The first pictures of PSP2's dev kit have apparently come to light. For the uninitated, dev kits are special versions of games consoles that game developers use to build games on, before we play those gameson the real thing. These pictureslook a bit too much like covert snaps, in all honesty - who doesn't have a multi-megapixel camera in their cell phone these days? Assuming they are legit, a lot of our questions have just been answered. Here's what we know about the unit so far...
It WON'T look like this
This is very important to note. The unit almost certainly WON'T look like the one in these pictures, so don't go complaining that it looks like a Wii Classic Controller or a PSP Go. Well, you can because it does... but it won't. Why? Becauseall of it is subject to change. And I'm not just saying that as a disclaimer. Reports suggest that even this dev kit itself has since been redesigned, as the sliding screen design wasapparently causing the unit to overheat.A new, non-sliding screen dev kit has allegedly taken its place, making this model a failed prototype.
Still, take a look - sliding screen or no, it's got some features that previous PSPs didn't have. And that's why it's so exciting.
Above: The front of the non-finalised device, as seen onVG24/7. It's got two thumbsticks! Yeeaaaaaahhhhh!
But itwill have two sticks
There's no way a dev kit would feature main gameplay control inputs that won't be in the final unit. So if this is really the PSP2 dev kit, it's highly likely those twin sticks are here to stay. That means we can have proper first-person shooters on PSP, progressive throttle and steering in our handheld racers and full spherical camera control in GTA-alike games. It's what everyone wanted to see in PSP2 and if this is real, it looks like our prayers have been answered.
It will have an HD screen
This is still just a report, as you can't tell screen resolution from the pics. But the screen is apparently HD-quality, which means it should look fantastic. Consider that iPhone 4's retina display is 960x640 in pixel resolution, even our standard 720p (720x1280) should look flawless on a portable screen. Can. Not. Wait.
Above: iPhone 4's 'retina display' is beyond beautiful. If PSP2 looks anywhere near this sharp, it'll be amazing
It will have loads of RAM
Twice as much as Xbox 360, if the reports are to be believed. Games will have better, more detailed and more varied textures. Whether it will be up to Xbox 360 levels of graphical fidelity remains to be seen, but we wouldn't put it past Sony, who have traditionally followed the 'best graphics = best system' thinking when designing their new machines.
It has two cameras
One on the front, one on the back. Expect some kind of Facetalk-alike service for chatting over Wi-Fi. It's unclear whether the unit supports 3G, but we wouldn't bet against it. Especially if Sony wants to show Apple who's boss when it comes to handheld gaming.
It has a touch pad... on the back
Interesting one, this. We expected the unit to incorporate touch-screen technology, but making the back of the device a track pad in its own right? It might work really well. Picking up an iPhone and imagining using the rear of the unit to move an on-screen cursor feels somehow right. But is it as intuitive as touching the screen on an icon? No. We'll see if this design makes it through these early stages.
Above: And the back of the unit. These pictures are very fuzzy, but they're better than nowt, right?
It has shoulder buttons
But from these fuzzy images, it looks like the unit still only has two shoulder triggers, not four. Although in all honestly, it's hard enough to see those two so it could have any number. I'm betting on eight. On each end.
It retains the classic PS front buttons
Four face buttons and a traditional digital directional pad remain unchanged since PSone's introduction. But it's interesting to note that the analogue sticks are somewhere between the PSP's original analogue nub and the DualShock's raised design. In fact, they bear more than a passing resemblence to Nintendo's 3DS analogue circle.
It has a microphone
Hmm... Microphone, two cameras... it's almost a PSPhone. But probably more like the latest iPod Touch. An iPod touch with buttons, trackpad, two analogue sticks and crazy specs. That'll do nicely, thank you.
18 Nov, 2010