While it hasn’t been announced, there is now significant evidence of a PSP2 being in development by Sony. Several journalists and analysts have all but written off the PSP brand as dead. They feel that Nintendo and Apple have too big of a lead in mobile gaming for Sony to make a difference. While Sony has an uphill battle, it’s far from over. The following are a list of things Sony can do to win over gamers and gadget enthusiasts back to the PSP2 platform.
Give the PSP2 Amazing Horsepower
Nintendo’s 3DS will have 3D gaming and movies as its big selling point. iPhone has their user interface, multipurpose use, and large app library as a selling point. What can Sony do to drive the PSP2 as a huge selling point? They can give it amazing horsepower. There are rumors that the PSP2 will have hardware that will rival that of the Xbox 360, completely blowing away the power of the 3DS or the iPhone 4. Sony could have a great marketing campaign by letting people know they can play Plants vs. Zombies on the PSP2, but unlike their competitors, you can also play Call of Duty: Black Ops, Killzone 3, or Grand Theft Auto 4.
Release Awesome Games
The PSP1 had a good amount of exclusive content on the platform, such as the recently released God of War: Ghost of Sparta, LocoRoco, Patapon, and Resistance: Retribution. However, it was ultimately too little of exclusive content to drive sales compared to the success of the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo 3DS has already announced Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Nintendogs + Cats, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, and Super Street Fighter IV 3D for just their launch. Sony needs to get a similar launch of exclusive great content at launch to build excitement.
Support PS1/PS2/PSP Game Downloads
The Nintendo 3DS has already announced Game Boy and Game Boy Advanced titles will be available for download on the 3DS. While Sony will not have the mountain of games that Nintendo has for download, they have a great library of content from their PS1, PS2, and even PSP to offer to gamers for digital download. This would allow Sony to immediately build up a massive library of digital content to challenge Nintendo and Apple. Getting game brands like Final Fantasy, God of War, Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, Tekken, Metal Gear, Resident Evil, and more into their downloads would immediately give consumers something to salivate over at launch.
Support a PSPGo Form Factor
Apple has admitted through their patents that gaming has limitations on the iPhone. Sony can combat this by releasing a device that can support all gaming and applications by offering a device with the form factor of the PSPGo. Make the screen touchscreen to support casual games on the iPhone, support a d-pad and analog sticks to support the traditional hardcore games.
Make the PSP2 multipurpose
Some rumors suggest that a PSP phone may be on the way running Android. A PSP specific “Game Store” would be available for downloading PSP games. Personally, I’ve felt such a device was a long time coming for Sony. Every game that is playable on a PSP can effectively be considered an “app” by itself, so there’s little reason to not leverage a successful OS like Android and get the multipurpose use out of the device. Sony doesn’t need to make the PSP2 have phone functionality, but supporting a web browser and email would go a long way to selling the PSP2.
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Michael McWhertor, “Rumor: First Pics Of The PSP2”, Kotaku
Team Kotaku, “PSP2 Will Ditch the UMD, May Rival Xbox 360 In Horsepower”, Kotaku
Brian Crecente, “Apple Admits Gaming is Hard On Their Devices, Patents Solution”, Kotaku
Joshua Topolsky, “The Playstation Phone”, Engadget
“List of Nintendo 3DS Games, Wikipedia