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

I feel fairly indifferent towards handheld gaming in general, bar the iPhone’s simple offerings, which are perfect for short dips into. With the latest PSP2 announcement I have a mild stirring in my loins for it. Sexy times.

Dual analogue sticks, OLED screen for incredi-visuals and PS3 quality games all adds up to a surprisingly simple, yet exciting improvements for Sony’s handheld. But it’s the line-up of titles that tickles my fancy the most. Two sticks means that - theoretically – Killzone and Call of Duty will work a treat on the machine and finally allow you precise control that you’d expect from a regular control pad. Also, UNCHARTED!!!11! I’ve been saying for ages that a PSP version of Nathan Drake’s adventures would stoke the flames of interest in Sony’s current PlayStation Portables due to him being their poster boy for PS3.


Above: Helgast gibs exploding from my very pockets? Mmmm, yes

Aside from the games, I’m simply looking forward to getting my hands on a PSP2 simply to test out the new features. What’s the XMB going to be like? Will it even have one? How will the Android features work? How will my Trophies sync with my account? And just how bloody shiny will that screen be to look at with my eyes? I need answers now.


My first thought was disappointment. It looks almost the same as the old PSP, which I always thought looked like a 1980s walkman kind of design. But now I've learned about what it can do and had more time to take in its smooth, lozengey shape, I'm stoked. The fact that the screen isn't even 720p is actually going to be the key to its success. At 5 inches, no-one will think the resolution sucks, but the processor will be very happy drawing all those lovely graphics on what's barely more detailed than standard def. It's the perfect compromise. And I'm actually glad it's not got a 3D screen. Yep, I'm in.


Above: PSP2 will have way fewer pixels to think about than a 1080p PS3 game, which is why it will work

I'm worried about the price, mind. We're all laughing at the possibility of another "599 US dollars" debacle, but seriously, if the machine is as powerful as a PS3 yet approximately 1% of its physical mass, I don't see how it can possibly cost anything less than the price of a home console. Miniaturisation is awesome, but it's damn expensive.

Still, I'm actually glad it hasn't got a 3D screen. It’s interesting to note that even a console with such a ‘copy everything that’s popular’ approach chooses to leave out that one.

Will I buy one? Well, I bought a PSP Go on launch day. What do you think?


Darrell Skipper, GamesRadar UK Intern: I wasn’t initially interested by the PSP2 announcement mainly because of how disappointed I was with the original PSP. I always preferred the Nintendo handhelds and just assumed that if I got myself a portable gaming device this year it would be the 3DS. But as usual I’ve come over all giddy at the thought of a brand new toy to play with and the fact that Sony have managed to squeeze in a whole heap of tech-specs into this new piece of kit is genuinely impressive.


Above: An intuitive iPhone-style interface with full-sized games? It's an enticing prospect

For me, the most important aspect of playing a game is how satisfying it feels to control what’s happening on the screen. Whether it’s a car, a footballer, a fat plumber, a boy made of meat or a shotgun-wielding-gravelly-voiced-muscle-bound chap - as long as it feels responsive, intuitive and enjoyable to control then I’m sold on it. This is where PSP failed massively for me. The controls were awful. I liked the potential of it and I wanted to like it, I really did, but every time I picked it up I was hugely disappointed and would get thumb cramp within minutes.

You’ve probably read all the specs by now; 3GS, OLED screen, GPS, cameras, augmented reality remote control homing pigeon with camera strapped to it’s head, etc. But to be honest, all Sony really had to do to get me interested was whack two analogue sticks on the front and make the whole damn thing a bit more ergonomic, which they have done. But they’ve also done so much more. I think the iPhone has the most user-friendly and intuitive interface out there and if the OLED touch screen can emulate this, it instantly gets a big fat thumbs-up from me. The touchpad on the back also gets my brain tingling with intrigue and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

So, those are our considered knee-jerks, but how about yours? Has the idea of having Nathan Drake in your pocket got you sold already, or are you waiting for the price and battery details before you get excited? Has the PSP2 changed your thoughts on the 3DS at all? A heated debate. Let us have one.

Jan 27th, 2011

Dual analogue sticks, OLED screen for incredi-visuals and PS3 quality games all adds up to a surprisingly simple, yet exciting improvements for Sony’s handheld. But it’s the line-up of titles that tickles my fancy the most. Two sticks means that - theoretically – Killzone and Call of Duty will work a treat on the machine and finally allow you precise control that you’d expect from a regular control pad. Also, UNCHARTED!!!11! I’ve been saying for ages that a PSP version of Nathan Drake’s adventures would stoke the flames of interest in Sony’s current PlayStation Portables due to him being their poster boy for PS3.


Above: Helgast gibs exploding from my very pockets? Mmmm, yes

Aside from the games, I’m simply looking forward to getting my hands on a PSP2 simply to test out the new features. What’s the XMB going to be like? Will it even have one? How will the Android features work? How will my Trophies sync with my account? And just how bloody shiny will that screen be to look at with my eyes? I need answers now.


My first thought was disappointment. It looks almost the same as the old PSP, which I always thought looked like a 1980s walkman kind of design. But now I've learned about what it can do and had more time to take in its smooth, lozengey shape, I'm stoked. The fact that the screen isn't even 720p is actually going to be the key to its success. At 5 inches, no-one will think the resolution sucks, but the processor will be very happy drawing all those lovely graphics on what's barely more detailed than standard def. It's the perfect compromise. And I'm actually glad it's not got a 3D screen. Yep, I'm in.


Above: PSP2 will have way fewer pixels to think about than a 1080p PS3 game, which is why it will work

I'm worried about the price, mind. We're all laughing at the possibility of another "599 US dollars" debacle, but seriously, if the machine is as powerful as a PS3 yet approximately 1% of its physical mass, I don't see how it can possibly cost anything less than the price of a home console. Miniaturisation is awesome, but it's damn expensive.

Still, I'm actually glad it hasn't got a 3D screen. It’s interesting to note that even a console with such a ‘copy everything that’s popular’ approach chooses to leave out that one.

Will I buy one? Well, I bought a PSP Go on launch day. What do you think?


Darrell Skipper, GamesRadar UK Intern: I wasn’t initially interested by the PSP2 announcement mainly because of how disappointed I was with the original PSP. I always preferred the Nintendo handhelds and just assumed that if I got myself a portable gaming device this year it would be the 3DS. But as usual I’ve come over all giddy at the thought of a brand new toy to play with and the fact that Sony have managed to squeeze in a whole heap of tech-specs into this new piece of kit is genuinely impressive.


Above: An intuitive iPhone-style interface with full-sized games? It's an enticing prospect

For me, the most important aspect of playing a game is how satisfying it feels to control what’s happening on the screen. Whether it’s a car, a footballer, a fat plumber, a boy made of meat or a shotgun-wielding-gravelly-voiced-muscle-bound chap - as long as it feels responsive, intuitive and enjoyable to control then I’m sold on it. This is where PSP failed massively for me. The controls were awful. I liked the potential of it and I wanted to like it, I really did, but every time I picked it up I was hugely disappointed and would get thumb cramp within minutes.

You’ve probably read all the specs by now; 3GS, OLED screen, GPS, cameras, augmented reality remote control homing pigeon with camera strapped to it’s head, etc. But to be honest, all Sony really had to do to get me interested was whack two analogue sticks on the front and make the whole damn thing a bit more ergonomic, which they have done. But they’ve also done so much more. I think the iPhone has the most user-friendly and intuitive interface out there and if the OLED touch screen can emulate this, it instantly gets a big fat thumbs-up from me. The touchpad on the back also gets my brain tingling with intrigue and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

So, those are our considered knee-jerks, but how about yours? Has the idea of having Nathan Drake in your pocket got you sold already, or are you waiting for the price and battery details before you get excited? Has the PSP2 changed your thoughts on the 3DS at all? A heated debate. Let us have one.

Jan 27th, 2011