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Sony's biggest PSP failures.

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1 Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:58 am

Blacksun

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December 12th marked the 5th year anniversary of Sony's embarkation into the world of portable gaming. In that time they have managed to deliver lots of wonderful content and features to their successful handheld. However, they have also failed to accomplish a great many things. I have given up on expecting most of these features to arrive onto the current platform, but do still hope many of them will be available globally in the next generation...on the PSP2.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and go way back to the year 2004. Now, if you were an avid follower of PlayStation products, you probably already knew or had heard the rumors that Sony was working on a device that would be Nintendo's "new competition" in the portable market. Ironically that's how I came to find this site: PlayStation Insider. Back then it was called PSINext, as the community was focused on next-gen hardware (PS3/PSP), but I'm beginning to wander off subject, so let's get back to it. The product was undoubtedly unveiled at the the biggest show in gaming today: the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3.

At the time, most of what they had to show was based on future potential. There were very few gameplay videos, and most of their montages were full of movie clips and technical demonstrations. They also had some prototype USB hardware accessories on display. The most important ones were the keyboard, the camera, and the GPS device.

The Keyboard:

Now, many may not consider the lack of a keyboard a failure. Of course, those that use Sony's "Dial-a-Key" solution often would welcome the feature with open arms. It's not a deal breaker by any means but can be very frustrating at times: most often, when trying to access a W-Fi hotspot that requires login. Some of these hotspots require that you enter the username and password within a certain amount of time or the page automatically reloads, making it virtually impossible to access via the PSP. It's unlikely that a physical keyboard will come built into the PSP2, and is even questionable whether or not it will come as a hardware accessory. In my opinion, the only way we'll probably ever see a keyboard on this handheld is if the next iteration comes with a touch screen.

The Camera:

If you are from Japan or the PAL territories, you may be asking why the camera is a failure. But, that is because you actually have the device available for purchase. Even though there have been many false promises, the USB camera has yet to hit the market stateside. In all actuality, it probably never will. Granted, many Americans already have cell phones with built in cameras that rival the PSP's camera in specs, but there are also many that don't. On top of that, cell phones don't have the Go!Edit software. The camera was also supposed to introduce a video messaging service, but that also failed to come to fruition. I myself imported a camera from Japan as well as the complimentary software from Europe. Although I was a bit disappointed at the camera's overall specs, it did have some unique features. It had great potential, but seemed that Sony was more focused on other things with no plans on improving the specs or releasing it in other regions. There is a possibility that the PSP2 will have a built in camera, but don't expect much in the part of USB accessories. Sony has already abandoned a built-in USB port on the PSPGo and will probably stick with their proprietary input jack on the next PSP as well.

The GPS:

Probably one of my biggest gripes is the absence of this accessory in the US. It is another piece of hardware that is available in other regions, and it even has a decent software suite to go with it. Go!Explore, along with the GPS unit, turns your PSP into a portable navigation device. I don't understand what SCEA is thinking. Maybe they wanted to first monitor other regions sales trends before jumping into the accessory market in the US, or maybe they already had studies that showed sales figures would be minimal at best. There has been no definitive reason given for the lack of support in our territory. I would love the attachment, as would most of my friends that own a PSP, but again the American region gets no love.

While the lack of accessories is most frustrating, it is not the only place where the PSP has failed. Below are some of areas that could have been better executed.

The Piracy:

While there are still a large amount of developers that support the device with mostly ports of multiplatform games, you have to wonder how many shy away because of the rampant piracy that is available. Sony just recently announced a new process for fighting pirates. Games will start to ship with voucher codes that must be entered via PSN in order to play the game online. The newest Socom game will be the first to try this method out. Here is the statement from Sony: “Piracy continues to be an issue of concern for the PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform. We will continue to explore this as an opportunity for the platform going forward.” It's not a bad idea, but it doesn't really attack the the problem as a whole. It merely makes it harder for pirates to play games online. The PS3 has remarkably been able to elude hackers from finding exploits that would allow piracy. Whether or not some of those methods will be transferable to a PSP2 is uncertain, but something needs to be done in order to improve sales.

The UMD:

It was a valiant effort at trying to introduce a new format, but most people saw the fate of this "Universal Media Disc" before it was ever launched. I'm not quite sure why they chose a disc rather than a cartridge, but it will be interesting to see what type of physical medium they are going to try and implement with their next generation portable. I have never really had to many problems with UMD casing, but they are not the most durable when it comes to protecting portable media (especially a disc). It's obvious that Sony will continue to push the PSN store and digital content, but if they want to remain a viable competitor in the portable gaming market they will have to offer a physical alternative.

PS3 Interaction:

This one could probably be more directed towards developers but Sony could have also pushed the feature a little more. They first showed the feature at E3 (I believe) with the game Formula One. The PSP was being used as a rear view mirror for the driver. It was also rumored that you would be able to control the MKII in MGS. While there is some interaction, it is usually very minimal and scarcely seen. If there is a game that is on both the PS3 and PSP, you could sync your game stats or unlock certain items on either platform, but that's about as far as it goes. Remote Play is also a great interaction feature, but it is primarily only good for music and videos (not games).

Don't get me wrong, this isn't an article trying to purvey the PSP as a complete failure. I am merely highlighting features and accessories that have not been delivered as well as they could have been. Hopefully, Sony has learned from their first attempt in the portable department and will improve their market share by doing a better job next generation. I have high hopes for PSP2, but because a good amount of my prior hopes for the PSP were crushed, I remain more reluctant than I did initially. Personally, I own a 1000 and a 3000 hardware version of the console along with a plethora of games and movies. I use it almost daily and can't imagine traveling without it. This great device offers lots of uses, but the potential is far from realized.

What are your biggest frustrations with the PlayStation Portable and how do you feel about those concerns being remedied next-gen?


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2 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:41 am

Nice Compilation Wink

I also hate the Keyboard, it takes ages to type a sentence with this.

The UMD was made to be a big Success and become a universal Disk for everything, but it was a FLOP.


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3 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:59 am

x_HaXeR_x

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Yeah i hate the keyboard too Mad

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4 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:37 am

sunsucker

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the camera Suspect

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5 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:41 am

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all of them

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6 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:45 am

Gamerboy

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i hate the keyboard too


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7 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:38 pm

x_HaXeR_x

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Stardust wrote:all of them

lol

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8 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:06 pm

NaTeFrEsH

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nice tread.

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9 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:48 pm

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Biggest failure? Enduring the fact that I should've bought a PS2.

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10 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:09 am

Swagg3r wrote:Biggest failure? Enduring the fact that I should've bought a PS2.

You think a PS2 is better than the PSP? Eek


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11 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:29 pm

Bug Zappa

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the gameboy colour is much better


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12 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:38 am

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the camera is stupid

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13 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:39 am

Bug Zappa

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my dad bought it for me Confused


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14 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:40 am

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does it work ?


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15 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:41 am

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yeah


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16 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:01 am

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then its not stupid, i dont need it (handycam)


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17 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:36 am

Same...i have a Digi Cam so...a PSP Cam is pretty much the same as a Handy Cam :P


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18 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:26 pm

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Battle Star wrote:
Swagg3r wrote:Biggest failure? Enduring the fact that I should've bought a PS2.

You think a PS2 is better than the PSP? Eek
Everyone has an opinion. The only things that the PSP can beat with the PS2 is how easy we can get games, easy copy and paste cheats or hacking and easy to hack.

Ps2 can beat the shit outta the PSP with graphics, gameplay and less freezing with codes.

Its my opinion and I have my rights to state mine's.

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19 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:06 am

But the psp has way more Features (Internet Browser, Skype, Videos, Music, Pictures...)


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20 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:49 pm

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Like I can't do that on the laptop I'm using now. The point of video games is to make people lazy at home or what not. When I go out, I wanna do stuff. One of the few reasons I still have it right now is that its easy to hack/mod it/whatever. Sure it has some awesome Sony-exclusive games that I really like(Just MGS games, Actually). And PSN or XBL can be done on the PS3 or Xbox360 and the most of the games support online play with people from other countries(Just a few PSP games have Infrastructure).

In then end, sure Portable consoles, in general, are fun and has great games but its kinda boring especially since you need to have 2 PSPs just to play multiplayer and online support is kinda dry and some features are kinda useless to begin with(What would you pick, a camera OR Backward compability for the NDS? I would pick the second option since my GBA is broken).

Home Consoles>>>>Portable Consoles

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21 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:32 pm

x_HaXeR_x

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Yes the Multiplayer thing is bad

with a ps2 you can just use another controller Big Grin

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22 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Wed May 19, 2010 6:43 am

Garland

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I have the camera! the quality isn't that good.. you can't really shot a video during the night it would be too dark for the camera.. sad

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23 Re: Sony's biggest PSP failures. on Wed May 19, 2010 8:26 am

Garland wrote:I have the camera! the quality isn't that good.. you can't really shot a video during the night it would be too dark for the camera.. sad

Like a bad mobile cam i guess Neutral


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