More PSP Thoughts: PSP 101, N-Gage and CE Hacking


Charles from (a new blog dedicated to the PSP) has an introduction to the Sony PSP posted today and it's great! It's a great primer for everyone who wants to know everything about their shiny new PSP (which will hopefully be in my grubby little hands within 24 hours). You can also find more info and great pics over at Gear Live, and a reality check as well.

Reading these articles, I can't believe the PSP was announced at 2003's E3. That's a *long time* to be waiting for this gadget. The lead times on portable consumer electronics is just stunning to me. It's around 18 months to develop and launch a new mobile phone, and this sort of new computing platform is almost 2 years. Whenever I read stuff like this, I think "what's happening now?" There's something that's going to knock our socks off in two years being developed right now.

I love the idea of a new blog dedicated to a new CE device. I've seen it tried before with mobile phones, but it never works because the lifespan for phones is so short. I made that mistake years ago when I thought that the Nokia 3650 was going to be an iconic new smart phone. Well, first the round keypad scared everyone off, but then it was just another smartphone really, and was soon replaced by a half dozen other phones within a year or so. If you think about how long the Palm V was around and marketed, mobile phones have a very short shelf life in comparision. But like I wrote the other day, the Sony PSP will be a platform for years to come - if the PS2 is any comparision (and I think it is). New games will come out, newer hardware versions (Smaller form-factor maybe? Versions with keypads?), new online capabilities, etc. There's going to be tons to write about and tons of readers who are eager to learn more.

Oh, so I haven't mentioned the fact that Nokia has dropped the price on their N-Gage QD down to $99 retail, have I? That's an amazing price for what's packed into that phone. But like I've said from the very beginning, the N-Gage just is a disaster. First, the device will always have the stigma of being the side-talker. Then unlike the PSP which plays music and video just as well as it plays games, Nokia *took out* that capability when it launched the QD (just before the "year of the mobile MP3 player" - not particularly prescient). No, Nokia needs to forget being a competitor to the PSP, there's no way they can compete with that screen. But what *would* rock is re-launching all those N-Gage titles (and there are some really great ones) for the capable Series 60 phones out there. If Nokia was smart, they'd turn into an online gaming store and tap into the roughly 30 million S60 phones out there. It's going to take the PSP years to get to that level of penetration, no? That to me is the N-Gage's only chance.

I was talking to Mike late last night about the PSP, and the first thing he wanted to know was how he could put Linux on it. I'm sure there's lots of people who are wondering the same thing and I don't know . I made the comment that it's probably going to be a lot like hacking the X-Box, and it dawned on me that in the future there could be a real industry around "Hacked Consumer Electronics Devices." Seriously - getting your TiVo to automagically skip ads, putting any OS you want on your XBox, playing GameBoy games on your Sony PSP, etc. The latter might not be that hard, actually. If you can get firmware upgrades which are installed into Flash ROM, then someone is bound to get Linux on that bad boy soon, and a GameBoy emulator soon thereafter (rock).

All this said, I'm just excited to play with this thing. I can't wait to sit around, turn on my shiny new PSP and connect over WiFi and play some multiplayer game against some guy in Asia. That's going to rock.


< Previous         Next >