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PlayStation Portable Chip Details

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the just-happy-to-see-you dept.

Portables (Games) 147

boarder8925 writes "The Register posted an article today that detailed the PlayStation Portable's chip specs. The CPU will run at up to 333MHz, and its frontside bus at up to 166MHz. The graphics system, operating across a 512-bit bus, will be capable of rendering 664m pixels per second and 35m polygons per second. Its core, operating at 166MHz, will include 2MB integrated buffer DRAM."

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NetBSD, here we come! (1)

b00m3rang (682108) | about 10 years ago | (#10073234)

Looks like a great candidate for running alternative software/OSes. I wonder what the extent of available I/O will be?

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (5, Funny)

Sevidrac (634513) | about 10 years ago | (#10074177)

Or, you know, you could play video games on it.

Honestly, I never understand why people want everything to run an OS. Oh noes, the kernel corrupted on my linux toaster. Now it burns on one side and does nothing on the other.

This thing has more power than my last laptop, (1)

b00m3rang (682108) | about 10 years ago | (#10075589)

and could make one heck of a controller for HVAC systems, remote monitoring, portable data acquisition, etc. Not to say that there aren't other options, but game consoles are usually cheap, reliable, and sturdy. If I can do all that /and/ play games on it, it's another opportunity for experimentation and learning on my end.

Re:This thing has more power than my last laptop, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10078722)

Cheap, reliable and sturdy?

Well, one out of three ain't bad. I guess...

Re:This thing has more power than my last laptop, (1)

Rallion (711805) | about 10 years ago | (#10078903)

Heh, I don't expect the PSP to be cheap or sturdy. I expect one good smack to it's large, unprotected screen would put it out of commission. I doubt it will behave well if you drop it. And I doubt that in either case I'd be willing to fork over $300+ for another.

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1, Troll)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 10 years ago | (#10075865)

"Or, you know, you could play video games on it."

Only if the games were actually good. Recall how quickly the Xbox was hacked to run the OS of the Week compared to the GameCube. :)

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10076097)

Yeah, but I think that was more to do with the fact that the X-Box so closely resembled a PC. Unless you enjoy playing rehashes of 10-15 year old games, the X-Box's lineup is now and always has been far superior to the Cube;s.

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10080912)

The sad thing is, those games are actually fun.

Unlike the X-Box. Hey it's got flashy graphics! Awesome.

Dude let's play rehashes of every sports game known to man.

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | about 10 years ago | (#10076207)

Nothing to do with the hard drive then?

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 10 years ago | (#10079717)

Where's the hard drive in the Dreamcast?

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1)

Donjo (797935) | about 10 years ago | (#10078023)

It also probably had stuff to do with the odd size of the discs for the game cube. Plus who wants to hack a nintendo product when you can hack a microsoft one!

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 10 years ago | (#10079012)

One more suggestion along with the others..

It may also have to do with the fact that the discs are read from outside-in, instead of the other way around, like normal CDs and DVDs. So it wasn't possible to create a bootable disc with a burned disc. Hackers had to wait until the PSO1&2 memory card (or network) exploit arrived to get it to run arbitrary code.

Dual layer (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079689)

It may also have to do with the fact that the discs are read from outside-in, instead of the other way around, like normal CDs and DVDs.

You're seeing the effects of the second layer of DVD-ROM, which is in fact read from outside-in rather than inside-out like CDs and the first DVD layer. Some of the consoles put their boot sector at the beginning of the second layer because in 2001, DVD-Rs didn't have a second layer.

And by the way: Do NOT believe rumors that some consoles' discs spin backwards.

Re:Dual layer (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 10 years ago | (#10080489)

How those rumors are started, I do not know. It's easy enough to debunk by opening the case lid to a GCN and seeing which way the disc is spinning.

Re:NetBSD, here we come! (2, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10074362)

probability for sony to allow 3rd party apps: 0%.

sad truth. if you want to code for a portable there's plenty around already though, zaurus, palms, pocketpc's, mobile phones, gp32..

(gba doesn't count, you can't officially create your own apps)

Well thats just great, but... (5, Funny)

Qapf (661291) | about 10 years ago | (#10073236)

exactly how many backpacks of batteries am I going to need to go 24 hours without a socket? /gba owner and proud of it.

Reminds me of GameGear.. (3, Insightful)

beesquee (674821) | about 10 years ago | (#10074242)

seriously, this things is gonna draw way too much juice. 333mhz processors, huge screen, optical drive, etc... No matter how good the systems specs are, if battery life doesn't cut it, its going to be smoke by gameboy.

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10074506)

I don't think the optical drive will be a major power drain. Look at MiniDisc players. They're about the same size (physically) as the PSP's drive, and they get 50-60 hours on one AA battery. I think the drive's power usage will be relatively insignificant next to the screen and processors' usage.

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (3, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | about 10 years ago | (#10074669)

I get 11 hours off my MiniDisc with a freshly charged 1300mAH battery. Thing is, MiniDisc keeps the juice consumption down by a number of tricks: the drive spin up is VERY slow (takes a couple of seconds) and it reads in burst and plays from memory.

I don't know if this would work well on a game console.

Loading... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079733)

Games that load an entire map into RAM at the start of a play session wouldn't have much of a problem, but then they'd have to store the whole background music in RAM (quite possible with Vorbis) or use tracked music (such as midi, mod, xm, s3m) like Super NES, N64, and some PS1 games used. But be prepared to see mission objectives displayed on a Loading... screen more often than you have on other consoles whose games stream parts of the map as the player approaches them.

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10074949)

Uh no, random access will kill your battery much faster than streaming will. All of that mechanical movement of the heads spells doom for battery life.

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (4, Interesting)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | about 10 years ago | (#10074543)

seriously, this things is gonna draw way too much juice. 333mhz processors, huge screen, optical drive, etc... No matter how good the systems specs are, if battery life doesn't cut it, its going to be smoke by gameboy.

I hate to break all your dream, but technology has moved forward quite a bit since the Gamegear... Both for batteries AND power consumption.

The latest PocketPCs are using a Xscale at 600+MHz and they have HOURS of autonomy. My older Dell PDA (only a 300MHz Xscale) can play games for 6+ hours before needing a recharge (and using a PSX emulator with games on a microdrive)) and the battery was not even that impressive. I could watch a movie for ~1.5h.

Sure, they may not reach the portability level of a GBA (which itself is years behind a Palm, that could live MONTHS on 2 AAA), but it may be *enough*.

Then again, maybe not... so, wait and see...

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | about 10 years ago | (#10076800)

That's great but does your Dell PDA have a disc to spin and a laser to read the information of the disc?

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (1)

Rallion (711805) | about 10 years ago | (#10079010)

How do you get four times as much life playing games than watching movies? Explain how that's possible.

Anyway, this thing does a little more than that old PDA does. The disc drive takes a significant amount of power, for one thing. As does extra memory. It's got not one processor, but two. And that thing has one hell of a screen, which I suspect draws more power than any of the above. Possibly combined. Remember, the goal here isn't to beat the Gamegear in battery life (though I do honestly question whether it can do so) but whether it can even come close to the competition from Nintendo. Comparing the systems, I don't think that's possible.

Re:Reminds me of GameGear.. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 10 years ago | (#10080944)

How do you get four times as much life playing games than watching movies? Explain how that's possible.

Chances are that the movie player doesnt buffer the movie file, so the microdrive is constantly spinning. THe games are sufficient that once loaded, most probably rarely touch the disk, allowing it to spin down.

they're measured in trolleys (1)

real_smiff (611054) | about 10 years ago | (#10074397)

maybe it'll take fuel cells? (it won't, but it's something to get thinking about. energy density wise. and no i didn't RTFA. i was going to make the same joke but you got there first, bastard ;) /also a GBA owner and Ninty fan 4-ever.

Impressive... (2, Interesting)

keiferb (267153) | about 10 years ago | (#10073252)

Granted, my understanding of electronics isn't what it should be, but I always find it amazing that the processors used in these things can be so slow considering the requirements of most PC software these days.

Re:Impressive... (5, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | about 10 years ago | (#10074613)

It's because it's not the clock frequency that matters; it's also the ammount of work per cycle that matters. Not only that, they're not general purpose processors, they're tailored for the need. GPUs, per example, are clocked much lower than most desktop CPUs, but don't try beating them pushing polygons with your brand new Athlon.
Also, there's a lot of crud the CPU won't be dealing with - the OS is much more minimal and oriented just for games.

That being said, 333MHz it's quite a lot of processing power. I'm amazed they can get chips clocked higher and higher into portables while keeping the power consupmtion down.

Re:Impressive...[mod parent up] (4, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | about 10 years ago | (#10074994)

mod parent up
The reason that you can do more with consoles than you can with PC games, even though consoles tend to have lower specs is that when you know what hardware the program will be running on you can do a lot more optimization.
When you have a single hardware configuration and the time to learn exaclty how it performs under what circumstances you can squeeze a lot more performance out of that hardware.
Another reasont that we don't see the same performance out of modern PC applications (game or otherwise) is that as hardware progresses, optimization gives way to higher level languages, coding styles, etc. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but if every application was optimized as much as console applications are (and if it were even possible given the variety of hardware), you'd be able to run $your_favorite_os, $your_favorite_office_suite, $your_favorite_media_player, and $your_favorite_web_browser all at the same time quite comfortably on a 300mz machien with 64 megs of ram.

Re:Impressive...[mod parent up] (2, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | about 10 years ago | (#10075005)

gah, hate to reply to myself, should have used preview.... forgot a chunk of what I was going to say
You also have to consider that this hardware is designed specifically for games. Standard pc hardware is very general in nature, but console hardware is not standard PC hardware, it's put together to be able to perform in exactly the ways where games need performance.

+1 self-contradictory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10076554)

It's because it's not the clock frequency that matters; it's also the ammount of work per cycle that matters.

That being said, 333MHz it's quite a lot of processing power.

So, just to clarify, clock frequency doesn't matter, unless it's quite a lot?

I Bet... (4, Informative)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | about 10 years ago | (#10073283)

"Sony will also build in a dedicated security engine, which it *hopes* will eliminate game piracy and attempts to hack the system." (emphasis mine)

Oh, just like with the PS2 and PS1, right? Even the GBA has a flash card you can use to play ROMs and NES games. I understand that they need to be able to say they put effort into preventing piracy, I just found it funny they had hope.

Re:I Bet... (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 10 years ago | (#10074230)

The goal is never really to defeat piracy, most sane people concede that it's impossible to defeat. What you want to do though is raise the bar high enough that most potential pirates buy the game instead of copying it. Having no copy protection would be just plain dumb, it will be beat, but Sony is hoping that it will be so difficult only a handful of skilled people will be able to do it, and they won't be able to mass produce anything that will allow laymen to pirate.

The Cube (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10075210)

The Cube *still* doesn't have a flourishing pirate scene because of how well Nintendo did. Small games can be loaded into main RAM over the network from a PC, or what have you, but it's such a pain in the butt it isn't worth it.

It's easier and cheaper to rent until you're done playing.

"Eliminate piracy" is a sort of statistical phrase. At least one person will eventually pirate on any system. The issue at hand is whether the pirated copies are being sold on the streets of hong kong.

Rent? Where? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079786)

It's easier and cheaper to rent until you're done playing.

Assuming you live within an hour's bus ride of a rental store that has a selection beyond just a dozen older best sellers.

Or maybe it has to do with the games? (1)

llevity (776014) | about 10 years ago | (#10080650)

Granted, it's a pain to pirate the GC, but I can't believe that's the only reason why piracy isn't more rampant. I have to think that the low number of games that are worth even pirating has to do with it. Sure there's a few really good GC only games, but who's going to go to all the trouble of hacking a HD or external DVD drive into a GC to play Metroid Prime only?

Re:I Bet... (1)

hiroshi912681 (589840) | about 10 years ago | (#10075631)

I'm betting that people will be able to hack it to run homebrews off the memory stick. Thankfully, it's just right in the resolution department, but it'll look kinda small when emulating SNES, GB, NES, etc. (BIG gaps in the widescreen). And no, stretching it would make it really ugly.

BTW, does this thing have L1,L2,R1,R2? Any other hidden buttons I don't know about?

Re:I Bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10076024)

Extremely doubtful. Chances are that non-music related functions will be locked out in hardware when using the memory stick slot.

Play through in one sitting? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079841)

Chances are that non-music related functions will be locked out in hardware when using the memory stick slot.

On PS1, Dreamcast, PS2, and GameCube, savegames go to the memory card. If PSP games can't access the memory card, then where will the savegames go? If not, how will Sony attract developers if all games must be played through in one sitting?

Re:Play through in one sitting? (1)

Corngood (736783) | about 10 years ago | (#10080111)

Simple, when you want to save you are given a mantra to write down on paper. Next time you want to play, just type in your mantra on the handy software keyboard.

Re:Play through in one sitting? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10080466)

You try saving your RPG's character status and inventory with a 48-character password. Interplay tried it with The Lord of the Rings for Super NES; it didn't work well.

Games Suck (-1, Troll)

Photar (5491) | about 10 years ago | (#10073293)

Too bad games pretty much suck lately. I can't remember the last time I saw a game worth spending money on. Starcraft maybe.

Re:Games Suck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10073356)

no you just got old and bitter :p
But I agree games are getting worst and worst. Bring back the days of Kings/space/police quset!

90nm fab (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | about 10 years ago | (#10073329)

I'm a little surprised at this statistic, when the PS3's cell chip is supposed to be 65nm fabbed.

Re:90nm fab (4, Insightful)

suyashs (645036) | about 10 years ago | (#10073430)

Sony's got a habit of boasting about their products before releasing them at lower specs... I doubt that the PS3's processor will be 65nm considering that the major chipmaking companies are having a hell of a hard time with 90nm anyway and there really isn't a need for the chip to be 65nm right now anyway...

Re:90nm fab (2, Informative)

sammaffei (565627) | about 10 years ago | (#10073786)

Yeah, seems IBM still has some problems making 90nm G5s. Apple had to hold back that G5 iMac because of that.

Re:90nm fab (2, Insightful)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | about 10 years ago | (#10074500)

I doubt that the PS3's processor will be 65nm considering that the major chipmaking companies are having a hell of a hard time with 90nm anyway and there really isn't a need for the chip to be 65nm right now anyway...

but the PS3 is not planned until Xmas next year... that let plenty of time for the process to mature.

Re:90nm fab (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | about 10 years ago | (#10074976)

They may be having a problem with it, but one thing that is true in any industry is that if you throw enough money at a problem it gets solved. I would love to see Sony throw enough money at this problem in order to solve it, currently the only company that really solves this sort of major problem in the nano-tech industry is IBM.

Re:90nm fab (4, Informative)

mausmalone (594185) | about 10 years ago | (#10075148)

Sony's got a habit of boasting about their products before releasing them at lower specs.
I still have the articles that claim the PS2 is capible of over 130 million polygons/second (66 million in the CPU and 75 million in the emotion engine). In game, it's really closer to 5-10 million polygons/sec depending on the quality and special effects. For those of you not following specs, 5-10 million polys/sec in game is extremely respectable, but 130 million is absolutely unheard-of. X-Box and Gamecube both get around 10-30 million/sec depending (heavily) on quality and effects... faster by virtue of being newer.

Now, given their claim of 35 million polys/sec, and Sony's knack for boasting, you'll probably only see 1-5 million/sec (many developers will take advantage of the power stepping and opt for lower detail for longer battery life). For comparrison's sake, the PS1 was able to do something like 300 thousand polys/sec, so the detail level will be very significant for a portable device.

Odd that they'd boast the fill rate, though. At a resolution that low (compared to PC resolutions), it really shouldn't be an issue at all. The only way that would really matter is if they have a ton of texture combiners and pipelines, which wasn't explicitly stated. Should be neat to see this thing in action.

Re:90nm fab (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | about 10 years ago | (#10077616)

I still have the articles that claim the PS2 is capible of over 130 million polygons/second (66 million in the CPU and 75 million in the emotion engine).

You've probably got that slightly mixed up, as the Emotion Engine is the PS2's CPU, the graphics chip is called the Graphics Synthesiser. Although they're now on one chip in newer model PS2's anyway. Sony does seem to be good at making bold claims about new hardware though. I assume those are 130 million unlit, untextured, with the system doing nothing but draw polygons. Numbers are easy to lie with, I mean my PC running WIndows 2000 is cheaper than a system running Linux (on a mainframe).

Re:90nm fab (2, Insightful)

Rallion (711805) | about 10 years ago | (#10079105)

Gah, I remember that. Nintendo was releasing their estimated polycounts with all the effects on and everything, Sony was releasing theoretical numbers with no meaning. Heh, sure, the system can draw that many, as long as it has something else doing everything besides simply drawing. That is when Sony really, really started to annoy me. Especially since it was the final nail in the Dreamcast's already-well-built coffin.

And they clamed two hours of battery life with the screen on. That translates to what, 20 minutes?

Re:90nm fab (1)

News for nerds (448130) | about 10 years ago | (#10075440)

Don't you know the current generation of EE+GS for PSX is already fabbed in 90nm without a problem?

Re:90nm fab (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 10 years ago | (#10075890)

That has been contested [theregister.co.uk] .

Relative performance (4, Interesting)

psyconaut (228947) | about 10 years ago | (#10073440)

On a pure polygon basis, that's ~50% of a PS/2 in your pocket or about ~25% of an Xbox in pure polygon performance.

Naturally, these are meaningless numbers...but if does give you a hint (especially given the pixel real estate being small) that the PSP will have proper, immersive 3D gaming capability...which I guess has been shown to good effect with the GT4 demo.

-psy

Re:Relative performance (5, Funny)

xgamer04 (248962) | about 10 years ago | (#10073616)

...[it] does give you a hint that the PSP will have proper, immersive 3D gaming capability...

At that screen size, the immersiveness will be spectacular.

Re:Relative performance (1)

Robert Petersen (790969) | about 10 years ago | (#10075266)

Actually, the screen is damned good, and 'huge' for a handheld. Pic of me with it at E3: http://www.geocities.com/arcade_fan2001/sonik_play ing_psp.jpg You can see how well the screen showed up on camera, even givin the angle. And yes, I know /. will kill my geociities bandwidth in .001 seconds or so.

Re:Relative performance (1)

unclethursday (664807) | about 10 years ago | (#10075730)

Um, naming the pic "playing" might be misleading.

I was at E3 as well; and there wasn't a damned thing actually PLAYABLE on the PSP. The most you could do was change the camera angle in Metal Gear Acid, and the closest thing to playable was running around a small town in some RPG where you could talk to like 4 people. No leaving town, no menus, no battles.

Hell, you couldn't even do anything like pause, rewind, fast forward, or stop any video being shown on the PSP units that were showing movie trailers or Incubus videos that you could touch.

Maybe you should rename the pic to "touching" instead of "playing". ;-P

Re:Relative performance (0)

Rallion (711805) | about 10 years ago | (#10079160)

Actually, the screen is damned good, and 'huge' for a handheld.

My dick is pretty massive for a toothpick, but that doen't mean the ladies love it.

Re:Relative performance (1)

S3D (745318) | about 10 years ago | (#10075945)

The thing is, intensive use of 3D will probably double the power consumption and halve battery life...

Battery life? (4, Insightful)

chrispyman (710460) | about 10 years ago | (#10074055)

Maybe it's just me, but it sure doesn't sound like the PSP is going to be that energy efficient with specs like that. What good is an impressive portable system that sucks batteries worse than a Sega Game Gear?

Re:Battery life? (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | about 10 years ago | (#10074327)

Yes, and don't forget the Atari Lynx.

Re:Battery life? (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 years ago | (#10075213)

Maybe it's just me, but it sure doesn't sound like the PSP is going to be that energy efficient with specs like that.

RTFA:

The PSP's MIPS R4000-based CPU will run at up to 333MHz [...] Its frontside bus runs at up to 166MHz, with both frequencies controlled by processor load.

When playing Gran Turismo 4, it's going to suck down the batteries. Bring your AC or DC adapter, depending on where you're going to be. Maybe even invest in a jacket with a goofy solar panel on it or something. Or, here's an idea, a battery pack that goes in your pocket and feeds the system through the charging socket. However, if you're playing GBA-esque games which will mostly fit in memory and demand little CPU, the system will scale peformance down to preserve battery.

If you can afford a PSP you can afford an external battery pack. Further tidbits:

Throttling back the core and bus frequency are accompanied by lowering the core voltage from up to 1.2V down to around 0.8V. The chip's power manager can also power down unused functional elements to further conserve battery life.

Not using wifi? It'll be shut off. Not using IR? ditto. Not currently loading anything off the disc? It's not going to be sucking power.

It would be foolish to assume that battery power will be a non-issue but I suspect it will not be anywhere near as bad as the lynx - Sony is not incompetent - and I'm certain that it will not be as bad as you imagine.

Re:Battery life? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | about 10 years ago | (#10075668)

" Bring your AC or DC adapter, depending on where you're going to be. Maybe even invest in a jacket with a goofy solar panel on it or something."

Or invest in a Nintendo DS.

Re:Battery life? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 years ago | (#10075828)

The DS won't play games like Gran Turismo 4. Well, it might play games kind of like it, but not as detailed. My GBA will cover my needs in terms of cute little puzzle games, I don't need to buy a DS. But, there is room in my collection (if not my wallet) for the PSP, which is a very different beast.

Re:Battery life? (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | about 10 years ago | (#10075880)

"The DS won't play games like Gran Turismo 4. Well, it might play games kind of like it, but not as detailed."

Though I'm a Nintendo fan boy, I concede that the PSP will have better graphics than the DS. However, it isn't clear yet that the DS would or wouldn't be able to do a decent port of it. That thing can more or less push the same polys an N64 can (fewer texture effects of course...), it'll do alright.

"But, there is room in my collection (if not my wallet) for the PSP, which is a very different beast."

Very different than what? The only ups it has are the optical media and it can push a few more polygons around. In terms of being 'very different', the DS easily holds that crown. Maybe I'm being too much of an optimist here, but I'm excited about that thing having a stylus screen (on a seperate display, no less) and built in 802.11. It'd be trivial to make that thing play games over the net. If they got that working, those two features together make for a damn interesting machine.

However, this is really an academic discussion. I'm not intrigued much by the PSP. But if you buy one, and you have fun with it, then nothing I say matters in the slightest. Know what I mean? Buy these things for fun. Stylus interface + 802.11 == 0 if the games aren't interesting to you. Equally, if the PSP ends up with games I'm interested in, I'd probably end up with one. (Heck, I'm finally getting a PS2 when GTA:San Andreas comes out.)

So, in short, hope ya end up happy. Just be careful about getting sucked into Sony's (or Nintendo's) hype. Go by the games, not by their silly claims about what their hardware can do.

Re:Battery life? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 years ago | (#10075942)

I'll be buying a PS2 when GT4 comes out, and I'll be waiting to play GTA:SA on the PC, when it comes out there :) As you say, the ultimate arbitrer is where the games are. Lots of console and handheld developers have forgotten this, for some amount of time and to some degree, at their peril. Just look at neo geo pocket color, if you can find one.

Re:Battery life? (3, Funny)

Dragoon412 (648209) | about 10 years ago | (#10077718)

So, in short, hope ya end up happy. Just be careful about getting sucked into Sony's (or Nintendo's) hype. Go by the games, not by their silly claims about what their hardware can do.

That's exactly where Nintendo will falter. The DS lineup will look like this:

Mario: We Repackaged Your Childhood
Pokemon Gold-Enlaid Silver-Trimmed Edition
Pokemon Ruby-Encrusted Platnium Hyper X Edition
Pokemon: Again
Pokemon: ...and again
Pokemon: ...yet again
Pokemon: Seriously, You Guys Still Like This Shit?
*generic 3rd-rate Mario spin-off with useless gimmic*
Metroid: The Only Decent Game on the DS
Mary Kate and Ashley's Eating Disorder
Barbie's Mall Adventure
*umpteen dozen instances of Disney pimping their characters like a $5 vegas hooker*
Megaman Battle Network 62: Remember When Megaman Didn't Suck?
Megaman Battle Network 63: Megaman Buys a Barn
Megaman Battle Network 64: Hey, Didn't This Used to be an Action Game?

...and then, let's not forget the hundreds of poorly-done ports that plague every console.

Okay, so it's a bit facetious. I think my point's made, though: the game lineup on the GBA was the worst thing about it. Same deal with the Gamecube. So Nintendo occaisionally makes a good title amidst a see of derrivative and self-congradulatory crap - their library is still the worst around.

I wish Nintendo would spin off their successful development studios, and just stick to making hardware, 'cause they do a damned fine job of that.

Re:Battery life? (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 10 years ago | (#10078094)

the game lineup on the GBA was the worst thing about it

The GBA is the last bastion of 2D RPGs and platform games. Some of the titles availble for GBA will end up being the last and greatest games available in those genres. Sure, there are hundreds of throwaway titles based on tired licenses and professional "wrestling", but there are dozens of gems amongst them. Considering the number of platforms out there that never made it to having 30-40 exclusive titles total, it's hard to complain about a platform that has 30-40 really excelent games mixed in among the 500-600 really terrible ones.

The only point I think you've made is that you can't pick out the good games amongst the bad.

Re:Battery life? (1)

Dragoon412 (648209) | about 10 years ago | (#10080146)

The only point I think you've made is that you can't pick out the good games amongst the bad.

And what gave you that impression? All I was doing was a bit of a parody of the GBA's most popular games (and got modded troll for poking fun at Nintendo... on Slashdot... imagine that).

There's no real reason the GBA has to be the 'last bastion' of 2D games. They'll still be around on the DS, and there's still a massive back-catalogue of them to play. And there aren't even that many of them, anyways. Phantasy Star collection's just a re-release. Golden Sun's not bad, provided you don't mind that the main character's like 11 years old or something lame like that. Then there's Sword of Mana, which was just a weak, wholly impotent remake of the never-released-in-the-US precursor to the SNES' wonderful Secret of Mana.

The theme I was going for with my comment is just that the GBA is derrivative and very kid-friendly, to the point of being almost exclusive to people who want more adult or intelligent titles.

Case in point: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. There was nothing "advanced" about it. It was just a much dumbed-down version of the original, with a weak story line written for the 10 year-old crowd (much unlike FFT, which had a phenomenal storyline, sort of mangled by a really bad translation), and a younger main character.

I mean, really, if they're going to release derrivative games, why not repackage old SNES Squaresoft games (although, given that Square and Nintendo took the pure potential that was Crystal Chonicles and just shit all over it, I don't think Square would go near Nintendo again)? The system's more powerful than the SNES - so why are so many of the game's so dumbed-down and simple, comparitively?

Re:Battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10077840)

This is true, but the DS hardware allows for potentially more interesting & fun games than the PSP. Graphics don't make the game, it's all about the gameplay. So hardware-wise, the DS is better.

Re:Battery life? (1)

unclethursday (664807) | about 10 years ago | (#10075761)

Or, here's an idea, a battery pack that goes in your pocket and feeds the system through the charging socket.

Sony already has that planned. However, the battery unit at E3 was about half the size of the PSP itself, which is going to be hard enough to fit in normal sized pockets.

And, of course, no mention on how expensive this extra battery unit will cost, either (since they didn't talk a sylable about price for the unit, accessories, or the games at E3).

Besides, are you going to want extra wires hanging out of your pocket for a battery pack while you carry your PSP around on one of [sarcasm] these [gamesarefun.com] oh-so-cool looking [/sarcasm] Lanyards [gamesarefun.com] ?

Re:Battery life? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 10 years ago | (#10075997)

"However, if you're playing GBA-esque games which will mostly fit in memory and demand little CPU, the system will scale peformance down to preserve battery."

Which simply won't happen. If you're going to make a GBA-esque game, you're going to make it for the GBA, because the Game Boy has an installed base "the likes of which God has never seen." Short of nuclear war, that's not going away overnight.

Sony will have developers over the embers to seriously push the PSP hardware to produce games that look and sound superior to GBA games in order to try to give themselves a market. Which means few (if any) games would dare let that CPU wind down for a second, at least not for the first generation of games or so.

"If you can afford a PSP you can afford an external battery pack."

Money in video games is made off of software sales, not hardware. Money spent on a battery is money not spent on games, which results in unhappy publishers to be wooed away by Nintendo.

"Sony is not incompetent"

Only so long as they know what it is they're building. You mentioned that the disc drive won't be using power if it's not being accessed continuously, but that's exactly what will happen when the PSP is used to play a movie. When they optimize the firmware, will it be for a game system or for a "media device?"

And if they leave that up for the software to decide, Sony would be setting themselves up for trouble. All you'd need is a few popular cross-platform games where the developers neglect to include the power optimizations on the PSP version and poof: instant battery benchmarks in Nintendo's favor.

Re:Battery life? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 years ago | (#10077452)

When they optimize the firmware, will it be for a game system or for a "media device?"

What are you talking about? It has cpu scaling and the ability to turn off unused components, it's not a matter of optimizing for one or another. The system will use enough power to accomplish the task it's performing, and if anything the game or application in use at the time will determine power consumption, although there is room for them to do it automatically. Nonetheless, it's not an issue of how the firmware is written, because obviously if they include these features, they won't design the device itself so that it never uses them.

Re:Battery life? (1)

pixelite (20946) | about 10 years ago | (#10075704)

My guess is they are going to use some kind of recharchable battery system, lithium ion anyone?. That's probably the only viable solution.

Battery life really that important? (5, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | about 10 years ago | (#10074708)

I would guess that 99% of all gameboy playtime takes place where a power source would be available.

Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source? Cars have the lighter ac converter and I recall always being able to find an outlet for my laptop at the airports.

Even back in the day when I had a game gear, I almost always had a place to plug it in.

Yes! for during classes!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10074825)

You seem to be out of the loop here. Gameboys are targetted for teenagers, not airport frequenting businessmen. of course, I would guess that 99% of your post is bullshit, about average for /.

99% of my gameboy playtime... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | about 10 years ago | (#10075056)

occurs on my laptop or desktop. ^_^

Re:Battery life really that important? (4, Insightful)

nic barajas (750051) | about 10 years ago | (#10075442)

Fair enough, you are always near an electric source. But isn't the main point of a *portable* to take it with you, away from electrical sources? We all know we can keep portables plugged in all the time. But the point is that when not plugged in, they can still keep a reasonably long charge. Something like 8 hours should be good for such technology, or a company shouldn't push it. It's not worth the money.

Re:Battery life really that important? (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 10 years ago | (#10075903)

"Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source?"

Spoken like someone who's never played with a WaveBird. In general, you'll never notice how much having to work around the length of a cord hampers you until you're given the opportunity to go without one.

After all, why does anything need batteries? Why cordless phones? Why infrared remote controls?

Re:Battery life really that important? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | about 10 years ago | (#10076599)

I can play with my WaveBird plugged into the electrical outlet a hell of a lot easier than I can with the standard GameCube controller plugged into the GameCube. After all, the electrical outlets are a lot closer to the couch than the GameCube.

On the other hand, I have to have a 3rd-party adapter to keep from having to constantly burn up AA batteries on my Wavebird, too. Still, it's got nice battery life.

Most of my use of my GBA is in the car (no, not when I'm driving), but I certainly wouldn't want to be tied to the cigarette lighter, as I might need to light a cigarette, or charge my cell phone. My car only has 1 cup holder, I can hardly expect multiple power outlets.

Yes its very important to me! (4, Insightful)

Monofilament (512421) | about 10 years ago | (#10076815)

Seriously. The whole reason i own a gameboy SP (and i imagine why its so popular) is because i can put it in my pocket easily and take it on travel. Plane rides, train rides, backseat of the car. ALL of those places are tough to get any sort of power plug from. Yeah ok the car you may be able to plug in the cigarette lighter but thats about all. many times you can't though. At least on my travel. I haven't traveled in a plane yet for my budget that gives me a plug in recepticle.

99% of my gameboy play is in that travel mode. I mean hell, when i'm home .. i have XBOX Computer/PS2 whatever else. Why play the portable when you're not moving.

Nintendo has the titles (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079932)

Why play the portable when you're not moving.

Because GBA has exclusive titles. Nintendo hasn't made WarioWare for Xbox, PS2, or Windows, and you haven't mentioned any GameCube Game Boy Player.

Re:Battery life really that important? (2, Insightful)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | about 10 years ago | (#10077785)

Even back in the day when I had a game gear, I almost always had a place to plug it in.

The Game Gear isn't exactly a good example for modern handhelds, the Game Boy series and other modern handhelds all have far better battery consumption levels than that battery muncher. You can actually use for reasonable lengths of time them without being chained to a power source. Although the PSP might be going back to the bad old days from some appearances...

Re:Battery life really that important? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079893)

Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source? Cars have the lighter ac converter

City buses and school buses do not have available 12-volt lighter sockets, and neither does a car whose driver smokes tobacco.

It IS just like the PS2! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10075352)

35 million polys per second but crippled by 640KB of memory. Who needs more? As long as the chip can theoretically do that many polys with infinite memory, it's good enough for the marketoids.

Re:It IS just like the PS2! (5, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 10 years ago | (#10076006)

"crippled by 640KB of memory."

Are we talking about the PS2, or the PS/2?

Re:It IS just like the PS2! (1)

rozz (766975) | about 10 years ago | (#10077608)

"crippled by 640KB of memory."
Are we talking about the PS2, or the PS/2?

it makes no difference, "640KB is enough for anybody"

Bull. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 10 years ago | (#10077373)

One word: NPatches.

Backwards Compatable? (-1, Offtopic)

Robmonster (158873) | about 10 years ago | (#10076535)

Is there any more news on whether the PS3 will be compatable with PS2/1 games?

RM

Re:Backwards Compatable? (1)

Shakey_Jake33 (670826) | about 10 years ago | (#10076558)

Completely impossible, given the fact that the PSP 'discs' are much smaller.

It seems to be something Sony themselves are trying to keep distanced from actually, they are pushing very hard to make sure developers don't just port across old PS1 and 2 games...

Re:Backwards Compatable? (1)

GamingEngineer (789145) | about 10 years ago | (#10077302)

He's asking about the PS3, not the PSP. I don't think there has been word either way if the PS3 will be backwards compatible with the PS2/PS1 or not yet.

Re:Backwards Compatable? (1)

Robmonster (158873) | about 10 years ago | (#10077778)

Yes, sorry. I realised after posting this initial question that the article was about a different product. Sorry for the confusion...

RM

Oh, the irony. (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 10 years ago | (#10077433)

But they're promoting GT4 on the PSP as the killer app...

Also, they promised you'd be able to transfer saves of many games between PS2 and PSP, which only makes sense if the game the saves belong to is a port, no?

Not too shabby... (1)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | about 10 years ago | (#10076845)

So this means we can play Doom 3 on it, right?

If we play In 80x50 mode, basic graphics, and turn off the extras like shadows? :)

Re:Not too shabby... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10079062)

or better yet, turn off monsters!

Don't forget the media (3, Insightful)

WapoStyle (639758) | about 10 years ago | (#10078027)

Yeah, those specs look cool, but they will drain the battery very quickly. Don't forget Sony is using their "minidisc' media (or whatever they call it). That's going to be spinning an awful lot for loading and such. I think that will be the biggest drain of all.

It really might not be that big of a deal, I almost always play my GBA within easy reach of a power source, so the PSP would be fine for me if your thinking about powering it. However, I'm not going to buy a very expensive new portable system just to play Metal Gear Card Battle Deluxe. If they don't get some abosolutely must have games that aren't available anywhere else then it's going to fail in a big way.

I don't care if the chip inside is a Dorito... (2, Interesting)

randomizer9 (595107) | about 10 years ago | (#10078733)

I'm just looking forward to playing games with a little more action and carnage. You just don't find games like Twisted Metal and Grand Theft Auto on the GBA.

Go play WarioWare. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10079982)

Action != violence.

If you want action, go play WarioWare. In each scene, which comprises three seconds between "action" and "cut", you have to look around, find the objective, and perform it. Try doing that 25 times in a row, and you'll realize what "action" really is.

Re:I don't care if the chip inside is a Dorito... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10080029)

You just don't find games like Twisted Metal and Grand Theft Auto on the GBA.

Twisted Metal would naturally not be on the GBA, but as for GTA... [gamespot.com]
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