The PlayStation Portable
The world of
gaming is in no way a stranger to the competitive nature of
the major gaming companies, especially when it comes to
consoles. Since consoles really hit their peak, it seems each
developer has been striving to get their own out the door and
into the world. Some survive, some don’t, but each adds
something new to the gaming world in one way or another.
However, in a separate war outside the announcements of the
new Nintendo and the PS3 and Xbox 2, one company has taken an
unusually daring step. That company is Sony. In a territory
predominately reigned over by Nintendo, Sony has decided to
step in as one of the few to try and compete with Nintendo’s
handheld market. Whether or not they make it is a question to
which only time holds the answer, but it looks like Sony is
doing everything in their power to influence it towards their
Introduced by the man many PlayStation gamers
call “father,” Ken Kutaragi, love him or hate him, continues
his lineage. Only, this time, his lineage can fit in the palm
of your hand. Christened the PSP by its developers,
the PlayStation Portable is perhaps the next step in the
growing market of portable gaming. The PSP has thrown out the
old ways, cartridge gaming that is, and taken its handheld
gaming realm into the world of CDs. The CDs to be used for
the PSP are known as Universal Media Disc. These
large-capacity discs are roughly half the size of a DVD and
boast a storage capacity three times that of a normal CD-ROM.
Hosting a 32-bit processor and capable 3D hardware, the PSP
looks set to far exceed the graphics of Nintendo’s coveted
Game Boy Advance. And, perhaps to further bury Nintendo’s
miniature cash cow, Sony has apparently loaded its new baby
with enough gadgets to make the GBA SP’s versatility seem as
useful as clear wrapping paper.
Along with some if it’s new features, the new
PSP is supposed to also have some of the GBA’s features. And,
while some may say they are a little late to catch the
novelty, the PSP emulates the GBA in the ways that really
count. The PSP is said to start out with the backlit LCD
screen that Nintendo for so long would only offer in revamped
versions of their mainstream handheld systems. And, another
desirable but long overlooked feature to join the PSP’s
release features, the PSP will come with a built-in
rechargeable battery. And the PSP is also said to have some
connectivity with the PS2 and even your PC, among many other
items. However, with the PS3’s future so far away, there was
no word on connectivity in that direction.
As for some of its more original features, the
PSP is also said to have a special port allowing gamers to
save information to their PlayStation memory sticks. The
system is also boasting the ability to use 3D polygons and 3D
curved surfaces to generate quality images. And, coupled with
its apparently impressive and noteworthy sound system, the PSP
is thought to have no problem being able to play full-length
movies with quality in league with DVDs.
With little more than a list of its proposed specifications,
the PSP is nevertheless sounding quite impressive thus far.
While no price point was officially announced, the PSP is
expected to be released by the end of 2004.