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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Does a PSP2 form factor make sense?

Rumours are abound this week that Sony is planning to announce a new version of the Sony PlayStation Portable (dubbed PSP2).

While this is no doubt exciting, it makes you wonder given the fact that we've been seeing and hearing rumours about a PlayStation Phone from Sony Ericsson, whether the PSP2 form factor still makes sense.  With Sony seeing PSP sales dipping of late, isn't the problem more the threat being put forward by other portable gaming platforms, i.e. the smartphones?

With smartphones like the Apple iPhone, you need to carry around only one device which serves as your communications centre (that allows you to connect to e-mail, SMS, phone calls, web surfing, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) but which also allows you to move your Apps around with you as well.  Many of these Apps can indeed be games, which are easily downloadable onto your smartphone through App stores like Apple's own iTunes store.

With a PSP, you need to consider carrying around a second device as most people already carry along a phone with them.  To get games on there, you need to buy them physically from a store or download them if you have a product like the PSP GO.  You could argue though that the PSP has its advantages that some of the people who play with it are young kids who you don't want to give a smartphone to yet but that also means Sony would be restricting their audience to kids and possibly hardcore gamers only.

The convenience though is clearly not with you with a PSP like it would be with a smartphone and with developers like Electronics Arts (EA) who are coming out and saying that they expect to see a bigger chunk of their revenues coming from the smartphone segment in the future, you wonder if Sony is looking forwards with the release of the PSP2 or if more efforts should go behind Sony Ericsson's PSP phone the success story it has the potential to be.

With the supposed press launch for the PSP2 coming up on 27th January and Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona coming in February (where supposedly Sony Ericsson could announce the PSP phone), it could be an interesting month to watch ahead for PlayStation fans.

For details on the PSP2, you can click here.
For details and sneak images of the Sony Ericsson PSP phone, you can click here.

Posted By:

Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics