With Sony supposedly giving a proper unveiling this week, the hearts of little (and not so little) boys are aflutter in anticipation of what Sony has in store for the PSP's successor. Reports have been scant and occasionally contradictory -- IGN claims that it will use the Go-style slider, while VG247 reports a return to the "brick" design -- but a couple of fresh details have emerged. Engadget quotes the Japanese newspaper Nikkei as saying that the PSP2 will have an OLED screen, and will be 3G-capable. However, nothing is set in stone, so instead of delving too far into speculation, i've compiled a brief list of what i'd like to see in the PSP2.
Hit the jump to read more!
This seems like a no-brainer for Sony. With the unwashed masses virtually storming the Sony Castle over the lack of backwards compatibility on the PS3, it's clear that there is still a market for the PS2 games we've all come to know and love. I was thrilled when i heard that PS1 games were coming to the PSP, and if there's even a hint of truth to the rumored specs of the PSP2, it should prove more than capable of handling PS2 games. Maybe Sony could even open up the library to the PS3 *nudge nudge*. In any event, having a steady stream of PS2 games would be a great selling point to those who, like me, remember the months of downtime between good PSP games.
Throughout my three-or-so year long tryst with the PSP, i found myself endlessly frustrated with downloading games. It seemed like a vaguely splendid idea at first, but after a handful of aborted downloads -- due in part to my admittedly shoddy internet connection -- that forced me to restart the entire hours-long affair, i had to restrain myself from unleashing the wrath of my giant man-hands upon my PSP. This wouldn't have been quite so maddening if Sony had made it possible to "resume" an interrupted download, but alas, it was not to be. Another annoying factor was that the downloads could not run in the background; thus, the device was essentially inoperable until the download was finished. Fix these problems (we are in 2011, after all), and I'll be a happy panda indeed.
With the ever-audible death rattle of the PSP Go echoing through the halls of Sony HQ like the wail of some ghastly apparition, I'd be perplexed if Sony didn't go running back to physical media, especially since the annoyance of having to wait for games to download was undoubtedly a factor in the Go's decline. Also, given the fact that these games will inevitably be far larger than PSP games, god knows how long the transfer will take. I still maintain that the Go contained within it the germ of a good idea -- having a virtual library on your handheld instead of toting around a handful of UMDs -- but choosing "annoying yet ultimately convenient" should be left to the consumer, as it has been on the older PSP models.
Despite my tangents about Sony's digital distribution and its wicked ways, i loved the fact that the the PSP Go had internal storage. Games aside, having on-board storage would be great for music, photos, and videos. Sony is supposedly looking at multiple SKUs for the PSP2, and i would love to see a variety of storage capacities, as we've seen with the PS3. Combined with a memory stick slot, you have more than enough storage space for even the most gluttonous consumer.
With the launch of the PSP characterized by a chorus of "dear god, it's pretty..." one can safely assume that its successor will tread bravely into the world of HD. I'd be surprised to see anything less, especially since HD video is quickly becoming the standard.
It seems that with kids these days and their iPods and smartphones (and their blasted hula hoops), cameras are a must-have feature for any portable device. I wouldn't hope for anything terribly impressive -- digital cameras and video recorders are becoming more and more affordable, and they will always dwarf anything a multifunction device has to offer -- but it would be lovely to see a camera make an appearance on the PSP2. The 3DS will offer augmented reality games, and Sony would be wise to follow suit. Also, with Skype already on the PSP, Sony will hopefully take the next logical step and offer proper video chat.
Daddy wants a Touchscreen:
Let's face it: Touchscreen games are on the rise, and Sony would be mad not to scoop up a bit of the gravy. But my main interest is the potential to integrate touch controls into the PSP2 interface. The Xross Media Bar has done an admirable job of making navigation simple and effective, but it takes little effort to see how current touchscreen devices have an edge over the PSP and PS3. Another (and in my opinion, more important) boon would be to web browsing. Granted, Sony was in a bit of a rough spot depending on the PSP controls, but using Sony's web browser was a truly atrocious experience. "Smart-Fit" and "Just-Fit" layouts were slipshod, typing was a chore, and the system ran out of memory more times than i could remember -- i had difficulty even logging on to news websites. Thankfully things have improved over the years, and one can only hope that Sony sees the benefit of the virtual keyboard and touchscreen browsing that has served smartphones so well in recent years.
Ours is the golden age of the app, and Sony once again has a chance to cash in. Unfortunately the PSP2 is a far more limited market than the IOS or Android devices, but it's still another selling point, and gives the PSP2 the appearance of being a good investment in the long haul. Sadly, even given Sony's recent alliance with Google on the "PlayStation Phone," one can't reasonably expect the PSP2 to take advantage of the Android Marketplace -- but it would be nice to see at least some hit titles ported over.
What do you think, gamers? Are there any particular features that you're hoping for in the PSP2? Sound off in the comments section!