Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Jay Jan 27, 2011

I keep thinking Neo Geo Pocket. Maybe that's what they want me to think. http://ie.psp.ign.com/articles/114/1146358p1.html

Well, it's a beast. And being a beast, it's easy to think they're making similar mistakes to the PSP (although beyond ease of piracy, I'm not convinced about what mistakes the PSP made aside from basic perception). But twin sticks that actually look like they work like sticks have me completely sold.

As if that wasn't enough, the power looks incredibly impressive. I remember the day my first import PSP arrived with Ridge Racers and I started it up. It blew me away. And the fact that 3DS Ridge Racer looks no better than that five (six?) year old game is a testament to how good it looked (or how lazy Namco are being with their 3DS version). It looks like that same awe will come from the PSP2. It looks like that leap when console games became arcade perfect. This is handheld gaming becoming big console perfect. Or very close to.

A few impressive names so far: Uncharted. Killzone. Wipeout. And, as a MGS4 demo was there, that's got to mean some MGS will be coming in some form or other (may have been announced and I missed it).

I imagine the price will be very hefty. Looks like they're going to be selling this as a premium high-end machine. Whether that bites them in the ass remains to be seen. And the big question will be battery life. I half think we may need to wear some sort of huge battery backpack to power this thing for more than four minutes.

So far, I want one.

Cedille Jan 27, 2011

My prime concern is if some kind of contracts with a phone provider is mandatory (or virtually mandatory since the price is so expensive that people have to pay on easy terms). Nowadays we have a cellphone or smartphone, and another is a bit too much.

the_miker Jan 27, 2011

Lovin' the large size of the unit itself and the screen, dual analog sticks (!), grips on the back, rear touch panel, built-in 3G, 802.11n, SD card-like media the games will be sold on, six-axis motion sensing, and all the social integration (LiveArea, Near).  Kinda worried about not being able to replace the battery since I imagine the battery life will take a beating with all the tech on the device, but we shall see.  For people with UMD collections, it'd be nice of Sony to release some sort of UMD backup device so gamers can transfer their UMD games to the internal memory of the NGP.

Still no mention of price or region lockout either, though I'm guessing it won't be cheap and I'm hoping it'll be region free like the PSP and PS3.  And my biggest complaint about the PSP.. software library.  Sony is obviously giving the big-name devs some really nice hardware to work with so let's hope they actually make some good games.  Would love to see some clever usage of those touch panels (rhythm games!).

I like this. --> "Hideo Kojima envisions using the exact same game on the PS3 and the NGP.  You play the game on your PS3 at home, and out and about you play the same game and same save on your NGP."

But since the NGP is so far off, right now I'm more excited about the "hardware-neutral" PlayStation Suite.  Sony's teaming up with Android to provide a PlayStation app store with the ability to purchase and play PSOne classics as well as original titles and (possibly) PSP games.  The original titles will be playable on the NGP from the start.  Very cool to see PlayStation games finally being released on an open source operating system.  Now I just need to wait for new Android phones to come out this year with slide-out PlayStation controllers instead of keyboards. big_smile

Ashley Winchester Jan 27, 2011

I don't know, I'm kind of put off by it's power somewhat. In a certain respect, don't you think that Sony would realize the power of a handheld (or any gaming machine) isn't everything? I'm not a Nintendo fanboy, but just look at how Nintendo has practically ruled the handheld market every generation despite not having the most horsepower behind it's systems. Still, I guess you go with what you know and this is what Sony knows, not the opposite.

All I can say to Sony is I hope your not biting off more than you can chew. Last thing you need to do is nerf another system to get the price point down faster so you can compete.

And another thing (and this is going to sound rather of stupid) but in regards to games - do handheld systems even have "killer apps"? I honestly can't remember that last time someone came up to me and was really buzzing about a launch title for a handheld system. I'm sure games like the Metal Gears are nice, but do fans even put these on the same level as the numbered entries on the console? While the launch titles for the 3DS aren't exactly breathtaking since they seem intent on rushing it, I'm even less enthralled about the franchises their talking about bringing to the NGP. And while some of the games ported to the original PSP deserved another go-around with audiences, lets hope this doesn’t become a port machine either.

Not really sad to see the death of the UMD, although I still think they are somewhat cute.

Yes, I'm a guy and I used the word cute. I also like a cheesy-ass song called "The Valley of Rainbows" - wanna fight about it tongue

avatar! Jan 27, 2011

So, the iPSP has no UMD slot? Does it have any disk connectivity or will it be all download? If the latter, I predict it shall be about as popular as the PSP go, which is to say, it will be a failure. That is my prediction, and even if it's wrong, I certainly have no interest in a download only iPSP.

Jay Jan 27, 2011

It has a memory card format that seems to be for retail games.

Ashley Winchester Jan 27, 2011

avatar! wrote:

So, the iPSP has no UMD slot? Does it have any disk connectivity or will it be all download? If the latter, I predict it shall be about as popular as the PSP go, which is to say, it will be a failure. That is my prediction, and even if it's wrong, I certainly have no interest in a download only iPSP.

As Jay said, they're going the memory stick route like the DS, but I have to agree the PSP Go was a terrible idea. The only games I'll DL are the ones I have hard copies of (like PS1 Classics; I DLed Wild Arms since my PS2 has trouble running my copy for some reason - the minute the first characters' foot reaches the ground when jumping into combat there's a good chance it'll freeze) which makes NO sense I know.

I wish there was a way to but PS1 games onto the PSP without having to hack it. If I could put the games in my PS1 collection on the PSP legitimately (I don't have the patience to try and hack it honestly) I would have purchased the system eons ago. Leave it to a hacker to make the system more attractive than its creators could.

XLord007 Jan 27, 2011

Jay, I'm right there with you on the Neo Geo Pocket comment.  This is the second time Sony has tried to co-opt a widely used abbreviation of another platform for a new product (the first was when they named their PS2/DVR hybrid the PSX, the standard abbreviation for the original PlayStation).  Hopefully Sony will unveil the real name sooner rather than later.  I guess they don't want to call it the PSP2 since that has a "2" in the name while the 3DS has a "3" in the name (in the same way that Microsoft had name to its second console the "Xbox 360" instead of the "Xbox 2" in order to compete with the PS3).  I'm going to continue to refer to it as the PSP2 untl Sony comes up with a final name.

Anyway, I think the PSP2 looks great in the same way that the PSP looked great before it was released.  As a piece of tech, it looks somewhat more appealing than the 3DS; after playing with an iPad, I'm a firm believer in multitouch over having to use a stylus.  That said, it seems less portable than the 3DS due to its larger size and the two analog sticks on the front which means you basically have to have a case for it to keep the sticks from getting caught on things.  You also probably don't want to get crap on either of the system's touch panels.  Since the 3DS folds, you can just stuff it in a pocket.  It's also kind of sad to see battery life becoming less of a priority for both Sony and Nintendo.  Nintendo says 3-6 hours for 3DS games played with the 3D turned on, and Sony is saying the PSP2's battery offers playtime "similar to the original PSP" which puts into the same range as the 3DS.

As others have mentioned, I think Sony may be overdoing it.  Didn't they learn from the first PSP that outside of Japan, there isn't much of a market for console-style experiences on a handheld?  How are developers going to justify the development costs for games?  Will it be like the PS3 and 360 where only major releases hit retail and all the cool stuff is relegated to the online shop (which is not necessarily a bad thing if the shop is done well and you can transfer content when you upgrade)?

To answer Avatar's question, retail releases will be on a proprietary flash card format that can hold more than UMDs.  One of the articles I read pointed out the irony of Sony going back to a cart-like format to compete with Nintendo after famously decimating Nintendo with the CD format during the 32/64-bit years.

I'd also be pretty excited about a game experience that could be transferred seamlessly back and forth between a console and a portable as The Miker pointed out that Kojima claims to be working on.  Of course, this is something that's been loosely promised as long as their have been hardware manufacturers that make both consoles and portables, and it's yet to be realized in a meaningful way, so I'm not exactly holding my breath.

To answer Ashely's question, portables most certainly have killer apps, though not always at launch (just like consoles).  The Game Boy had Tetris, the Game Boy Color had Pokemon (Red/Blue were regular GB games, but their U.S. launch was timed to give a lift to the GBC which saw release a few months later), the DS had Nintendogs, Brain Age, and New Super Mario Bros., and the PSP has the Monster Hunter games (these are killer apps in Japan, if nowhere else).

Finally, there's still the big question of price.  I can't imagine this selling for less than $300, though I suppose Sony may work out some deals with the cellular carriers to sell the 3G SKU  at a discount when bundled with a data plan (Sony has confirmed that outside of Japan there will be multiple SKUs like the iPad and nook where you can choose whether you want 3G capability or not).

GoldfishX Jan 27, 2011

Looks neat, but yeah...I think Sony overestimated the price factor on the original PSP, thinking people would pay up for it, and it came back to hurt them against the scrappier DS. It is likely to do the same here. I think "higher-end" isn't quite as compelling for a portable as it is for home units. Granted, the 3DS has upped the price factor as well, but I expect this one to be $300 or above.

One thing that I never liked about the PSP seems to have been addressed though: loading times (especially for a portable). Hopefully, it will read nice and quickly off a flashcard (and maybe extend that battery life too!)

Qui-Gon Joe Jan 27, 2011

So not feelin' it.  Maybe if they'd shown a decent software reel to go with it I'd feel something, but as it is I see a pretty awesome piece of tech that will be super expensive and way more powerful than I feel a handheld needs.  The idea that the PSP2 might get ports of PS3 in large numbers doesn't really fill me with a lot of confidence either.  Personally I love my DS because a lot of the games on it couldn't be really done elsewhere.  The PSP for me really came into its own later in life when companies started using it as a platform for games that really didn't need super amazing graphics so the consoles weren't an option.  Since I rarely game on the go, I just can't bring myself to be super interested in this yet.

Also, there IS that thing where they're making these things (both PSP and 3DS) so damn powerful and feature-ridden that the battery life is going to be crap on both!  The few times a year that I DO want a portable console involve 12 hour plane flights, so I'm a little irritated that neither of these new devices would even give me half that.  sad

A.Stealth Jan 27, 2011 (edited Jan 31, 2011)

It is pretty massive but then I think to the Atari Lynx.  It was closer to the size of a console than a hand-held and still one of my favorite hand-helds.

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Gum Ball Machine Warehouse

Amazingu Jan 28, 2011

It'll be nice to have such a powerful machine in the palms of your hands, but the problem with ALL Sony consoles so far is that they had shitty launch titles, and that in most cases it takes a long time for any must-haves to hit.

Compared to the 3DS, which has several titles I'm definitely interested in coming out in the first half year, Sony would do well to get some fun titles available quick.

Sami Jan 28, 2011

System looks good, hope Sony gets their third party support together.

the_miker Jan 28, 2011

Sami wrote:

hope Sony gets their third party support together.

Looks like they've got quite an impressive list of devs already onboard: http://www.the-magicbox.com/1101/game110127h.shtml

I'm very excited to see Grasshopper on there.  Suda said on Twitter: "After the Sony conference, I talked all night with famous producers about the revolutionary possibilities for the NGP and Android.  I'm drunk off of this new Punk hardware." big_smile

Between that and Kojima saying he'll announce something at E3, I'd say they're off to a good start.  Hot Shots Golf NEXT looks great too with the touch panel and gyroscope controls, and I'm assuming that'll be a launch title.  Those games are perfect portable games, I loved the Open Tee series on PSP.

Qui-Gon Joe Jan 29, 2011

Angela wrote:

The hell?  When did The Magic Box come back up online?  And here I thought they went under and never resurfaced lo so many years ago.

As far as I know they never left...

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