The Future of the PSP

Everyone remembers when the PSP was first announced. We all wondered what Sony had in store for the gaming world through the release of its portable console. Some said that the console would ultimately fail. Every other portable console that has gone against the juggernaut known as Nintendo GameBoy *insert any name here* has ultimately failed. Sony promised to bring new content to the PSP. A new experience that we ha never seen on a portable console before. So far, I’m happy to say that Sony has delivered.

The PSP has been hit with the same exact stigma that has hampered the PS3. People will often tell you that there is a lack of good games on the console. I think that has more to do with people merely parroting what others have said. Who can say that God of War: Chains of Olympus and Final Fantasy: Crisis Core are not good games. Only two games have been listed by me so far, but that’s because they are the two that I’m currently playing. Final Fantasy Tactics, Syphon Filter, the Socoms, and the list goes on. Daxter, Star Wars Battlefront and though it hasn’t been released yet, Secret Agent Clank should be another on that list.

There have been rumblings that Sony is disappointed with the sales of the PSP. Developers have been said to have been dropping support of the console as well. Has this been officially confirmed? No, it has not. Will it be confirmed? Who knows. This article is going to address what I think could be the future of the PSP.

The PSP as a Multimedia Device

When the PSP was first released many spoke of its ability to play a myriad of media content. Not only could you listen to music, but you could also watch movies via the memory stick or a UMD. UMDs have not been exceedingly successful, but that has not lessened the PSPs abilities. Sony would be wise to add the ability to play additional codecs. DIVX would be a great start. Adding that with every other popular codec down to MKV would be huge.

The PSP as a Phone

Adding Skype capabilities to slim PSPs is great. Sony should take this a step further. There have been rumblings about a PSP phone for years. I think that Sony should fully pursue this with the PSP. Do not say that NGage failed and therefore a PSP phone would as well. Unlike NGage, the PSP already has a huge library of titles to bank on. Sony has a close relationship with ATT and the ability to use a 3G sim card in a PSP just makes me smile like a kid on Christmas. Allowing for the use of Bluetooth headsets and a built in camera…you have yourself a winner.

The PSP as a Gaming Console

Do you think that the PSP has reached the end of its cycle? According to what Sony has said, you’d be wrong to think so. There have already been sightings of the 3000 series sku on the site. (The pics you’ve seen on the Internet are fake). So it apparent that another iteration of the PSP is on its way and it definitely is not the PSP2. Will it expand on the capabilities that are in the current PSP. More ram? A sim card slot? The desperately wanted and needed second analog? No one knows. A built in HDD would be nice. 8gb would be the perfect start. At some later time I’ll go into what the PSP2 should be, but this is all about the PSP.

Expanding on the PSPs ability to interact with the PS3 is important. Why? Because taking advantage of all of your muscle is not typically a bad move by any means. The PSN has a slew of good titles and I’d certainly love to play them on the go. (SSHD anyone? I am excluding the current need for more buttons to get this done, but you could map some of the functions to the face buttons). PixelJunk Monsters has shown just how enjoyable it is to take a favorite with you anywhere. Having the ability to have saves for PSP and PS3 games be interchangeable would be great as well. For example, take Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. There were a few different characters, but I would have liked to get to a certain point in the game at home and then continue my adventures on the road. Developers that make every game for every console would be able to maximize its potential profits with many a PlayStation owner this way.

The PSP would not hurt from more games. No console would. With continued high quality development and a way to prevent pirating completely, the PSP could continue to grow and develop. I figure this is as good a place as any to say, that it would not hurt to give those that clamoring for it in-game xmb. (Another one of those issues that I think don’t substantially impact the PSP, but hey what do I know).