The Sony PSP Mobile Computing Platform
So I keep waiting to make predictions about the PSP, but every time I start mulling it over, something new comes out. A while ago was the revelation that Sony was support AVC and MP4 so you can load up videos as well as play MP3s. From the beginning there were mock-ups of the PSP as a mobile phone, and there's a software update floating out there which includes a word processor and a spreadsheet. Today there's the announcement that Sony is considering opening up their UMD disc format. Wow.
The PSP is becoming a lot more than a game machine, isn't it? I mean, just as a wirelessly connected, great looking portable with advanced 3D Graphics it's going to rule the mobile gaming market. Maybe the gaming market period, seriously. IMHO Nintendo blew it *big* time on this front - the DS stands for DisaSter. Have you seen the games out yet or played with it in a store? Horrible. Hopefully Nintendo goes the way of Sega, drops the hardware race and we'll start seeing Mario on other gaming platforms very soon. I love Nintendo games, it's just a shame they can't keep up with Sony and Microsoft on the hardware side of things.
Anyways, I think the PSP is going to become a lot more than just a portable PS2. It has the chance to not only become the iPod of multimedia devices, but a portable computing platform as well. Sony has started with games and multimedia, and they're already on track to sell 3 million of the PSPs worldwide. But we could start seeing *a lot* more of the computational power and memory in the device being used. I mean, the PSP is only slightly less powerful than the current PS2. In addition to external add-ons like keyboards, I can see Sony coming out with a version with a hard drive for music and video, a version with Bluetooth to connect to your Sony Ericsson phone or maybe just one with an integrated phone itself. I could see other versions with a little keypad, or a reduced-form factor version, as well.
One of the coolest features of the PSP is the WiFi capability. Like I've written in my Bluetooth Rebroadcasting post, I'd love to be able to play my portable games against anyone else in the world, not just who's nearby. Portable gaming in general is so great because there's so much dead time while traveling and doesn't restrict you to playing in one spot or another. But even in the house it's just more comfortable and convenient (read: bathroom time) Every time I think about buying a console, I grab my GBA or my N-Gage instead and am quite happy. The PSP is that same experience as these devices, but with a huge gorgeous screen and lots of power. I really can't wait to own one.
Yeah, I think the PSP is going to be a real phenomenon. Watch and see.