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Portables (Games) Handhelds Sony Games

Sony Winding Down the PSP 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the most-successful-also-ran dept.
Linnen writes "Sony has started the process of phasing out its PSP handheld console. From The Guardian: 'Shipments to the U.S. ended this year, and they are closing in Japan soon. European stores will see their last arrivals toward Christmas. Launched in Japan in December 2004, it is almost 10 years old – not a bad achievement for a handheld that was almost written off early in its lifespan. ... The console struggled with high piracy levels of its titles, which meant the likes of EA, Activision and Ubisoft were reticent about committing to major development projects. However, the ease with which hackers were able to break the device's security system also meant that it became a favorite with the homebrew development scene, and amateur coders are still producing games and demos for the platform. Some look back on the machine as a failure beside the all-conquering Nintendo DS, but this is unfair. The console sold 80m units, a figure boosted by a series of excellent hardware and featureset updates, including the slimmer PSP-2000 and PSP-3000 models. '"
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

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  • Apparently, I thought the console went away years ago personally. I haven't seen or heard of it in years.
  • Not just from Nintendo, but from pretty much every smartphone and cheap tablet out there.

    • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:18PM (#47167101)
      Owning both (I had the PSP long before I ever got a smartphone), I have to say there's no contest. One has a form factor and physical controls conducive to gaming, the other doesn't. (Or at least, not to most games, just to Angry Birds / Candy Crush-type games.)
      • by Andrio (2580551) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:33PM (#47167203)

        I'm not a fan of mobile games. They typically have shallow gameplay, no story, no immersion, and 9/10 times they're based on the "freemium" model which sucks. They're designed to be time-wasters. So yeah, "real" handheld gaming systems blow them out of the water. But, sadly, for most people, these mobile games are good enough.

        • The interesting thing is, Final Fantasy 3 on android uses the touch screen to simulate joystick/gamepad, and after a really shallow learning curve, is perfectly fine.

          I think the real problem is app developers want something they can basically shit out on an appstore, turk up some positive reviews, and make a few dollars. (hey, people are only paying 3 bucks for garbage, so they'll be unlikely to really complain).

          On the other side of things, you have the freemium / uber-casual games that want to make as shal

          • I always prefer physical buttons to touch when playing games. Even Hearthstone, with Blizz's famed controls design crew, is quirky and imprecise with touch.
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          It doesn't matter that they are good enough for most people. The people that are satisfied with mobile phone gaming are not the people that would buy a handheld console AND games. Most of them wouldn't even buy a console, but when they did, they would buy the console with one game and that was it. We will likely see a small drop in handheld gaming, but not much. Those of us with a 6' stack of games are not the people who are satisfied with phone gaming. We often do play on our phones, but only as a tim
        • by cdrudge (68377)

          They're designed to be time-wasters.

          And this point differs from every other game out there how?

      • by tom229 (1640685)
        Leave the touch screen computer people to their delusions. Did you know they are completely replacing workstations and laptops any day now?
    • by Pinhedd (1661735)

      Not necessarily. Smartphones and tablets handle traditional control schemes very poorly. Try playing an FPS on a smartphone, or anything that requires a degree of precision and/or responsiveness. If a game can be designed/redesigned for a touch-screen interface, great. However, many genres simply play better using mechanical controls and the PSP excels at this.

      • If a game can be designed/redesigned for a touch-screen interface, great.

        Some people would claim that all worthwhile games can be "redesigned for a touch-screen interface". For example, one could redesign a platformer by removing the exploration element, resulting in Canabalt or Rayman Jungle Run.

        • by Pinhedd (1661735)

          Some people are also retarded. Try redesigning a first person shooter for a touch screen. Every touch-screen FPS I have tried is beyond terrible, requiring tons of aim assist and alteration of game mechanics to suit the reduction in player control. Removing content or mechanics to suit an unsuitable control scheme is not "redesigning" anything, it's crippling it.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Try redesigning a first person shooter for a touch screen. Every touch-screen FPS I have tried is beyond terrible, requiring tons of aim assist and alteration of game mechanics to suit the reduction in player control.

            Fans of mobile gaming would claim that "alteration of game mechanics" is the best course of action in this case. Developers had to alter game mechanics when porting shooters from the PC to the PSP; why should mobile be different? For example, a mobile FPS might be reimagined as a fixed shooter (like Duck Hunt) or a rail shooter (like Area 51).

            Removing content or mechanics to suit an unsuitable control scheme is not "redesigning" anything, it's crippling it.

            Consider what would have to be removed to port something like StarCraft to a PSP, which has no good mouse substitute.

  • The PSP was actually a pretty nice piece of hardware, at least for those of us that grew up when a black and white portable system was a big deal. My old PSP1000, long since hacked, is now mainly used when I get a sudden urge to play FF7. Which is still awesome. If they had come out day one with a bunch of ported PS1 titles available on PSN I think things could've been different.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If they had come out day one with a bunch of ported PS1 titles available on PSN I think things could've been different.

      The games industry is really beyond frustrating. The only console maker which comprehends the value of its existing library is Nintendo, probably because they hold the trademarks and copyrights on so many of the top-selling games themselves. Sony did the same thing with the Xperia Play that they did with the PSP, which is to say fail to bring out lots of games from the old platform that people would pay for all over again even though they had an emulator and it was basically just printing money. You had to

  • Just to buy no games for it? Of course piracy kills sales ON A HANDHELD. There's lots of people out there with a PSP and no games actually bought.
  • sadly lots of good games (yeah Valkyria Chronicles 3) never left Japan.

    • sadly lots of good games (yeah Valkyria Chronicles 3) never left Japan.

      VC2 and VC3 were the reasons I wanted a PSP. I never ended up getting one because VC3 was never localized.
      I couldn't be assed to deal with the fan translation at http://vc3translationproject.w... [wordpress.com] .

      • by gmezero (4448)

        Oh then you're really missing out. The fan conversion of VC3 sets the bar for this kind of effort.

        • At this point I may just buy the games wherever, then try PPSSPP or whatever that emulator is called.
          I'm too busy with Mario Kart 8 at the moment, though.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @06:55PM (#47168337)

    Truly. It is awesome. There are only a few small problems with it.

    1) UMD disk is proprietary shit. Had they instead used a mini-dvd, the handheld would have been fantastic. But I realize that this is sony, and that they have delusions of owning the media market, despite having CLEARLY lost on all fronts. No Sony, your memory stick tech will NEVER be more user friendly than SDcard. No Sony, your UMD was never going to surpass mini-DVD. No Sony, your MagicGate bullshit for the vita will never catch on. Sorry. Users have the choice of non-sony things that work with all other non-sony things--- which are just as good if not better, than what you offer-- and are perfectly content to let your bullshit die on the vine. Like Vita is.

    You SHOULD have used mini-DVD.
    You SHOULD have used Micro-SD.

    2) Sony dropped the ball bigtime on game selection for the PSP, and further shot themselves in the foot by failing to give proper dualshock type thumbknobs-- Even the (very excellent!) PSONE emulator (which works with basically every PSONE game, with some tweaking!) is rendered less than fully useful because of the lack of the other thumb knob. I bought my PSP fat explicitly to run CFW on it, so that I could play emulated SNES and NES games on it, and to run homebrew apps on it. (It works just fine as a small ebook reader, and as an email reader. Used it for quite some time before I bought a smartphone. Could check my emails anywhere there was open wifi!)

    The reason why this was the SINGLE, ONE AND ONLY reason for that purchase decision? THERE WERE NO GAMES RELEASED FOR THE PSP WORTH BUYING, OR EVEN PLAYING. I have had my hacked PSP for.. Jeeze--- YEARS now. STILL, NOT A SINGLE PSP TITLE ON IT. PIRATED OR OTHERWISE. My choice not to buy games, was because there were no games worth having!

    BUT-- Again-- the handheld itself is fantastic!

    The screen is behind a very robust and thick slab of plastic that keeps it from getting screwed up. The FAT has an out of this world battery life. I could play an emulated snes game for literally 8 hours straight on a single charge! FANTASTIC! I STILL take the hacked PSP on vacation!

    Where Sony screwed up?

    Again, where they always screw up, and where they have always historically screwed up, and where they will consistently and forever screw up, until the day they collapse from the inside:

    1) They were and still are delusional. They want to believe that we will buy something just for the Sony name. We wont. This carries over on anything tied exclusively to Sony products-- be it MagicGate or MemoryStick memory cards, proprietary spinning disc formats, audio CDs with extra special rootkits--- whatever. Does not matter. If it only works in SonyWorld, while everyone else plays in REALWORLD, SonyWorld will always get the attendence that EuroDisney gets-- which is to say, it isn't really in your best interests to try it, sony. If you want us to invest in something, you have to MAKE it WORTH our while. You have to present something tangibly better than what everyone else offers; It MUST be bigger, better, faster, and be all that and a bag of chips; Complacency will NOT work. This should be immensely apparent to even you guys by now. That means if you offer a console to compete with another quality product released by a competitor, YOU NEED TO OUTSHINE THEM IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. Do any less? You will lose. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. That means having bigger selection, better loading times, better quality gameplay, and all that ball of wax. Giving us a porche that runs on refined plutonium, when there is no real way to get that plutonium, is a good way to waste money engineering a very sexy looking product that nobody will buy. That's where you fucked up with the Vita. Sure, it looks sexy, and probably is a very well designed handheld. BUT YOU DONT HAVE A BIG GAME CATALOG FOR IT. Why spend money on a porche that runs on plutonium, when you can never get the plutonium? Why spend money on a porche that runs on plutonium when you have to deal with deadly ionizi

    • by newsdee (629448)

      (reposting as I accidentally sent AC)

      There are several Linux/Android based handhelds which are exactly this. It started with the GP32 and GP2X (later Wiz / Canoo) and they gained quite a following. Today the alternatives are the NVidia Shield (bulky, but has Android on a powerful GPU) , and the planned successor of the OpenPandora (this one didn't do well due to production issues).

      Problem with the above was snobs saying their PSP/NDS could do all that. Kind of true, but the difference is these are completel

      • One practical problem is that Android has far longer audio latency (minimum time between touch and audio feedback) than the dedicated handheld systems. This screws with the rhythm of certain activities in certain games. For example, the NES game STREEMERZ: Super Strength Emergency Squad Zeta is a lot harder on EMUya (NES emulator for an Android-based set-top box) than on an NES due to audio latency messing with grapple timing. Rhythm games are right out. Or does the Shield have a low-latency audio API that
    • Great. You're about to arouse both CronoCloud and BasilBrush.

      If you put a huge ass list of silly secret handshakes involving dancing while naked and slathered in peanut butter-- JUST to get the SDK for your platforms-- NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THAT ISNT A PEANUT BUTTER NUDE DANCING FETISHIST IS GOING TO DEVELOP FOR YOUR PLATFORMS

      I guess the console makers' rationale is that if a developer has the resources to work around "absurd" requirements to get an SDK, it's more likely to have the resources to make a game that's better than Action 52. Perhaps you don't remember the crapfest that was the Atari 2600 library in 1983-1984, but it nearly brought down video gaming entirely in North America. Being selective about who is allowed to develop for a platform is console makers' w

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        Android is just one example, there's also apple's model, if you prefer.

        still an open and easy to use sdk, but comes with a locked down store model in the device ecosystem, where they act as a content filter. (admittedly, a less than perfect one, but still.)

        if you are worried about garbage multicart type offerings poisoning the well, then an apple approval process analogue would do just fine. just leave a way to sideload, and all is golden.

        the point is to build up the desirability of the console, so that AAA

        • just leave a way to sideload, and all is golden.

          Publishers see "just leave a way to run illegal copies, and all is golden."

          the point is to build up the desirability of the console, so that AAA game studios have incentive to target the platform.

          On the other hand, perhaps some AAA publishers don't want to share a platform with "the riff-raff" for fear of their products being lost among the me-too knockoffs that flood both Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. Case in point: Try searching these stores for "Flappy" and seeing which games other than dB-Soft's [wikipedia.org] show up.

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >THERE WERE NO GAMES RELEASED FOR THE PSP WORTH BUYING, OR EVEN PLAYING.

      Final Fantasy Tactics was released for the PSP well before it was re-released on the PS3, and it had very nice artwork added to it that made the game a lot better, that didn't get put into the PS3 re-release (IIRC).

      Tactics Ogre and Dissidia were also good games for the PSP, from what I hear.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the best Metal Gear game since 2005's MGS3. It's also excellently suited to handheld gaming.

    • This is what qualifies for insightful these days? Really, this is just a spastic rant at Sony by someone who readily admits they buy no software for the system and use it as nothing more than a portable emulator for pirated 20+ year old console games.

      The PSP had some amazing titles for it... some examples of just UMD releases to name just a few (and I'm not even counting several Mini's and other digital only titles, including PS1 games):

      Patapon 1 & 2 (3 not so much)
      Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

  • well winding it down makes sense they haven't made any first party games in years not sense vita. and its been off the shelves nearly as long. the main issue of course was in its 10 year run it had very few must buy games. the hardware for the time was epic it pretty much was a low res ps2 in terms on how far they could push the games stomping the gba and ds into dirt in terms of raw power. the main issue was in fact sony when something good did come out sony never even tossed ads it was for the psp. some o

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