Sony's PSP2: Do we love it? Do we hate it? GamesRadar Editors get opinionated

Some of us want one now, some of us want one never. But who and why? Read on

So the PSP2 (sorry, NGP) has been unveiled and opinions are rife. The office air is fair thick with them in fact, to the point that we're now standing on our chairs and using snorkels to avoid drowning in them. Some of us are skipping with excitement whileothers are dripping with bile, but all of us have something to say about it. So we're going to.

So won't you listen, and then tell us where on the scale your own feelings lie?

Hot dog! PSP2 looks like a long, sexy machine with a big sexy screen that will put more sexy power in my hands than the dark side of the Force ever could. Please Sony I want it now. But hang on Mr Eager Beaver, aren't these the *exact* same sentiments you spouted when the first PSP was revealed? Look how that episode of excited jizzing in your knickers turned out. Sexy is a hard look to pull off when you're covered in a thick layer of dust. Fair enough. Point taken. Now let's end this conversation with myself. It's weird.


Above: So, you know, it's like, sexy and stuff?

So, yes, I am excited about PSP2. It looks like a monster. A sexy monster that wants to seduce my mind with graphics and two sexy analog sticks and a new WipEout. For anyone that possesses eyes and a working brain, the promise and potential is clear to see. PSP2 boasts a feature set that could hold its own at any geek sponsored willy-waving contest. Besides the new screen, I'm most pumped about the prospect of the touch-pad on the back of the device, which effectively is a whole new controller for lazy fingers not normally called into action. I can't wait to see how it'll be used with games.

But... a bunch of snazzy features, mega-graphics and a sexy screen weren't enough to capture the hearts of gamers at the first time of trying - and that was before the iPhone established itself as a ubiquitous instrument of gaming - so I'll be interested to see exactly how Sony will make PSP2 win where its predecessor failed. And how much is this 'PS3 in my pocket' going to cost? Very probably lots. For now, though, hot dog PSP2 looks sexy. Have I said that already?


3DS? Yeah, you’re dead to me. Not to sound like little Turncoat Ted, but the obnoxious 12 year-old in me loves shiny new shit. And it doesn’t come much shinier or “Hey! Listen! Look at me! Hey! Listen!” than Sony’s new megaton handheld.

While I was as excited as anyone when Nintendo dropped its 3D-sponsored bomb on the gaming community at E3 2010, my enthusiasm has since been eroded by the slightly headache-inducing screen and the Everest-steep price point. Now, there’s little doubt in my mind the PSP’s successor will be even more expensive than Nintendo’s effort. But by the looks of it, that extra cabbage will essentially get me a damn purdy lookin’ pocket-compatible PS3, with a beautiful OLED screen. Not to mention proper analogue sticks. Praise almighty Jebus I’ll never have to type the word ‘nubbin’ again.


Above: As soon as Drake arrives, all other worries fall bythe wayside

Personally, I love the design, too. I love the screen. I love how the D-pad and face buttons are portioned off in their own little concave sections. I’m even weirdly excited about the little groves on the back, which I can only assume have been designed to welcome your thumbs in with a cup of coco on a cold winter night. More than anything, though, I’m head over heels with the prospect of playing a new Uncharted with Trophy support on a machine that hopefully won’t cause the early onset of arthritis in my thumbs.


When I first heard about the NGP this morning, I yawned. But it was early and I hadn’t had a coffee, so I bought one and then had another think. And I still yawned.

One day, Sony will have an idea of its own, aside, naturally, from its usual mantra of “throw more horsepower at it”. And hopefully, on that same day, it will get its head around the fact that handheld gaming culture has never been – and will never be – about big-budget, triple-a tentpole franchises. Unfortunately that day is not today, and what I see in the NGP is the Sony-by-numbers creation I could have predicted two years ago.

Monstrous power, which always costs loads at this sort of size, while eating battery charge like a hungry ogre? Check. A reliance on the likes of Metal Gear and Uncharted as software selling points? Yup. A grab-bag of interface ideas nicked from other companies’ already successful hardware, with no obvious reasoning other than to have all me-too bases covered? But of course…


Above: We've been here before. More than once

Don’t get me wrong on the software front though. I love Metal Gear and Uncharted. But I love them precisely because they’re huge, sweeping cinematic experiences I enjoy on a big HD TV from my sofa. The assumption that squashing them down onto a 5 inch screen equals handheld success is exactly the sort of simplistic thinking that gave the original PSP trouble.

And it’s telling that the new control features, namely the touch sensitive back, have so far been demoed merely as replacements for normal button functions. Sliding a finger up and down to climb a vine? Smells like a shoehorn to me. Control inputs have to serve a design need, not create one, otherwise they end up rejected by developers, just like sixaxis. Which the NGP also has. Hmmm.

Still, at least with a writeable flash memory storage format the hackers will bloody love it.

So won't you listen, and then tell us where on the scale your own feelings lie?

Hot dog! PSP2 looks like a long, sexy machine with a big sexy screen that will put more sexy power in my hands than the dark side of the Force ever could. Please Sony I want it now. But hang on Mr Eager Beaver, aren't these the *exact* same sentiments you spouted when the first PSP was revealed? Look how that episode of excited jizzing in your knickers turned out. Sexy is a hard look to pull off when you're covered in a thick layer of dust. Fair enough. Point taken. Now let's end this conversation with myself. It's weird.


Above: So, you know, it's like, sexy and stuff?

So, yes, I am excited about PSP2. It looks like a monster. A sexy monster that wants to seduce my mind with graphics and two sexy analog sticks and a new WipEout. For anyone that possesses eyes and a working brain, the promise and potential is clear to see. PSP2 boasts a feature set that could hold its own at any geek sponsored willy-waving contest. Besides the new screen, I'm most pumped about the prospect of the touch-pad on the back of the device, which effectively is a whole new controller for lazy fingers not normally called into action. I can't wait to see how it'll be used with games.

But... a bunch of snazzy features, mega-graphics and a sexy screen weren't enough to capture the hearts of gamers at the first time of trying - and that was before the iPhone established itself as a ubiquitous instrument of gaming - so I'll be interested to see exactly how Sony will make PSP2 win where its predecessor failed. And how much is this 'PS3 in my pocket' going to cost? Very probably lots. For now, though, hot dog PSP2 looks sexy. Have I said that already?


3DS? Yeah, you’re dead to me. Not to sound like little Turncoat Ted, but the obnoxious 12 year-old in me loves shiny new shit. And it doesn’t come much shinier or “Hey! Listen! Look at me! Hey! Listen!” than Sony’s new megaton handheld.

While I was as excited as anyone when Nintendo dropped its 3D-sponsored bomb on the gaming community at E3 2010, my enthusiasm has since been eroded by the slightly headache-inducing screen and the Everest-steep price point. Now, there’s little doubt in my mind the PSP’s successor will be even more expensive than Nintendo’s effort. But by the looks of it, that extra cabbage will essentially get me a damn purdy lookin’ pocket-compatible PS3, with a beautiful OLED screen. Not to mention proper analogue sticks. Praise almighty Jebus I’ll never have to type the word ‘nubbin’ again.


Above: As soon as Drake arrives, all other worries fall bythe wayside

Personally, I love the design, too. I love the screen. I love how the D-pad and face buttons are portioned off in their own little concave sections. I’m even weirdly excited about the little groves on the back, which I can only assume have been designed to welcome your thumbs in with a cup of coco on a cold winter night. More than anything, though, I’m head over heels with the prospect of playing a new Uncharted with Trophy support on a machine that hopefully won’t cause the early onset of arthritis in my thumbs.


When I first heard about the NGP this morning, I yawned. But it was early and I hadn’t had a coffee, so I bought one and then had another think. And I still yawned.

One day, Sony will have an idea of its own, aside, naturally, from its usual mantra of “throw more horsepower at it”. And hopefully, on that same day, it will get its head around the fact that handheld gaming culture has never been – and will never be – about big-budget, triple-a tentpole franchises. Unfortunately that day is not today, and what I see in the NGP is the Sony-by-numbers creation I could have predicted two years ago.

Monstrous power, which always costs loads at this sort of size, while eating battery charge like a hungry ogre? Check. A reliance on the likes of Metal Gear and Uncharted as software selling points? Yup. A grab-bag of interface ideas nicked from other companies’ already successful hardware, with no obvious reasoning other than to have all me-too bases covered? But of course…


Above: We've been here before. More than once

Don’t get me wrong on the software front though. I love Metal Gear and Uncharted. But I love them precisely because they’re huge, sweeping cinematic experiences I enjoy on a big HD TV from my sofa. The assumption that squashing them down onto a 5 inch screen equals handheld success is exactly the sort of simplistic thinking that gave the original PSP trouble.

And it’s telling that the new control features, namely the touch sensitive back, have so far been demoed merely as replacements for normal button functions. Sliding a finger up and down to climb a vine? Smells like a shoehorn to me. Control inputs have to serve a design need, not create one, otherwise they end up rejected by developers, just like sixaxis. Which the NGP also has. Hmmm.

Still, at least with a writeable flash memory storage format the hackers will bloody love it.

Topics

NGP
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