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Developers express worry over PSP


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As Sony gets ready to unveil the PSP at E3 next week, Wall Street Journal has published an article on how some software companies are having doubts. Heralded as the "21st Century Walkman", Sony's PSP will combine the ability to play video games with movies and digital audio. However, the planned global launch this winter has already suffered a setback, with US and European launches being pushed back into early 2005.

Among the general complaints are:

- Many developers haven't received enough information for a proper launch.

- At the end of April, some developers had still not received dev kits, or final specifications for the machine.

- Many companies are worried about confusion in the marketing of a product that plays movies as well as games.

Square-Enix's Michihiro Sasaki commented:

- "We still don't know what Sony are trying to achieve with this product - that's the problem."

- "Before we prepare anything, we'd like to know more about the PSP business model."

Konami's Kazumi Kitakami said:

- "It would have been better if PSP were just a game machine."

- "They are foolish to try and build a market for watching movies any time, any place. Watching movies requires concentration."

- He fears the Japanese release date may also be delayed

The next N-gage? Sounds like Sony need to focus on what market they are aiming for with the PSP.

Kazumi Kitakami makes a good point about having to concentrate when watching a film, but playing games also requires concentration so...its not really a huge problem.

...but if I get a PSP, the ability to watch films doesn't really interest me. Playing games and MP3 playback do but I'd rather sit back at home in a nice chair with the surround sound turned up to the max really experiencing the film, rather then sitting on the bus next to pervy old man who keeps touching your leg while you try and watch The fifth element.

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Didnt developers say this sort of stuff for the ps2 as well?

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if all this stuff is forgotten when it actually comes out...

Or maybe it'll end up in the quotes section in edge if / when the PSP becomes a huge success to show how wrong they were ;)*

*If edge still has that... I haven't bought it in a while due to a ridiculous pricepoint here :/

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"Many companies are worried about confusion in the marketing of a product that plays movies as well as games."

Granted, it is a portable machine so it is different, but what about the PS2/X and XBox? They play both..

Just seems like the usual doubts being expressed as they always are. Love this industry. Everything succeeds or fails based on how it performs months/years before it comes out.

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I'm slightly bemused by Konami's quote:

- "They are foolish to try and build a market for watching movies any time, any place. Watching movies requires concentration."

Whereas playing games requires nothing more than frantically moving your thumbs about the place?

(Oh, wait...that'd be me)

Whilst the idea of a 'multi-media' handheld doesn't appeal to me at all really, I can see what Konami's concerns are. I have no full idea of what the PSP is going to end up being in reality, I'm kinda hoping that the above quote is a really poor translation, as it shows up the bloke as a bit of a twat otherwise.

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Whereas playing games requires nothing more than frantically moving your thumbs about the place?

I think what the guy's getting at is that many people find they don't like having to stop watching a movie half-way through, whereas portable games can be designed to be quick, 5 minute fixes.

I think?

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I think what the guy's getting at is that many people find they don't like having to stop watching a movie half-way through, whereas portable games can be designed to be quick, 5 minute fixes.

I think?

Yeah, you're right, I'm being slightly pedantic really. I don't necessarily see the whole movie thing as something that game devs. need to be getting worked up over really. More worryingly it suggests that Konami are getting more worked up about the actual specs of the machine, and are lacking the balls to really speak their mind.

I think I recall when the GBA was originally released there was a big deal being made about its compression techniques and how you could put bits of FMV onto the thing. Big deal that was.

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excuse me, but... What the fuck is wrong with you lots??

Ever heard of a thing called tv-series. It may require 20-40 minutes of concentration. Enjoy while seated(on a bus or something).

I would love to watch futurama on my way to school.

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Why is it that handhelds and mobiles have to be seen as portable multimedia machines ? What is so wrong with developing a handheld gaming machine specifically for.....SHOCK, HORROR......just playing games ? Why does a mobile phone have to be a portable computer ? It's a bloody phone for Christ's sake !

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Maybe Sony have trodden on toes, hence the outbursts, esp. about the movie capabilties.

As for Konami's statement, its a bit strange. If non-gamers bought it to watch films, they might decided to buy games for it afterall, resulting in more sales.

Sony are not stupid. They've very clever, but not stupid.

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excuse me, but... What the fuck is wrong with you lots??

Ever heard of a thing called tv-series. It may require 20-40 minutes of concentration. Enjoy while seated(on a bus or something).

I would love to watch futurama on my way to school.

But thats only if they make UMD versions of futurama which is doubtful, while block buster films, especially sony ones, they will.

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If they think I'm buying a 2nd copy of a film just to play on the PSP they can't think again and the same goes for PS2 ports. This rumoured bundle of a PS2 / PSP versions of the same game which you can play interchangably sounds somewhat more tempting but only if such bundles are VERY close in price to standalone PS2 games.

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Maybe Sony have trodden on toes, hence the outbursts, esp. about the movie capabilties.

As for Konami's statement, its a bit strange. If non-gamers bought it to watch films, they might decided to buy games for it afterall, resulting in more sales.

Sony are not stupid. They've very clever, but not stupid.

What they're worried about though is it'll be marketed primarily as a movie watching machine that can play games, not a games machine that can play movies (like the PS2 and X Box). If it's the former mostf people will be buying it for the movies, and yes, may buy a few games on the side, but if it's marketed as the latter most people who buy it will be buying lots of games, and a few movies on the side.

There'll be a speficic hardcore gamer market who'll make up say 25-50% of the sales, but whether the joe public's who buy the other 50-75% of the units are the type who'll play one game to try it out, and watch movies the rest of the time, or the type who'll buy new games regularly will be severely effected by the marketing.

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Thats a good point. attacking two markets with one device rarely works, esp. if it involves computer games but Sony are very good at PR so could make this work and the ultimate gaming accessory.

But yes, I understand what you're/Konami saying now.

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Well, i wouldn't be suprised if the chip is there but you need to pay for the interface, rather then plug direct to unit.

It could also be to make up for shortcomings in hardware but then again Sony have hardly got any competetion, so theres nothing to benchmark the device against.

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Double exactly!

Ah just cant believe sony sometimes, they seriously do have the ability to grasp the handheld market and bring in something totally new harware and performance wise (as much as i hate to say that!) maybe even snatch the share from nintendo.

Then they announce something like "Oh we wont be in direct competition with Nintendo GBA SP, we are aiming for a whole new market!" WHAT BLOODY NEW MARKET!?! the market sony have yet to create for handhelds or something.

Only 2 question i have about this console is..

Q1.How much will the console be?

Q2.How much will the games be?

Those are the most important factors for mainstream/casual buyers.

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