Sony announces touch-friendly PSP2 (NGP) and PlayStation Suite -- could it come to iPhone and iPad?

Sony announces touch-friendly PSP2 (NGP) and PlayStation Suite -- could it come to iPhone and iPad?

Still surprising if not a surprise, Sony has made the decoupling their PlayStation games from PlayStation hardware -- like the new PSP2/NGP -- official with the launch of PlayStation Suite. Android is the only other platform targeted right now (which makes sense given Sony Ericsson's Android phone investment) but could the 160 million install base strong iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad iOS platform come online in the future?

Hey, Verizon is getting the iPhone so anything can happen, right? Still, with Apple maintaining tight control of the App Store they and Sony would probably have to come to a special licensing and development deal to get the same type of PlayStation content onto iOS. It wouldn't be as easy as Android and likely webOS would. Sony could always develop/port iOS-specific versions of their titles but that would take more effort on their part, even with 160 million reasons to do it.

Sony also announced their next generation portable (NGP), aka the PSP2 and it's a monster in every sense of the word. If you thought the rumored Apple A5 chip was hot, this thing is on fire with a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 and quad-core PowerVR SGX543 chipset (they claim it's close to PS3 in terms of power). The 5-in OLED display is 960x544 (close to iPhone 4's 960x640) and touch sensitive. It's got at the 3Gs and Wi-Fis, as well as a touch-sensitive area on the back of the device so you can swipe without obscuring the display. Dual cameras, dual analog thumbsticks and the usual PS controls round out the input methods. It's also got a new interface that they claim is more social but -- at least so far -- doesn't look as clean or consistent as the old crossbar. Sony does say it will be ready for a holiday 2011 release which will put it up against iPhone 5, iPod touch 5, and iPad 2 (with iPad 3 on its way).

Both Sony and Nintendo have been losing mobile gaming share to iOS over the least couple years, will hardware like the PSP2 and software like PlayStation suite start turning that tide?

[Android Central, Engadget]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Sony announces touch-friendly PSP2 (NGP) and PlayStation Suite -- could it come to iPhone and iPad?


The chip in it is nice. I don't know about the rest. Oled screen will be hard to see in the sun. It also leaves burned images. Also they should have beefed up the resolution. It wont be close to retina because the larger screen. Then the games will be over priced short. Finally the last thing is battery life.

Sigh, No, the OLED screen will not be hard to see in the sun on higher brightness levels. I was talking to somebody the other day who's similarly fallen for this nonsense when I told him I'd traded in my iPhone for a Samsung Focus. "In daylight the screen just goes black!" he declared, not having actually seen the device, much less in sunlight. Suffice to say, he was shocked when we walked outside and not only was it viewable--it was clearer than his iPhone 4.
OLED is a fantastic screen technology that provides rich, vibrant colors and good brightness. Is it perfect? No. But I challenge you to show me a screen technology that is.

Not that I'm buying this but OLED doesn't burn in images, that's plasma. OLED would be fine for this because it's a gaming device, not potentially something you carry around every day and sit playing outside with.

I don't think it will take much, if any, market from iOS, at least hardware wise. Built into some nice Android powered phones? It may steal a few, but not noticeable, iPhone sales.

I think this is Sony's last gasp on this type of device. From what I can tell so far, yes, the hardware is awesome with everything including the sink, but it does not look like Sony is changing the business model of the PSP.
This hardware is going to cost $800 to $1000, and Sony will like sell it subsidized for $500 or so. Then they'll sell games on flash cards for the typical amount ($30 to $60).
If they don't have an application store model with digital downloads, I think they this type of device will only sell into a smaller and smaller niche. The "App Store" model is going to supercede the "subsidized hardware, but make your money on the games" model.
There will be a point of diminishing returns. Nintendo thought well on this and they went for producing games that are "fun" instead of an "intense" experience with technological superiority. Having 130m tri/s is great and all, but if it isn't fun, it doesn't pay off.

I think it would be nice to see apps like this, but idk if Apple will do it just because it may cut into their market.

This looks like a very powerful machine but Sony and Nintendo I think are going to see their markets dry up. Everyone wants to carry around one device now. At most everyone I know will bare to carry their phone and a dedicated digi-cam but that's it.
Sony is in a better position, they do have apps in the app store already. Some of their big second/third party playstation developers have games in the app store too.
IMO, Sony should have focused on making a PSPhone or a killer phone with playstation network access and downloadable games. Their current Android offerrings don't appear to be power houses, and from what I see have outdated versions of Android as well.

Sony's biggest drawback to entice new customers is the price of the games. I am not interested at all. But I like how apple is such a competitor to so many markets. Gaming, music downloads, phone, video, etc.

I rather pay $30 for a QUALITY game than $.99 for an iFart ;)
Sony , while very successful in the console department, have always lacked something in the handheld market. Im hoping this will not be the case with NGP, but Im still skeptical.
This system will survive if Sony makes its software compatible with PS3 and allows a PS3 user to play the same game against someone with NGP.
Nintendo, will sell tons of 3DS units, cause they are the king of handheld even since the first GameBoy,,, Ive seen the new 3DS in person and it is very amazing. :D
At the end of the day, as consumers, we should be happy with more competition, cause that equals to better games for US :twisted:

With the suite already slated for android it could give googles OS even that much more of a push in the market.

Ipod touch and Iphones are not direct competitors to the PSP2 .. Come on people enough with that.. it's apples and oranges

If you actually care about games, psp2 is about 20x better than iOS devices. I mean close to ps3 graphics on a handheld? You can't beat quality games like uncharted and killzone with iFart or angry birds. Sorry apple fanboys.

I'm both an iPhone and Playstation fanboy and, although I'm looking forward to awesome gaming on the NGP, I wish the NGP was more tablet-like for the other functions like e-mail and browsing. A 7" screen would have been awesome. As it is, the NGP will not change my plans to pick up an iPad 2 at launch, but likewise I doubt the iPad 2 will offer anything to deter me from picking up a NGP for my elite gaming needs. I see these devices as serving two very distinct markets - just like PCs and home game consoles.

I don't think console or portable gaming devices can stop the losing their share to other competitors like smart phones. After all, you have limited budget and time to play.
I have iPhone and PS3 and NDS (and many others,) if there are the same title offered to all platform I'll just choose the platform that is suitable to play the game so it's not a big deal. But for casual gamers or people who doesn't do selective gaming might just pick up the cheapest.
At moment there are so many imitation games that original ideas from other platform (not necessary console or portable gaming device,) if we really want it to be a fair match Apple needs to pull thousands of games / app off first. I think the chaos is one of the reason in iPhone's success.
I don't have an Android but I think PlayStation Suite is good. There are many legendary playstation titles that offer great game play, which is much better than many of the games in App Store. Actually it made me think someone who cares games more than business app might choose Android over iPhone.

I love the fact that flexible OLEDs have a quicker response time than LEDs, it just doesn't make sense to use LEDs anymore!

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