Sony Exec Says Next PlayStation Portable Will Appeal to the Hardcore

  • Share
  • Read Later

Handheld gaming fans may want to save any holiday money they get in the next few days, because it seems like Sony will be rolling out two very different devices in the near future. According to the New York Times, Kaz Hirai–head of the Playstation division–recently made remarks that shed a tiny bit of light on how Sony’s conceptualizing the next PlayStation Portable and the much-rumored PlayStation Phone.

(More on Rumor: Sony Preps PlayStation Phone with Android Guts)

Hirai said that Sony’s not looking to compete against the more casual offerings on iOS and Android:

“The games being played on Android and Apple platforms are fundamentally different from the world of immersive games that Sony Computer Entertainment, and PlayStation, aims for,” Mr. Hirai said. The kinds of gamers who enjoy more intense games, he said, would remain Sony’s fan base.

For the most part, Hirai’s remarks are on the money. But, the advent of graphically advanced games like id’s Rage and Infinity Blade by Chair Entertainment are beginning to dismantle the commonly held notion that hardcore game experiences aren’t possible on iOS’s touchscreen platforms. Hirai also commented on the possible implementation of a touchscreen on the PSP2:

“Depending on the game, there are ones where you can play perfectly well with a touch panel,” Mr. Hirai said. “But you can definitely play immersive games better with physical buttons and pads. I think there could be games where you’re able to use both in combination.”

Finally, Hirai said that whatever steps the company takes to port the PlayStation branding to a mobile handset would need to be well thought-out, to avoid consumer confusion:

“We don’t want gamers to be asking, what’s the difference between that and a PSP,” Mr. Hirai said. “We have to come up with a message that users will understand. It would have to be a product that keeps the PlayStation’s strengths intact.”

That sounds a bit like how Microsoft’s integrated select aspects of the Xbox Live service into their new Windows Phone 7 mobile software. Whatever the next stage in Sony’s portable gaming business looks like, it at least sounds like they’re considering how the market has changed since the PSP first made it debut five years ago.

(More on PSP2 Dev Kits Going Out to Studios?)