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Portables (Games) Sony

The Future of the PSP 83

IGN has a longish piece up looking at the possible future of Sony's handheld. They examine the upcoming success of Sony's overshadowed creation via several excellent interviews from people with SCEA, first-party developers, third-party studios, and indies. I particularly enjoyed the comments by indie homebrew dev Fanjita, who had a great outsider's view of the little black dynamo. "I suspect there are 2 factors that make them especially resistant to homebrew on the PSP - the first is that point I just made, about not wanting to dent the already shaky platform image. The second is that we already know our way around almost all the PSP internals, and so they probably feel that there's a risk that a publicly endorsed, restricted homebrew platform would soon be cracked wide open, leaving them with an officially endorsed route to piracy. I like to believe that the capable homebrew devs would be respectful of a move from Sony to open up the platform, but it's obviously impossible to have any guarantees."
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The Future of the PSP

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  • 1) Remove the UMD disk interface: it is slow, mechanic, and power hungry.
    2) Bigger screen.
    3) Thinner design, lower weight, lower power requirement, memory-card-only games, allow SD cards for user media.
    4) Sell it at 99$ / 99 euro (including european VAT) price point.
    5) Profit! (without user torturing, dammit!)

    By the way, for the next PSP (e.g. "PSP2"): memory-card-games backward compatible, with better processors, more RAM, and enhanced 3D chip, etc.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by sanosuke001 ( 640243 )
      You want a bigger screen yet make it lighter? You must be a PR person where you work....

      "Well, we just promised that this device will manufacture gold. Make it happen"

      A bigger screen would be nice but I like the slight heft it has and UMD really isn't that big of a problem. Honestly, I see more problem with memory sticks being erased. And just because you'd rather use a different type of memory stick doesn't mean Sony will put in an 8-1 reader for whoever is out there that doesn't like the format they choos
    • Sorry, time to stop dreaming and wake up.

      1. Then how would you be able to play all the old PSP games that are already out there? Sorry this simply isn't a viable option for Sony.
      2. Ok... that will cost more.
      3. That will cost even more.
      4. Hello? I said MORE not less. Either you increase the price with more features or remove features (hard to do since the PSP already has a game library that relies on all those features) to cut price.
      5. Can't profit when you'd be losing money on every machine. Oh wait, Sony's already trying that with the PS3... we'll see how that goes. But considering Nintendo is making more on every Wii (they actually make a profit on the machines) than Sony makes on their PS3s AND the Wiis are STILL hard to find in some places (it's rediculous!) while PS3s aren't nearly that bad, I think Sony's strategy isn't working very well unless they get a higher games-to-systems sell ratio (unlikely).
      6. I think all your PSP2 stuff is a duh. If Sony continues it's "bigger is better" strategy that Nintendo is deviating, very successfully, from. I personally want to see some innovation from Microsoft and Sony in their next consoles, like Nintendo has been doing. That would be interesting.
      • by Winckle ( 870180 )
        Mod +1 Realist :)
      • by faragon ( 789704 )
        ack 1: I don't want to carry UMD disks anymore.
        ack 2: Why? TFT screens of 30% more area than current PSP are dirty cheap.
        ack 3: Design costs for flow shop multi-million-unit gadgets is below 0.5$/unit, marketing is a lot more expensive.
        ack 4: It was about reducing costs plus a bigger screen as a plus, 99$, IMO is an easy price target for a massive integrated device.
        ack 5: For a retail price of 99$, including three levels of distribution (import, major distribution, retailer) for 14$, you have 85$ left f
        • by Jearil ( 154455 )
          ack 2: Why? TFT screens of 30% more area than current PSP are dirty cheap.

          I just want to make a point on this one. Do you know that even though the current screen of the psp is around 4" , it also has a resolution that yeilds about 140 ppi? A lot of computer monitors aren't that sharp. While you could make the screen larger, you probably wouldn't be increasing the quality. Personally, as someone who uses a psp to watch movies on, the high pixel density of the screen is the main reason that images can look
      • Hello? I said MORE not less. Either you increase the price with more features or remove features (hard to do since the PSP already has a game library that relies on all those features) to cut price.

        And yet the DS with two screens and a touch sensor costs half as much and still turns a profit on each unit, which is especially sweet since they're outselling the overpriced PSP by a wide margin.

        Either Nintendo has a warp gate to a magical cheap manufacturing planet, or Sony just can't shake its desire to bu

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xymor ( 943922 )
        As I see, DS and PSP don't even compete for the same crowd.

        Is it impossible to believe that there's a High-end gaming market and a Low-end gaming market?
        Same with Wii vs Ps3/360, when you compare them, they aren't even in the same league.

        Wii and DS will be successful because they are cheap and simple, something new that appeals to a mass market. Let's face it, most people are too overwhelmed by hardcore uber complex games where they can't even understand what's going on.
        • by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
          Not to say everyone is in the same boat, but I dont want two handhelds, I bought a DS in stead of a PSP.
          I dont have the time (or desire) to play games all the time any more, so I chose one console, the Wii.
          I can afford all the consoles and all the top titles for each, but I dont want to spend all that time with games. One is enough.

          If people are not buying one because they bought the other, then theyre competing for the same market, despite the large differences in price.
          • by Xymor ( 943922 )
            If people are not buying one because they bought the other, then theyre competing for the same market, despite the large differences in price.

            Well, Mercedes and Fiat are both car dealers, they are both competitors in the car dealing business, but within the car buyers universe, not everyone seeks the same things or are willing the pay the same prices.

            Yet, nothings stops you from having both.
    • by Dryheat ( 661347 )
      I would replace UMD with another memory stick so the PSP2 would have 2.

      Games and software should come on read only flash sticks (Any UMD game can be converted to run as an iso in flash disks)

      Without the UMD you can make it thinner. Sony should add either
      1) a slim pop out keypad
      2) a touch screen
      3) a clam shell with the other side having a keyboard which also offers protection.
      4) Combination of 1 and 2 or 3 and 2.

      I would also improve the OS with more memory, so you could run your own widgets.

      If sony want to s
      • Sony should add either 1) a slim pop out keypad 2) a touch screen

        I thought that the PSP would have made a great multimedia device if Sony hadn't been (a) So obviously concerned about locking it down (keeps that nice licensed-game revenue stream coming in, and their movie/music divisions and other content providers happy), and (b) Not so intent (apparently) on artificially differentiating their products.

        What do I mean? Well, I had Sony's Mylo [] in mind when you made your comment. When I first read about that overpriced WiFi gadget, it struck me that technically it wasn't

    • I really like my PSP. I am really happy with the half-dozen games I've sprung for so far, including Ace Combat X, Lumines, Exit, Wipeout Pure, and (somewhat ironically) Sega Genesis collection. I also like encoding my movies and tv shows for on-the-go viewing. The screen is still gorgeous and the system as a whole is perfect for bus rides, trips, and so on. I think the playa hatas out there haven't even played the PSP, much less spent any significant time with it. Yes, the current PSP does fall short of
    • Well, point 1 is complete and utter rubbish.

      The UMD mechanism is in all odds very similar to the HiMD mechanisms, and those have battery life massively ahead of any competing music player - those (1 gig) drives can go what, 30 hours continual playback on a single AA battery? Sony do have a couple of things totally licked on their products - battery life and sound quality.

      Point 3 isn't that good either - the media costs are just way above that of the UMDs.
  • Okay, I'll be honest. I bought a PSP the day it came out. Since then, it's mainly done nothing but collect dust while my DS gets more play time beyond belief. However, I took my PSP for a day trip yesterday with Ac!d 2, and it was a complete blast. I didn't realize that the system had so much fun potential. Granted, it was only one game, but still, for the first time in awhile, I actually had a good time playing it, and all I had to do was pick it up. To be honest, I really don't think there's enough room
  • One word: Homebrew (Score:1, Informative)

    by millennial ( 830897 )
    Apart from homebrew, the PSP has no future. Even Sony is stealing ideas from homebrew coders.
    • True, but I don't see Sony taking ideas from homebrewers as stealing. That's like saying someone integrating existing graffiti on a wall into a mural of some sort "stole" the graffiti. Homebrewers are crafty, dedicated folk, but they're voiding warranties left and right, so they deserve (and get) no sympathies from me if things go wrong. It's the risk you run.
      • by catprog ( 849688 )
        Say I write a mod for say half life 2 and then valve uses that mod in a commercial product. Is that stealing?
        • The difference is that the Source engine is open and customization is encouraged. Homebrew, especially in the PSP's case, is hated upon by Sony, as seen by the whole "updates" thing.
  • Really that bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zelos ( 1050172 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:45PM (#18481107)
    Are things really that bad for the PSP? I just bought a second hand one, plus 5 games (Wipeout, Burnout, Daxter, Worms and Tales of Eternia) and it seems like a good handheld. There are maybe 8 or 9 other games I'd like to buy at the moment, plus more on the way (GoW PSP?). I mean, I own a DS+25 games as well and think it's fantastic, but the PSP has a load of great games too.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Don't be silly, you're not allowed to like them both! That would be like using Linux and Windows. Are you completely mad!?
    • by Reapman ( 740286 )
      I work in a government office, and thanks to new regulations everyone needs to get a passport to head south to the US (I'm in Canada) There were lines of folks for hours. I saw at least 4 PSP's, 1 DS. I'd say if I see someone out and about sitting with a handheld, it's about 60% PSP, 40% DS. I wonder if Canadians have a higher uptake of PSP?

      FWIW, I have a PSP and a DS, right now I get way more use out of the PSP (Vice City, LocoRoco, etc) but I think both systems are pretty good. They should look at do
      • Meh, here in Edmonton, Canada, I've seen a total of three PSPs. One of them is owned by a relative, one was owned by some teen on the bus, and another by a young mother and her kid. Meanwhile, I have a DS, three of my co-workers have a DS, and a fourth is thinking of picking one up (he loves Castlevania games). And my office isn't particularly big.

        The point to take from this? Tiny sample sizes don't make for valid statistics...
        • by Reapman ( 740286 )
          Huh? No the point to take from this was I'm sharing my experience, not stating what I feel is zomg stats that show PSP beats DS. I have seen more PSP's, so I was asking the question, you provided a counter argument. I hope it's ok for me to share experiences... Or maybe I should put in a disclaimer with every post I make saying I'm only one guy and not a professional, take what i say with a grain of salt? This is slashdot, that should go without saying.
  • by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7 @ k c . r r . c om> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @05:47PM (#18481517) Homepage
    I am so sick of the fanboy "my psp collects dust and I play my DS everyday" line. Its tired everyone has heard it. My primary consoles consist of a Wii, Ps2, 3 ds's (1 phat and 2 lites for a family of 5) and 1 PSP. Im definately not a Sony fanboy and play lots of DS games but to dismiss the PSP as being no good means either the person is not looking at the games available or they were so caught up in that argument a year ago when it was true that they are blind to whats available now.

    No matter what genre there are good games these are just off the top of my head:

    Advenure Games: Lego Star Wars, Metal Gear Solid Portable Op's
    RTS Games: Pirates!, Field Commander
    RPG Games: Dungeon Seige, Marvel Ultimate Alliance,
    FPS Games: Socom 2, Medal of Honor Heroes
    Rythym Games: Guitaroo Man Lives!
    Racing Games: Burnout Legends, Wipeout Pure
    Action Games: Daxter, Rachet and Clank
    Puzzle Games: Locoroco, Me & My Katamari, Lumines 1&2, Puzzle Quest, Mercury Meltdown
    Fighting Games: Tekken: Dark Resurrection
    Old School Classics: Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins, Metal Slug Anthology
    Sports Games: Madden 07, MLB 07, Winning Eleven

    As far as actual numbers of games the PSP actually has a hundred or so more than the DS. It had a slow start but the PSP has delivered more than I ever expected and to say it has no good games is delusional.

    • by sqlrob ( 173498 )
      Wow, we have severely different views of what an adventure game is. TTBOMK, there are no games I would consider adventure on the PSP (strongly story driven, no twitch), whereas there are a few on the DS (Hotel Dusk, Phoenix Wright, Touch Detective). I'd love to see Lucas Art style games on either of these handhelds.

      Same song, different verse for your RPGs. Those aren't what I'd consider poster children for RPG. Ys, Valkyrie, Astonisha are more like it.
  • by ed ( 79221 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:06PM (#18481657) Homepage
    I am amazingly happy with my PSP

    I play games at home and on the train

    I watch films also when commuting

    I can use it to check for WiFi hotspots, hit the web a few times and even check email

    oh and play a bit of music and bore people with family photos
  • More fanboyism. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dannycim ( 442761 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:06PM (#18481663)
    I sat next to a guy playing his DS on the subway yesterday. I was playing Ratchet & Clank on my PSP. He stopped playing to look at my screen, with obvious envy. I listen to my MP3s (screen off, locked in my pocket, long battery life), I watch movies and anime, I read E-books, do a bit of web-surfing, and play a few games, so I'm really happy with the PSP.

    I've had every type of gameboys and have always been frustrated by the displays. To me, the DS was a huge mistake. Instead of giving us two crappy small displays, they should have made it with one large one.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 ( 188840 )
      I listen to my MP3s (screen off, locked in my pocket, long battery life), I watch movies and anime, I read E-books, do a bit of web-surfing, and play a few games, so I'm really happy with the PSP.

      And, right there, you've illustrated why many don't care for the PSP. You have "play a few games" in there as if it were an afterthought. Me, I own a DS for one reason: to play games. Everything else on your list can be done by a better suited special-purpose device, or my PDA. Why would I pay an inflated devi
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SetupWeasel ( 54062 )
      That wasn't envy. I was counting your dead pixels.
      • (and at the risk of flamebaiting/tolling myself...)

        I've seen a lot of PSP's, and own one myself. No doubt you were gazing at the fellow's screen counting dead pixels, and no doubt this fascinated you, what with it being SUCH a rare occurance, seeing a PSP with dead pixels and whatnot.

        Seriously, is this a common problem? I've yet to see it, and my PSP is not only over a year old now, but it's been to war. And in this harsh desert environment, I've seen about a dozen PSP's, and have yet to see even ONE dea
  • PSP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by boyter ( 964910 )
    I don't see why the PSP gets bashed so much. For what you pay you do get a nice bit of kit. Even without hacking it there is a large amount of functionality there. I have one, which yes I did hack, but I would have no problems with using it as Sony wants me to.
  • If it had TV out, and I could play PSP games on a big TV (but then carry it with me on an airplane as well), I would buy one.
    • I don't know the resolution of the PSP's screen off the top of my head, but I'm guessing that it wouldn't look very good on a normal-sized television.
  • All you need to do to make the PSP2 a hit is make it both a Cell Phone + VoIP! GPS would be nice... plus WiFi IMS, also 8GB of storage by default with option for additional mem-cards. Don't think they would remove the UMD, but I wouldn't mind if they got rid of it, as it kills the battery.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault