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The Future of the PSP

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the pspotassium dept.

Portables (Games) 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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83 comments

A doorstop (-1, Troll)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 years ago | (#18480179)

About the only use for one. Just comparing the number of great games on the DS and the PSP, I'd never consider a PSP. Sure, there's the multimedia shit, but I don't give a crap- I want a gaming device.

Re:A doorstop (2, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#18480209)

But ... but ... what about how you can use it as a rear-view mirror in the latest edition of Ridge Racer?

Re:A doorstop (2, Informative)

Gilzors (933257) | about 7 years ago | (#18480215)

A gaming device? The PSP does that-it's just that the games are basically handheld PS2 games. Sure, there's original stuff out there, but there are lots of ports, and those just haven't propelled it along.

Re:A doorstop (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about 7 years ago | (#18486423)

With some very shaky design decisions.

Optical media without a shutter in a portable? Yeah, real safe to toss those down on a table.

It's too big, with and too easily scratched to toss in a pocket and go.

The nub is not accurate enough, and continued use of the buttons cause my hand to cramp. Interestingly, the same does not happen with the DS, even though it's smaller.

Most of the games don't really handle the difference in accuracy and control layout very well. It makes the games less fun than they should be.

DS homebrew gives you all the multimedia shit (1, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#18480227)

Sure, there's the multimedia shit, but I don't give a crap- I want a gaming device.

Even those who disagree with you can get the gaming device and the multimedia shit cheaper than a PSP. Try the $40 R4DS adapter, which lets you run DS homebrew from microSD cards on all revisions of the Nintendo DS. One of these homebrew programs is called MoonShell, which lets you watch DPG video (based on MPEG-1, converted from anything that Media Player Classic will play), listen to MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and tracked music, look at pictures, and read text files on the DS.

Meanwhile, Sony releases PSP firmware updates that close more holes.

Re:DS homebrew gives you all the multimedia shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18480517)

moonshell? lol
that's pretty much the shittiest thing ever to be called an mp3 player.

Re:DS homebrew gives you all the multimedia shit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18482691)

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The DS has a great lineup of motivated, inventive, and fun titles. The DS Lite is a slick unit that was built for and does exactly one thing - to play fun games.

The PSP is vastly superior as a multimedia device, something it DID set out to be. The screen resolution is much more accomodating of a cinematic (and widescreen) experience by mere size. FUD with respect to "ghosting" and poor refresh rates was true in the case of launch PSPs, but has long since been remedied with any PSP even remotely modern. The audio quality of the PSP itself leaves some to be desired (but not much, I'd say that the audio quality is at least as decent as the DS', possibly a tad more). When you use a PSP, you're not jumping through hoops to get everything going and worrying about what solution you've used and if it supports whatever obscure configuration you have going. I'm not saying the DS is a technical jumble that nobody will ever figure out, far from it, i'm just moving on to point out that with a PSP, copying your media can be just as intuitive as using any other media device. There are, well, complications with most DS solutions. Incompatibilities and random bugs that just weren't accounted for. It's very unprofessional really, though completely functional. I'm sure the crowd here is completely used to that, but recommending this kind of solution to an average user is just plain stupid. The quality of audio you're going to get out of your DS is just not there. With a PSP, I might as well be listening to an iPod plus some very snazzy optional visualizations in recent versions. Going through MoonShell on a DS Lite of mine was quite a different story. Ugly interface, noticeably low quality sound, choppy performance overall.

You say you can get a multimedia/gaming hybrid device cheaper than the PSP by going with a DS and a homebrew solution. I've done both, so I'll run up some numbers for you in Canadian currency.

Sony PSP + 4 gig memory stick came to $341.00 (Canadian, mind you).
A DS Lite + R4DS adapter cost me about $200 CAD after shipping, after tax. My first R4DS was faulty as they are manufactured in a rather seedy fashion, so I had to jump through hoops to send it back and get a functional one. This was free, so I'll not factor it into the price. On top of the R4DS and DS Lite, I needed microSD storage for the R4. I opted for a 1 gig SanDisk which set me back $50 CAD.
Total for DS Lite solution: $250.

So, yes, you save about $90 going the DS route, but there is the old adage "you get what you pay for", and boy is it true in this case. I would never consider using the DS for video features as I can't get any sort of decent steady framerate out of it, poor format support, and a tiny screen with average sound. The PSP features native widescreen, MUCH larger screen, good sound without headphones and perfect sound with. Music is much the same affair.

Cut costs if you want to, play the Sony-hater if you want to, but if you're picking one over the other on their multimedia merits, shell out the extra $90 (CAD) and get yourself something that will really perform for media. Also, note that the size of storage in my real world price comparison just didn't match up. Multimedia features 10x better and 3 gigs more space in a portable device all for ninety Canadian dollars? Come on. Let's be realistic here.

Now, that said, I have about twenty more DS games than PSP games and I love my DS/DS collection to death. The PSP game selection is really nothing to sweat over and aside from a few gems coming up in the next year and a half, I just couldn't give a shit. The fact you can emulate pretty much all Playstation 1 games perfectly on the PSP is a huge boon though.

I hate the PSP screen (1)

LKM (227954) | about 7 years ago | (#18486255)

I mainly use my PSP as a 24 viewing device, and I hate the screen. Yes, it's big and bright, but that's about it. The picture quality sucks. Everything that moves has a purple shadow following it, which is really, really distracting. In fact, at first I thought Ridge Racer had motion blur. Really impressive. Until I found out that it wasn't motion blur, it was just ghosting from the crappy screen.

Also, the thing reflects light like a mirror. Fortunately, I found a screen protector which has some kind of anti-reflection pattern on it, which makes the reflections more diffuse and thus more acceptable.

Anyway, my point is: Don't buy the PSP as a movie viewing solution.

Addendum (1)

LKM (227954) | about 7 years ago | (#18486341)

My PSP is a relatively new, white version. It's less than a year old. And yes, it does have the ghosting. Sony fixed absolutely nothing with the screen, as far as I can tell - unless the original screen was even worse.

Re:A doorstop (2, Informative)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | about 7 years ago | (#18480301)

I was excited about buying a PSP, but I haven't used it for about 3 or months.
The multimedia stuff is impractical, and I don't really have very much time to play games. I have a job and a wife. And the system is too expensive for kids, so the market can't be too big, except for well-off, single twenty-somethings.

Re:A doorstop (1)

feepness (543479) | about 7 years ago | (#18482613)

The multimedia stuff is impractical,

This is actually not true for me. I love the multimedia stuff, and keep wanting to play GTA: Liberty Cities but I'm too "lazy" watching TV shows on it. I bittorrent the content, and encode it with PSP video 9. Very simple3-click process I let run overnight and it encodes an entire season which I can store on exactly 1 4 gig memory card.

I take the thing to the gym and watch it while I'm running. And on the places I don't have to take it out of my backpack for the damned TSA stormtroopers.

MOD PARENT DOWN -1 TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18480459)

Nuff said.

Re:A doorstop (1)

teflaime (738532) | about 7 years ago | (#18480539)

I got mine for free...I wouldn't have paid for it. But I wouldn't buy a DS either. My 15 year old Gameboy works just fine for solitare and tetris in the car, which is all I used a handheld for anyway.

Re:A doorstop (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#18481377)

I (ab)use my PSP for most part as eBook reader and it is great at that job, doesn't even require any kind of homebrew, just the build in imageviewer and a bit of ghostscript or khtml magic to convert whatever I want to read to JPEGs (render much faster then PNG on the PSP). Its not perfect since it lacks bookmarking and such, but when there is a longer piece of text, its much easier to read on the PSP then on a computer monitor and much less fuss then print stuff out on paper. PSP is far to pretty to just use it as a doorstop.

Irony of this is that it just shows how great the PSP display is at 2D graphics, which sadly is the kind of graphics that gets used by far the least in PSP games.

Why no love for the multimedia? (2, Insightful)

PikachuMolester2007 (1058780) | about 7 years ago | (#18481509)

I understand some are just looking for a gaming-only handheld, but why no love for the multimedia aspect? Man shall not live by gaming alone; sometimes it's nice to kick back with some music or movies to enjoy.

Re:Why no love for the multimedia? (0)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 years ago | (#18483281)

Well, I game at least 10x as often as I watch movies. But ignoring that- why would I want to watch a movie on a tiny screen with bad sound? I'd rather watch it on my TV, sitting on my couch. I have no interest in mobile movie-watching. And there's better, smaller mp3 players.

Re:Why no love for the multimedia? (1)

clonmult (586283) | about 7 years ago | (#18485753)

Depends on what you're doing.

The PSP is incredibly handy for me, either for watching TV series and the odd movie on the train on the way to/from work (45-60 minutes each way), playing the odd game, browsing the web at WiFi hotspots (saves having to drag the laptop with me), heck even browsing the web at home is easier, due to its massively quicker startup time.

Oh, and whilst those smaller MP3 players are, well, smaller, why are they better? Sound quality? Nope. battery life? nope. The PSP sound output is surprisingly good (typically Sony), and the battery life (with screen off at least) is also surprisingly good (better than a "typical" iPod).

Re:A doorstop (3, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 7 years ago | (#18481893)

About the only use for one. Just comparing the number of great games on the DS and the PSP, I'd never consider a PSP.

According to Metacritic:

  • The NDS has 213 games with 49 rated 75% or more. (source [metacritic.com] )
  • The PSP has 255 games with 83 rated 75% or more. (source [metacritic.com] )

I don't own either (or any console for that matter) but, based on the stats above, it looks like the PSP has more games and more that are considered "excellent".

Re:A doorstop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18483115)

Why don't you use some REAL figures like sales numbers.

The PSP has had *one* game sell a million copies or more.

The DS has had *ten* games sell over a million copies.

One of the DS games has sold 6 millions copies and counting.

The DS has 10 times the amount of great games available for it.

Re:A doorstop (2, Funny)

servognome (738846) | about 7 years ago | (#18484581)

Why don't you use some REAL figures like sales numbers.
Because we all know what a great game "Happy Feet" is

Great leap of logic there. (1)

Panzergheist (609926) | about 7 years ago | (#18485687)

Why don't you use some REAL figures like sales numbers.

Because good sales numbers do not always coincide with good games. Case in point: Burger King games for Xbox 360.

Meaningless numbers (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | about 7 years ago | (#18486281)

I own both. These numbers are meaningless. The PSP has more "big" A-List titles which obviously get higher ratings, but are often PS2 ports and almost always useless for short amounts "on the go" playing. Great portable games like Tetris DS or Brain Training tend to get not-so-great ratings (haven't checked though, just throwing out some examples), even though these are exactly the games you want in a portable console.

Re:A doorstop (3, Interesting)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 7 years ago | (#18483605)

Ridge Racer 2 (portable ridge racer is awesome...)
Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins (fun!)
Metal Slug anthology
Platypus
Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony (for everyone's slash/hack fix)
Generation of Chaos (very fun for those who like turn based strategy)
Gradius Collection (THIS is how you pass the time in the car!)
Wipeout Pure (fun fun... but hard!)
Valkyrie Profile (great game)
Legend of Heroes
Untold Legends (both hack and slash fun)
Tekken: Dark Resurrection (very nice... haven't noticed any smearing or anything...)
Capcom Puzzle World (Puzzle fighter!)
Namco Museum (the "reimagined" Galaga is dang fun)
SF3:Alpha Max
Sid Meier's Pirates (who wouldnt want to take that with you? )

Those are just off the top of my head. STILL not enough of a gaming device for you? You MUST be hard to please then... because there's more where those came from.... FF:tactics is getting a turn on the PSP... sounds like it'll be fun....

For the DS: (My DS)

FF 3, Tetris, Mario (of course) Advance Wars, Castlevania, and thats about all I've had time for... ;)

Eh.. I like 'em both.. but the sheer # of RPGs coming to the PSP, I'm more happy with that purchase....

Re:A doorstop (2, Insightful)

theorangesven (1017458) | about 7 years ago | (#18483783)

I've both a psp and a ds. Now the DS has quite a bit of good, unique games, but I find they don't have the same staying power of the really good PSP games. I've got twice as many DS games, but I play my psp games 3 times as often. Both systems have large libraries of worthless games. The PSP has it's wealth of stripped down PS2 ports, while the DS is filled w/ horrible licensed games and games that are ruined by trying to unnecessarily include the touch screen (Nanostray anyone?).

Zonk's Posts (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18480245)

I've noticed that they generally rate the quality of a videogame around it's sales/success in the marketplace. In short, a quantitative quality, which infers that if more people buy a game, it MUST be a better game. This is a general fallacy since other factors are included in determining what games people buy, for example, the influence of the games/systems one's friends and associates use and which are the most popular among their own social group - you'll buy a game just so you can play it online with your friends, people do this ALL THE TIME. Furthermore, marketing, particularly stealth viral marketing has the largest effect. Pick up a copy of PC Gamer or read any large "Gaming" magazine, you'll find it riddled with this type of shit.

Nerds aren't stupid, that's why we're nerds. And moving on, they don't make video games like they used to, in recent years it's devolved regressively into a pissing contest over stupid shit like bilinear shading and 3D Cloud effects, I play games to escape boring reality, not to relive it. Visual quality is important, but it doesn't compose the whole game.

Now, the Playstation portable? It's a farce, a manufactured farce by a grossly overweight japanese corporation that make everything from Batteries, to CD Players. Nobody cares, in fact, the original playstation was just as much a farce as well.

I wish we could go back to the old days when you had three real legit camps of video games, Sega, Nintendo and the various herds of PC/Amiga/Mac owners.

Of course, this would be impossible since everybody needs a PC today for virtually no reason at all and most of the time they reduce the productivity of any given individual and they sit on their asses and play cheap games by Real Media or some other bullshit company. But, whatever...

Ce La Vie...

To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (0)

faragon (789704) | about 7 years ago | (#18480265)

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:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (2, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 7 years ago | (#18480317)

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 choose.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 7 years ago | (#18480439)

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.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

faragon (789704) | about 7 years ago | (#18480559)

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 for the making of the device and keep from 0 to 7% profit margin. Further reading: how to make money selling games.
ack 6: well, was just an idea; I'm glad to ear yours.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18480741)

Do you really have so little clue about how the world works?!? That's just sad. I like how you just pull the costs to manufacture and distribute the product right out of your ass.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

faragon (789704) | about 7 years ago | (#18480833)

Do you? Then, enlightme with your deep world knowledge, please.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | about 7 years ago | (#18481125)

Aren't you the one that came out with those $99/$14 figures? Shouldn't it be your responsibility to prove the economic viability/real world basis for such numbers?

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

faragon (789704) | about 7 years ago | (#18481291)

Stock-zero products, i.e., products that are stored as much a week, can be sell with tiny margins. As example, your ill-fated PS3 is retailed with a 5% margin (at Barcelona, Spain, Europe), with another 5% for the medium distributor, and another 5% for the importer. If you are a huge retailer chain, you can get the whole 15% profit margin (Walmart anyone?) or keep under 10% and smash the little stores. Indeed, you can achieve higher margins, usually related to long time selling articles, such as rare cables/adapters (>70% margin, the less it costs the higher profit margin).

Given a PSP (MIPS R4K-like 333MHz, 3D chip, 32 + 4MB DRAM, etc), with a high quality but small TFT (~4.3"), with just one "all in one big chip" (e.g. 90nm, and 65nm in the future) with few additional ICs. That is suitable for a high integration, cheap, "big" IC; there is nothing exceptional. The only handicap is the screen, but still with a 30% increase, a 5.6" TFT screen is not that expensive. Why chinese manufacturers can do similar things with portable DVDs and Sony with much better fabs couldn't? (!)

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Jearil (154455) | about 7 years ago | (#18486749)

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 really good on the system.

Lowering the resolution per inch for a system that will be more difficult to carry around would just suck.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 7 years ago | (#18481473)

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 build over-specced equipment out of expensive, proprietary parts.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (2, Insightful)

Xymor (943922) | about 7 years ago | (#18481727)

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.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | about 7 years ago | (#18484717)

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.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Xymor (943922) | about 7 years ago | (#18486299)

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.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18486569)

I don't see a difference in complexity between DS and PSP games. It's not like the PSP is the only one with strategy games or something.

I'm absolutely a hardcore gamer - I mostly play RTS/FPS/Strategy on PC*, so much hardercorer than any of you console kids - and I like my DS plenty and think several of the games stand up to their PC equivalents.

*I have a bunch of consoles too.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18488555)

Fag.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Dryheat (661347) | about 7 years ago | (#18481483)

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 sell the PSP2 i would give it the ability to play PS2 games and they would need to add another analogue stick, either the same as psp1 but on the right side or have both analogue sticks that pop out from the side when you need them (it would look like a gamepad) and pop in when you don't. To make it more flash i would illuminate the buttons so you can see them when it is dark.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 7 years ago | (#18495081)

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 [wikipedia.org] in mind when you made your comment. When I first read about that overpriced WiFi gadget, it struck me that technically it wasn't really doing anything the PSP couldn't do, if Sony wanted it to. But I believe that Sony are either paranoid about the PSP being seen as neither fish nor fowl, too many things at once; gaming machine, multimedia device, communications platform... so we lost the third. Or (and this is possibly more likely) they wanted to artificially differentiate the market so that people bought both devices, or that the PSP didn't eat into the overpriced Mylo market.

Yeah, it would have needed a keyboard (or a touch screen), but they could have added that in the first place.

Anyway, I might have bought a PSP if they'd done that, but as it stands just now it's (for me) an overpriced toy. I also didn't like its "PS2 games on a handheld" vibe; I'm not interested in PS2. The DS's games appealed much more to me, and the touch screen is great, despite the console's far lesser technical power. However, all that having been said, I'd still say the DS was a poor choice for a portable multimedia unit.

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

Bob Hellbringer (320931) | about 7 years ago | (#18482591)

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 its potential and the next generation of PSP (if it ever gets made) does have room for improvement:

- ditch the UMD (think of all the space inside the PSP's body that thing hogs!), and go flash-memory only (no mechanical HDD either)
- add a second analog stick to the face (I see space down and to the left of the face buttons for one of those)
- trim a few grams of weight, though I like the solid feel of the PSP
- vastly improve the file system to be more flexible. The folder/file-naming is insane. If you have encoded a movie you will know what I mean
- release more demos and freebies
- more customization and cool tricks for the user interface screen, more external homebrew/application support
- quicker boot-up or less stand-by power drain
- more colors, scratch-resistance, and better speakers

Why oh why can't I be a product consultant??????

Re:To advance, correct errors rather than drag it. (1)

clonmult (586283) | about 7 years ago | (#18485245)

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.

Not bad. . . just not good enough (1)

MistaE (776169) | about 7 years ago | (#18480555)

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 for a legitimate competition in portable systems. Sony tried to do a good job to differentiate itself, but in reality, it was still just another unproven contender against Nintendo. It all comes down to games, and the DS beats Sony hands down. However, that doesn't mean the PSP is bad. It's just not good enough.

One word: Homebrew (1, Informative)

millennial (830897) | about 7 years ago | (#18480807)

Apart from homebrew, the PSP has no future. Even Sony is stealing ideas from homebrew coders.

Re:One word: Homebrew (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | about 7 years ago | (#18480867)

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.

Re:One word: Homebrew (1)

catprog (849688) | about 7 years ago | (#18482885)

Say I write a mod for say half life 2 and then valve uses that mod in a commercial product. Is that stealing?

Re:One word: Homebrew (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | about 7 years ago | (#18496603)

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.

Re:One word: Homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18493153)

So your arguement is that corporate-level theft is justified for the seemingly unrelated reason that the developer modified a console to execute applications they developed?

Say I took a Core Duo Mac, managed to pull the TPM and installed it on a standard desktop PC - Not a likely scenario, but certainly plausable given the talent available on the Internet. So I take this PC and Install MacOS X. The point is that making modifications to accomidate an OS (Much akin to preparing a device to execute applications which are not typically available for it except through the homebrew community) are probably going to involve violations of the license that is included with with said OS (or device), but this process enables me to develop an application for that respective platform.

If I used this modified platform and successfully develop a killer app designed exclusively for that platform, could it be argued that all applications which I develop or port (precluding a conflicting license such as the GPL; This would probably lead to another universe of legal challenges) then belongs to the platform vendor?

Many owners of the PSP have looked to modding as a way to extend the value of their purchase specifically by supplimenting it with homebrew applications. A small number of these ssytem owners have made the system into a hobby.

Really that bad? (3, Insightful)

Zelos (1050172) | about 7 years ago | (#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:Really that bad? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18481257)

Don't be silly, you're not allowed to like them both! That would be like using Linux and Windows. Are you completely mad!?

Re:Really that bad? (1)

Reapman (740286) | about 7 years ago | (#18487619)

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 doing something to reduce the cost of it however to keep up with the big N (hmm sounds just like PS3 vs Wii)

Re:Really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18492401)

"I wonder if Canadians have a higher uptake of PSP?"

Lots of people are quick to point out that the DS is outselling the PSP by something like 2 to 1 overall. They also point out that the DS beats the PSP in Japan by 3 to 1.

I don't know about Canada specifically, but the "Americas" have much higher sales of PSPs than those figures would suggest. According to vgcharts.org the "Americas" totals are DS=11.41 and PSP=7.85. That's more like 1.5 to 1. If you happen to live on these couple of continents, people should be aware that PSP sales probably are quite strong in your neighborhood.

The PSP isn't beating the DS, but it's obviously very competitive over here. It's not surprising that you see them all the time.

Re:Really that bad? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 7 years ago | (#18496783)

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...

Re:Really that bad? (1)

Reapman (740286) | about 7 years ago | (#18497487)

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.

Myth that there are no good games (5, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | about 7 years ago | (#18481517)

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.

Re:Myth that there are no good games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18481651)

It's kind of hard to take an angry, reactive post with little grammar seriously. Further, it's not a fanboy line if the person already bought a PSP, and is no longer using it. It costs twice as much as a DS.

Re:Myth that there are no good games (0, Flamebait)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | about 7 years ago | (#18481989)

Look at all those games. With some exceptions, many of those are handheld conversions of current gen games, or remakes/anthologies. Nintendo has an upper hand with first-party titles because, for example, sure Mario Kart DS is just another Mario Kart (with a bunch of the old tracks unlockable) BUT there's not a current-gen equivalent to it. Plus the karts in it and the characters are different from last time, being a mix between 64 and Double Dash. In summary, PSP has stuff that's too similar to stuff on consoles, while DS has things that are different and/or interesting.

Sorry, but if it has Mario in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18484851)

It is NOT different OR interesting. He was good in Donkey Kong but come on, come up with something new.

Tired and kiddie. The nintendo mantra...

Re:Myth that there are no good games (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 7 years ago | (#18485749)

Actually the DS has another plus, it is slowly becoming the first console delivering decent point and click adventure games, the european adventure game publishers currently jumping onto the ship, with Ankh and a bunch of other games being ported. RTS probably is the next genre which will jump onto the DS, homebrewers already got the clue and there is at least one excellent RTS, the publishers still need to get the clue. Basically every genre except shooters where the pc is strong is suitable for the DS as well.

Re:Myth that there are no good games (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about 7 years ago | (#18486485)

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.

Re:Myth that there are no good games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18490575)

You (and Sony) just don't GET IT. It's not that the PSP is a poor CONSOLE- it's a poor PORTABLE. It has long load times, abysmal battery life, it's too fragile, it's too bulky, and it is too expensive. Showing a list of PS2 ports that don't suck on the PSP is like saying a Cray Supercomputer was a good laptop in 1990- as long as you discount the facts that it was too heavy, too expensive, and consumed too much power. But man, it would kick the crap out of a Dell in computing Pi to N digits!
Sony was so focused on making the biggest, shiniest, black penis it could that it didn't stop to consider what the gaming public wanted or needed.

A "casual gamer" speaks (3, Interesting)

ed (79221) | about 7 years ago | (#18481657)

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. (4, Interesting)

dannycim (442761) | about 7 years ago | (#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:More fanboyism. (1, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 7 years ago | (#18487763)

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 device for something which replicates functions better served by gear I already own?

Re:More fanboyism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18494035)

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.

Sorry, no prize. These were his first three lines...

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.
It wasn't an afterthought. He lead with games.

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.
This is the stuff you have a beef with. Why on earth would he be doing all that other stuff on his game machine? Well, for the same reason a dog licks his balls... because he can.

You see, none of that other functionality resulted in a reduction in the gaming ability of the PSP. It already has a headphone jack and storage capability, so why not make it possible to play music? It already has a nice screen and a disc format that's with plenty of space, so why not let it play movies? You already have Wi-fi for multiplayer games, so why not let it surf the web?

None of this stuff resulted in a significant extra cost. Music software is trivial, as is what amounts to DVD software. No additional hardware was necessary. The web browser actually came later as a firmware upgrade, making it completely free for people who already owned a PSP.

Why on earth would you consider it to be a problem? I've heard others say this as well, and I just don't get it. It's not adding to the price and it's not hurting any gaming ability, so why actually dislike the console because of it? Look, if you like the games (if. I'm not saying you do) then why not just get it for the games and ignore that other stuff. It's not hurting you. You can continue to use your PDA, iPod, whatever, while leaving this guy alone to enjoy the stuff he wants to enjoy.

Re:More fanboyism. (2, Funny)

SetupWeasel (54062) | about 7 years ago | (#18489817)

That wasn't envy. I was counting your dead pixels.

Usually I don't reply to trolls but... (1)

hallux-s (1010313) | about 7 years ago | (#18497609)

(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 dead pixel among them.

Quit hating on Sony, and their fantastic little game system/computer. It rocks.
~Hal

2005 Called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18491107)

They want their post back.

PSP (2, Insightful)

boyter (964910) | about 7 years ago | (#18481783)

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.

Wait, it HAS a future?!? (-1, Troll)

ThatSandersKid (1068182) | about 7 years ago | (#18482141)

Honestly, this thing has about as much momentum as the Atari Lynx. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wait, it HAS a future?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18482873)

HEY, I'll have you know my Lynx went high places. It managed to get all the way up to my attic, and stay there!

I'm still hoping for the day when I can get my money back on it.

If it had TV out... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | about 7 years ago | (#18483511)

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.

Re:If it had TV out... (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | about 7 years ago | (#18492985)

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.

Add Phones! (1)

DoChEx (558465) | about 7 years ago | (#18484745)

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.

emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18488031)

I just installed the 3.10 oe firmware and am playing Final Fantasy 7 on my PSP. Now I can play virtually any PSX game, this adds all the value I need for this little toy.

I can also play :

N64
SNES
NES

which covers hundreds of games I enjoy playing.
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