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What’s Wrong with the PSP? |

For the tech savvy audience, the answer is clear: hardware, hardware, hardware.

Compare Apple’s 8GB iPod Touch for $230 to Sony’s PSP Go for $250: the former outclasses the latter in so many ways that the PSP Go is basically a joke at this point. Sony is sticking to the old console compatability model where they make one hardware spec and cling to it for 5-10 years for forward compatability’s sake (Sony has improved hardware since the original PSP, but negligibly so compared to the smartphone world).

What’s really ironic is that during the launch of the PSP and the PS3, most of the online community was ridiculing Sony for being too focused on fancy hardware and non-gaming applications instead of focusing on games and affordability, yet people actually wanted more dazzling hardware and non-gaming applications rather than sophisticated games and budget pricing. In Sony’s defense, the PSP definitely has better studio talent making games for it, and the main PSP-3000 model is definitely cheaper than a new generation iPod touch.

On the flip side, I can hear a lot people pointing to the Nintendo DS. If PSP’s problem is old, boring devices, why is the even more underpowered DS doing so well? Simple. Because the main market of the DS, in the US at least, is mostly parents shopping for toddlers and non-technically savvy kids. That crowd doesn’t want to deal with online services, they want something that’s cheap, durable, and has simple brand-recognizable titles that can pacify a hyper-active kid on long car trips and the like.

There are credible rumors of an Android/PSP partnership: if they can combine new bleeding edge devices and hardware with Sony’s top game studio efforts, that will be a winner. But if it is simply a compatability layer for existing PSP titles written for legacy hardware, it will be much less interesting.

  • Eddie

    honestly…..for me…PSPGo was the best PSP yet for me. Keep the phone and touchscreen away from my PSP. If there is a touchscreen, make sure its not the main component for gaming.

  • Darrin

    I’d still want a touch screen for menus and inventory screens, but it definitely needs a stick (or nub) and proper game buttons.

    I look at PSP strategy RPGs and PSP action games like Metal Gear, God of War, Resistance, SOCOM; the studio quality and effort is apparent. If only those guys had better hardware to work with, the end result would be infinitely more interesting. Patapon 2 was the only original PSP game that I played that was so good it just didn’t need better hardware.

    Also, if they could make a single device with competitive OS and competitive non-gaming apps (movies, web, GPS, social networking, etc) AND have great games, that would be worth getting.

  • Personally I love my PSP. I like the fact that it has real buttons and a stick (nub).
    I think that a touch screen is great for some types of games but for action you need real buttons not screen mapped ones.
    I would love for the PSP 2 to be some type of PSP/Android hybrid combining the best of both worlds. Of course like Darrin said if it’s not a hardware upgrade then it’s a no go.
    Now if it’s upgraded tech with backwards compatibility then we’re talking.

  • Bring on the Android based PSP Phone! Yet another rumored link between Google and Sony.

  • That Android/PSP-phone idea is golden.. I hope they don’t mess up with that one, they have a potential winner right there.

    Make it a 4″ screen, slide out keyboard/controller, touchscreen, gyro-sensor, vibrat

  • ing & 5mp camera + VGA front camera.

  • There’s nothing at all wrong with the PSP – it’s piracy that’s had the biggest impact.

    It plays games that other platforms can only dream of, and that, I think, is part of the problem. The games demand too much time to really be played on the move.

    Do we need a touch screen? No, not really. Gyro sensors? No – we’ve had them since the SIXAXIS, and everyone says they’re not worth it. Vibration? Nope.

    A second analogue stick (or something similarly effective) is about the only thing that’s required.

    Remember how people whinged about the PSP battery life when it first appeared? If they’re going to up the power, that’s going to be even shorter. Add in all that other stuff, and you’ll be looking at 3 hours charging for 30 minutes play time.

    I like the idea of a PSPhone – it would be the first thing that would make me consider upgrading my K750i – but I’m not sure how practical it would really be. What’s the point in having all that capability, when the battery won’t last a day? And if you reduce the gaming power to make the battery last longer… what’s the point of the device? You may as well stick with a standard PSP.

    That said, I hope they can come up with something workable and worthwhile.

  • EdEN

    I do 80% of my gaming on my DS. Collection is 70 games strong and I will be adding another 20-30 between now and March 2011 at which point I better have saved for a 3DS and Nintendo better allow me to migrate my DSiware purchases over.

    I’m really thinking about getting a used sub $100 PSP anf $200 worth of games at some point since there are several RPGs and strategy games exclusive to the console (remakes and new IPs) that I’m intrigued about.

  • daniel

    Pues, bien, el psp es para jugar, y en este campo no le debate al Iphone, los juegos nuevos que estan saliendo, mejoran cada vez mas, Yakuza es una imersión a un mundo, al momento de jugar, a uno no le interesa nisiquiera si el color del psp es morado, o quieren que tambien las pantallas de las xbox o ps3 sean touch, fifa se juega genial en el psp, god of war es un clon en el psp, litle bigplanet igual, no creo que no necesita nada, solo buenos programadores de juegos, y tal vez algun periferico

  • At the very least, you don’t have to delete your stuff on the PSP which you can just switch the memory card, on the iPod though, you are forced to delete stuff and still have to delete stuff when you want to install something which for most times you have to have 2x or more the required space that it says.

  • But then again they did deliberately made the PSP so it has to play under its capabilities and they also made the PSP go.