. They would be fools [psxfanatics.com] to not want [geocities.com] some of this [msntv.com] action [emugaming.com].

    And going with a brand new disk standard that nobody has and nobody sells as a medium for selling movies? It's a brilliant [jvc-victor.co.jp] maneuver from some of the industry's best minds [sony.net].

    I should say that the Sony reps I've worked with about other things have been completely with it and didn't lose sight of reality. So what happened to this guy?

  • by alatesystems (51331) <chrisNO@SPAMtalkingtoad.com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:25AM (#12033833) Homepage Journal
    I'll have mine in about 5.5 hours. I'm not about lines, but they didn't do a midnight thing anyway here. I pre-reserved at ebgames and I'll pick it up at 9.

    I think I'm going to get wipeout pure and ridge racers. I'll probably put an article in my journal later today with my "findings".
  • comments (Score:1, Funny)

    by Lil-Bondy (849941)
    i wouldnt like to be this guy; "I want one! My GF said she would leave me if I get one - in the least she'll be really upset. Should I take a chance and make the purchase? hehe"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The level of bitterness and resentment in some of the comments here (and also in the initial news post) is a bit scary. Anybody would think Sony had been killing babies for fun rather than releasing a serious competitor to Nintendo's long-running monopoly on the handheld market.
    • Re:Wow... scary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75&yahoo,com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @09:20AM (#12034635)
      The level of bitterness and resentment in some of the comments here (and also in the initial news post) is a bit scary. Anybody would think Sony had been killing babies for fun rather than releasing a serious competitor to Nintendo's long-running monopoly on the handheld market.

      What monopoly? Nintendo's got the market cornered because they make better products than their competitors. You want a list of all the companies that have tried to de-throne them? Off the top of my head:

      Atari
      Sega (twice)
      SNK
      Tiger
      NEC
      Bandai

      Just to name a few. Atari at the time was owned by Warner Communications, and was signigicantly larger than Nintendo. Ditto for NEC, which dwarfs Nintendo even today.

      Almost all of these systems were more powerful than the Game Boy, and some of them had extra features that the GB didn't have. Why did they fail?

      Poor battery life and price. Sound familiar?

      Sony is making the same mistakes everybody else has. There are a few differences in the philosophy of the PSP vs., say, the Atari Lynx, but the basic template is the same - you've got an expensive, battery-hungry, big and powerful system going up against a small, cheap system with long battery life (the GBA SP). Why do you think the PSP is going to be any more "serious" of a competitor than any of these other failures were?

      Note that I'm not even counting the DS in the equation. The GBA SP is the real PSP competition. At the SP's price, it's practically an impulse buy, whereas the PSP is a major purchase. People may be more excited over the PSP right now but they will continue to buy the GBA SP just because it's cheap and there are a lot of games available for it. You almost don't even need to think about buying one, especially if you're a parent buying something for your kids (which is a huge market in handhelds, and one the PSP ignores).

      If somebody else ever figures out what Nintendo has about the handheld market, then I would expect market forces to determine a new winner. But Nintendo has no monopoly; they simply understand the market better than anybody else.
      • Re:Wow... scary (Score:3, Insightful)

        by badasscat (563442)
        Quick clarification to my post - The Neo Geo Pocket actually failed just due to a lack of marketing clout, not any technical issues with the system itself. Same is basically true of the Wonderswan. I think SNK and Bandai are the only two companies who really "got" the handheld market like Nintendo did, but they did not have the resources to market their products against Nintendo. Atari, NEC and Sega did, though; they just had poor products in comparison to the GB (despite their extra horsepower, which do
        • Are you on crack?!

          All those companies launched their handhelds at a down cycle. Sony is the only company Nintendo ever competed with that has 2 very strong successful consoles backing it up (PS1, PS2). Once PS3 comes out, Sony will have 3 strong consoles backing up 1 handheld.

          Sega came the closest with 1 dying Genesis, which was practically dominated by SNES at the time. Not to mention the amount Sega spent marketing was a joke compared to what Sony has done. AND the Internet didn't exist quite back t
      • Ok...now think about what you said. Nintendo isn't a monopoly because it destroyed all of its other competitors by being better. Huh??? Whether Nintendo did it through making a better product or by making underhanded deals, if they are the only player in a market, that makes them a monopoly. People consider MS a monopoly and there are competitiors with bigger market shares than Nintendo's competitors. So really, your indignant rebuttal is kind of stupid.

        I agree that PSP should be compared to the GB SP
        • The one thing the PSP has going for it than something like the Lynx did not is that it seems it is coming out with a very solid library of quality games. That's what really matters.

          You and I must be reading different lists. All I saw was a mish-mash of sports and racing games, with one RPG game in there, which the fanboys at IGN could only call a very good attempt. I'm holding out a little hope for the system, the upcomming titles seemed to have a few good ideas in them, but then upcomming titles don't
      • Re:Wow... scary (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EnglishTim (9662) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @01:17PM (#12036753)
        I think it's a mistake to assume that the PSP will fail to compete with the gameboy just because nobody else has managed it.

        Sony isn't aiming for the same market as the SP, certainly at launch anyway. It's a no-brainer for a parent to buy the cheaper SP for their 10 year old who may play for many hours at a go, but for the twentysomething with more disposable income who wants to play great games on his daily commute, the PSP is much more desirable. I don't think battery life is going to be as important for the modern adult gamer as it was for kids playing on their Lynxes thirteen years ago.

        Sony also has an incredibly powerful brand in the Playstation, and that will carry over to the PSP. In many circles, PS2 is practically synonymous with gaming, and now you can get pretty much the same thing in your pocket.

        Now, I don't think you'll find the PSP wiping out the SP, but I do think you'll find it being very successful and also expanding the market for handhelds.
      • Just to be devils advocate, by your count Microsoft is not a monopoly, because these companies have tried to take a shot at what they do:

        IBM
        Apple
        Lotus
        Real
        Sun
        RedHat
        etc...

        Almost all of these systems were more powerful than the Game Boy, and some of them had extra features that the GB didn't have. Why did they fail?

        Poor battery life and price. Sound familiar?


        All these operating systems/application vendors had better features then Microsoft, and some of them had extra features that Microsoft di
        • As someone defined earlier in this very thread...

          A monopoly is exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that esp. is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior products or skill.

          Please note, that owning the market as Nintendo does with the GB is not a monopoly by the above definition. They have not and cannot restrict access. They have not controlled prices

          Microsoft is a monopoly, because they did do both of those
          • I disagree. Nintendo has a monopoly in the handheld market even if they don't engage in monopolistic practices (overcharge, block out competitors, etc).

            They have a natural monopoly, but don't abuse it.
            • by 2names (531755)
              can't you read? You can't say, "well, I still think they have a monopoly," when the DEFINITION excludes them from having one.

              Cripes, man, try to comprehend what you are reading.

              • No, it doesn't. Do you have a degree in economics? No?

                Monopoly: A situation in which a single company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service.

                Is Nintendo acting like a monopoly, ie, do they prevent entry to market? No. Are they exerting monopolistic control? No. But by the fact that they are/were the SOLE handheld manufacturer... they have a monopoly.

                Just having a monopoly doesn't mean you exploit it.

                You shouldn't be a jackass unless you're 100% sure you're

                • Sheesh. (Score:3, Informative)

                  by 2names (531755)
                  I don't need an economics degree to be able to read a dictionary entry:

                  Main Entry: monopoly
                  Pronunciation: m&-'nä-p&-lE
                  Function: noun
                  Inflected Form: plural -lies
                  1 : exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that esp. is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior products or skill --see also ANTITRUST Sherman Antitrust Act in the IMPORTANT LAWS section
                  2 : one that has a monopoly

                  Source: Merriam-Webst

          • A monopoly is exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that esp. is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior products or skill.

            Microsoft is a monopoly, because they did do both of those things.

            I'll agree that Nintendo is not a "true" monopoly by definition, but it is a monopoly by the same definition that Microsoft is one. Microsoft did not have EXCLUSIVE control of the software or operating system market. M
      • The GBA SP is the real PSP competition.

        No it's not. The PSP will die a quick death very soon. But not at the hands of the GBA SP or the DS. The reason the PS2 is so popular is because the PSX took advantage of a weak competitor (the N64) and built a HUGE library of games that could later be played on the PS2 as well.

        But Nintendo uses disks now, and they're about the size of the PSP disks. They already have a Gamecube library that dwarfs the "OMG 20 LAUNCH TITLES" that the PSP has, and will continue to do
        • What are you talking about? You say the PSP is going to die because the Gamecube has more games? Do you listen to yourself while your typing? The main competitor for the PSP is going to be the DS, because those are the two "current generation" handhelds out now, and unless Nintendo really gets off its ass and starts making, I dunno, games for their handheld, the PSP wont be going anywhere. /got mine this morning, tis awesome
      • Sony is making the same mistakes everybody else has. There are a few differences in the philosophy of the PSP vs., say, the Atari Lynx, but the basic template is the same - you've got an expensive, battery-hungry, big and powerful system going up against a small, cheap system with long battery life (the GBA SP). Why do you think the PSP is going to be any more "serious" of a competitor than any of these other failures were?

        In all the time since the Japanese release, I have heard problems about launchi

  • So shoot me.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unclethursday (664807) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:40AM (#12033886)
    It's a goddamn gaming device. I don't care what Kaz "The button isn't supposed to line up over its contact, because we designed it that way" Harai says. It's a gaming device, with some extra functions I'm not interested in.

    MP3 playback? I could get an iPod for a little more, and save thousands of dollars in memory sticks to get the capacity I'd want. If I want something to play music on, I'll get something with that purpose designed into it, and not one where I need to buy hundreds of Sony Memory Stick Duos at their outrageous prices to fit all my music on. 40 GB of Memory Stick Duos is over $10K... no thanks, I'll spend $400-$500 on an iPod first.

    Movie playback? I don't feel like buying my movies AGAIN on another proprietary format just to be able to watch them on the go. I can get a portable DVD player, and have all my DVD extras (because I'm fairly certain all the bonus features I buy DVDs for won't be on UMDs), and not have to buy my movies all over again.

    So, yeah, it's a gaming device, with other things thrown on top to try and justify the price and the hype. It's also how Sony really hopes that they can sell tons and tons of Memory Sticks.

    • Not just MemoryStick Duo, and not MemoryStick Pro. But actually MemoryStick Pro Duo [lik-sang.com].
      • Re:So shoot me.... (Score:3, Informative)

        by unclethursday (664807)
        Joy. So if I want 40 GB of them, since these are after market SanDisk ones, not Sony branded ones, it's still $7,192. Those are $89.90 each from there, so I'm sure the Sony branded ones are around $100 or more.

        I know you are just correcting my forgetting that normal Meory Stick Duos won't work, though. Gotta be the Pro versions.

        I don't own anything that uses Sony Memory Sticks or any version of them... so AFAIAC, the PSP is just the way to try and get their Memory Sticks into people's homes, and in a

        • Actually, the PSP COMES with a 32MB Memory Stick Duo. Not a Pro Duo, although those work as well. Amateur Duo's work just fine.
    • You know that you can convert movies to a format more suitable for the PSP pretty much automatically right? There was even a Slashdot article about one such program (there are several) a week ago.

      And only an idiot would buy Memory Sticks to hold all their data. You get one decent sized one and then you can add or remove stuff from it as you see fit.
    • Your comparing apples to oranges in that statement. The 40gig ipod is a Hard drive based player so you cant compare that to the flash base media that the PSP is using. If you want to compare it, use the IPOD shuffle at least. Also there is some rumors going around that there may possibly be a hard drive coming out for the PSP which would give a lot more room for a cheaper price. But how that would connect to the PSP and alter the weight and looks I dont know.
      • Don't forget power...HDs need juice. Would it suck juice from the PSP's battery or would it require its own battery pack? Either way it doesn't sound appealing to me.
    • It's almost like you talk, but you don't hear yourself. I agree with one thing, it's a gaming device. But it also has other features if you want to take advantage of them. But instead, you are going to get a PSP, a portable DVD player, and an IPOD, when you just need that one device. Real cost effective there. Yeah, I wince at the memory stick prices too. That's why I don't but stuff early. As the PSP sells, memory will get cheaper and be more reasonable. Obviously, you aren't going to replace your
      • Actually, I already have something that plays games, plays music, and plays DVDs; and is portable enough to use in the passenger/back seat of a car, on a train, or (where I use it a lot) on a plane. It's called my 14" laptop.

        The extra advantages to the laptop being I can also use it for (WiFi if available, Ethernet or modem otherwise) Internet access to surf the web in my hotel rooms or check my email or upload files to my site's FTP and such, as well as do writing, photo editing, video editing, sound ed

    • Looks like I'm the only one who agrees with you...

      You have all these replies about people telling you how you can convert your dvds to other formats. Yeah. Sure. Joe-PSPer is really going to know how to do that. I have my brother (Ivy League graduate with an M.D.) who calls me up and asks how to put MP3s on his ipod. My parents (both M.D., my mom has a PhD too) don't know how to navigate though a regular dvd player menu and most of the kids in college didn't know how to install a printer driver (yes,

      • I can guarentee 98% of the PSP population cannot figure out DVD-Shrink or any of those other conversion templates. To them, they have to re-buy "Shrek 2" on the new format even though they already own it on DVD.

        Think of this as an "idiot surcharge". If you don't know how, or want to, you can buy all your old movies again. But the fact is you don't *have* to, so this should not be used as a stick to beat the PSP, especially in a forum like this.
    • And not to mention that it'd suck to have to hold the thing upright for 2 hours to watch a movie, hadly relaxing. I'd get a nice 12inch laptop for the purposes this thing has, and general puprose computing along with that!
    • I can't imagine people wanting to own movies for this, but maybe if Blockbuster felt like stocking yet another format it'd be good for keeping yourself entertained on a road trip or during class. Although it still seems better suited to shorts instead of full movies.
  • Looking at the PSP license [feyrer.de], it seems they took the NetBSD [netbsd.org] IP stack - wheee!

    - Hubert

  • by bat2k (202393) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @10:12AM (#12034972)
    The reason why...

    a) Won't play popular movie formats such as quicktime, windows media, divx, etc without transcoding.
    b) Need to store movies on a sony memory stick with lots of memory.

    Players that support popular movie formats and have built in hard drives exist now. But to become popular, I guess they need to be manufactured by a big brand and be able to run graphic intense games.
  • and lots of B-list celebs (who clearly needed to collect the appearance fee)

    I didn't see any in the pics. Got me curious. Who showed? Ron Perlman?
  • Anyone one have any problems with their PSP? The "R" shoulder button constantly sticks on mine
  • by Mr.Dippy (613292) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @10:46AM (#12035223)
    DJ Danger Mouse was Djing the event? Last I heard the RIAA was all hot and bothered by his Grey Album. Does this mean that Sony, who is a member of the RIAA, is now going to be on the RIAA's hit list? Obviously, Sony Game Division and Sony Music do not give a flying F about each other.
  • by wildzeke (191754) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @11:28AM (#12035668)
    Where are the PSP emulators? Where are the mod chips? Where are the programs that allow you to burn your own PSP media? This unit has been out for about 12 hours now! Lets get going here!
  • Happy birthday to you Happy birthday, dear Paint Shop Pro Happy birthday to you
  • by JocksRPeople2 (870509) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @01:18PM (#12036759)
    This is not a once in lifetime opportunity here folks! Why in the hell would you want to stand outside for 13+ hours in the freezing cold to get a video game system that you could pick up at your local WalMart in about a week with no problems! Wait until these things come out on Ebay for $50 because of some fatal flaw gamers are bound to find. They don't play any "real" movies at this point, the battery life is average at best and before Christmas Sony will come out with the PSP 2 Special U2 Edition with Kung-Fu grip! Wait and it will become available.
    • Do your parents know you troll on Slashdot?

      And your qualifiers for some of your points...

      What's a "real" movie?
      And last time I checked... Average battery life was perfectly acceptable.

      It's a new console. More games and movies will become available. Really, I have never cared for Sony as a company, but I'm convinced now, holding the PSP here in my hands, that maybe... They know games just as well as Nintendo does. Maybe better. But never as good as Sega...
      • So far the only movies announced to be released in the UMD format are "XXX," "Hellboy," "Resident Evil 2" and "Once Upon A Time in Mexico". These are real quality flicks! They also haven't come out and said how much these new discs are going to cost. I for one don't feel like paying for a new disc format that isn't compatable with anything else that I own. Also, average battery life is not acceptable, just ask the people at Apple. They recognized that people aren't interested in average and improved th
        • Just for information, the 4 movies you listed are apparently around $15 each at Wal-Mart, and House of Flying Daggers is $20-ish. Also of note is that the version of Hellboy offered on UMD is the director's cut.

          And at least the PSP has a replaceable battery so that if the only physical upgrade in the next version is battery capacity early adopters won't be completely out in the cold.

          Also, I'll probably not buy a PSP any time soon. Just offering some extra thoughts/information to this riveting discussion

          • Thanks for the info on the UMD's at Wal-Mart, I hadn't seen that yet. Also, I'm sure the director's cut of Hellboy will far exceed the original theatrical version. I can't wait to see what other masters of the theater Sony will decide to produce.
  • I'm confused... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bynary (827120)
    Why is this being called the PSP's birthday party? My first birthday wasn't when I was born. It happened exactly one year after that. Oh right, I'm using logic on Slashdot...
  • I left work to get one of the 55 PSPs being sold at the local toy store. [mind you, I own a DS too, and love it] The PSP is really beautiful. Games are nice, buttons don't stick. I'd NEVER stand in the rain for one of them though. Better to call early in the morning and take a nice break during working hours! :)

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