by 4cr Staff - 01.28.11
From the positive to the negative, everybody seems to have an opinion about Sony’s newly-revealed PSP2. No matter which side of the armchair debate you fall on, one thing that can’t be denied is that the device represents a bold move from a hardware perspective — a PS3 in the palm of your hands.
You can read some of our initial thoughts below. Share yours, too!
Tucker: It’s the PSP2. Like, for reals.
Edgar: I’m impressed. Quad core, dual touch-screen front/back, 3G/wifi, gyro, etc… This will be like $600…
Jody: Looks impressive. Also looks huge. It’s bigger than the original PSP.
Edgar: It’s a 5″ screen.
Jody: The demo reel looks amazing. Worst part is the name. Plus NGP will always be Neo Geo Pocket to me
Oh, that’s just a code name. Still.
Greg: I keep reading it as Neo Geo Pocket, and then I feel sad.
That whole showing left me fairly cold. I think that Sony completely misunderstood what didn’t work with the PSP, and dove completely in that direction.
Sure, the tech is impressive, but portable and console gaming are two completely different experiences. I don’t really care about playing Uncharted on the go. I don’t care that the graphics are super-fancy. When I want a beautiful console-like game, I’ll play the thing on a big tv while sitting on my comfy couch. I’ll take affordable and durable over a giant $500 brick any day.
Dave: Agreed, I think they missed the fact that their demographic actually has the money to buy, and power to monopolize a GIANT TELEVISION. When I was a kid I had to wait until the news was over, nothing interesting was on, or use the old black and white tv in the basement when I wanted to play games. That is why the GameBoy was such an amazing piece of hardware in the first place. It was about true freedom, not just locational freedom.
Jody: I know what you mean. I find the thing to be pretty awesome tech wise, but not really awesome portable wise. Although it’s always easier to play something in a handheld than on a tv to me, just because I can play it in any part of the house.
NR: Sony still doesn’t get it. And the UI looks like it was created by the UGO network.
Gross. All I can see is a whole lotta horsepower going to waste.
I really thought Sony might do something awesome and forward-thinking this time around, especially when the Android PS Phone was leaked. That thing should have been the PSP2, and it should’ve been a headfirst dive into the future, abandoning physical media altogether.
Now, however, they’ve got both devices coming out, and neither gets it right. Sony has once again given Nintendo a huge opportunity. I can’t believe how stupid they are. I doubt the PSP2 and Xperia Play teams even knew what the other was doing.
Greg: Yeah, I forgot about the UI. Terrible.
Jody: Agreed. Personally, I like the XMB and don’t understand why they’d get rid of it.
NR: Exactly. That’s a fantastic UI, and it still looks modern. This is a giant step back in terms of appearance.
Calen: I think the comments about it emulating the console experience are on point. I don’t find myself drawn to actual PSP games for that reason as well, It’s just a little PS2, but I love it for emulation.
NR: The raised analog nubs would make me paranoid about carrying it around. I’d worry about them getting messed up or pushed in one direction for too long. It doesn’t really look portable.
Greg: This thing is really a handheld that you play at home.
I have mixed feelings about the trackpad. I think it’s potentially a cool addition, but good lord, it’s being used in gimmicky ways. The talk of the trackpad and gyroscope in Uncharted made me cringe. The thing has buttons, just use those.
Though I don’t have mixed feelings about gyroscopes. I haven’t played a single gyroscope-controlled game that hasn’t made me want to shoot myself. I hate those things on the iPhone, and I’ll steer way clear of them on the 3DS and PSP2.
Oh, and now I’ve been thinking about the Neo Geo Pocket all day. The NGPC was such a cool little system, for the whole two months that it had support.
Edgar: I think the PSP2 is a nice piece of hardware — it’s everything a Wii would need in terms of raw horsepower. But when I play a handheld it’s not to get the console experience, it’s to play games that can be played in short bursts.
In my mind, Sony is walking in the same direction as they did with the original PSP, trying to “emulate” the consoles. I won’t say the PSP is a failure, 65 million sold speaks for itself… Or does it? I haven’t seen a PSP in the wild for ages, and no one speaks about it inside my gaming circle. And on the commute to work each day, I only see iPods/iPhones and DSes.
NR: I think the PlayStation Suite idea is great in that Sony is throwing proprietary stubbornness aside and opening itself up to a huge new market, but again, it’s the execution that has me scratching my head. Like, how exactly are PS1 games going to be properly played/represented on a touchscreen-only Android phone?
Again, I think the real opportunity here was to focus solely on the PS Phone (now the Xperia Play). Load it with stock Android, omit physical media, and make the PS app exclusive/native to the device. Then they would have had a winner on their hands. But it would need some real analog nubs, like those (that I’m not sure would actually worrk, admittedly) on this PSP Go-like PSP2 concept:
Speaking of this concept rendering, I think it looks way better than the actual PSP2 design. It’s like an ugly version of the original (and still utterly gorgeous) PSP design, especially the back.
Jody: So do you think that 3DS is going to do better saleswise? I do, if only because of first party Nintendo games, and 3D being a buzzword. Granted, it depends on price. If Sony can get this out for under $250, I think there my be some serious competition.
GK: With those specs, they are going to have to subsidize it hard to get it under $250. It looks to be better spec-wise than any tablet that they have coming out early this year, with the Xoom rumored to be $700-$800. Also, with all these beefy specs, they are going to have a hard time getting that battery right. Battery technology hasn’t become more efficient in the past years so it’s going to be interesting to see if they can fit a beefy enough battery into that chassis so that it’s slim while powering all those sweet internals.
Greg: If that thing makes it out for under $250, Sony is going to be seriously losing money. Even at $400 it’ll be sold at a loss. I’m sure this thing costs a ton of money to manufacture.
That said, they’re going to be taking a hit on each unit. It just depends on how much Sony is willing to lose.
I still think the 3DS will destroy it. Nintendo has that huge Wii/DS audience of moms that might buy a new Nintendo device, but will have no idea what a peeesspee is.
Jody: I wonder if they’re going to actually go with the name PSP2 or what. They should just call it PlayStation.
Edgar: I’m guessing it’ll be $350 for the wifi-only version and $500 for the 3G+wifi version.
NR: I’m pretty sure Sony has once again made the battle Nintendo’s to lose.