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Portables (Games) Sony

The PSP - Sony's Missed Opportunity 157

Posted by Zonk
from the too-bad-so-sad dept.
C|Net passes on the words of Forrester analyst James McQuivey, who lambasts Sony for failing to live up to the opportunity the PSP presented. Though the handheld has certainly been doing better of late, it's hard not to point out that the PlayStation Portable's sales numbers flag in the face of the DS's incredible popularity. McQuivey also makes a point of stating how well the system could have done at taking a slice of Apple's death-grip on the downloadable media market. "'The thing is, Sony could have been all this,' McQuivey said. 'The Sony PSP is one of the best portable entertainment media devices that anyone has come up with in years. It has a relatively big screen, plays video beautifully, has good storage and audio. It could have been the first big mobile carrier for TV shows and movies.' Instead, the mobile-video play of one of the world's largest electronics companies is straggling behind Apple, has shaken the confidence of supporters--especially in Hollywood--and added to the woes of CEO Howard Stringer."
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The PSP - Sony's Missed Opportunity

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:11PM (#18933959)
    has good storage

    Help me out here. Video iPods have either 30GB or 80GB of storage built in. The PSP has freaky non standard "disks" that users can't burn or proprietary flash storage that nobody outside of Sony uses, nothing built in.

    • by fishdan (569872) *

      PSP plays a major role in my weight loss plan. Every day I copy an avi from my media library to my mac book pro. I convert it to PSP format with ffmpeg (which has a preset PSP format! Thanks!) which takes about 5 mins for 40 mins of video (a 1 hour show with the commercials stripped). I then copy the convert file to my psp from my mbp via usb which takes

      You're refering to the UMD disks, which are indeed very proprietary, but about to go away to be replaced by downloadable movies [gamesindustry.biz]

      • by LKM (227954)
        So all the work you have to do to get movies to run on the PSP helps you lose weight?

        By the way, I use PSPWare, which costs something, but makes converting movies for the PSP and synchronizing them to it very straightforward.
    • iPods have a lot of storage, but the battery doesn't last long enough to play 30GB of video. The battery on the PSP will last longer than the iPods playing video of the stick.

      And the PSP has built in wifi/web browser/RSS/and the ability to stream from a PS3. Watch all your content, download more wherever you go.

      • by Mattcelt (454751)
        There's even a GPS module available for the PSP. It's an amazing little device.

        But there are three major problems with it:
        1) There is no way to output the video to an external device (mentioned in the article);
        2) The UMD format is proprietary, closed, and unavailable to anyone who does not have a licensing agreement with Sony;
        3) Sony has gone severely out of their way, in an escalating battle, to keep users from hacking the unit. Even now it requires taking advantage of a vulnerability in third-party appl
        • I agree on the homebrew and in fact did call Sony to complain about it, I also complained on the G.A.P forums. They should do something, even if homebrewers would need to submit their software to Sony for approval before getting them "signed".

          I figure that if they could have figured out a way to support Linux easily on the PSP they'd have done that, even if they didn't support homebrew directly on the firmware.

          As I've said on other ocassions the PSP is the anomaly among Sony gaming systems, all the others
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Sony's "control freak" nature has become legendary over the decades, and it is their great Archilles' heal. They obsessively push proprietary formats. They fight homebrew like it was written by Satan. They introduce DRM schemes that even Satan WOULDN'T have written. They do these things even when it is clearly financially suicidal to do so. And they refuse to learn a damn lesson when this obsessiveness leads to failure (which it has done MANY times since the infamous Beta/VHS debacle).

      Why does Sony do thi

      • that's because since acquiring cbs/columbia pictures, the media side has taken firm control of sony and nothing gets made unless it passes muster with the media division.

        for example, the minidisc was saddled with format killing drm because that's how sony music wanted it. it's an excellent example of what consumer electronics would be like if the media companies had their way. contrast that to the sony of the 1970s that could make the the betamax without having to first ask permission of the movie division.
  • ODD (Score:3, Informative)

    by king-manic (409855) on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:16PM (#18934017)
    The criticism are somewhat valid but you can play non UMD movies on the PSP. Just stick then in mp4 in the right resolution on a memory stick and your good. It's be nice if it supported something other then memory stick or had a sizable internal drive. I do think Sony Music/Movies are clobbering Sony electronics/Games with demands to include things that are superfluous to the function of the device. I enjoy the bluray on my Ps3, I'd enjoy it more if sony pictures released downloadable movies.
    • by soft_guy (534437) *
      If they were smart they would have left out the UMD drive and put a big fucking hard disk in there instead with a USB 2.0 port and the ability to download movies from online.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by popo (107611)
      Not true entirely. You can't play a movie off your memory stick at the PSP's full resolution. Why? Because Sony crippled memory stick playback to give UMD a visual advantage. Once again, Sony's efforts to lock in greater profits end up biting them in the ass. The PSP wasn't half as 'usable' as it could have been, and no self respecting geek wanted one because it was too crippled for effective video download/playback. Once again, Sony limits the options of the consumer -- and loses.
      • Re:ODD (Score:4, Informative)

        by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:08AM (#18939429)

        Not true entirely. You can't play a movie off your memory stick at the PSP's full resolution. Why? Because Sony crippled memory stick playback to give UMD a visual advantage.


        Sure you can, though you'll need firmware 3.30+ to do so, Sohy removed the restriction a few weeks back.

        • by popo (107611)
          Yeah, now -- in 2007 (now that the UMD is officially dead) you can play full screen video. Hardly a stellar performance from Sony.
          • At least they did do it, better late than never. Hopefully they'll do the same with hobbyist development in some way.

  • Betamax,UMD,BluRay (Score:1, Insightful)

    by CK2004PA (827615)
    Well, if Sony didn't force a non-standard propietary format (UMD) down your throat when you bought one they probably would have done better. They failed with Betamax, then UMD and now BluRay on the PS3Cast.
    • by JordanL (886154) <jordan.ledoux@gm a i l . com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:29PM (#18934187) Homepage
      How is DVD any less proprietary? The only difference is that all the other companies went ahead and paid their licensing fees for it.

      Add on top of that the fact that BluRay is outselling HDDVD signifigantly and the "PS3Cast" swipe and I can only assume that your post was nothing but flamboyantly anti-Sony diatribe.
      • Yeah, hate to break it to you, but BR has failed. Not against HD-DVD, but itself. DVD is good enough for 99% of the population. The sales figures validate this assumption as well. A higher price per disk, and new hardware for something that really all it has going for it is that it's "more digital" than the thing it wants so badly to replace is not what I'd call "compelling". Most of the population watches movies & TV on sub 30" TVs still, and pretty much will until the end of time. People only have so
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by node 3 (115640)
          Blu-ray has been out less than a year. A year after DVD was introduced, I'm certain VHS sales absolutely *dwarfed* DVD sales.

          As time passes, more and more people will be buying HDTVs. Not necessarily 5' plasmas, but HDTVs nonetheless. As they do, they will want their movies in high def as well.

          People only have so much money, and space to deal with.

          I don't even remotely understand what you are trying to say here. People have *always* "only had so much money", and they bought TVs, computers, video players, etc. in the past. I don't see why they'll stop any time

          • The key difference between DVD vs VHS and BR/HD vs DVD is simple; the DVD's targeted device had 100% market penetration at the time.

            For all of the feature differences, that's the single-most important distinction. If you had a TV you could use a DVD player with it and have full access to all its benefits. The same can not be said of Bluray or HD-DVD.

            Eventually, everyone will have HDTVs. This is not a contestable point. However, "eventually" can be a long time from now. As you aptly noted, it's entirely poss
            • by node 3 (115640)

              Eventually, everyone will have HDTVs. This is not a contestable point. However, "eventually" can be a long time from now. As you aptly noted, it's entirely possible that by the time we hit "eventually" Bluray and HD-DVD will be obsolete anyway.

              Right. None of which supports the notion that Blu-ray is already dead.

              Instead, it supports my assertion that it's too early to proclaim defeat for Blu-ray, simply due to the fact that the market is still growing.

              "Eventually" may indeed be a long time. I don't think the criteria should be "everyone having HDTVs", but instead a sufficient market size to keep Blu-ray healthy (ie. that every major film released on DVD is also released on BD). Certainly, sufficient HDTV market saturation will happen in less tha

        • I own an HD beamer, a PS3 and an upscaling DVD player with an HDMI output. Yes, Bluray movies look nice. You notice that during the first minute of watching a movie. Then, you forget all about it as you get into the movie.

          DVDs look great on my setup, they cost half as much as Bluray movies, and I can rip them and play them on my PSP.

          I own the Bluray movie I got for free with my PS3 (James Bond). I see no reason to buy another one.
      • by GreatDrok (684119) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @01:44AM (#18937467) Journal
        "Add on top of that the fact that BluRay is outselling HDDVD signifigantly..."

        Remember how Betamax was *THE* video tape format early on but lost out to VHS in the long term because VHS machines were more widely and cheaply available. Many people assume it was porn but in fact it was price. HD DVD still has an opportunity to do the same so I don't think the current rates of BD sales are any reason the claim the format has won.
        • by bogjobber (880402)
          Reread that post because you obviously didn't the first time. He never claimed that Blu-ray has won the format war. He was simply pointing out that DVD is also proprietary and Blu-ray is far from being considered a failure, it is in fact probably leading HD-DVD.
      • by sqlrob (173498)
        It's outselling "significantly", yet numbers of less than a thousand are enough to get on the top 10 sales chart. It may be doing better, but it still sucks in the grand scheme.

    • consumer gouge adds up to dead goat [theinquirer.net].

      The topless babes are OK, though.
  • From the Article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:23PM (#18934125)
    the movie industry was pulling for the PSP to emerge as a competitor to the iPod. Steve Jobs won big concessions from the music industry after running away with the digital music market. The film industry didn't want to be thrust into the same position.

    In other words the Movie industry is hoping Sony succeeds because Sony will help "protect their profits", largely by forcing users to repurchase their movie collections and pay through the nose for any entertainment they want to watch. Any wagers on why the iPod with a smaller screen and bigger price tag is winning? Maybe consumers aren't the idiots Slashdot'ers think they are?

  • Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:31PM (#18934213) Homepage
    Despite my thoughts of Sony as a corporation, I must say that I love my PSP. I can rip any of my DVD's and play them right on there with absolutely no modding or anything necessary...I can sit in a coffee shop and browse the net...or I can pop in a game and just do whatever.

    And of course, the v1.5 homebrew stuff is always fun.

    Sure, the battery kinda blows (which can be very much helped with aftermarket bats) and the loading times a bit slow, but it's still a fantastic little toy.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      I can do all that and more with my Nokia 770.

      websurfing is a dream on it compared to a PSP. I can listen to webcasts, make a phone call on it. chat.
      watch movies, mp3's play videogames, Yes you can play games on it.

      I got my second N770 for less than what you buy a PSP for. get more use out of it, also can surf the net via my cellphone with it if I am away from wifi coverage.

      2 gig miniSD holds 4 movies for me, a crapload of photos and music.

      the PSP is good at playing PSP games. everything else is a add on w
  • It is interesting how SONY tried to position the PS3 in almost the same wayas the PSP

    Super fantastic graphics that blow away the competition, feature X, Y & Z, Creepy commercials, etc.

    Although the PSP sales numbers are not all that bad, it miserably failed to reach numbers even close to the DS...

  • by countSudoku() (1047544) on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:32PM (#18934235) Homepage
    Let's not forget the many asinine "security updates" they force fed to us early adopters to keep the homebrew developers from actually adding something useful to that oversized (physically), overpriced (duh), underwhelming (storage) "wish I was a video iPod." I thought they had pulled their collective heads out of their asses, but now that the latest updated supports PS1 downloads, but *only* via another overpriced POS, the PS3, I see that nothing has changed. They made their bed. Lie in it, Sony.

    Yeah, I agree, the storage has to be the worst thing about the system, overall. UMD was a joke, right? $20 a pop for less movie/features than a standard DVD... MemoryStick?! Waste of money.
    It *could* have been a contender, but it's only a nice widescreen legacy now.

    Way to make every wrong turn, Sony... the one and only. :(
    • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbertNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @10:37PM (#18936437)
      Well that is one way of thinking about it.

      I happen to have both a DS and a PSP, and I can say without a doubt that if you are into homebrew the PSP is your best bet.

      Besides the more powerful hardware the primary advantage is the single storage standard. Homebrew only needs to know how to access the MSPro and that is is, compared to the DS this is a dream. With the DS you need to either program homebrew specifically for the flash device you are using or go with DFDI patches. This is good in theory but in reality the DS homebrew scene is full of almost working apps.

      The PSP on the other hand just requires a firmware downgrade followed by a custom firmware flash and you are good to go, the whole process takes about 30 minutes if you have a supported PSP and downgrades are coming out all the time.

      Now each systems have their own benefits, and that is why I have both, but to say the PSP is a bad system is a just unfair. I could say that the DS is underpowered, hurts to hold for a long time and needs a better screen and is too difficult to get homebrew working on, but that would be completely avoiding all the good points of the system.
      • I don't know why everyone thinks the PSP is so great for homebrew. In my opinion, it sucks. The other two consoles - both the DS and, obviously, the GP2X - are much better suited for it. The reason? You can do homebrew without having to constantly fight the maker of your console. I own all three consoles. I like my PSP, but I want to take advantage of the firmware updates Sony puts out. I want to play the latest PSP games on it (Pirates!), and I want to watch full-res movies, and I want to connect it to my
    • by donaldm (919619)
      Asinine "security updates" - have you ever tried to keep your Microsoft OS up to date?

      If you want home-brew games on a portable machine then the PSP was never for you. In fact neither was any Nintendo handheld. As far as being over priced why did you even spend the money on one unless you never got one in the first place and are just trolling.

      The PSP over-sized, really! you must have very small hands or have you forgotten the Nintendo Gameboy.

      Storage - please name a portable gaming machine that has more sto
      • by prockcore (543967)

        The PSP over-sized, really! you must have very small hands or have you forgotten the Nintendo Gameboy.


        So you're saying the PSP is very reasonably sized compared to a device that came out 18 years ago?
  • by Croakyvoice (986312) on Monday April 30, 2007 @06:36PM (#18934281)
    Sony messed up on a lot of things for the PSP but the PSP brought Homebrew and Emulators on the PSP [dcemu.co.uk] to the mainstream like never before and the releases of Custom Firmwares that play PSone Games at full speed [dcemu.co.uk] really brought the PSP to the masses. Fanjita and Dark Alexs downgraders/homebrew loaders have shown the best of what can be done on the PSP. To date there has been over 1000 Homebrew and Emulation releases on the PSP. The PSP isnt all that bad.
    • by cascino (454769) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:01PM (#18934527) Homepage
      Yes, but this doesn't help the console. If Sony would evaluate their options from the consumer's point of view, we could very easily have these features come standard on the PSP. Instead clever individuals like Dark Alex are engaged in an "arms war" of sorts where each month a new incremental firmware is released by Sony in an attempt to keep end users from taking full advantage of, for example, the PS1-PSP capabilities. The scene is forced underground, and the average consumer is kept unaware of what functionality is possible with the PSP.

      I personally have a PSP and must say that being able to play FFVII in full speed on the road is nothing short of amazing. I would have easily put down $10-20 for this capability. The unfortunate part for Sony is that they still doesn't realize that *enabling* the consumer is what sells products, not disabling features from them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by colmore (56499)
        There's a great Joel on Software about platforms and that in general you want to "commoditize your complements" meaning, if you sell hardware, you want to bend over backwards to make sure that there's cheap available software for you hardware (Mac makes this mistake again and again and again - they should have been working with Borland or someone since forever ago to make developing Mac ports of Windows software easy as pie) and if you sell software, you want cheap available hardware that runs your software
        • Working with both Macs and PCs, I would tend to say that the Mac has more and better software available than Windows PCs. Maybe because Apple releases Xcode for free? Or maybe Mac users are more likely to pay for good software, making the Mac a good target for high-quality software? Either way, I never got the complaint that there was no software for Macs. Especially during the last years, I think the Mac has surpassed Windows in everything but specialized, vertical market stuff.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      You are absolutely right. The only problem is that it only really holds true for us slashdot types (sorry for generalizing). If my little sister saw me playing Super Mario Bros. on my PSP, and she wanted to do the same, do you really think I could just give her those links?

      "If you're at firmware 2.70 you could just downgrade to 1.5 and install nesterJ"....her response: "what's a firmware?"

      PSP is by far one of the best "gadgets" I've ever come across....but I have to go underground to make it so. On
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Frogbert (589961)
      I'd just like to warn anyone considering installing the custom firmware above that they are old versions, there are newer and better supported custom firmware versions out there.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Yes, but Sony has fought that homebrew, tooth and nail, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. They would rather have the company go bankrupt than to lose even the slightest bit of control. They are control freaks, and that is why their proprietary formats are a huge threat to consumers. Let them become the standard, and they will control it with an iron fist.
  • The PSP is a perfect example of a company cramming as many features into one product, marketing all these features, and then not following through. UMD failed because it was proprietary format that could only play on the PSP and most of the games that came out for the first year were ports of PS1 and PS2 games. As for a mp3 player the damn thing is too big, and I cant say much for the web browsing feature since I don't do web browsing on the go. As for trying to move onto the online downloading market with
  • Sony's blunder. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kinglink (195330) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:00PM (#18934523)
    I'd like to say the PSP is Sony's biggest blunder, but it's not. The PS3 is turning out to be the titanic of the industry with all the bad press. But the PSP is a pretty massive blunder too. There's just too many bad moves to make the system viable. Here's a short list.

    1. Bad Advertisements. Everyone talked about them, everyone said "WTF", everyone shook their head. Again this isn't an awful move, but combine it with the rest of this list and we got the "PSP".

    2. Attacking the fans. People bought the PSP and homebrewed it. Sony closed the gaps. Now this isn't a bad thing but it forced people to make decisions between upgrading to buy games and leaving it at 1.5 to play homebrew. Overtime we've found ways to upgrade to 3.0+ software and play homebrew, however the sore feelings came early and lingered. When people were forced to make that choice and picked homebrew, then sony lost money right there. Games is all Sony's going to make money on.

    3. UMDs. Not the worst idea ever but UMDs are clunky and a poor format. They are also slow. Notice that DS is a cartridge. Yeah they are outdated but they also have no load time, and little if any problems. Sony was smart enough to protect the disc instead of putting the laser right next to it, but the UMD is a failed concept that no one was going to buy. Blu-ray is slightly better, but forcing it on the consumer was bad voodoo.

    4. Ambition, they made the best handheld, but it cost them a shit ton of money. The DS cost less, and sold for a profit (or close to it) It's similar to the PS3, 900 dollars or so for production of the version 1 consoles. Selling for 600. Why start a marathon a mile back from the starting line?

    5. Ports. This is perhaps the most damning of them all. The PSP is the Playstation portable. The Gameboy is the game boy. Not the NES portable, not the Famicom portable. The Gameboy is it's own system. The PSP on the other hand is a suped up PSX or a downgraded PS2 but it wasn't it's own system. For that neurotic nerd who loves his PS2 so much he wants to buy the games a second time for his PSP so he can have it on the go great, but there's only a couple exclusives out of something like 200 games. Lumines? great. But there's just too much other crap that didn't work. It's great that I can now play burnout, Golf, or any other PS2 game on the go, but instead of the full experience off the DVD, I pay more money for downgraded graphics.

    Consider that people play the DS while sitting next to full home entertainment systems, but I find it hard to believe people would do the same for the PSP. I know I wouldn't.

    6. Not being nintendo. Let's get petty for a minute. Sony isn't nintendo. Sega, Neo geo, atari, and other all tried this before. The gameboy worked, everything else failed. Why? Who knows but challenging nintendo on their home court and you're going to be laughed off the field.

    These are just some of the reasons the PSP failed and none of them are "that bad" but the wave of them keeps coming. They continue to produce port after port (next up Parapa the rapper, and Disgaea, and maybe FFT, and then .... You get the picture)

    The PS3 is starting to turn this way, every month it seems there's a new bad story. Hell make that every week, and you'll see that Sony has a long way to turn both of these products into "success stories" but I think we are reaching the point where it's too little, too late.
    • by bogjobber (880402)

      You make a very big assumption that the PSP is a failure. The PSP didn't fail. It is a very successful console (selling 25 million worldwide according to Wikipedia). That's substantially less than Nintendo's 40 million worldwide for the DS (not even counting the GBA), but it hardly qualifies for a failure. Comparing it to the Neo-Geo Pocket and Lynx is ridiculous. The Game Gear is probably as accurate as you can get, because it was a successful handheld that was still a distant second to the Game Boy,

      • "The PS3 is also hardly to be considered a failure (no matter what stories you may read on /.) as it has sold over 3.5 million units in six months. "
        Sorry but it isn't just what I read on Slashdot. I got my Wii finally, when I was getting a second controller the woman at the local Walmart was telling me, "I just don't understand. When they first came out everybody was so excited about the PS3. Now they just sit on the shelf and we can not keep the Wiis in stock." I suggest you take a look at the sales fig
      • by kinglink (195330)
        You're also misrepresenting the statistics here. The PSP is a blunder not because of buy-in, but because of tie-in. Games just arn't selling. GTA Liberty city stories, a game in a series that has sold 5 million on each version of the PS2 sold 1 million Gta Vice city stories sold 500K. The PSP is an expensive system as is the PS3, if they can't sell the games (and they arn't, at least not enough to be considered a success) that's a failure. The DS sells tons of games and comes at a lower production p
        • by bogjobber (880402)
          I'm not misrepresenting the statistics. Whenever you compare Sony products to Nintendo products, it as if you are assuming that it is a zero sum game. Just because Nintendo is more successful doesn't mean that the PSP/PS3 also can't be successful, even if the profits are more modest. Would you say that the N64 was a failure because the PSX wildy outsold it, or the Gamecube a failure because the PS2 outsold it by an even larger margin than the PSX/64? Of course not.
    • The PSP is the Playstation portable. The Gameboy is the game boy. Not the NES portable, not the Famicom portable.

      Really? Because I remember a flood of home console ports and adaptations appearing on every Nintendo portable to date, from "Super Mario Land" and "Castlevania: The Adventure" on the original Game Boy to "Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3" on the Advance to "Mario 64 DS" and "Diddy Kong Racing" on the DS.

      I don't think the PSP has failed; it's still selling better than any non-Nintendo po
  • All of my friends own PSP's, and I haven't ponied up for one yet, but I'm totally blown away at what these things can do. It struck me that this ,IMHO, is the future of portable computers!

    The screen resolution is incredible, and the menus are really cool, and it has it's own browser (proprietary), and it does everything that I would want in a portable computer except for office software...I really think if they were to do a slight paradigm shift, and make it both a portable game console, multimedia centre,
  • by DavidKlemke (1048264) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:11PM (#18935237) Homepage
    I keep hearing that the PSP doesn't have as good Homebrew as the DS. Well that's just plain not true, for example here's my source for all things PSP and homebrew: http://forums.qj.net/f-qjnet-sony-psp-forums-48.ht ml/ [qj.net] There are at least 180 people on this forum at any given time and there are THOUSANDS of homebrew applications in the files section. I'm sorry but all this DS fanfare about a less than lively homebrew scene just don't have their facts straight. Personally I bought my PSP early and got straight into the hacking scene as soon as I could. I've never been left feeling that I wasn't getting my moneys worth, and I've even bought a couple UMD movies (a 4 hour bus trip to Sydney can get mighty boring and sometimes ripping isn't an option). In fact I don't think I've ever come across something that I've wanted to do with my PSP and haven't been able to do. Here's just a short list of things I've done over the past couple of years using homebrew: - NES/SNES/N64 emulators - Universal IR Remote Controller - Remote access of my desktop at home over wireless or the internet - Streaming video and audio in real time over my wireless network and over the internet - Personal Organizer and calendar This is in addition to all the stuff that comes default these days with the base firmware. The PSP is a great platform and it's really worth every dollar you'll spend on it. Problem is it's not as cheap as a DS and the proprietary-ness of the platform seems to irk all the slashdotters. The DS might be selling more but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a better platform.
  • too much psp hate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stlthVector (468932) *
    I guess I'm the only person on /. who doesn't think the PSP is a failure. I also don't understand the comparisons to the DS. They both play games, that's it. The PSP is a mobile entertainment device. The DS plays games that do not require any advanced hardware. The PSP plays home console quality games, video, music, provides some internet access, makes a great photo viewer, and more. I love sports games and the PSP as an excellent library of sports games. I show them to my friends and their jaws drop
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      The PSP plays home console quality games, video, music, provides some internet access, makes a great photo viewer, and more.

      I do this all on my Nintendo DS lite, I just bought a Slot-1 Supercard [supercard.cn] and I got everything -- I can dump my games to the device so I don't need to carry so many cartridges with me, I've got the entire BSG series on one of my micro SD cards (that go into the supercard), there is a picture viewer, it works, but I don't use it... Hell, I even got Linux running on thing. [dslinux.org]

      I actually even fo

      • I do this all on my Nintendo DS lite, I just bought a Slot-1 Supercard and I got everything


        Yes, but with the PSP they're all built in, including WPA support. No extra hardware needed.
  • I like my PSP. (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Pfeiffer (454131) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @03:02AM (#18937765) Homepage
    Let me start by saying that I have a PSP1000G1CW (For the uninitiated, that's an original Japanese Ceramic White Gigapack), and I use it every day.

    I would like to address the more common 'issues' people seem to have with the PSP...

    The first being storage... You are right, it doesn't have 30-40gb of internal storage. This is something I have NEVER understood about the iPod and similar devices. My music collection is somewhere in the neighborhood of 200+ gigabytes. Yet, I'm never listening to more than 5 different albums in a given week. (This week, it is 'MY FOOT', 'Good Dreams', 'Fool on the Planet', 'Another morning, Another pillows', and 'FLCL Original Soundtrack 3', all by 'the pillows'.) Compressed with AAC, I have little problem carrying this around on my 1gb memorystick.

    Why do you NEED to carry THIRTY GIGABYTES of music with you at all times? Nine times out of ten, if your plane crashes, you DIE. So don't worry about getting stranded on a desert island without tunes, okay?

    My biggest gripe though, is with people attacking the UMD format. Complaining that it is proprietary strikes me as particularly stupid... Proprietary? As opposed to cartridges? I'm sorry, were they supposed to make it 3x the size and give it a DVD-ROM drive? Get over it. UMD Video was a mistake, but that was just Sony's movie division trying to capitalize... (In Japan, I've seen just as many UMD Video discs packaged WITH their DVD counterparts with little premium paid, so I think the whole 'make-you-buy-everything-twice' shtick was mostly western capitalism at work.)

    The PSP is a fine multifunction device once you install a custom firmware... Now, I know someone's going to be like "So, it's no good unless you hack it, huh?" That statement is equal parts truth and loaded bullshit. Sony doesn't want people pirating games or running their own software... YES. Personally I think it's bad corporate policy to sell someone what amounts to a handheld computer, then tell them not to run anything on it...but hey, I imagine there's a REASON I'm not on the board of SCEI or SCEA.

    With my PSP handy, with only a 1gb memorystick, I have never been bored. Between bookr for reading text files or PDFs, videos, music, and the vast library of great Japanese games at my fingertips (Not to mention all my old favorites via emulation), there has yet to be an instance where my PSP didn't give me something to do. Sony created something that, when properly utilized, becomes indispensable.

    Typically, my PSP is loaded with one game UMD in the drive, two in my Hori Portable Style Pouch, 1-5 more game ISOs on the memstick depending on size, music, the latest episodes of all my shows, a bunch of ebooks, and some classic Super Famicom games in my emulator. (Granted, sometimes 1gb of space is a little stressed by all this, but a 4gb stick like I plan to buy soon is only $50)

    Beyond its original purposes, a truly creative geek can find limitless uses for the PSP. I have my home network set up so I can download pre-packaged music, game ISOs, and videos, directly to my PSP through a web portal on my LAN. (As well as being able to stream any video directly from my computer to my PSP with Pimpstreamer...even stuff in 1080p) I can even use my PSP to control Media Player Classic via a web interface, or control the lights in the house...even check my caller ID. I don't even have the Chotto Shot camera or GPS unit yet and my PSP is more useful than any other handheld device I've ever owned, and has better games than some home consoles.

    Sure, it doesn't hold 30gb of music or videos... But hey, the screen is about the SIZE of an iPod, and with games like Disgaea and the countless other great games I play on a regular basis, I have no complaints.

    So I guess what I'm saying is... Could someone please explain Sony's failure to me in large type, with diagrams? Is it that the PSP is maybe TOO useful for a $280 device? Or is it supposed to be able to make me toast in the morning? I'M CONFUSED.
    • I like my PSP.

      Me too, and pretty much for the same reaons, though I don't have a homebrew friendly firmware now. (I upgraded my PSP for the Flash support and RSS)

      I do wish sony would be open to homebrew applications, the PSP is an anomaly in this regard, the PS2/PS3 have LInux, so why not allow homebrew. Either say, "we don't support this stuff use at your own risk" or makd deals with homebrew developers "hey we've got a PDF reader, we support this" or "here's a version of nethack, that we authorize"

      And

    • by mshurpik (198339)
      >I can even use my PSP to control Media Player Classic via a web interface, or control the lights in the house...even check my caller ID.

      OK you had me going there for a second :)

      People who actually own home automation systems are far too wealthy and ignorant to be bothered with a game console.
    • Why do you NEED to carry THIRTY GIGABYTES of music with you at all times?

      Why does anyone NEED to carry ANY music with them? We don't. But we LIKE to carry music with us so that we can listen to the music we want to listen to whenever and wherever we wish.

      Your listening habits involve a small number of full albums that stay in rotation for a while. Mine don't. I like to put my entire collection on shuffle and be surprised at what comes up next. The more of my music collection I can have with me, the mor
      • but still not as good as solid-state cartridges for a portable console.


        UMD is better than ROM cart in one important way, the same way the PSone game CD was superior to the N64 cartridge: capacity.

        the DS ROM cartridge only holds 128MB.

        UMDs hold 1.8GB, roughly 14 times as much data.

  • OK, a tad off topic maybe, but bear with me... the PSP was so potentially so cool, and could have been so great. If it'd had a touch screen, or some clever matching keyboard peripheral. If it had an accessory port or bluetooth so you could have used it for GPS navigation (or even built-in). Slightly crippled features to lock down media playback.

    and then there's the mylo. again, it initially sounded like an interesting idea. especially since it runs linux. but then it's a closed system, no 3rd party apps o

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