Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What I'd like to see in the PSP 4000 model

The PSP 3000 model introduced some new improvements to the existing Slim & Lite (PSP 2000) model, but it took a major step back in the LCD screen department. Reports of ghosting, interlacing and unnatural color reproduction have made the new PSP an unworthy upgrade of the previous Slim & Lite. The screen is very important, since we do spent many hours staring at it. So, here's a wish list for the inevitable future PSP 4000.

Include OLED (Organic LED) screen technology. It puts LCD and Plasma to shame with superior color reproduction, amazing contrast ratios, no dead pixels, no response rate issues and no backlight needed. The OLED screen creates its own light and is reported to be visible even in sunlight. It also uses a lot less power which is a must for handhelds. It's time the PSP makes use of this excellent new technology.

Bluetooth would also be useful for various reasons such as sharing content with a cell phone or connecting to the internet if not within wireless reach.

And of course trophies. Why are there no trophies in PSP games now that the PSP is able to access the PlayStation Network? This should have been included in an update a long time ago.

The final missing piece to the puzzle is AAA games. There's just not enough AAA titles on the PSP, with lackluster support from Sony having put the PSP in its current predicament. Gran Turismo Mobile that was shown before the PSP even launched and still hasn't been released. It's no surprise PSP owners are dissapointed.


Morden said...

PSP 4000 - Ha! Will the flood of new models never end? I remember that back in the good old days I'd buy a handheld and enjoy it, without haveing to worry that in a few months a new, superior model will hit the market.

Honestly, I feel like I'm getting screwed by Nintendo and Sony every time they release updates to their consoles. Upgrading firmware is one thing - designing new features unavailable to those who bought the console early is another.

I bought the first PSP, then I bought the slim. I wanted TV out and slim design and then PSP 3000 came along. Did I buy it the third time? No. And now you're talking about PSP 4000? This is ridiculous.

Same thing with Nintendo DS. I bought the first fatty and once the Lite came out, I bought that too. I bought two consoles just to see DSi being marketed, featuring major upgrades.

GameBoy Advance? Same thing. I bought the first one, then I bought the SP and later Micro came out. Where are the good old days when a product was finished when it hit the shelves and it lasted for years in a pretty much unchanged form?

Primal said...

I'd have to disagree, the first PSP you and I bought was what was technologically and price wise feasible at the time. If improvements can be made to the hardware for the same price, than I would much prefer to see those improvements happen.

It's the price of being an early adopter, sure you had a Phat PSP, but you were able to play it way before the Slim & Lite was released. And everything can be played on the first PSP no problem, it's not like newer games don't work. So there's no reason to upgrade unless you want to. I upgraded to the PSP 2000 because I thought the Phat was too big and heavy. And I found it to be so much better. But I didn't upgrade to the 3000 because for me, it was pointless. I don't care about having a microphone and an inferior screen. But if they can improve it further and release another one down the line that has something I want, I might consider upgrading, but I don't have to, because every PSP does the same job.

The original Gameboy was out on the market for way too long without an upgrade and the price didn't fall much even though technology had improved immensely.

I thought the DS Lite was a huge improvement over the first DS and a necessary upgrade. The DSi? Nope, not necessary. But new buyers will probably appreciate it.

Morden said...

Don't get me wromg - improvement is good. The only problem I have with the whole upgrade phenomenon, is that I usually want to buy the platform when it premieres. This means that, more often than not, I pay quite a price for the hardware, as the prices are always higher at launch.

I want to play these cool games on this cool new console and I have to pay planty to do that. After that, I'm not particularly happy about fifth generation of hardware XYZ being ten times better and available for one third of initial price.

I bought X360 Elite when it came out and I paid alot for it. Same model is now less expensive and is usually bundled with 2 or 3 games - I'm okay with that because prices do drop over time, but it's still the same hardware.

When you think about PSX or PS2 upgrades, it was all about making it smaller, etc. The features well [mostly] all the same. In PS2's case, at some point the i-link port was removed, integrated IR was added, later when they made the slim version you could no longer attach a HD and BBA was also integrated, but I was ok with that aswell.

When it comes to PSP and DS, you can really see how the console actually improves. Better screen, TV out, SD card reader, integrated cameras, so on and so forth. Sony and Nintendo aren't improving on the design to make it smaller and cheaper to produce, while stripping unused features. They're adding to the quality of the product in essential areas.

While it's good that Joe Shmoe can now buy a much better console for less, I'm kind of pissed off because I already bought both of them twice and I'm still not at the best possible model.

"Hey Morden, can any of your TWO NDS handhelds download content from Nintendo Store? Can you take and save pictures and can you run DSi dedicated software? No? Oh, bummer."

Flavor said...

It seems obvious that the business model of releasing new hardware versions of a console makes dollars and sense. People want new/cool stuff, and they're willing to pay for it. Even though they might complain about it, they still pay for it.

I actually think that it works. Early adopters will pay for the research and development of the early model. After that, it's normally tweaks that improve the hardware or make it cheaper to produce.

This is great, especially when it's mostly transparent to the user. Take something like the original XBox or PSX that had several hardware revisions. They were so minor that most users would never know or care that the hardware changed. These updates were mainly to build the machine cheaper and fix hardware issues.

The updates that are troublesome are the ones that end up segmenting the user-base. When companies release new hardware that then creates a group of haves and a group of have-nots, it can cause problems. Then, it's not just about, "Oh man, I paid twice that much at system launch." It becomes, "I have to upgrade if I want to play with my friends, even though I have a console with the same name."

Nintendo seems to come up with a pretty nice formula for this. They always try to release a console with backward compatibility to boost early adopter sales and then they slowly phase out the old while they're phasing in the new. They've been doing this for a while now, and that's why the DSi is phasing out the GBA slot while phasing in the SD slot. It's innovation with a keen eye toward market and user-base.