back to article The PSP: what's its future?

Rumours have emerged that suggest Sony could be working on a new PSP that combines gaming with the qualities of an iPod and iPhone. Could these be true? Let’s examine the evidence… umd_image UMD: a doomed format? One of the PSP’s major stumbling blocks has always been its UMD format. Gamers may be willing to watch films on …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I liked mine, but....

    I used to own a PSP-1000, but have since ditched it for a DS-Lite. My wish list for a PSP-3000 would be:

    1. DS-Lite style case with the screen taking up the entire top half and all the controls in the bottom (no dual screen required).

    2. Ditch the UMD for flash cards.

    3. Stick a much bigger battery in it.

    I found that my PSP was just too inconvenient to use on the move, my left thumb was in agony after about 30 minutes of playing and that UMD games just take too long to load.

    Apart from that I loved it :)

  2. Richard Cottrill

    PSP limp

    I think we can all agree the PSP format is limping along (as much as anyone who puts on in their trouser pocket). There's a few reasons why:

    - it's big and heavy. For what it offers, it's a brick.

    - constrained input options. The lack of any of a touch screen, keyboard, microphone, or camera means it's very strictly a gaming device. It had better be an AWESOME gaming device.

    - it's not an awesome gaming device. Simply, it isn't that awesome. The Nintendo DS is at least as capable of carrying a game, and has lots of innovative games to prove the point.

    - The UMD. It's fragile, and slow, and basically awful. What's to like? The biggest benefit of cracking the firmware on my PSP is carrying 4-5 games on a MemoryStick and removing UMDs from my life entirely.

    So fix these issues, and we're done. I think it would be a lot like an iPhone 3G, with some extra buttons. No exactly rocket science, eh?

    Mine's the one with an odd bulge on the left; smelling faintly of sea salt. What?

  3. Azz

    Mobile Online Gaming Platform !

    Add 3g / hsdpa

    Add voice comms (ventrilo for example, so it's game independent)

    Port your main ps3 titles to psp - it's about game play not just gfx and allow them to play on servers hosting both ps3 and psp in same game

    maybe allow customer to by the rights to one copy of the game and allow it to be used on both platforms or subsidised

    What about an mmorpg (everquest!), maybe even port wow (yeah right) Then people might be able to raid on the move :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It only seems to be James Sherwood that thinks the PSP is troubled. All the other data, even outside of Japan shows it's selling well. Sure not DS-well, but still very well.

    I mean seriously, if you consider 39million PSP's sold a flop, that what do you call the XBox360 james, it's it's 18million???

    I also seem to recall unlike the Xbox360, the PSP (and PS2) are very profitable for Sony...

  5. Andrew Heffron

    PSP the Next

    How about some good games specifically designed for the system? I couldn't care less about phone or music functionality. Wireless sync with the PS3 would be cool. Eliminate the PC from the download equation.

    As for movies, Sony should offer a deal: buy the movie on Blu-Ray, get the UMD for free. Otherwise, the UMD should cost about no more than 10 dollars.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem is games

    The real problem with psp is the games... most of it is crap. What was the last big release for the psp, crisis core? doesn't seem too popular 'round here. I know I'm still waiting (in vain, I know) for GT mobile.

    The problem is not format but content (for films as well as games, there are very few good films on umd). I think ps3 and other 3rd gen consoles pushed portable gaming to the side a bit 'cause lets face it portable is just not as good. Content for Nintendo DS seems just as bad... the last release I remember is an animated cookbook (exciting-_-)

  7. James

    Open it up

    The abilty to run homebrew, even if sony had to vet it first (if only to check it for virus/malware/stabilty) would be nice.

    A second thumbstick would be mean that FPS should finally work on it but that might be a bit awkward on something that small (imagine trying to strafe, turn and shoot at the same time).

    Memory sticks being cheaper would be good.

    Touch Screen? Might take it into DS territory but there's things like the learning french program that I would like.

    More downloadable games.

  8. Tilman Bregler
    Thumb Down

    Talk about clutching its straws...

    I had a fart yesterday that smelled of camembert. Does that mean I had grilled camembert the night before? Ok, so I did, but that's beside the point.

  9. Chris Matchett

    It's the games

    As said here and many other places many other times. Japan is getting better software while the other territories is getting balls. PSP needs ore original games and less PS1 PS2 conversions.

    My PSP100 is still humming along fine. Fits in my bag, battery copes well and the controls are fine. Decent graphics too when it's not some upscaled conversion of an older system's game.

  10. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    What a nonsense article

    The PSP is selling bucketloads, and not just in Japan(where its obliterating everything else *combined* some weeks).

    People are cottoning onto the fact that its a fine media player too, and its flying out the door now that summer is here.

    Game sales are another story, and its ALL because of piracy.

    However its ridiculous to think that Sony would risk tampering to such an extent when the console is doing better than its ever done.

  11. James Pickett (Jp)

    I'm with Johan

    The PSP is a great gadget, but thinking about it, most of the time I just use the internet radio feature or the PS3 remote access.

    I'm with Johan and am still hoping eventually GT Mobile will be released!

  12. Michael Habel
    Dead Vulture

    It's the Analog Nub STUPID!!!

    IMHO, the single biggest reason why the PSP is such a flop has to be that Analog Nub! Which Brain over there thought that placeing it under the D-Pad, as say opposed to the ~RIGHT SIDE!!~ was a superbly, terrifically great idea anyway?!?

    I take it this Boffin hasn't heard of FPS (i.e. Egoshooters), has he?

    Since most of the non-RPG based Games tend to be either FPS or TPS, such Games...

    Well quite franky suck.

    P.s. the Web-Browser (well on the PSP-1000 atleast), also quite frankly sucks too!!!

    *Dead Bird to match the dead/dying PSP System...

  13. Mustang


    They need to redesign the psp from scratch. Make it smaller, with a touchscreen, better battery and cell phone capabilities while keeping compatibility with psp games. They also need to remove the burden of UMD and have some kind of download service for backwards compatibility and digital distribution, preferably making psp2 game digital distributed only.

  14. JeffyPooh
    Paris Hilton

    RSS 4 PSP

    I use my PSP mostly for audio podcasts. It automatically downloads a selection (RSS) every night via WiFi, and when I have time I just plug in the earphones and listen. It's pretty sweet in this application; if it did nothing else it'd be worth every penny. But it does so much more too.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UMD-less PSP unlikely

    They can't drop UMD without releasing the entire PSP back catalogue on the PSN store, which has DRM and is region locked (Japan has the original MGS available on their store). So you either need a PS3 or install Sony DRM on your Windows desktop to download and transfer content from the store.

    Officially supported homebrew might work under a runtime to protect the PSP. Something like LUA player, it would also need some serialization features for loading/saving data so the file system can be protected.

  16. alphaxion

    the psp

    Little note, the psp only recently began selling in any sort of volume in japan because of 1 game - monster hunter 3rd gen. and has since slowed down enough to be overtaken by the wii once again.

    I scribbled a badly worded article a while ago about the psp and why it is struggling here

    It's blatantly obvious as to why it struggled - software.

    There's nothing that explores it as a platform, instead it's port after port. The homebrew scene has been a lot better but still struggles.

    How about Sony opens up the PSN to the psp and allows people to make their own games and offer them for download as well as get some proper psp games and not dull ps1/ps2 ports and movie tie-ins.

    @andrew actually sony have taken this on board and are offering the ability to hook up a psp to the ps3 and transfer a copy of a movie from your original blu ray disc to your psp, enough to kill umd movies dead.

  17. Si Lo

    @PSP Limp

    Isn't the PSP limp what you get when you spend more than an hour walking with one in your trouser?

    Fractured femur coming!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Those screens from China have been doing the rounds on the PSP sites for the last week and most people agree they most likely fakes or possible, but never released mock-ups demos.

    The PSP is a fantastic little device, but only comes into it's own when it's firmware is broken out and a Dark Alex CFW is installed, you can run homebrew on it. Retro emulators, media players, PDF readers, you can use it control TV+videos via the IR port, hell there is even a basic office suite for it!

  19. Drak
    Jobs Horns

    the iPhone is waking up the competition

    The potential to combine a mobile game console, cellphone, PDA, internet browser and music/movie media player has finally been realized with the iPhone. Now everyone is trying to play catch up. The Nokia N810 already has the hardware to handle everything the iPhone can with its more powerful 400mhz processor, but Nokia is just asleep at the wheel and not taking advantage of its ability to run games. What the Nokia N810 needs to kill the iPhone is a cellphone(I cant believe Nokia forgot to include that, it only has bluetooth/wifi access now)and a keyboard integrated into a clamshell form factor. And making it a clamshell would allow it be carried in the pocket a lot easier. Touch screens are just not a solution for data entry or gaming.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Again with the extra controls

    It's not a new console. It will definatly not have extra sticks, or touch screens or anything like that. It will only play PSP games, which will have to work on this as well as the old ones. I suppose theoretically it may have a touch screen which is only used for the MP3/phone aspect of it, but if it does that'll be pointless.

    You get this every time, I remeber loads of people going on about how the PSP 2000 would have 14 analogue yokes and a throttle control.

    Same console, same controls. Wait for the next one.

  21. Jonathan Tate


    I would like to see... PSP2 announced E3 2009 for release in early/mid 2010.

    Mobile Larrabee-based CPU/GPU

    200-dpi multitouch 4-5" screen

    Linux-friendly, Windows for UMPC-friendly

    On-the-fly swap between guest OS and game OS

    Standard Playstation controls with d-pad, 4 face buttons, two analog nubs, four triggers

    PSP emulation

    Internal 32/64/128GB flash memory for OS/games

    SD card slot

    Games available exclusively through digital download

    With multi-touch a physical keyboard isn't /really/ necessary. QWERTY still sucks even with multi-touch, though, so it might have to be a different layout that's easier for the software to correct mistakes with.

    Might need the Playstation controls to be smaller than have been in the past so that the screen is accessible by thumbs.

  22. Tulio Campregher


    all it needs is a XD card slot,not a proprietary UMD/memory stick crap.

  23. Roy

    I love my PSP fat

    ... but then I've hacked mine. It went from being a mediocre gaming platform to a truly fantastic multimedia platform.

    The PSP's biggest problem, as with any such commercial device, (excepting maybe the gp2z), is that DRM fucks up it's usability.

    With the hack, I can have several fully fledged PSP games on a single memory card. Not only does it spare me the hassle of carrying around umd discs, it actually increases battery life.

    Granted, converting video to the PSP format is a hassle, but if you've got the inclination, you can carry loads of whatever is is you want to watch.

    A reinvention, as the article states, should include a webcam, hdspa, microphone, keyboard, and probably a touchscreen as well. The UMD drive just has to go of course. And it should have something akin to ASUS's flashtop bios's. A PSP linux implementation. It should run FF, Skype, MSN (or pidgin). It should become a fully fledged multimedia machine, with unsurpassed gaming possibilities.

    Add that with things like the PSP GPS, a mount option for your bedroom radio, home theatre system or whatever, coupled with it's already impressive PS3 compatability, you have a recipy for success.

    Oh, and SONY, take your clue from the Google Android project, you want to do everything in you power to ALLOW for third party developers. Run with the times, make it open source, or at least allow open source implementation of third party software.

    Hardware is useless without innovative software solutions. It's sad to see that the hacker scene has made the PSP 10 times more useful than it is originally.

  24. Richard

    redesign it more like the iphone or iPod touch

    I've just bought an iPod touch (eBay cheapy) and the new software and app store is excellent! Last year it did not have enough software going for it but now the new applications are great and as yet I've not had to buy anything as I'm still working through the freebies!

    The builtin sensors are excellent and a number of the games make great use of them ... A bit wii like 8-)

    Apple are on to a winner with this new platform. The interface is a joy to use, effortlessly simple, even the touchscreen keyboard (used to write this).

    Sure it needs flash support or a workalike to make the excellent browsing experience complete and I'm sure someone is working on it.

    If people try it then they might actually like what they find .... even for an Apple product!

  25. Mad Hacker

    Better games, move the analog joystick further up

    Better games. Honestly the PSP is a pretty capable system. There aren't very many games out there that are any fun.

    Move the analog joypad up. It's too low. Make most people's thumb hurt. does ANY game use the old-style digital joypad?

    Ditch UMD. Put a 160GB 1.8inch hard drive in it, and let me buy the games through wi fi with my PSP.

    Don't assume users have a PS3. I *do* have a PS3. But I only use my PSP when I am traveling so don't make me have to take it out of my bag when I'm at home.

    Higher resolution screen. The iPod nano has a 204 ppi screen. The PSP is a sad 120 ppi. Give me at least 204 ppi resolution. I'd prefer 1920x1080 or 1920x1200.

    Improve the 3D chipset. It doesn't appear to support any antialiasing. Graphics always look chunky.

    Make the screen brighter, less reflective and glare inducing.

    Triple the batter. No make it quadruple. The PSP is almost always dead when I pull it out of my bad. And that's not from playing that's from sitting. Fully charged, it cannot seem to sit for more than two weeks without completely draining the battery. Sheesh!

    Don't turn it into a phone. I have a phone. My iPhone is a great phone. I don't want an instant messenger client, a video phone device, an IP phone, a web browser...I expect all those from my phone. I want a game system with real controls and dedicated 3D graphics.

    Honestly, just release some good games and I'd buy them. I like my PSP 1000. I just can't find any decent games.

  26. Ben Bradley

    Doomed format?


    So what else should Sony have used instead of UMD for the PSP?

    Cartridges... expensive for large capacities

    DVDs... physical size too large

    8cm DVDs... same size and capacity as UMD, but without protective casing

    Hi-MD discs... could have worked, but too slow for read access and Sony probably would have been criticised for not letting MD die.

    Download service... download games to mem stick. Increased risk of software piracy vs UMD. Takes time. Although I you can now download PSP games from the internet to Memory Stick from the PSN store.

    But if you're in an airport and want to buy a game for a long flight, I don't think many people would be willing to pay airport hotspot prices, then have their PSP caning the battery by downloading a 200MB-1.3GB game over WiFi, where it's not unknown for connections to drop!

    Restricting sales to people with net access at the time the PSP was being developed (2002-2003) would have been a bonkers idea.

    How many people had broadband in 2003? I'd bet the majority of consumers with internet access in 2003 were using dial-up.

    Damn Sony and their proprietory technology.

    How are N64 cartridges selling these days?

    However things have moved on these days and having said all that, a download service is the only method for a future PSP. And installing download kiosks in computer game shops for you to download using USB would be pretty cool.

    Face it, portable games usually come on proprietory discs (apart from the GP32X or whatever it is).

    What I don't get is why there was no way to hook the PSP up to the PS2 and let your PS2 rip a DVD to your PSP. There was no centralised firmware updating going on for the PS2 to add features like that. They should add that to the PS3 firmware, using the power of the Cell processor.

    Just interested to know what the author proposed as an alternative media to be able to purchase games on?

    I use my PSP all the time, mostly for watching video/TV shows I've missed that I transcode (UKNova's a wonderful thing!)

    Plus since I flashed it and installed M33 custom firmwares last year, I've been playing all my old favourite games from old consoles, and using it as a reader to read PDF files on the go.

    Obviously the Nintendo DS can do all that with homebrew as well.

    Touchscreen would be an ok addition to the PSP, but I'd rather have the shoulder buttons split into 2 so that it's easier to control old PS1 games. Always bugs me that when I load up a PS1 game on the PSP.

  27. Andy Bright

    I still like mine

    And there's nothing wrong with the UMD format. It's all down to what you want. I like mine because it does what I want. The new version is light and the movies are cheap, most cost between $5-$10.

    Bottom line is even if you want flash-based movies, in the US and UK you still have to pay for them if you want a legitimate copy. Besides you can do the same thing on the PSP, you just need to buy a decent sized memory card. Whether you copy movies or not is your affair, as is how you reconcile the contradictory laws governing fair use and not circumventing copy protection.

    There's a reason why the PSP costs 1/3rd of the price of an iPod.

    Obviously it has flaws. While the picture and sound quality is better than any comparable device, the screen itself scratches far too easily.

    Being a fingerprint magnet hardly helps, and viewing in bright light or the sun's glare is obviously a problem.

    But that doesn't affect me at all, because I use mine as a travel or if I'm waiting. I don't usually watch movies if I'm outside in the sun, there are 1 or 2 million better things to do on a nice day.

    Also the games leave a lot to be desired, especially considering the UMD holds nearly as much data as a PS1 CD. This is supposedly its equivalent, and the games should show that. I only have 2 that do.

    But I'd much rather have that than the Fisher Price graphics of a Game Boy. If I wanted one of those, I'd get a retro Atari controller for a fraction of the price, which comes with up to a dozen games built in. Paying as much for a gameboy game as you would for a real one, is just a bit of a piss take imo.

  28. Adrian Esdaile

    Nice piece of kit, shame about the software....

    The PSP is a great piece of kit. I've still got my original (fat) one. However I haven't bought a game or film for it for, oh, 2 years now. It is great for watching films on a plane, which I do with a high-capacity memstick and some ripping software. UMDs were OK, but eat the batteries, and why buy a film twice? As for games; I modded the firmware on my PSP about a year ago, so I could play some decent games on it. Not pirated stuff - games I actually own - GT2 to be precise. I have it for the PS1, but I don't have a PS3, so I made my own ISO and use a modded firmware to play it.

    Funny thing is, I wouldn't need to do that if the UMD that shows up in all the marketing pics of the PSP was actually a REAL game - GT-PSP! Even the Reg pic above has it! I bought the PSP specifically to play GT-PSP, touted as a release title as it was... and.... we're now 3? 4? years later, and no GT.

    If there were decent titles released on the PSP I'd still play it, still buy games for it, but there hasn't been an interesting title since Katamari Damacy! Why not Ico or Shadow of the Collosus? These would be brilliant!

    Ah, well, back to Animal Crossing on the DS then...

  29. Anonymous Coward


    I'll be in line to buy it if the following conditions are met:

    - The keyboard (that would provide an advantage in online RPGs, and the web browser)

    - Touch screen (again, primarily for the web browser)

    - True region-free freedom (PSP has region locking mechanisms, but it's optional, and while most companies don't implement it, some do. And oh, UMD movies are, not surprisingly, always region locked). And while we're at it, make it so that one can run homebrew on it as well.

    - Webcam with Microphone (can be done with a single chip)

    - Onboard GPS, WiFi AND Bluetooth with EDR, and HSDPA/GSM (all these can be implemented using just a single chip too) and perhaps CDMA/CDMA2000/EV-DO too. Although make sure that the device can function without a SIM card.

    - Allow Malaysians to buy from the PS Store.

    Until then, I'm perfectly happy with my DS Lite. It may not do much, but it Runs games from all regions, and does what it's meant to do well.

    Mine's the one with the Pink DS Lite in the pocket.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    What is the PSP's future? Three words...

    ...Sega Game Gear.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And you can even use it...

    ...driving a train:

  32. heystoopid


    And it still comes complete with a rootkit , thus they will never learn why it will fail yet again !

  33. Eric Van Haesendonck
    Thumb Up

    UMD is a dead end.

    If UMD made sense for games when the PSP was originaly released it doesn't make any sense now that most people have broadband connections and that flash memory is so cheap. The format never made sense for movies, no one is going to pay for a movie they can only watch on the PSP. PSP is a good gaming platform (a portable PS2), but not much beyond that.

    For the next version they need the following:

    - Movies on disk: find a way for people to legally transfer the movies they own on DVD and Blu-ray at the push of a button, either through the PS3 or the user PC. Selling PSP-only movies (via downloads or UMD) is guaranteed to fail unless they are much cheaper than the DVD version (like $5 each).

    - Movies download: if you buy a movie download from Sony online store you should be able to download it to the PSP, view it in HD on your PS3 and your PC / Mac / Linux box and be able to burn it to DVD (in SD). If Sony wants to use DRM it should be totally transparent to the user, as should any transcoding. Until then it won't really take off.

    - Games: Drop the UMD, it's too bulky. For existing users create a website that can be accessed from the old PSP to allow users to register their UMD games and then download them for free on the new PSP. A Clip-on UMD drive for the new PSP could also be an option (would allow you to transfer your game to the new PSP internal memory).

    - If they want the machine to work well as a GPS / Web browser / skype phone etc... a touchscreen is pretty much mandatory.

    The main problem with the PSP as a multimedia platform is that Sony didn't find a DRM scheme that is convenient and compatible enough to appeal to the general public. People are not fools, most of them won't buy content they can only play on a limited range of machines.

  34. teatime

    Shame Sony are so lame...

    Maybe Sony will one day understand their consumers instead of trying to fleece them with crappy bolt ons:

    Add on Camera - overpriced and underspecced, why can't they enable the video conferencing in Skype now - oh wait they want to fleece us again later for that, along with a do doubt newer higher specced one later...

    UMD movies - Seriously Sony completely misunderstood they way things were going on that one, fleecing people again for lower quality movies when everyonbe is downloading seems plain dumb. The fact that they tried is insulting.

    No homebrew support - They seem to half embrace user content but then shut the door, just look at the success of Valve/ID as software companies who embraced user content and were successful and respected for it.

    Lack of games - I own 5 PSP games, I own 40 DS games, doesn't Sony want my money - oh wait they do but from lame arse incremental churn products (see CAM/UMD), well you ain't having it...

    Lame arse firmware upgrades - seriously wtf are you doing, where is DivX (PS3 has it) or other media format support, where are the cool/useful firmware upgrades (what version are we on now???) - oh wait again we have to wait for some lame arse churn release that will only 'compliment' other Sony products, well I don't want a PS3 and I aint buying one to enable new functionality in PSP...

    Seriously does Sony think consumers are dumb or something, we don;t like the way you operate in public, why not play nice and give your consumers a break by acting a bit more honest and open rather than trying to play us!!!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    About the PSP phone

    It is a fact that the original PSP design included a phone. There were clear indications on the early docs, which I saw in Japan in 2003. The audio processor is a pseudo-FPGA design (MAC blocks can be wired together in arbitrary configs) and can easily handle GSM. All they need to add is the "RF unit" from the original design.

    Of course, they removed it. Possibly after seeing that, with nGage, people don't want to hold a brick to their ear to make a call.

    Whether they will put it back is an open question. It seems fairly pointless since it's still a brick. Even iPhone is rubbish-looking as a phone, but at least it's on the edge of acceptability. With PSP they'd need to either remove all the controls, reduce the screen size, or add Bluetooth and make it hands-free only. None of those options is particularly appealing.

    The PSP has always been a stupid product. It had a wow factor in 2003 ("better GPU than PS2 on a portable? woot!") but that quickly drained when they announced the "UMD movies" idea. I remember emailing the president of SCEE and advising him that no-one was ever going to buy UMD movies and that he should do iTunes for DVDs for the PSP, but he didn't reply (except once, when he accidentally sent me a funny video intended for someone else. Ah, corporations.) Nice to read that I've been proven correct on that one.

    Sony have always struggled to find a niche for it. The battery life is too short, the LCD is too slow, and the bloody thing won't charge over USB. That's just its obvious technical problems. As for games, as has been said here, what games? There has been nothing compelling since the GTA games, and even those weren't up to much, merely filling the gap between San Andreas and GTA IV.

    They may have 40m customers, but how many of those are happy customers?

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The problem with PSP.

    Is the piracy, that's whats killed it. Developers are mostly unprepared to invest megabucks on the system, knowing that a vast majority of PSP's are cracked, and the ISO's will appear on torrent sites within hours of release.

    So, anyone running cracked firmware, wondering why there is a lack of great games, because you fucked it up for everyone...

    Next time, get a job, and buy the fucking game...

  37. Geoff Spick

    The future is, um, Rayman

    I've spent days playing the classic PSOne game, downloaded from the store for £3.49. bargain and great fun. I guess all PSP2 (the one with dual-sticks and a HD screen) games will be digital-only to counter the piracy aspect.

  38. Rob

    I love my psp but...

    The big problem is games. What with Ready At Dawn (God of war) handing their devkits back to Sony and others not bothering to produce decent games, there's no life in the machine. The Playstation Store is full of shit. Only a few demos and some games to buy but most of it is rubbish videos and wallpapers.

    Online gaming could have really taken off if the developers let it. I ran a website which had a league so that people could arrange matches and report results, with a monthly league winner etc. It was all fine in theory but then the producers (EA being the biggest scumsucker here) decided that different territories shouldn't be allowed to play against each other. ON THE INTERNET - HELLO?

    I still believe the PSP is a great machine and has some truely great games in it's library, but the future is fairly bleak. I think they should drop the UMD and bring the games out on small memorysticks that can be copied to the local memory stick (like an 'install'). This will also push downloadable games etc. Echochrome is available in the US as a downloadable game, but Sony Europe wanted hardcopies on UMD. Hence I decided not to buy it. It's so much easier to purchase downloads these days than faff about with UMDs.

    My last thought - it's rumoured that Ready At Dawn handed back their devkits because they've been given PSP2 devkits. They said on their website the ubiquitous "Wait till you see what we come up with next!". Given what they produced for the PSP I'm hoping they'll have some decent PSP2 launch titles ready...

  39. jai

    i think it's alright

    i like my PSP and the games on it i've throughly enjoyed playing

    but that said, i haven't switched it on in months

    it's still better'n a DS though - just because i prefer the type of games that you get on a psp than those that seem to come out on the ds (although the new GTA game means i'm going to have to buy myself a DS before xmas)

    what the psp really needs is a 2nd analog stick, better integration with the ps3 and yeah, flash memory instead of UMD would be a plan i guess

    but i don't think it's half as bad as people make out

  40. Dirk Vandenheuvel
    Thumb Down

    Just let it die

    It has no real future anyway.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    someone mentioned mmorpg?

    hmmm, how many players are hooked into the wow universe? 9? 10? 12million? and the graphics are playable on "older" machines too.

    so something that can run wow/everquest on the move. PSP like, but with 8/16gig internal storeage, a decent 3G hookup/provider. i was kinda thinking a phone like the N95, but who ever can provide something like that, be it sony, nokia, or some unknown. gets my money, and my DS may finally have a rest.

    or even just a mini subnote book PC with decent 3D chippery, 3G onboard, mic, webcam, custom made linux? doesn't have to be M8800GTX, how about a rehash of a 6800mobile on current technology. wow doesn't ask alot.

  42. Mark

    start from scratch

    I bought a PSP just after launch but it didn't take long for it to become nothing more than a media player i occasionally played locoroco on

    Sony need to start from scratch for the PSP, especially in terms of controls, i get cramp in my thumb just thinking about the nub :/

  43. Mark H
    Thumb Up

    There are good games available

    There are lots of highly rated games available for the PSP - some that I have personally enjoyed include:

    GTA Liberty City Stories

    GTA Vice City Stories

    OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

    God of War: Chains of Olympus

    Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

    Burnout: Legends


    Virtua Tennis World Tour

    WipEout Pure

    Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops


    Killzone: Liberation

    many of which would not be achievable on the DS.

    New releases are rather thin on the ground though - perhaps games developers are too busy working on titles for the PSP2?

  44. Stefan

    Flash instead of UMD.

    Flash, in the form of game cartridges, seems the logical step to me. 1 or 2GB flash modules are not expensive. I'm quite sure Sony could bring enough bargaining power to the market to make this a workable idea.

    I'm sure most games wouldn't even need 1GB of storage. Judging from a very few that I've seen, 256MB would probably suffice.

  45. b

    hmmz, that could work!

    like it...move the PSP sideways and take on the UMPC's..

    i personally still prefer the "baby laptop" segment..for uber mobile computin', check the collection!:



    more stuff and nonsense:

  46. Aetyr

    Not a great standalone games console...

    ...but I love my PSP completely for what it can do by proxy.

    Not only can I use it to pop into my PS3 over the intarweb to start up new PS Store downloads, check messages and watch whatever videos I have stored on the 60GB hard drive, but I can even play Lair on it if the disc is in the PS3, and come November I'll be able to control PlayTV over it to watch live/prerecorded TV and set my PS3 to record that episode of Heroes I forgot about when I left the house.

    All sounds wonderful, right? Except you can only do that if you happen to own a PS3, and are in one of those places that provides a wireless hotspot that your PSP can actually connect to. Plus none of those are really features of a good games console (except the 'playing Lair' part and, at a stretch, telling my PS3 to download some new games or demos). It seems Sony are suffering a similar fate on both their current consoles: great pieces of kit, with all sorts of nifty functions, but with major problems building up enough of a games catalogue to make it worth the purchase.

    Not to mention the fact that despite being on firmware version 4, the damn thing has very few defining new functions compared to earlier versions - why oh why can't you use the PSP to directly log on to your PSN username and check your messages/manage your friends list/download PSP demos from the PS Store, like you can on the PS3?

    All of that is what they need to work on before they bother redesigning the hardware with even more nifty features but still the same old lack of games to support them and increasingly stale firmware.

  47. JP Barringer

    PSP + Mylo + Walkman

    Not that difficult, they clearly have the technology and a lot of pre-existing development work. They need to combine these efforts and reduce fragmentation in their product portfolio.

    Flash and downloadable games are the only way to go today. They take up less space, use less power, and aren't expensive enough to be a deal breaker. We live in an age of instant gratification and Sony can provide, if they get their act together.

    As a remote, the PSP should be able to control other Sony AV products and VAIO computers. This would work via the Bravia internet link or the PS3 if they ever updated it's HDMI firmware. Synergy is the name of the game here and the more they can tie products together the better. How about a PSP app for the second life contender, Home. While they are at it, they should create a PC app (free with any VAIO) for Home.

    I personally believe that what Sony needs most is not an iPod killer, but an iTunes killer: Apple has been very successful with its Trojan Horse strategy, handing out well designed software for free and leveraging it into an entire product line. Sony's got the CE products but not the software.

    The PSP should also be able to do everything that the PS3 dualshock controller can: Nintendo was very sucessful using the GBA as a secondary screen in games, and I've heard rumors of a PSP being usable as a rearview mirror in GTA. This only scratches the surface of what is possible, but the wow factor would be significant, and the PSP needs all the attention it can get.

  48. Bruce Jackson

    Next PSP

    I love my PSP. Everyone I show it to is amazed that graphics this good can be on a hanheld game console.

    There is room for imporvement though.

    I'd ditch the UMD format. I've yet to purchase a single movie on UMD. I rip them from DVDs I already own and upload them to my memory stick. Games come on UMD but they could just as easily come on a memory stick.

    Speaking of memory sticks, Sony should ditch their memory stick duo pro format. Why not just use SD cards? I already have a bunch of these for my cameras and PDAs but I need to buy yet more flash for my PSP.

    Lastly, they should support the homebrew community. I'd love to be able to write my own programs for my PSP but Sony makes it difficult. The PSP is more powerful than most of the computers I've owned so why can't I use it like a computer instead of just a game console?

    It needs a bit more memory. It is handy for web surfing but many sites run it out of memory. As cheap as memory is these days there is no reason to be so stingy.

  49. Alex


    Sheesh... It's still one of the best portable gaming solutions around.

    Agreed, there is room for improvement, but there are FAR too many Sony Haters on here to do it justice.

    Personally, it's a great portable gaming solution for exactly what I require. It's still got the best screen out of all of them. And what's all this about the analogue nub??? It's fine, and I have huge meat hooks for hands and can honestly not compain. Hold it properly and start enjoyig it.

    Games.. GAMES??!?! What>?!!!!! Are you nuts?? There are STACKS of awesome games for the PSP...!!

    It might be considered 2nd best agains the DS, but I don't care. For me, it's an Adult portable gaming package that delivers.. and MORE!

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Big Flippin Deal

    What's so important about this picture of half of a shell? It's probably fake anyway.

    Mine's the one with the Atari Lynx in the pocket.

  51. Andy Bright

    New PSP

    Is significantly better when it comes to battery use, and that includes using the UMD drive.

    As for UMD being dead, a bad idea or whatever, it's no worse than any of the solutions people have mentioned. You pay twice for a movie if you buy what you already have from iTunes, Sony or whatever other online store, so why the fuss about that? The fact is the picture quality is far better than anything comparable, and to pay a few quid for a 2nd copy of a movie is cheaper than renting a DVD and burning it.

    Because the UMD format is 'dead' the price of these movies is a pittance. You have to be pretty cheap to say you can't afford around 5 quid.

    Would it be better if it was flash memory based? Obviously, and if there was a piece of software that could convert DVD to MP4 (this applies to iPod, phones and the PSP) flawlessly, I'd be all for it.

    Fact is even the programs you pay for can't copy without frame rate issues or voice / picture syncing problems. Most can't even copy a movie as a movie, but instead split into parts for every .vob on a DVD.

    And downloading brings us back to paying for a movie twice or theft. Yes it is still theft if you download a pirated movie, even if you own it on DVD already, because the law says so. Laws don't have to make sense or be fair. You'll find sympathy in very short if you take that line in court, try saying 'err snot fair' or 'the law is stoopid' and see what happens. Most people that do end up with a contempt charge thrown in for good measure.

    No, the PSP is a flawed masterpiece in my view. It's a magnificent entertainment device for travel, as long as it isn't too sunny and you have a couple spare batteries and a dozen or so UMDs.

    Flash memory IS cheap, no question. Unfortunately memory sticks aren't. I use an 8gbyte stick, holds 8 high quality movies (the latest firmware supports the PSPs full resolution from memory stick now that Sony have accepted the UMD is done) - and cost twice as much as it would if I'd bought 8 UMDs. $80 vs $40.. not much reason to buy the flash memory if you ask me, and for all that I can erase and copy on new movies, that isn't something I can do while traveling because I don't want a laptop weighing me down. If I had a laptop, WTF would I need a PSP for.

  52. A Smithe

    Open it more

    The problem with nintendo and sony is their products are just too locked down.

    I am looking forward to the Pandora (from the makers of the GP2X).

    Looks pretty slinky.

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