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Handhelds PlayStation (Games) Portables (Games) Sony Entertainment Games Hardware

PlayStation-Based Mobile Handset a Possibility 61

Posted by Soulskill
from the since-the-psp-is-way-too-big dept.
Speaking with Financial Times, Hideki Komiyama, president of Sony Ericsson, raised the possibility of a mobile handset based on PlayStation gaming. The company has been struggling to find an answer to current smartphones, and they plan to release three new models within the next year which run Symbian, Android, and Windows Mobile. Komiyama likened a PlayStation-related handset to the music-based Walkman handset and the camera-based Cybershot handset. Quoting the FT: "He expresses interest in Sony Ericsson carving out a niche for itself based on Sony's strength in gaming. He says a PlayStation mobile, building on the Walkman and Cybershot phones, 'could happen.'"
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PlayStation-Based Mobile Handset a Possibility

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  • by meist3r (1061628) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @03:01AM (#27894601)
    Sony is not exactly known for it's technological strategies in the last years. They sat heavy on their butt with overestimating the consumers need for a gaming platform/media system with the PS3 and unless they come up with a serious mobile strategy including software platform, app store, innovative applications and some incentive for customers to want to use their stuff I highly doubt this will make it that far. It's clearly aimed at countering the iPhone's growing stance as a mobile gaming platform but the iPhone has one important advantage: It's a platform not just a device. Sony has been building too many devices lately. Those don't sell too well on their own.
    • by R.Morton (1540993)

      I don't know the DS and DSI are selling pretty well and they are just devices aren't they ?.

      R.Morton

      • I think the point is that the DS and DSi are focused gaming devices whereas the PSP is an unfocused, be everything to everyone, "device". Which I don't think is an entirely fair criticism.

        IMHO, the PSP is not a game console. It just sucks as a portable game console. By the time you get your game loaded, you're already at your bus stop. Not to mention that the games tend to have the long-gameplay sensibilities of a home console rather than a portable system. I won't even get into the portability comparisons between the PSP and DS games.

        The PSP is almost focused as if it were a Playstation that you could take to a friend's house. Or a portable DVD player. Or an emulator. In fact, it focuses well on just about everything except being a portable game console. (Whoops.)

        Oddly, the DSi has bridged the jack-of-all-trades barrier a bit itself. It is not only a portable game system, but it is also a camera, music player, and portable web browser. It seems to succeed at these things not because it was so well designed for them, but rather because they were grown out of its existing capabilities rather than made a central focus of the system. In many ways the DSi does these features worse than the PSP, but the users appear to be happier with them. (Anyone notice that there is a DSiCade for the browser, but no PSPCade?)

        Sony lacks focus. That is their core business issue, and why the PS3 and PSP have not been competing as well as they should.

        • by R.Morton (1540993)

          Actually to be fair I was not saying that the PSP was worse than the DS and DSI I was just saying do they not all fall in to the Devices catagory ?.

          Hell I like all three of them ;), as a collector I appreciate the diffrences that all the handhelds bring to the history of gaming for better or worse.

          becuase from these successes and failures comes more innovation in the gaming world and we can all appreciate that.

          R.Morton

        • My seven year old son has a DS, and is doing his best to trick us into getting him a DSi.

          The DS seems to be targeted at younger consumers. The older demographic for the PSP is smaller because a lot of people at that age just aren't into games any more.

          I see a lot of girls my sons age with cute pink DS's. I can't imagine a girl buying a PSP. Thats half the market gone right there.
          • by KDR_11k (778916)

            Oh, the DS does have quite some appeal to older people as the sales of Cooking Navi show (18 million units!). It also appeals to children. I think if you add it all up the DS appeals to everyone but the graphics whores.

          • by A12m0v (1315511)

            I'm 23 and the DS appeals to me more than the PSP.

            My younger brother (6 years old) has a PSP, and it appeals to him more.

          • I'm 23, I have the DS and PSP. The PSP has become my mobile media player and the DS is my mobile gaming device. Once I get a DSi and/or a homebrew card, the only purpose I have for the PSP is finishing Tactics (again, but with new stuff) and Crisis Core, which isn't very engaging and I haven't played it in months...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by RogueyWon (735973) *

          Nintendo have ensured at a stroke that I will never pick up a DSi. They've region locked its software.

          My morning commute isn't really handheld friendly (packed in like sardines on a short distance commuter train and then London Underground). The main use I get out of handhelds is when I travel, be it for business or personal reasons. And with the nature of my work, most of my business travel is to the States. I've always, therefore, kept a handheld (or several - I have a PSP and DS, which get around equal u

        • by feepness (543479)

          By the time you get your game loaded, you're already at your bus stop. Not to mention that the games tend to have the long-gameplay sensibilities of a home console rather than a portable system. I won't even get into the portability comparisons between the PSP and DS games.

          This is total FUD. While I've never been a fan of the UMD, the latest two revisions of the PSP, out for over two years now, have a caching ability which speeds up load times significantly.

          Second, if you turn the PSP off and back on, you instantly resume from where you left off. If your buses actually move that fast let me know where you live, you are quite lucky.

          Third, since you are obviously unfamiliar with the hardware, how can you expect to be familiar with the software? When was the last time y

          • by feepness (543479)

            I recently had my old one stolen that I kept in the gym bag solely for watching movies on the treadmill. I looked high and low for a decent replacement with a high resolution, bright screen, and swappable storage. I ended up buying a used PSP 2001 for $90. Nearest thing I could find that still had a smaller and lower resolution screen was an iPod touch for ~$200.

            BTW, that was movies off the memory stick. I never purchased a UMD movie.

        • by Khyber (864651)

          "By the time you get your game loaded, you're already at your bus stop."

          Quit using the PSP-1000, then. And did you HONESTLY expect fast loading times off of a tiny-ass proprietary optical disc from first-gen? SERIOUSLY?

          On the PSP-2000 and better, loading times jumped dramatically.

          "Not to mention that the games tend to have the long-gameplay sensibilities of a home console rather than a portable system."

          At least they got that part correct. You can't find QUALITY like that on a fucking home console any longer

          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by Dog-Cow (21281)

            You are an ass.

            But then I'd assume you like wasting your money on short-lived games with very little staying power with the way you phrase your comment.

            "Assume" is the correct word here, considering you are an ass. The GP meant that there aren't games geared toward a short play time. I don't know if that's true at all, but at least I know what he meant.

            "Hey, I don't pay a premium for this like you do with your iPhone. I pay $30/yr and that's that to make phone calls. You pay that monthly? Fool."

            I'd love to see you do that 40 miles out in the middle of nowhere like an iPhone user can. Oh right, you are too stupid to understand the difference between cellular and wifi access.

            • by Khyber (864651)

              Do you not realize that open wireless APs are UBIQUITOUS? I've picked up *MANY* driving through Arizona, in the middle of the desert. Especially in an open area like desert, that signal can go for much further distances than specification allows. I've picked up wifi directly from I-10, the nearest building being about a kilometer away. Yea, only one bar and sounded like a busted vinyl AND I had to hold it just outside of the car's window, but IT STILL WORKED. Most GAS STATIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (popu

              • by pnewhook (788591)

                Yea, only one bar and sounded like a busted vinyl AND I had to hold it just outside of the car's window, but IT STILL WORKED.

                Your wifi sounds like busted vinyl? Do you know what wifi is? It seems you are confusing wifi with cellular as the parent post suggests.

                • by Khyber (864651)

                  Apparently you've NEVER OWNED VINYL, otherwise you'd be able to equate static on a cell line with static in a VoIP call to a land line. Yes, there is static and popping/repeating, kinda like a vinyl with a groove across a couple of tracks will do. VoIP + weak signal = lag, pops, repeats, and static. Vinyl does all but one of those four things.

                  • by pnewhook (788591)

                    So let me get this straight. You'd rather hold your PSP out your car window and put up with shitty wifi reception and bad audio just so you can bitch about everyone else instead of getting a decent cell phone.

                    Get a grip and stop being such an ass.

      • by meist3r (1061628)

        I don't know the DS and DSI are selling pretty well and they are just devices aren't they ?

        Well, you got me there. Maybe my definition wasn't clear enough. The difference between the iPhone, a potential PSPhone and the DS(i) is that the DS isn't "connected" in the sense that it doesn't have inherent networking capabilities that are designed to push apps. At least not that I'm aware of. The iPhone has spawned an entire eco-system of software around it and the PSPhone will have to do something quite similar to compete. The AppStore is undoubtably a profitable model and we have yet to see other mobi

        • the DS isn't "connected" in the sense that it doesn't have inherent networking capabilities that are designed to push apps.

          You mean the DSiShop channel? I don't see how it's any less integral than the iPhone's app store.

          I do think Nintendo rushed the DSi to market. The hardware is fine, but there is absolutely zero software for it. There are no DSi enhanced or exclusive carts and the downloadable games are all ripped from other GBA and DS titles. (With the exception of WarioWare Snap, which is pretty much

          • by meist3r (1061628)

            You mean the DSiShop channel? I don't see how it's any less integral than the iPhone's app store.

            I am not really familiar with the offerings for the DS market but do they sell complete games over that shop? What about dedicated applications? What about third party apps? That's what I mean by "pushing" software. A service like XBLA or the PSN downloads can hardly be called a "software" store because it's merely a one-tier electronic distribution channel. The AppStore on the other hand is at least somewhat open to people to sell their "own" things.

            Sooo... not quite sure where you're going with your argument?

            I was originally trying to say that the DS doesn't have m

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      They sat heavy on their butt with overestimating the consumers need for a gaming platform/media system with the PS3

      No, they underestimated the customers' intelligence. Hard to do, but not impossible: they thought that they would buy it at practically any price because it said Sony on it, and they were wrong.

      • by meist3r (1061628)
        I kinda disagree. The 360 was rather expensive when it launched as well and boasted an equally compelling HD DVD drive at the time. Sony overestimated the "value" that Blu-Ray meant to people. Now it's just a part of the console and nobody actually cares for the PS3 as a player in the gamer community (it's a nice added bonus). The problem is the Xbox SKU evolved over time and made amends for the lack of features of one package with a lower pricepoint or more capacity as it became less attractive. The PS3 ha
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The 360 was rather expensive when it launched as well

          Not as expensive as the PS3 though

          and boasted an equally compelling HD DVD drive at the time.

          I would dispute the idea that it was equally compelling. I preferred HD-DVD but always bet on Blu-Ray. I own neither.

          I'm one of those silly fools that is still waiting for the next Zelda for Wii and keeps playing mediocrity until then -no HD TV ... no need for a 400$ dust collector.

          I only wish I knew why my Xbox and PS2 look great on my HDTV at 480p, but my Wii still looks like poop.

          Hmm, that didn't come out right.

          • by meist3r (1061628)

            I would dispute the idea that it was equally compelling. I preferred HD-DVD but always bet on Blu-Ray. I own neither.

            Well, for a while there the entire market didn't know what it was going to be. Eventually Blu-Ray seemed to have been the one with the better gimmicky features and thus prevailed -two-three years ago I wouldn't have known which one would make it.

            I only wish I knew why my Xbox and PS2 look great on my HDTV at 480p

            To me the whole situation is a paradoxically recursive moebius-strip excuse. I don't own an HD TV therefore I don't own an HD console. I don't own an HD console therefore I don't own HD TV. I use a modded Xbox every day on my SD TV but I don't really miss 720p/1080p

  • I fail to see a connection as why this strategy would be advantageous for the manufacturer or consumer.

    (also, how annoying to post a reg-req'd article)

  • OOOOoohh (Score:3, Funny)

    by nog_lorp (896553) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @06:26AM (#27895335)

    Pee Ess Pee

  • by saihung (19097) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @08:46AM (#27895901)

    My Symbian phone is based on a successor architecture to the MIPS chip that was in the original PS1 and is an order of magnitude faster, which might simplify system emulation. If there were an official PS1 emulator for my phone (and that's what we're really talking about after all, isn't it?) I'd buy it. And since Sony already owns Connectix ...

    • by forkazoo (138186)

      My Symbian phone is based on a successor architecture to the MIPS chip that was in the original PS1 and is an order of magnitude faster, which might simplify system emulation. If there were an official PS1 emulator for my phone (and that's what we're really talking about after all, isn't it?) I'd buy it. And since Sony already owns Connectix ...

      No, they aren't really talking about "PlayStation" the device. They are talking about "PlayStation" the brand. Keeping to MIPS would potentially simplify porting t

  • Sony Ericsson have said they wanted to make a PSP phone in the past, Sony Computer Entertainment have said no though.
    • by Khyber (864651)

      "Sony Computer Entertainment have said no though."

      No. No way. Ever heard of this little program called Skype? Guess which Sony console it's on? The PSP. They already HAVE phone capabilities. Non-knowledgeable fools don't know this.

      Hell the PSP has hardware for VIDEO CHAT. Let me see an iPhone properly designed for such a purpose. Hint: you won't, because of how the iPhone is designed.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        Skype on PSP makes the PSP a phone just as much as games on iPhone make the iPhone a game console.

  • Mobile Cell CPU (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @01:00PM (#27897631) Homepage Journal

    The Playstation 3 runs on the Cell CPU, which an extremely powerful multiprocessing chip. It's also extremely high yield in manufacturing, because defective chips usually just lose one or more of the parallel DSPs, but otherwise work just great. Which makes each chip cheaper, since the expense of the whole manufacturing (and R&D) run is spread across a lot more chips sold, many of which are discarded in less efficient processes.

    Mobile Cell chips could be simply the lower-grade chips with just one or a few DSPs working, but otherwise superfast (3.2GHz PPC, wicked fast bus, etc). They're programmed exactly the same as the higher grade Cells, because the Cell itself allocates however many DSPs are working. The dead DSPs don't even suck power.

    And Linux already runs great on the Cell (as in Linux on Playstation), with the main OS on the PPC and multimedia offloaded to the DSPs.

    I would love to see a Linux "PlayPhone" that runs the same SW as a PS3, as a desktop, as a server, etc, but with different features depending on the full complement of HW in the device.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by w0mprat (1317953)

      Mobile Cell chips could be simply the lower-grade chips with just one or a few DSPs working, but otherwise superfast (3.2GHz PPC, wicked fast bus, etc).

      You're forgetting just how much power cell processors chug down. Even with only 1 or 2 SPEs and a downclocked PPC core and a narrower slower bus you won't be anywhere near a 1-3 watt envelope that's tolerable in something you can hold in your hand (ie. 2 hour battery life at full load). Try more like 15watts for the most cut-down cell.

      Sony is likely to not be reinventing the wheel too much. MIPS32 architecture which already works well in the PSP (which has two of these processors). We'll be something sim

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        Sadly, you are propbably right. I'm always optimistic about design win chances for Cell.

        Do you happen to know how much power a full PS3 Cell (7 SPUs) draws?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The Playstation 3 runs on the Cell CPU, which an extremely powerful multiprocessing chip. It's also extremely high yield in manufacturing, because defective chips usually just lose one or more of the parallel DSPs, but otherwise work just great.

      O RLY? [cnet.com] The real story is that the PS3's Cell processor has 7/8 of its theoretical performance, because the only way they could get yields up into the acceptable range was by disabling one PPE. This was not part of the original plan.

      Mobile Cell chips could be simply the lower-grade chips with just one or a few DSPs working, but otherwise superfast (3.2GHz PPC, wicked fast bus, etc).

      O RLY? [209.85.173.132] Why this link? Because Cell TDP is 60-80 watts. Put that in a handheld and burn your fingers.

      And Linux already runs great on the Cell (as in Linux on Playstation), with the main OS on the PPC and multimedia offloaded to the DSPs.

      O RLY? [wikipedia.org] No, Linux runs on the PPC and one of the SPEs, reducing the total number of usable SPEs to six. In your mythical cell-based handheld with less SPEs, there would be even l

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        1: They do not disable the SPEs to increase yield. The manufacturing process loses one or more SPEs despite their best efforts, because the defects of any CPU manufacturing that usually take out the whole chip in the Cell instead take out only one of the 8 SPEs owing to the designed redundancy if the defect is on an SPE (other parts aren't redundant). A typical CPU would have lowered yield by that chip with even a single defect to it, but a Cell can survive up to 7 defects if they're all on SPEs, by blowing

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          1: They do not disable the SPEs to increase yield. History: Yields are horrible [theinquirer.net], Yields can be improved by disabling processing elements [theinquirer.net], yields have improved [theinquirer.net]. If you can suggest another reason why yields improved, I'd like to see it.
          As someone else in this thread mentioned, a Cell with a single SPE, like I suggested be used in a mobile device, would use only about 15W, not the full 60-80W. Probably false, without a process shrink, which would again threaten yields and raise costs. One PPE plus one SPE woul

          • by Doc Ruby (173196)

            There's a brief discussion of Cell's "Design for Manufacturing" feature redundancy's effect on higher yields at the link [edn.com] from one of the Inquirer links you just included. But of course that redundancy isn't all that's required for high yields. They improved the rest of the process which increased the base yield.

            What I'd accomplish with a Cell with 1 SPE would be a 3.4GHz PPC, a 20GFLOPS DSP, and a superfast bus, using a part that would be extremely cheap because its inclusion in the yields mean it would oth

        • BTW, it's the dissipated power that burns your hand, not the power consumed. If a chip consumed 80W but ran 100% efficient, it wouldn't heat up at all. The Cell, like any other CPU, is far from 100% power efficient, but it's not 0% efficient, either.

          YOU FAIL PHYSICS! [wikipedia.org]

          Energy efficiency is a measure of how much power went where you want vs how much power you consumed total. Such as with a light bulb, where it measures how much energy turned into light instead of heat. If you have a light bulb that turns 30% of the energy into light, then you have a 30% efficient light bulb... and a 70% efficient heater.

          It doesn't make sense to talk about energy efficiency of a processor as a percentage. It only makes sense to talk about how much energy it consumes. Just

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