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Robo_1
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The PlayStation wasn't successful due to it having twin analogue sticks.

I think dayte's point is that dual analogues weren't a barrier to casual gamers, given the PS1 went on to sell an unholy amount of units and become ubiquitous even with their presence. Personally I'd argue that few of the "new casual" gamers- the sort of people who can't even handle using a Wiimote if you tell them to use anything other than the trigger- probably won't be particularly capable of playing something like the Uncharted release, but then again Sony will be providing alternative titles for that market.

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Game Showcase trailer.

53" looks to be Devils Dice or similar. That, along with Hotshots Golf, are the only two titles that even mildly interest me as portable titles. Do Sony not learn? Their next big announcement should be for a new home console, no discrete GPU, powered by 128 parallel processors, media on really slow, expensive proprietary holographic 1TB storage, 8 HDMI outs and launching with three mindbendlingly shit titles all for only $999. No dualshock redesign either. Not allowed, it won an Emmy after all.

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Sidhe Interactive (the NZ-based devs who made GripShift and Shatter) had a promo for some game they were working on ready for the JPN announcement, but it seems Sony have elected to forbid licensees from showing in-progress footage until a later date for some reason, all the stuff shown so far has been SCE published titles.

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Does this have hdmi out or something

Unfortunately not, for probably the same reason you can't make phone calls on it, it'd be encroaching/potentially cannibalising other Sony products, they don't want the NGP to be the equivalent of a desktop replacement laptop.

Shame, for some people, this could be a viable home console replacement, it has the controls and the technical power, but no TV-out.

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Ultimately, PSP2 is about telling the tens of millions of gamers who buy Modern Warfare each year, that they can now continue the experience away from home, or even at home whilst others use the TV. Sure, compared to the lucrative mainstream market it's a niche audience, but then they have managed to sell 65 million PSP units (which to put that into perspective, is still 15 million units more than the 360 has currently managed) and that was arguably a botched attempt at the same goal.

As you say, I do think PSP2 will be predominantly aimed at current PSP owners, but even if PSP2 only manages to be a moderately more successful PSP, then providing they can keep the platform from being so easily hacked and get people regularly buying content, then PSP2 could be a very profitable platform for Sony.

Overall I think they've covered all the bases they need to. PSP2 isn't being positioned as a casual device, but nor does it need to be for it to be a success.

With the inevitably higher price aren't they limiting themselves to selling less than they have currently though? I mean unless the thing has a 10 year lifespan, I can see them pricing the lower end of the 10-30 male market out of the equation.

Just seems a bit daft not to try and grow your business, especially considering the "core" is only going to shrink.

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Robo_1 always manages to put things brilliantly. Great post.

Kind words sir, cheers. :hat:

With the inevitably higher price aren't they limiting themselves to selling less than they have currently though? I mean unless the thing has a 10 year lifespan, I can see them pricing the lower end of the 10-30 male market out of the equation.

Just seems a bit daft not to try and grow your business, especially considering the "core" is only going to shrink.

Certainly it would be remiss of them to simply put out a high end gaming platform which held no appeal to anyone beyond cash rich core gamers, but I think they've fleshed out the console with enough social features to show that they have a radically more advanced understanding of what a connected device can deliver, than they had in the early days of PS3.

The GPS stuff looks to be a big part of their strategy, and each game you play having a customised social group attached to it means it could quickly gain traction in schools and colleges, where these types of things can quickly become a crucial part of a social circle.

I think it's a matter of them using gaming as the foundation with which to build a wider audience from, and hoping the more socially geared features (along with what I hope will be some unique games, given the range of inputs and outputs the device supports) bring in a wider audience than your typical core gamer. None the less, the device is only ever going to appeal to people with at least some interest in gaming, I mean they'll never cast their net as wide as Nintendo have managed, but as I said earlier, I think they know that market is lost to them, so why pour resources into pursuing it when there's still a healthy market there for the device they're best equipped to make and support.

Price wise, it's a meaty device, so it's no surprise that people are fearing the worst for what they'll have to charge. What I do know, is that there will be no repeat of 599. However brave a face they put on it, the missteps they made with the PS3 cost them badly, and they know it. With their closest rivals in the market being the iPhone/iPod and 3DS, which cost between 230 - 250 dollars, I think they've got some breathing room. Kaz Hirai has also said the device has been designed around the need to keep the costs realistic, and has said it will be affordable. Of course these are very subjective terms, but given the price of their competition and the fact that the original PSP cost 250 at launch, I'm guessing at a $300 launch price with a $350 bundle which comes with a few games (a mix of PSP, minis, PSone & PSP2) loaded on the device.

That's not pocket change by any means, but it's realistic given the power and features of the device, and the price of their competitors.

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In terms of the typical consumer Sony have initially targeted for games, what has really changed on that front? sweet FA, did the original PlayStation target the kiddie market or old people, the advertising for that thing was aimed squarely at consumers with their own disposable income in their 20s, pretty sure Sony never went after prepubescents initially, those sorts of consumers happen later on down the line when they've dropped the price a few times and secured the beachhead of the most lucrative segment, fairly certain Apple wouldn't be posting Microsoft rivaling profitability if they aimed at a massmarket audience with their products, it all depends on how lucrative you think the gamer market is I suppose, Microsoft seem to be making a reasonable chunk out of mining that seam.

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Kaz Hirai has also said the device has been designed around the need to keep the costs realistic, and has said it will be affordable. Of course these are very subjective terms, but given the price of their competition and the fact that the original PSP cost 250 at launch, I'm guessing at a $300 launch price with a $350 bundle which comes with a few games (a mix of PSP, minis, PSone & PSP2) loaded on the device.

That's not pocket change by any means, but it's realistic given the power and features of the device, and the price of their competitors.

The device has been designed around keeping the costs realistic? Guess at $300!??

You have read the specs of the machine haven't you? If that quote from Kaz is correct, I seriously wonder if he has either! :wacko:

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Sony targetted 20-somethings, but they were 20-something non-gamers at the time. They're widely credited with creating the modern mainstream games market, by snatching up a lot of trendies that Nintendo had never even attempted to reach.

(Honestly, I'm convined that what actually happened was a critical mass of adolescents grew up playing, such that it was socially acceptable to keep playing games into one's twenties, and that Sony's success with young adults in the 1990s just happened to coincide with that. There's no doubting that Sony was trying to tap a hitherto unrecognised market though.)

((This point isn't really relevant to the discussion of the PSP, of course, just a historical note.))

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Analysis firm EEDAR has weighed in on the PSP2/NGP. They seem up beat about the device, claiming it will "handsomely surpass sales of its predecessor, the PSP," and that third party publishers should get on board fast, going on to say that "EEDAR is certain that the initial 18 months will produce significant hardware and software sales to support profitability for third‐party publishers."

Of further interest is their pricing speculation. They say the Wi-Fi only model will likely retail between $299.99 and $349.99 but will not exceed $399.99. They also speculate that games will cost between 40 and 50 dollars.

I think these are all pretty safe bets to be honest. Clearly $299.99 is going to be the sweet spot for the device, but Sony may struggle to deliver on that, and instead choose to capitalise on the early adopters and go for a $350 bundle only version at launch.

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Analysis firm EEDAR has weighed in on the PSP2/NGP. They seem up beat about the device, claiming it will "handsomely surpass sales of its predecessor, the PSP,"

Perhaps I'm being daft here but I don't see how the PSP2's trajectory is any different to the PSP, touch/motion controls are ubiquitous now, a second analogue stick is perhaps the most substantive difference but I'm not sure that's going to matter to that many. The PSP, of course, sold a healthy amount of hardware but enjoyed tiny software sales. Certainly piracy played its part in that but more significantly, perhaps, the PSP was the only device of it's kind bar the eccentric and underpowered DS - the idea of playing full-fat games on the move is appealing on paper, far less engaging in practice and I'm not sure the 65 million folk who bought a PSP are going to be that keen to repeat the experience - to have another expensive device that languishes in a drawer for years at a time. Telling that Sony aren't even referring to the device internally as the PSP2, I'll be surprised if the final name they settle on makes any mention of PSP either.

On top of that the market now is awash with powerful portable devices that you carry with you by default and have extensive libraries of inexpensive games that are ideally suited to portable gaming, oh and Nintendo (a company who seem to know a thing or two about selling portable gaming devices) are about to release a very strongly supported, relatively inexpensive device too. In short, if I were a betting man I'd wager that the PSP2 won't sell anything like the original PSP.

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the psp2 will sell just as well as the original... but that's it. No bad thing but as has been mentioned, software sales were extremely poor except for a standout few.

In terms of actually impacting the market share the 3ds will enjoy, it'll make zero inroads.

imo, but I bet I'm right. :)

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the psp2 will sell just as well as the original... but that's it. No bad thing but as has been mentioned, software sales were extremely poor except for a standout few.

In terms of actually impacting the market share the 3ds will enjoy, it'll make zero inroads.

imo, but I bet I'm right. :)

Well if you go by the theory that the 3DS will do less well than the DS, and the PSNGP will perform the same as the PSP, you'd lose your bet ;):P , selling the same number while your competitor sells less than they did before would mean you would have increased your market share, unless you start including smartphone gaming as a direct competitor, which is contentious.

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the psp2 will sell just as well as the original... but that's it. No bad thing but as has been mentioned, software sales were extremely poor except for a standout few.

In terms of actually impacting the market share the 3ds will enjoy, it'll make zero inroads.

imo, but I bet I'm right. :)

Well for the first year the PSP was actually beating the DS in sales and the gap at first was much closer than most people seem to remember. Sony messed up though with poor third party support, high development costs and of course piracy while Nintendo released Brain Training and Nintendogs out of nowhere which were huge. I doubt very much that Sony will make the same mistake again this time around and if they can get the price right and decent 3rd party support (Having a Call of Duty title on the NGP is a huge win for sony already) I reckon they have a very good of outselling the 3DS in the long term.

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New(ish)info from UK Developers event.

During a presentation to around 20 UK developers at its headquarters in London yesterday, Sony shared a wide range of information about its new handheld platform, revealing significant new details on launch plans, hardware specifications, networking features and more.

One attendee, speaking to Eurogamer this morning under condition of anonymity, said: "NGP is a developer's dream – Sony is finally doing the things developers have been crying out for for years."

Studios had been expecting to collect development kits at the event, but were told "late shipments from Japan" meant SCEE would now be "prioritising". According to the source, for a kit to be delivered before April a studio must supply a "20-page concept document on a game they want to release at launch".

Eurogamer understands that key UK studios have had early kits for almost a year. But the source claimed the new shipment of kits would be "the first to have the final GPU in them".

Sony has not yet dated the system beyond plans to begin rollout worldwide by the end of 2011. But during yesterday's presentation, Sony listed the Wi-Fi only edition of NGP as "2011", while the Wi-Fi plus 3G version was listed as "Holiday Season 2011", implying that the 3G-enabled console would not be available day one.

SCEE did not share any solid information on date or price, only adding that details would be revealed "very soon".

Sony staff demoed a handful of upcoming first-party NGP titles, including Uncharted, Little Deviants and WipEout. The source said the latter was "the WipEout HD PS3 engine running on PS3 with no changes to the art platform. That means full resolution, full 60 frames per second. It looks exactly the same as it does on PS3 – all the shader effects are in there".

With Sony urging developers to create releases that work across PS3 and NGP, the implications of this are significant. "They want us to do cross-platform," said the source, explaining that the submission process has been streamlined, with only a single submission required for a title on PSN and NGP.

And developers were told: "All games at launch available on flash [the physical storage medium] would also be on PSN."

However, Sony is also insisting that it "does not want exactly the same game" on NGP and PS3 – there "has to be a reason for the NGP title". "They want at least some kind of interactivity between the two versions with NGP-only extras," the source added.

The rumoured addition of 'cloud saving' – seen as key for enabling gamers to switch easily between a game on PS3 and NGP – was raised by developers, but SCEE would not officially confirm it.

The publisher also moved to reassure developers that the technical hurdles of cross-platform development were being kept as low as possible.

"Any shaders for PS3 stuff will just work," said the source. "We won't have to rewrite. What would have taken two-to-three months before looks like it could take just one-to-two weeks now. The architecture is obviously different, but it's the same development environment."

Elsewhere with the hardware, it was confirmed that NGP features three gyroscopes, compared with one in PS3's controller, allowing for more accurate movement. And the front and rear touch panels are both capable of six-point multi-touch.

"The touch pad on the back is fantastic," the source said. "It does feel second nature, like you're having a real impact on the world." As an example of the potential, SCEE described squeezing an object in-game by pinching the front and the back simultaneously.

SCEE further outlined its vision for the first five years of the platform and its target audience, with year one focused on "hardcore" and year two on "hardcore and teens", with the expectation that the audience will expand younger and older after that.

Social networking and location-based features were also highlighted for their gaming potential. SCEE suggested, for instance, that "clues could be put on the social networking side" that could lead to "virtual gifts", that could in turn make use of the camera and augmented reality capabilities to distribute "new skins and avatars".

"Sony has made it completely developer-centric this time," the source added. "[The development kit] is really simple to plug in and use. It opens direct in Windows Explorer and you can see all systems on a network – so you could, for example, update the firmware of multiple NGPs at once.

"A PS3 dev station can take three hours to set-up. This looks like it will take under 20 mins. It just makes everything easier – they've really thought about it this time".

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-04-new-ngp-details-emerge-at-private-event

:)

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"We're going to demand that you do PS3-to-PSP2 ports, but also require that you make them something other than a port."

My sources inform me that Sony made a few other requests:

"We need to you make these into touchscreen games. But you have to ensure they have PS3-like controls."

"Ensure your graphics impress people with the power of the system, but without being noticable."

"Find me a way to eat this cake and still have it."

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Yes, was just reading that myself. It really is a marked change in attitude from SCE, and I attribute it fully to the power change between Ken Kutargi and Kaz Hirai.

Ken was/is an amazing hardware architect, who believed in sacrificing ease of use if it meant squeezing out a more powerful design. From the get go, Kaz has been much more about listening to developers (I believe the first thing he did when he took over SCE, was form the ICE tech group, to help developers understand and use the Cell architecture) and making sure the software is given just as much focus the hardware.

The ease of porting between PS3 and NGP means we could well see a similar situation to that of current Blu Rays, where you can buy a duel play release for a premium price.

I don't think they've put a foot wrong with NGP yet. Of course they haven't announced price or battery life yet either! :ph34r:

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the psp2 will sell just as well as the original... but that's it. No bad thing but as has been mentioned, software sales were extremely poor except for a standout few.

In terms of actually impacting the market share the 3ds will enjoy, it'll make zero inroads.

imo, but I bet I'm right. :)

You seem to be pretty bothered by this device. How do you reckon the 3DS'll do in comparison to the DS range, given (i) the cost, and (ii) the current financial climate?

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Which thing? The thing, the thing that contradicts the thing, or the thing where it's not relevant at all to the discussion?

This bit in particular.

(Honestly, I'm convined that what actually happened was a critical mass of adolescents grew up playing, such that it was socially acceptable to keep playing games into one's twenties, and that Sony's success with young adults in the 1990s just happened to coincide with that. There's no doubting that Sony was trying to tap a hitherto unrecognised market though.)

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Yes, was just reading that myself. It really is a marked change in attitude from SCE, and I attribute it fully to the power change between Ken Kutargi and Kaz Hirai.

Ken was/is an amazing hardware architect, who believed in sacrificing ease of use if it meant squeezing out a more powerful design. From the get go, Kaz has been much more about listening to developers (I believe the first thing he did when he took over SCE, was form the ICE tech group, to help developers understand and use the Cell architecture) and making sure the software is given just as much focus the hardware.

The NGP is the first hardware system developed at Sony where the software division gets to do a Microsoft, that quote from the anonymous developer sounds mildly hyperbolic, but sums it up:

One attendee, speaking to Eurogamer this morning under condition of anonymity, said: "NGP is a developer's dream – Sony is finally doing the things developers have been crying out for for years."

I suppose expectations have moved on since the original PlayStation, because Krazy Ken was fully in charge of that project and yet it was viewed as an easy to develop for system :)

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