Techdigest: Both the PlayStation and PS2 received much needed makeovers during their lifetimes, but the good old PSP has yet to receive similar treatment. We know it will happen someday – in fact Sony Computer Europe’s UK Managing Director, Ray Maguire has already stated as much – Sony just hasn’t finished working on it yet. (…) But before the brainstorming finishes, we have a wish list of the changes we’d like to see in a new version.
10. Lose the UMDs
Come on Sony; why are we still mincing around with this defunct format? God knows, it’s not like it has gone down very well with the movie studios anyway, so bite the bullet and cut it off like a diseased hand. And think of the benefits – the faster load times, the increased battery life and the dramatically reduced risk of PSP shuriken injury. Better than that, it will mean there is sooo much more space in the unit for the other improvements I have planned.
9. Get spacious
Hopeful rumours of a PSP with more memory have floated around for years, but now that Sony is reportedly involved in talks with Amazon.com, MovieLink and CinemaNow to arrange for direct movie downloads, it is high time we thought beyond the limitations of what the Memory Stick format has to offer. Not to mention that it will be essential once we have implemented the above policy.
8. Up with WiFi
The PSP still proves to be surprisingly handy as an internet browser, even though it took Sony a couple of firmware updates to get the software up to scratch. Now let’s up the ante with faster wireless connectivity. Because 802.11b was like totally 2005. With a bit of a speed boost there’s no reason why the PSP couldn’t get its very own PlayStation Store browser too. Think about it – that’s more money for you Sony.
7. More power to you
Currently, you can expect between 4-8 hours of juice from your PSP’s battery. Not entirely lamentable I know, but then there’s the DS Lite’s phenomenal lasting power – I’m pretty sure I still haven’t charged mine up since I bought it (slight exaggeration there). Surely we can do better than this by now, and it’s not like the screen is so staggeringly bright that it can sucking up all that much juice. And while we’re on the subject…
6. Brighter, Brighter, BRIGHTER!
I live in Scotland but, believe it or not, there are occasions when the sunshine breaks through the perpetual gloom oot on the moor. And on those occasions, I still want to immerse myself in a virtual fantasy land. I just want to do it outside. While that X-Black coated screen can be staggeringly nice to look at, the dingy lighting and highly reflective surface usually means you end up ogling your own slack-jawed face instead of seeing what you’re doing.
5. No more console ports, please
A quick look down the UK’s games chart for the PSP paints a pretty depressing picture. This handheld has been reduced to latching on to cross-format titles with little to no original thought going into designing games tailored to the portable medium. A lot of the blame lies in Sony’s non-committal to first-party development on the PSP; luckily the company now aims to correct that mistake in the near future. A good start might be working out what on earth happened to Gran Turismo 4 Mobile…
Phones have Bluetooth, laptops have Bluetooth, sat navs have Bluetooth and headphones have Bluetooth. Hell, even somebags have Bluetooth. Why not the PSP then? I want caller ID on my PSP, I want to make calls and browse my phonebook, send and receive files and generally geek it up in a plethora of wireless interconnectivity. And hey look, the PS3 has Bluetooth, so I’m seeing a clear opportunity for the PSP to double up as full blown wireless controller, and not in the limited sense of the PS3′s Remote Play. Which brings me smoothly to my next point:
3. Remote play, shmemote play
Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty keen on the PS3′s remote play system which, for the uninitiated, lets you access your PS3′s XMB (that’s menu to you and me) to browse content, track friends, compose messages and even stream music and video. It’s a good start but let down by the fact your PS3 has to be on and set to the Remote Play option before you can begin. Give the PSP the power to turn your PS3 on and off. Let me browse content while my flat mates are getting repeatedly pwned at Resistance. And if it eats up their bandwidth, who cares? It might encourage them to buy their own damned console. Grr.
2. Touchy feely
Anyone who thought the six-axis was a bit of a rip off of the Wii remote is not going to like this: why not have some touch screen functionality? I’m pretty sure there is still space in the gaping hole left by the UMD tray for a stylus and it will do wonders for internet browsing. Of course, that could also mean that the PSP could lose the awful analogue stick completely. But if that’s still too limiting, why not have full set of six-axis motion detection to boot? Pop that in your pipe Nintendo.
1. Cross-platform gaming
Microsoft has been hinting at cross-platform Xbox, PC and Windows Mobile gaming for a good long while, but Sony now has two perfectly powerful systems in place, ready to make Microsoft’s musings a reality. Time I think for Sony to turn the tables and make Microsoft play second fiddle in an online setting for a change. And PlayStation Home looks like it might be the ideal testing ground for just such an idea; the PS3 can act as the main programming platform for your own virtual home, while the PSP could simply let you hang out in your pad and check out others while you’re away form the main console.