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PSP2: Most Wanted Features

Brendan Griffiths
Features, Hardware, PSP, PSP Go, PSP2, Sony
PSP2: Most Wanted Features

Sony hasn’t given us any real indication that a second PSP is on the way anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean the net hasn’t stopped trying to unearth any details via rumours, scrupulous checking of tech trademark registrations or the CVs of every tech developer on LinkedIn every two minutes. But what would we actually want from a PSP2? Here’s a list compiled from my own thoughts and general grumbles from fellow gamers.

*All the images for this article are from fan made/ unofficial concept PSP designs and don’t reflect anything officially linked with Sony. But Sony, if you’re reading this, I’d eat my own face to get a handheld that looks as good as the one above.

Second analogue stick

Seriously, if there’s only one stick again, you can just forget it. Using the face buttons to control aiming in first-person shooters has been a clumsy nightmare from the early days of Coded Arms right up to Call of Duty. Platformers suffer too, with camera rotations and resets being left to the shoulder buttons. Yes, God of War: Chains of Olympus survived without it, but that series has mastered the fixed-angle camera setup. If Sony want to prove they listen to feedback (and would like to make a shitload of money) this should be a no-brainer. I don’t want to hear any crap about the DS/3DS managing fine without a pair either.

Better analogue stick(s)

They need to be slightly bigger and stick out a bit more from the console. It would also be more comfortable if they were concave, which would stop thumbs sliding off them constantly during racing games. If it’s like sliding a 5p coin around a glass table again we won’t be happy.

PSP2: Most Wanted Features

Mobile phone / Better web functions

The iPhone is undoubtedly muscling in on the handheld gaming market, so perhaps it’s time to take the fight to their doorstep? The size of Sony’s new device will be a key factor here as nobody wants a taco sized object next to their face. Remember the epic fail that was the N-Gage?

If phone capabilities are out then we’d at least expect Wi-Fi internet again, with lots of apps and downloads, but not in the same loony pricing scheme as full PSP titles on PSN. The old PSP had a good stab at online with its browser; make it a little bit more user-friendly and speed it up for sites like Facebook and YouTube and it’d be a success. Oh and Flash support might be nice too.

Regular AAA Games

The current PSP just hasn’t had enough quality system-seller titles to really threaten Nintendo’s dominance. Sure we’ve had God of War, Final fantasy VII: Crisis Core and Burnout showing the power of the little machine and even titles like Locoroco that won unanimous praise. But when we look at how many quality titles the PS2 had or we’ve already got on the PS3 and 360, the PSP’s output seems a little slow and stagnant.

At least Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is finally out soon. It’s real; Jon’s reviewed it and everything.

PSP2: Most Wanted Features

Digital AND hard copies of copies

If the pricing scheme for PSP games on the PSN Store and the epic floppage of the digital-only PSP Go are anything to go by, the next machine will need to keep using disks. It could be UMDs again, or maybe little DS-style cartridges. Hell, we’d settle for a memory card with the game locked onto it. Retail is good, lots of us enjoy having a boxed product with a manual (up yours by the way Ubisoft), especially when it’s cheaper than its digital counterpart. Not to mention the savings we all make on picking up the odd pre-owned game.

TV output as standard

If you’re playing a game at home, it’s always nice to have the option of playing a handheld title on the big-screen in your living room and just using the PSP as a controller. It’s not for everyone as the graphics would take a hit, but the option would be nice.

Better video support

A decent MP3 player is an obvious inclusion for the PSP2, but the biggest improvement for media support needs to be aimed at the videos. The current PSP is very picky as to what videos it will play, generally only playing MP4. Just add the WMV (Windows Media) and we’ll all be happy. We want to see the back of crappy video converter programmes.

PSP2: Most Wanted Features

Motion control

Nothing requiring mental swings of the console, just a bit of tilting perhaps? Personally I never bother with the Six-Axis steering options on the PS3, but if they were done with a bit more attention to detail on the next PSP, I might be tempted to give it a go. Or maybe just have it for Marble Madness and Mercury.

Touch-screen tech (preferably Pringles-proof)

Another thing I’d be fine with being left out as the idea of smearing a nice screen with greasy finger marks narks me off something rotten. But seeing as touch-screen phones are the norm now (not in my damn pocket like), Sony might want to include the tech which is becoming the standard. Well, unless you’re Microsoft and think playing charades with it will do that is.

Different colours at launch

Even if it’s just the choice between a black, grey or white console at launch. We just want a little more choice during the early days.

PSP2: Most Wanted Features

A graphical kick up the arse

The PSP has some great cut-scenes but some of the colour textures are really bland particularly for 3D action titles. It seems to struggle to render straight lines in 3D environments too, with them all looking jagged. FFVII: Crisis Core is a good example of these strengths and weaknesses the machine has. The only titles I’ve seen with smooth lines in-game have been the 2D titles like Locoroco and Patapon. PSP2 has to be trying to compete with PS3 graphics and needs to blow the PS2 out of the water really.

Get it right first time

It’s a shame for every early adopter of a new console. They get shafted six months later when a better version comes out. The original PSP was deceptively heavy and becomes quite uncomfortable to play after an hour or so. It’s impossible to keep the screen smudge free too with the buttons being right next to it.

Later models cut down on the weight and improved the brightness of the screen and then the model after that increased the brightness and had a negative impact on interlacing or some such backwards step. Finally we get a light, sophisticated machine with well-placed buttons and a sliding design in the shape of the PSP Go. Shame it was digital only (laughably priced games) and we couldn’t find any more games to play on it.

PSP2: Most Wanted Features

So readers, what features would you like to see the PSP2 get? Should Sony get back on the bandwagon and slap 3D and dual-screens in there too?

Add a comment7 comments
zax  Sep. 1, 2010 at 14:29

You are asking for far too much! And chances are if all these features were implemented, the price would be sky high!

Gunn  Sep. 1, 2010 at 14:45

take the GO, add the 2nd stick.
ditch umd as its noisy and a power drain, i cant see sony doing catridges so perhaps pro duo locked is the way to go. though you lose the BC and well that didnt do down great with the PS3.
and yes it needs to be more powerful than the ps2, perhaps a mini ps3 in your hand.

Howard Moon  Sep. 1, 2010 at 15:22

I thought that there was going to be two touch pads on the back of the console and you use your middle fingers to move the analogues like on a laptop.

i124q  Sep. 1, 2010 at 17:21

*Better analogue stick(s)

"--They need to be slightly bigger and stick out a bit more from the console."

- The Playstation Portable is meant to be portable in the easiest possible manners; of that, putting it in your pocket is a great consideration when looking at how much features stick out from the handheld itself.

It'd be uncomfortable and also chances are common day to day movements with it in your pocket could cause damage to the sticks themselves.

Sure, there's the suggestion have them click in/out etc; that rules out the L3 & R3 functionality, let alone the chances of it clicking back in on accident.

If they were to raise the sticks, it wouldn't be anything revolutionary. My guess would be it'll come in tablet form with on screen touch sticks. Not that I'd necessarily want nor reject such a notion.

*Mobile phone / Better web functions

"--The iPhone is undoubtedly muscling in on the handheld gaming market, so perhaps it’s time to take the fight to their doorstep?"

-Perhaps not. The PSP2 will be first and foremost a gaming device. The most I could imagine happening is VOIP functionality built in (Skype, Google Voice, etc), IM Clients & Mail etc.

Making it a "Smart phone that plays games" will be a huge mistake and cause damage to the PSPs image as a gaming device.

Plus, where would that leave Sony Ericsson as a mobile phone manufacturer?

"--we’d at least expect Wi-Fi internet again, with lots of apps and downloads, but not in the same loony pricing scheme as full PSP titles on PSN."

Well of course they're not going to take away Wi-Fi; you can pretty much bet it will have at least N functionality; chances are you'll see something even ahead of that though. Sony have been known to "Future proof" their gaming products.

As for Apps & Downloads, there will be plenty. I personally hope they let people develop on it in the same way Android is doing right now.

Pricing is usually justified, when given the fact you don't have to travel to actually acquire the game or pay shipping to get it shipped to you. Plus the chance you break a physical copy and have to pay for it again to play it again, you can delete and download as much as you like off PSN.

That's not saying it's better value though; most the time you can pick up physical copies a lot cheaper. I'm just saying the pricing is usually justified.

Also apps haven't nor ever will cost as much as full PSN games. (Excluding those satnav maps, but who would have actually purchased them at half of the price they're set now?!)

"--Oh and Flash support might be nice too."

-HTML5 will have eclipsed flash by then, maybe silverlight would have too. Flash is beyond flawed and is due to be scrapped.

Though support will most likely be included to view sites that don't conform etc.

*Digital AND hard copies of copies

-I'm with you on this; I can see the gaming industry following the music industry where owning the physical copy of a game and registering it give access to a digital copy when you want.

If the industry doesn't go this route I can assume it's only to fill their pockets on the scenario I explained above with damaging physical copies and paying to replace them.

"--Not to mention the savings we all make on picking up the odd pre-owned game."

-Which is currently under a lot of scrutiny as developers want a cut of that pie. Talks of withholding certain content (multiplayer, bonus content, DLC) from gamers on a pre-owned game until they cough up ~$10 is currently quite legitimate.

If it does go this way, either the retailers lower the price they shift the pre-owned games for and the developers benifit & no real change to the customer. Or the retailers stick, the developers stick & the pre-owned games market is crippled; which is fine in the industries eyes.

*TV output as standard

"--It’s not for everyone as the graphics would take a hit"

-Y'never know, maybe it won't. If the PSP is anything to go by with it near matching the PS2's graphics, hopefully the PSP2 could near match the PS3 graphics when it's released.

Cross your fingers technology allows that in the near future.

*Better video support

-You can bet your arse the PSP2 will support a hell of a lot of file types; including .avi, .flac but probably not .mkv (pirates choice of HD Video filetype); hopefully Sony surprises us.

*Motion control

-I can see it having some element to using motion somehow but not in the flail-your-arms-like-a-loon-during-the-daily-commute kind. I'm sure it comes into it some how.

*A graphical kick up the arse

-Kind of addressed this above (and so have you similarly).

Technology is a completely new world to what is was when PSP was in development, you can count on PSP2 having HD graphics at a suitable frame rate at the very least.

*Get it right first time

-They're not Micro$oft; they'll at least make it work for more than 6 months at a time, though of course the obligatory PSP2 Slim will be out after the PSP2. Then the obvious 3D version when they decide to adopt it (if they don't first time around).

asas  Sep. 1, 2010 at 19:15

Its been confirmed not ti be a phone and to have a physical medium from the president of sony himself

HO  Sep. 1, 2010 at 21:48

The PSP2 must have an option so it can be expanded as a phone, not primary function but it must be present, reason why ppl get the stupid iphone is the multifunction (not to be confused with multitask), so the phone part is a +, by creating an expansion system it will increase the longevity of the device, u get ur PSP and later on when ur contract expires for that silly iphone u can just add the PSP mobile module and ur done, PSP+ (PSP + cellphone).

I have 2 PsP's, most of the time nowdays the rest at home, I still use them but not as often cause it's annoying to carry a phone and a PSP, also I can play silly games on the iPhone, not the kind I like but I get entertained a bit so the iPhone wins just cause it can play silly games.

For a fact the PSP2 must have 2 sticks and touch screen (not mandatory for games), if not UMD then another way for physical media, I've never be ok with the idea of everything on memory cards or HD after the personal experience of losing 3 HD with all it's contents + memory cards and USB drives, so digital media is simply a terrible choice unless u get the freedom that u get with dvd's or cd's or UMD's.

Matt Gardner  Sep. 1, 2010 at 22:46


...yeah, that'd be nice.

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