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Sony’s new ‘PSP2’ officially announced

The Sony PSP2 officially announced

Yesterday, Sony announced their next generation portable console, the PSP2 (clever, I know). Formerly known as the NGP or Next Generation Portable, it will have 2 joysticks instead of the current PSP’s “nub”, a 5 inch screen, and a 960×544 resolution on OLED technology (although the technology used in the screen is seeing conflicting reports…). The resolution is exactly 4 times the number of pixels compared to the original PSP, probably for compatibility or ease of porting and development of PSP and PSP2 applications and games, much in the same way Apple doubled the resolution of the iPhone. To put it into perspective, it is almost as high res as an iPhone 4 screen, only the PSP2 screen will be 5 inches, while the iPhone 4 is a more compact 3.5 inches. Right off the bat, we know it will not be as sharp as the retina display’s 326ppi, but a more humble ~220ppi depending on aspect ratio. Thats not necessarily a bad thing though, since it still does sport a very respectable resolution and a BIG screen for a handheld gaming system.

The new PSP2 features some other impressive specs, easily besting its own predecessor. The PSP2 will sport, among other things:

Known Specs:
-Touch screen functionality
-Wifi? and 3G
-Front and rear cameras
-Motion sensors and gyroscope
-App store
-ARM Cortex A9 based quad core processor
-PowerVR SGX543MP4+
-Sony claims power is comparable to PS3

As stated, the ARM Cortex A9 based processor features quad cores. Arm has recently been known for being a very power efficient CPU design, and its A8 is used as the base for many current generation devices, such as the iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad’s A4 processor. The GPU, arguably the most important aspect of a gaming system, is another quad core model, the PowerVR SGX543MP4+. All combined, Sony says the power is comparable to its current generation full sized console, the PS3. Keep in mind however, that despite being ‘current generation’, the PS3 is over 4 years old now, and a typical video game console ‘generation’ is about 5-7 years, meaning a PS4 couldn’t be more than 2-3 years away at the most. I don’t know about you, but other than the absolute brute of a CPU and GPU the PSP2 is claiming to have, a lot of the features like touch screen, GPS, 3G …sounds awfully like a smartphone doesn’t it? …But it seems to be missing something…perhaps…the ability to make and receive calls??

What is the difference between a smartphone and a portable gaming platform?

I think smartphones and handheld gaming are really starting to become one market rather than two separate ones, with the iOS gaming market already known to be stealing market share from Sony and Nintendo. If you think about it, Nintendo has sold about 140 million DS platforms, while Apple has also sold 140 million iOS platforms, meaning if you develop an App or game for either platform, you have 140 million potential customers on each platform, making the iOS look very attractive as a development platform. By comparison, the Wii has sold about 85 million units, and is the top seller among the current 7th generation consoles. For the sake of completeness, the Xbox 360 is second with about 50 million units sold worldwide, and the PS3 is last with “over 42 million” units sold worldwide. The data is all gathered from early 2011, with the exception of PS3 which recorded 41.6 million as of early October, 2010. Sony says the PSP2 will be “affordable” and “will shoot for an affordable price that’s appropriate for the handheld gaming space”. The same representative is quoted as laughing off rumors that the PSP2 will cost as much as the PS3 at its respective launch, saying “It’s not going to be $599”. Getting back to smart phones and the PSP2’s similarity, Sony is also expected to release a “Playstation Phone” at some point, and there have been prototype images floating around the internet (shown below). Interestingly, Sony didn’t mention anything about the Phone when unveiling the PSP2.