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Sony Struggles To Define the PSP 289

Brian Crecente has a piece over on the Rocky Mountain site talking about Sony's struggle to make the PSP stand out. The failure of the UMD format, its de-emphasis as a media player, and the lackluster stable of games leaves PSP owners wondering exactly what to use it for. From the article: "While digital media is a key focus for Sony Computer Entertainment right now, the company is also working to expand other elements of the portable as well. In November, the PlayStation 3 will launch with built in PSP support. While [PSP Marketing Manager John] Koller wouldn't discuss specifics, he did say that the PlayStation Portable will be a 'remote control device' for the next-gen console. He says more details about that connectivity will be coming out in the coming months, perhaps at the Tokyo Game Show next month."
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Sony Struggles To Define the PSP

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  • Defining the PSP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7NO@SPAMkc.rr.com> on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:32AM (#15873066) Homepage
    I bought mine at launch, have had it listed on Craigs List for almost 6 months and cant get rid of the thing so I guess my definition would be "paperweight".

    The PSP is a brilliant piece of hardware, but 99% of the games suck, im not stupid enough to buy my movies over again and its too freakin big for an mp3 player, so most of the time it sits on the desk waiting for some game to come out that I might actually enjoy. Its pretty sad when the best game on the platform is the first one that was launched with it (Lumines). Oh well, at least there is Lumines 2 on the way.

    • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:36AM (#15873102) Homepage
      but 99% of the games suck

      How is that possible if it doesn't even have 100 games? Possibly you mean that 95% of all PSP games suck 100%, and the last one sucks 80%? :-D

      I own a PSP. I use it for Puzzle Block Party, a game that uses about a fifth of its blurry battery-eating screen for actual gameplay (the rest is used for weird animated comic characters). I wish they made it for the PSP, then I could, uhm, try to sell my PSP on eBay or something.

      • by ozbon ( 99708 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:57AM (#15873277) Homepage
        Maybe I've been lucky, but I've mainly been able to buy what are ( in my own opinion ) non-sucky games for the PSP. Lumines [amazon.co.uk] is fine, and can occupy plenty of time if I'm travelling or whatever. Wipeout Pure [amazon.co.uk] is sensational - I love it. OK, so it's not original, but it's still a damn good game, and works fantastically on the PSP. Also, the ability to expand the game by going online and getting more tracks/music/ships is a great idea, and one I'm amazed more games haven't taken advantage of.

        I also play the Colin McRae 2005 [amazon.co.uk] rally game a lot - again, ideal for travelling - although I admit that it took a larger learning curve than usual to get to grips with some of the (ahem) "features".

        As for others, both LocoRoco and Mercury are simple but addictive.

        • by LKM ( 227954 )

          Lumines is fine

          It's a launch title. I can play games for a long time, but years? Also, Puzzle Block Party plays similarly, so I can't really go back to Lumines. I always want to turn the blocks in Lumines now that I'm tuned to Puzzle Block Party.

          Wipeout Pure is sensational - I love it.

          I own it. It's probably a good game, but I'm more an F-Zero person, myself. Wipeout Pure simply feels slow and sluggish. F-Zero cars are fast, accelerate fast and turn quickly, and it's kind of hard for me to adjust to

          • I own it. It's probably a good game, but I'm more an F-Zero person, myself. Wipeout Pure simply feels slow and sluggish. F-Zero cars are fast, accelerate fast and turn quickly, and it's kind of hard for me to adjust to Wipeout Pure. I'll probably give it another chance, though.

            Wipeout is slow? There is a steady speed increase in the game. Some of the later levels are so fast you kinda have to develop a sixth sense for the track. Try playing zone if you need more speed. the turning is just how the game was

          • "I tried to {do something with a Sony device that was advertised as possible when I purchased it}, but my {Sony Device} crapped out on me and Sony won't answer support mails."

            Welcome to the wonderful world that is Sony. I used to be a big fan of all that was Sony, even to the point of recommending Sony products to many many friends and family. Now, I don't even consider Sony with regards to my purchases due to their complete contempt for their "consumers" in all divisions of their business (not just SOE o
            • Pretty much the same way here too. I used to be a big fan of everything sony. I bought a sony dvd player, big screen TV, surround sound, a camera, even this laptop I'm on right now is a sony vaio. Then I bought a sony PDA, TH-55, and it crapped out 1 day after I bought. I took it back the store that I got it from and after a week they found another one. After I replaced it, it lasted for about 6 months then it died. I sent it in for the warrenty replacement. Sony sat on it for about six months then

    • Re:Defining the PSP (Score:2, Informative)

      by Total_Wimp ( 564548 )

      I bought mine at launch, have had it listed on Craigs List for almost 6 months and cant get rid of the thing so I guess my definition would be "paperweight".

      What's your price? A quick look at ebay shows one going for $167 with 3 min left. Not bad for a paperweight.

      This 99% of games suck bullshit has just about got to stop. Have you bought a game in the last 6 months? There are many fine games for the console now, even if they weren't there at launch.

      My advice is to take it off of Craigslist, buy a couple

      • I like GTA for PSP. It made the transition from console to PSP fairly seemlessly.
        • I like GTA for PSP. It made the transition from console to PSP fairly seemlessly.

          You mean the PS2 version plays as badly as the PSP version? Gah. I heard the PC version is pretty cool though, with keyboard and mouse.

      • It's Mario!
      • Re:Defining the PSP (Score:3, Interesting)

        by supabeast! ( 84658 )
        "This 99% of games suck bullshit has just about got to stop. Have you bought a game in the last 6 months? There are many fine games for the console now, even if they weren't there at launch."

        There are many fine games for the PSP if your idea of a fine game is a sequel to a PSX/PS2 game . The problem for many PSP owners seems to be that if they want those games, they alreadyt bought them, and aren't interested in just buying the PSP versions. PSP developers might be able to get away with just dumping out low
        • but the PSP cannot catch up to the DS as long as PSP owners look at DS owners and seem them getting a endless stream of innovative, engaging games that cost less.

          So you're saying that the best hope Sony has is for Nintendo to churn out a bunch of sucky DS games? Makes sense to me.

      • This 99% of games suck bullshit has just about got to stop.

        It will never stop, just like it never stopped for the Xbox (I still see people occasionally say "Halo is the only reason to buy an Xbox"). Some people just can't change their minds once they've made them up, and what is true early in the console's life will be believed until the thing is replaced with a "PSP-2."

        Personally, I could only imagine buying a PSP if I started getting tired of the games I'm playing on my DS and there's nothing left to

    • by Anonymous Coward
      If I were in your position, I would drop your PSP on eBay (netting about $150-$200, depending on games and accessories) and purchase a nintendo DS ($100-120, depending on if you get the Phat or Lite). It has plenty of great games. If homebrew is your thing, you can get into that scene for about $50-100, depending on how much space you want and how small you want your device to be.

      My homebrew solution allows me to use 2gb Mini-SD cards. You can't imagine how many nes/gameboy/gbc roms that I can keep with me.
    • I like my portable Valkyrie Profile, but I don't see anything else worth buying. I'm not a big fan of puzzle games, so no Lumines for me. I really hope I'll find something good to play after Valkyrie.
    • by gregger ( 156275 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @02:13PM (#15875918) Journal
      I bought a PSP for the video capabilities. The screen is simply AWESOME (if you don't scratch it). Be sure to get a protective case for it!

      How I use it: In flight entertainment. It's amazing what a flight attendant stopper it is.
      Ingredients:
      • at least 1 >= 1GB memory stick and a memory stick reader
      • A Media Center 2005, TiVo, MythTV etc. box
      • PSPVideo9 or PSPWare

      Options:
      DVD backups (VOB files) that you save to another file server.
      Converting FLV videos from YouTube or Google (a bit too much effort for the resulting crappy quality).

      Basically, I take PSPVideo9, add a line to its XML configuration file to recognize a DVR-MS file (I have a Media Center), and then pick about 6 hours of Colbert Reports and Daily Show's I've missed in the past week or so. Anything with a DirectShow filter installed can be converted by PSPVideo9... it just takes an extra line of XML to recognize the file extension.

      This process takes a while, so I start it the night before my trip...

      In the morning, I copy the files to my Memory Stick during my shower (once a month, whether I need it or not). This can take some time depending on your card reader speed.

      I then laugh my ass off on the plane all the way across country. You can do this with a DVD backup program and PSPVideo9 as well. A 30 minute TV program is about 60MB and a 2 hour movies chops down to less than 300MB. If you have a 16:9 aspect ratio movie, it fills up the screen as the director intended. If you have a 4:3 show, just zoom the PSP screen and it will fill it (you lose 10% off the top and bottom, but it isn't stretched out).

      Now, here's the next part... there are 100's of ways to skin this cat, but here is how I did it...

      Get TV programs remotely (extra credit):
      • Set up a private VPN in your favorite way (I used Hamachi, but you could do SSH etc.)
        • this may require a DynDNS or HomeIP type access to your router / Media Center / MythTV

      • Set up TightVNC or similar (usual precautions apply about security)
      • Set up FTP on the box you wish to fetch your final media from
        • you could do this in some really interesting ways, but this is easy

      So, on your remote computer:
      • Join your VPN and use VNC to access the computer
      • Convert your TV or DVD files as usual (PSPVideo9) using VNC
      • Ensure the finished files end up in your FTP directory
      • Minimize it and log out
      • Later... FTP to your home machine, download the content to your remote PC
        • now that Firmware 2.8 is out for the PSP, you could set them up as RSS feeds and download directly to your PSP

      I'd like to do the RSS route... that would be cool.
      Everyone I've let use my PSP to watch video (even iPod users) are blown away with the quality of the playback.

      Battery life for memory-stick based operations is *great*. I use 1 bar out of 3 watching movies or TV for 2 hours. iPod / iTunes video does work well.

      Be sure to pick up a combination USB and PSP cable so you can charge your PSP and another USB device as well off 1 port.

      Drawbacks and gripes:
      1 GB Mem sticks are a small. 4GB will be great. Those can be had for $150 or so now.
      You can't take a HUGE library of media with you (like a 60GB iPod)... which is fine for TV for me
      File format for video has to be MP4... way lame, but you have to chop it anyway.
      Volume for playing video back isn't great - it needs to get boosted during conversion
      Playing audio through FM tuners is NOT good... too quiet for most cars with the road noise

      But, I think it is a really nice piece of hardware... I dan't play many games, but the ones I have, I enjoy. I don't play a lot of other games on other platforms either, so I don't have a lot to compare it to...

      TTFN
      • The screen is simply AWESOME

        No, it's not. Sony went after two properties when choosing a screen: Big and Bright. They got those two, but they messed up the rest. First of all, it's blurry as hell. When I first played Ridge Racer on my PSP, I thought they had actually managed to implement motion blur on the PSP. "Wow, didn't think it could do that", I thought. Until I played some other games. All of them had motion blur. It's not the games, it's the sucky screen. It's especially visible in games like Lumi

  • Easy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:34AM (#15873085)
    It's a handheld games console, only too big to fit in your pocket, too expensive to be treated as a cheap Nintendo console with its huge back catalogue, with a large, easily scratchable screen, playing media that Sony has decided not to continue with, from a company who's pissed people off with shoddy, easily bypassable spyware which increases the risk of hackers easily taking control of your PC.

    I'll take 10!
    • Re:Easy! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Petrol ( 18446 )
      I can't disagree more.

      I have 6 games, all of which I really enjoy. (Lumines; Armored Core; Tiger W. Golf; Wipeout; Tomb Raider; and Burnout) In addition to that I can webbrowse via the wifi and watch movies from the memory stick.

      The problem with UMD is that Sony never priced the movies at a reasonable price point. Why on earth would I pay more for less than I can get on a DVD?

      *That* is why UMD wasn't adopted.
  • It's just a cool pocket movie viewer at this time.
  • by sc0ttyb ( 833038 ) * on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:37AM (#15873112)
    They should offer it as one of the few handhelds that let you make your own games and share them with friends. Hell, I dunno, offer a simplified development kit for the price of a game with a way to import your own art and music. Allow people to create their own games on the damn thing. Then, for maybe a bit more money, offer an advanced user package that's basically a simplified SDK.

    If they wouldn't try so damn hard to break homebrew apps, I bet people might buy more games. I know for a fact that before the ability to downgrade firmware, people wouldn't buy games because it required an update first.

    Open the thing up (except the UMD format -- I'll give them that much to keep), let us make our own games without implementing roadblocks to homebrew, and the thing will sell more.

    Oh, and actually release some damn games already.
    • If they wouldn't try so damn hard to break homebrew apps, I bet people might buy more games. I know for a fact that before the ability to downgrade firmware, people wouldn't buy games because it required an update first.

      Presumably they're doing that to prevent piracy, but why are they so worried when so many PSP games suck anyhow? The really sad part is that most of the games suck less after piracy because they load faster and use less battery when loaded from a flash card.

    • "Open the thing up (except the UMD format -- I'll give them that much to keep), let us make our own games without implementing roadblocks to homebrew, and the thing will sell more."

      They'd sell more hardware at a loss anyway. Hehe. Seriously, though, Sony needs more sales of games. I'd recommend better games that don't cost $50. The one time Sony doesn't copy Nintendo...
    • They should offer it as one of the few handhelds that let you make your own games and share them with friends.

      I dunno, dude. The Gizmondo and GP32 were both handhelds that were pretty much designed expressly for homebrew gaming (and by that, I of course mean "emulators and warez0red ROMS"), and neither of them has found the success of even an N-Gage.

      (Okay, so the Gizmondo was actually designed mainly to get venture capital to spend on fast cars and fast women, but my point about the GP32 stands.)

      The homebr
  • DRM Again (Score:5, Funny)

    by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:37AM (#15873116) Homepage
    "A big issue for us has been the (Digital Rights Management) and how we can secure that content to the Memory Stick," Koller said. "The studios and the labels don't want their content floating around."

    After you pay for it once, you should be able to float it around wherever you want to let it float. Grrrrr
    • "A big issue for us has been the (Digital Rights Management) and how we can secure that content to the Memory Stick," Koller said. "The studios and the labels don't want their content floating around."

      Huh, that's funny, it turns out I don't want a portable player that media cannot float easily onto. And the content is already floating, so all they've done is make it hard for the mass market to add media to the device - the ones that might think about buying the product.

      The day that Sony Games rebels agains
      • Re:Coinceidence (Score:3, Interesting)

        by badasscat ( 563442 )
        The day that Sony Games rebels against the draconian wishes of the Sony Media division is the day the PSP will see success.

        Well, this is the whole problem right here. If Sony hadn't tried to position this thing as a "multimedia" device in the first place, they wouldn't be in this mess at all. And they wouldn't be trying to fight on three different fronts - against both MS and Apple, as well as Nintendo - rather than one. They've set themselves up for failure.

        Nintendo is beating them because the DS does o
        • To my mind I don't think a products positioning (in terms of marketing) is really a problem - the problem is that all around, because of the aforementioned inability for just anyone to load media on the device, people can't find a good use for the PSP. As a games player it's OK but there are few compelling games. If people could have also easily added media of thier own then perhaps that would have been enough extra beyond what the DS offers that it would have been compelling to a wider market.

          I agree wit
        • But they haven't even tried to tackle this idea of "convergence" or trying to create an "all-in-one" device

          In Japan, the Play-Yan media player has been an official Nintendo product for years, allowing users to listen to MP3's and watch movies on GBA SP and DS systems.

          Opera web browser for Nintendo DS is coming out soon.
  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dolson ( 634094 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:39AM (#15873131) Homepage Journal
    ...a $200 controller. I guess that fits the pricing scheme of a $600 console.
    • Compared to the $130 'controllers' that'll work with the Wii, I can see why they want to try and push it as an option.

      Of course, I love my DS Lite for all other sorts of reasons. ;)
    • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

      by LoudMusic ( 199347 )
      ...a $200 controller. I guess that fits the pricing scheme of a $600 console.

      A $200 controller with a 4.3" 16:9 TFT LCD screen at 480 x 272 pixel and 16.77 million colors. Not to mention built in stereo speakers and headphone jack.

      I think this is one thing that consoles could use. Especially with the popularity of things like Madden football, video board / card games, or anything that has multiple players with secret information.

      The Dreamcast had the ability to have a display in the controller, and I know t
      • "I think this is one thing that consoles could use. Especially with the popularity of things like Madden football, video board / card games, or anything that has multiple players with secret information."

        Not a bad idea, but as history has shown time and again, if it isn't going to be used in every game, then it isn't going to be used. And since taking your eyes off the main screen on any fast-paced game to glance down to your controller for information is probably going to result in you losing, that kills
      • While all those things you mention are nice for a $200 controller. You have to realize that your controller has a 4-5 hour battery life at MAX. Unlike, you know, regular controlers that last in the 100's of hours (Wavebird).

        Hell, even plugged in, the PSP will drain out of power in 10 hours. It's cool to connect it to PS3, but other than that, Nintendo had this in mind long before. I don't know about controlling the Wii via DS, but they will interact. Pretty sweet.

      • well it's simple really, What was the point of the i.Link port? what was Sony's original intention for it?

        then the USB ports, what was the original intention for them? maybe the ones that made the FPS' to use the keyboard and mouse combo got scolded by sony for not using only the controller.

        as for using the PSP as a "really cool feature/option" I say hell no. The console is already $500 or $600 (depending on which one you get) throwing in another $200 "Accessorie" isn't going to appeal to to many game
    • Not only that, but you can use it as a REAR VIEW MIRROR in Gran Turismo!!!

      -Eric

      • Not only that, but you can use it as a REAR VIEW MIRROR in Gran Turismo!!!

        WOW! Where can I get a realistic rear view mirror mount accessory so that I don't have to hold it up with my left hand all the time?

        Of course the one thing nobody mentions is that a real rear view mirror doesn't require you to refocus your eyes. I guess if you were playing it on a 20" widescreen LCD TV on a desk, and had the PSP next to the LCD TV, it wouldn't be so bad.

        But it really doesn't matter to me, since I went to the "Li

        • Well then instead of using it as a rear-view mirror, they could use it for dashboard-type instrument cluster displays. That would be fairly realistic, since you have to remove your eyes from the windshield to view them in reality (unless you have a HUD).

          Instead of the common (but fake) driving displays, where the dashboard is magically visible at the bottom of the driver's field of vision, perfectly in focus and clear, make the TV picture nothing but the view out the window, and then put the speedometer/tac
    • Re:wow (Score:2, Interesting)

      I know this is sort of wishful thinking, but let it be known that I think the PS3 would be slightly more favourable at the $600 mark if they included a PSP in the package.
    • Not only that - it is probably the worst controller I've ever used. Played one of the Dexter games on it for 20 minute, and my hand hurt more than after any 10 hour Xbox or Gamecube session. Granted, I have fairly big hands, and the little nubs on the PSP are probably not designed for me. But still - I will never, ever use the PSP as a controller. I don't think I could even if I wanted to. And I'm quite sure that I'm not the only one in this category.
  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:48AM (#15873220) Journal
    Outside of greed and lack of vision, there's no reason the PSP and mylo should be separate products. They are both WiFi capable, both have a small form factor, and both have a strong software development platform for them. If the PSP had been made with the slide-out keyboard (or had even been given a USB host capability so an external keyboard could be hooked up) the major hardware difference that matters would have been gone or greatly reduced. If they had allowed the strong home-brew community to keep functioning instead of constantly making things harder for homebrew developers with each firmware update, most of the software to do all of this would have been written for them.

    It's probably plans to release mylo that prompted the crackdown on homebrew games and apps for the PSP. Now that there's little of the PSP's original promise left fulfilled, it's a struggling product. Now they want those of us who laid out $250 for the PSP to repeat the cycle with mylo at $350. I say tough shit, Sony. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    I still have a working Betamax VCR, still have a Sony Walkman somewhere, and regularly use my Sony CD boombox from the late 1980s when I'm in the kitchen or the back yard. The Walkman and the CD boombox they got right -- they were interoperable and I could play homebrewed content on them. At least the Betamax I could get blanks for and it would take homebrewed content. I never bought a PS or PS2 but I'd been considering a PS3 or maybe a PS2 for now. At least with the PS2 they paid lip service to homebrew. It was never the homebrew system the Atari 2600 or the Sega Dreamcast were (and heck, still are). Sony says the PS3 will be able to replace a PC. If they think my desktop will be locked in to their vicious vendor lock-in and Sony's planned upgrade cycle, they are sorely mistaken. I'm not dropping that kind of money on another closed hunk of Sony crap.

    There will be no mylo and no PS3 in my home unless Sony fixes their "dumb consumer" thinking. I want my purchases to serve my needs and wants, not just theirs. I'll not buy another Sony product until they fix themselves. Right now, Sony is broken and so are all of their products.
    • I think you're taking this a little too personally.

      I bought a PS2 because it had games I wanted to play. If the PS3 doesn't have games I want to play at a price I want to pay I won't buy one. There's no sense in getting angry over this. Either it's something you want at a price you want to pay or it's not.

      It's your choice. Raging against Sony is pointless.
    • It's probably plans to release mylo that prompted the crackdown on homebrew games and apps for the PSP. Now that there's little of the PSP's original promise left fulfilled, it's a struggling product.

      "promise"? Really? Someone promised that you would be able to play homebrews on the PSP? That's news to Sony. Dreams, maybe, but not promise.

      • To have raised expectations can be a form of a promise. Definitions of promise on the Web:
        • make a promise or commitment
        • promise to undertake or give; "I promise you my best effort"
        • a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future
        • predict: make a prediction about; tell in advance; "Call the outcome of an election"
        • grounds for feeling hopeful about the future; "there is little or no promise that he will recover"
        • give grounds for expectations; "The new resul
  • off-target (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blob Pet ( 86206 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:49AM (#15873221) Homepage
    By mentioning Nintendo only once as a competitor (in the last paragraph) and not mentioning the DS at all, it shows to me that both the reporter and Sony don't understand what the problem with the PSP is: people want a handheld game system and Nintendo has delivered on that front far better than Sony has... and worrying about Apple and Microsoft before figuring out how to compete against the DS will only hurt Sony even more.

    And as for the PSP's non-gaming functionalities... You could cut UMD movie prices in half for all I care and there will still be an overflowing stack of unsold discs at the videogame store... and no ammount of add-on peripherals like GPS receivers will save the PSP, since the same devices can be easily developed for any other handheld.

    Is it so hard to abide by the rule of Keep It Simple Stupid?
  • by William_Lee ( 834197 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @08:51AM (#15873239)
    I've been bashing Sony with the best of them lately based on their DRM and PS3 pricing fiascos, and their arrogant attitude. That said, I bought a PSP at launch and actually get a lot of use out of it.

    I will start out by saying I have the 1.5 firmware and refuse to upgrade. There is a wealth of homebrew emulation and other software out there that really makes this a pretty cool handheld platform. As far as playing newer games that require firmware upgrades, there is an easy and brilliant way around it thanks to the PSP hacking community.

    The PSP is great for travel. I could care less about the failure of UMDs. The format was doomed from the start. It is relatively painless to convert existing DVDs to the PSP's format and load them onto a memory stick. I brought a movie with me to watch on the plane on my last business trip, and it was a very enjoyable experience. I also had a few albums loaded onto the same stick to listen to while I was on the road.

    The screen is beautiful and great for movies.

    Yes, the ergonomics suck for a handheld, it's not perfect.

    As far as commercial games go, there are actually enough great games on it to make it a worthwhile platform including tight baseball, some good racers, Tekken, and a decent RPG to name a few. That situation should continue to improve.

    I'm not happy with Sony as a company, but I'm pretty happy with my hacked PSP. I'm not sure why so many people are down on the platform; it's got the processing power of close to a PS2 under the hood.

  • Come on guys, the PSP is clearly a computer joystick! [engadget.com]
  • I think people wouldn't be as pissed about the PSP if it weren't for the UMD format being hamstrung by Sony. Since Sony has acknowledged that the UMD format has failed in the video arena, I think it's time to open up the UMD format to allow for video, audio, and jpg playback only. I know Sony is paranoid about piracy of it's games, (and it should be), so open up UMD to sell UMD writer drives, blank media, and accessories to support the writable format. Make them RW, and you have a great economic engine.
  • Squirrel, please!
  • by normal_guy ( 676813 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @10:39AM (#15874211)
    I actually got some minor use out of the PSP format, for throwaway entertainment like Ghostbusters or Serenity that I didn't already own in another format. I was halfway through Zelda when I accidentally upgraded my firmware to play some game, and it broke. Strange that the most compelling content for the PSP was provided by some high school hackers, and was used to play twenty year-old games. The major disappointment for me was the total lack of online play. It was hilarious that Sony pushed the crappy browser and other online functionality like the RSS reader, then completely ignored actual online gameplay. After reading one last review that said "great game, you will enjoy it with up to four friends in ad-hoc mode," I sold the PSP to pick up a DS. Now I'm happily playing Tetris and Metroid online with the most elegant matching system I've ever seen, and enjoying innovative games like Trauma Center offline.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @11:02AM (#15874419) Journal
    ...then all it takes is for one enterprising company out there to produce a half decent game and they'll be raking in money. In fact, all they have to do is port a half decent game from another platform. Or maybe I'm just naïve in assuming that the market has any kind of efficiency like this.
  • Sony really doesn't pay attention to past failures. Atari tried to do this very same thing with the Jaguar and Lynx. You could use the Lynx to control the Jaguar via the ComLynx port waaaay back in '93. Back then, no one was really willing to pay for a $100 portable to go with a $250 game system, so there were no games developed for that feature (supposedly, Aliens vs Predator was going to include this functionality).

    I don't really see how Sony, with it's terribly high priced PS3 and PSP with few games, wou
  • by Bushido Hacks ( 788211 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @11:11AM (#15874477) Homepage Journal
    If the PSP was a person, this would be the touchy-feely moment where Bob Saget would tell it "Sometimes you should be happy with who you are and stop trying to be something you are not." (Cue the crappy Full House ending)

    Reguardless, it is true. Most technology should not be convergent.

    Cons:
    • The PSP is not a very good MP3 player because of its limited capacity.
    • The PSP is not a very good movie player because of its size. However, if you don't believe me, I am considering selling a copy of Ghost In The Shell for UMD format on Ebay sometime in the near future. I recent rented the DVD version of GITS which has bonus features the UMD version did not. So much for using that extra capacity, Sony.
    • The PSP is not a very good web browser. I hate to admit it but as far as web browsing outside the house is concerned, forgettaboutit!!! While the browser does have some good qualities such as being able to check news and weather from your home WIFI network, taking it to school, the coffee shop, or any other public WIFI area that requires HTTPS protocol is futile. And don't even bother with passwords or messaging. Also, so much for playing Flash movies or games. How there can be only 1 MB max memory for Flash but unlimited memory for gaming is beyond me.
    • The people who designed the PSP only though of their programmers and not the hackers who could do better. On one hand, I could create programs for this device. On the other hand, I don't know jack about MIPS processors (I only made a couple weak programs in assembly. Everything else is C++ or PHP) that an I don't want to lose the ability to play games. (Death Jr. is awesome!)
    • The people who designed the PSP only thought of the LCD and Addicted gamers not the casual gamers. I like video games. They are a joy to play sometimes after having a crappy day. But I don't buy every game under the sun nor do I play game 12 hours non-stop. Games are suppost to be fun, in my opinion. Sony's marketing staff only appeased to the Lowest Common Denominator (hence so many crappy games rather than re-releases of good games that can be ported to the PSP) and to the Addicted Gamers. There are certainly hundreds of good PS! and PS2 games that could be ported to the PSP if the evil demons who work at Sony's marketing department had thought about the classic gamers as well as the moderate gamers.
    • LocationFree Player is a useless waste of space. Why does everything have to be a TV or TV-player? Since the programming TV offers fails to improve with the technology, the LocationFree Player is of no use to a person like me. That and the LocationFree Player device is not sold at any of the electronics retailers. If I want to watch TV, I'll go home and watch something AND ONLY if there is something good on. Anyone who buys an big screen HDTV to watch sitcoms or reality TV needs to DIAF. There is no reason to be bombarded with TV or Advertising everywhere you go. TV does not belong on my telephone, computer, or gaming console.
    Pros:
    • Gaming quality is good. Despite a few flaws, 3D gaming, stereo-sound, and battery-life are good.
    • A few gems among the junk. Death Junior is a must have game for the PSP
    • Upgrade cycle is good. Despite the restrictions that were added to prevent homebrew game programming, the upgrade cycle is fairly good.
    • HTML Ebook and text file reader There are a few great websites that offer free books to download. Uploading your own HTML webpages and text files is still OK. (Take that Sony!)
  • I'm losing all respect for Slashdot's gaming section. When I come to Slashdot's game section I expect the latest industry news on all game platforms presented in an objective manner. Instead this section has become Zonk's personal anti Sony flame board. The PSP is a great gaming system. It seems lately the hot thing to do is jump on the anti Sony bandwagon with claims that are completely unfounded. The biggest being that their are no good games. If you say there are no good games that tells me you hav
    • That's a pretty solid library but there's one problem that I can see: Most of those games are rehashes of old titles that you can already get for a couple of dollars for the PS2. People already know what these games are like, they've seen it before and perhaps, just perhaps, they're overly familar with this stuff to think twice about shelling out for it again. I know Nintendo aren't shy about updating and republishing their back-catalogue, but the DS's touch screen allows developers to bring something new a
    • Instead this section has become Zonk's personal anti Sony flame board.

      I'm with you in that. There are more objetive posts on Microsoft Windows Vista than in PSP and PS3 together.
  • I mean. Nintendo is clearly making a game machine and that fits their goal quite nicely. Microsoft wanted to make a console with a little extra via Marketplace downloads and connectivity with USB devices and Windows and it works nicely. There's extra stuff on the horizon, like apparently movie downloads and such, but it's not there yet, so Microsoft isn't rushing anything. (Well, the launch of the console was rushed a bit but everything is fine now.) On the other hand, Sony tried to create a platform for br
  • Maybe UMD would not have been such a massive failure if the movies were not so massively overpriced. There is no way people are going to pay more for a UMD movie than a DVD. The UMD version should be at most cost half the price of the DVD version.
  • While [PSP Marketing Manager John] Koller


    Shouldn't that be PIMP, not John? Last I checked, sales folks were pimps.

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