Backstage: Sony’s PlayStation Portable, including iPod/PSP photos | iLounge Backstage

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Backstage: Sony’s PlayStation Portable, including iPod/PSP photos

picWe skipped covering Nintendo’s DS, and the release of Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) only confirms the wisdom of that decision. iLounge readers may recall that we were highly skeptical about the PSP some months ago, and we still think it’s a major stretch to bill it as an iPod competitor. It’s way larger/not really pocketable, can’t store music on its own (and uses either UMD media or expensive Sony Memory Stick Duos for storage), and is not going to replace the need for portable music jukeboxes.

But ever since Sony abruptly decided to reverse its internal decision on PSP pricing (originally $330, goes the story, flipped to $200 when Nintendo announced the DS at $150), we’ve been thinking that Sony is going to wipe the floor with the Nintendo DS unless something highly dramatic happens soon on the DS’s price. Sure, the first batch of PSPs has shipped with all sorts of random defects (ranging from dead pixeled screens to cock-eyed disc drives, dust and hairs inside the casing, etc.), but once you’re playing a game on one, you’re willing to forgive just about anything. We’ll have plenty more to say on the PSP in the days to come, but for now, enjoy our new photo gallery.

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Comments

1

Nintendo-hater, eh?

Posted by nutella825g on December 15, 2004 at 8:55 PM (CST)

2

No, realist. I’ve owned every Nintendo console since the NES, including the Virtual Boy, and keep a large collection of the company’s games. But thanks for playing.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 16, 2004 at 12:34 AM (CST)

3

So why have you chosen to purchase a PSP over a DS? When you buy a DS you know what you are getting. With a PSP there could be a Vol 2 revision right around the corner.

Posted by iPodphreak in UK on December 16, 2004 at 11:10 AM (CST)

4

do you know when they will ship?

Posted by John Tylko, III in Lincoln, MA on December 16, 2004 at 2:14 PM (CST)

5

That’s sort of akin to asking why purchase an iPod when there may be a new iPod coming out in the future. The answer is, the current PSP does a surprisingly excellent job, and if they improve its battery life, price point, durability, etc, that’s fantastic, but it’s a good enough product out of the gate to consider buying today - especially given that there is some legitimately excellent software already available.

I don’t feel that way about the DS, which has a comparatively disappointing software library and made some very foolish choices in terms of included functionality. If I felt that way before, I feel three times as certain now that I have a PSP in hand.

Re: Ship date, no confirmation for USA. Sony has said before March 31, end of their fiscal year, but many people remain skeptical.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 16, 2004 at 3:21 PM (CST)

6

The problem with the PSP is that for expansive 3D games like Rider Racers, and I am sure Gran Turismo among others, the PSP only gets like 1.5 hours of battery life. IMO this is far too little for a handheld, and if people remember it is somewhat similar to the Sega GameGear vs. Nintendo GameBoy. GameGear had way better graphics and functionality, but had terrible battery life, while the GameBoy had great battery life and sub-par graphics, but the GameBoy still won that war in a landslide. I still think Nintendo will come out on top this round, they are not going to let their handheld monopoly disppear so easily.

Posted by Jon in Seattle, WA on December 16, 2004 at 6:58 PM (CST)

7

can you post some images of the game play?

Posted by John Tylko, III in Lincoln, MA on December 17, 2004 at 1:46 PM (CST)

8

Turns out that the “1.5 hours of battery life” number is inaccurate under typical conditions. I’m getting 4 with Ridge Racers, give or take an hour. The “4-6 hours of gameplay” estimate is actually fair unless you’re using Wi-fi.

I know all of the GameBoy/GameGear/Nomad/Lynx/TurboExpress/WonderSwan/etc etc arguments, and I was strongly on Nintendo’s side of that given historical evidence. But believe me when I tell you, the equation is substantially different between the DS and PSP. Nintendo made some very bad choices in this generation, and unless they have a Pokemon title coming out real, real soon for DS, Sony is about to make a lot of DS owners regret their purchases.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 18, 2004 at 12:19 PM (CST)

9

the head phone and remote look very familer to me look like a copy-cat

Posted by BIGP in Texas on December 27, 2004 at 1:13 AM (CST)

10

what do yal think

Posted by BIGP in Texas on December 27, 2004 at 1:16 AM (CST)

11

Have you played Sawaru Made in Wario yet? No? didn’t think so. Games like this show Nintendo’s idea behind the DS, new methods of control,  quick play on the move (are you going to get into a game of Ridge Racer on the bus/Tube only to have to stop, or have a few rounds on Wario close the DS so it sleeps, open it and carry on where you left off). It really is *fun*. I’ve yet to find a PS2 game that offers anywhere near the enjoyment I’ve had playing this title.

If you’d paid any attention to the DS then you wouldn’t be so one sided in your Jugement. The PSP is probably a nice piece of kit but what’s innovative about it?

Are Sony doing themselves rushing it out as quickly as they can? Loads of defects, hastey price drop which must be costing them loads - how many years before they make a profit on the console, Nintendo makes a profit on the DS now not a loss.

I’ll probably buy myself a PSP for game anyway, but I really don’t see much use, for me, as a video player or an mp3 player, I’ll use my dedicated kit for that.

Posted by struddie on January 8, 2005 at 12:25 PM (CST)

12

Well the way Sony plans to make profit from the PSP is with the games, they are taking a huge risk with the PSP such as microsoft did with the xbox. They can make just as much profit on the games because UMDs are so cheap to make.

Posted by iJon in Houston, Texas on January 9, 2005 at 11:40 PM (CST)

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