back to article PSP 2 'as powerful as PS3'

The PSP 2 - or "Next Generation Portable", as Sony has codenamed it for now - has officially been revealed in Tokyo today, and the company claims it's as powerful as the PS3. As rumoured, the PSP 2 - sorry, NGP - has a high-res OLED touchscreen as well as a touch-sensitive back panel. It features front- and rear-facing cameras …

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  1. The Indomitable Gall

    If it is just a portable PS3...

    If it's a portable PS3, there'd better be some way to synch across the games you've already bought and take them on the road.

    But as it's Sony, there won't be, will there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      Re: If it is just a portable PS3...

      "there'd better be some way to synch across the games"

      that would depend on the developer, I won't claim to know how much porting need to be done, but from articles else where, it seems like some 3rd party developers have been able to port that engine to the PSP2 quite easily. (check the MGS4 screen shot in the article).

      also, some Japanese developers already give you the option to copy your saved games between the PSP and PS3. This way, you can switch between the devices and counties from where you stopped (although, it does require you to _buy_ 2 different copies of the game, one for each console).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      why not?

      you do know that if you buy a PS1 game from the Playstation Store then you can install it on your PSP and your PS3? (i think it actually says up to four devices or somesuch)

      That would make me think that they *would* allow that - except nowhere does it say this is a handheld PS3, its says its a new platform; so it won't play your existing PS3 games. In addition, it doesn't have a hard-drive so how many PS3 blue-ray based titles do you think you'll fit on hand-held flash storage?

    3. LuMan
      Go

      There might be...

      You can already download minis from the PSN and shove them onto your PSP, as well as having them available on your PS3. Plus you can play some media (including games) using your PSP as a portal to your PS3 via the internet (the only stuff I can't get this to work with is, understandably, HD content).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not a portable PS3

      The underlying hardware is very different with the PS3 being based on Sony's Cell architecture and the PSP 2 based on a quad core ARM architecture. Games would have need to be re-engineered to work across the two platforms and will not be compatible.

    5. michaelh
      FAIL

      @The Indomitable Gall

      It's not a portable PS3, it's allegedly as powerful as one. Different hardware (and controls!), so they can't play the same games. They have different processors and GPUs.

    6. ThomH Silver badge

      Nah, the hardware's completely different

      It's ARM + PowerVR, whereas the PS3 is Cell + RSX. I think they're just arguing that the graphics are similar to those of a PS3 (at a much lower resolution, one assumes, and therefore a lower processing cost — and getting a 1080p screen onto a PSP-sized mass consumer device just isn't going to happen very soon). So, no doubt, porting incurs costs and gives an opportunity for Sony to charge consumers that want both copies for (i) the additional costs of porting; and (ii) the content, a second time.

    7. Annihilator
      Boffin

      Bigger point

      If it were "as powerful as a PS3", then they'd surely have made a PS3 that size already...

  2. SpaMster
    Terminator

    PSP2 for hardcore gamers? 3DS for kids?

    If this thing is truly as powerful as a ps3, and isn't massively overpriced, then Nintendo with their 3D gimmick don't stand a chance. All the hardcore Gamers will buy this instead.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Unhappy

      @SpaMster

      No change there then.

      Currently, PSP1 for serious games, DS (i, XL, whatever) for fun / kids. Trouble is, there are a lot more handhelds bought for kids wanting a bit of fun than there are serious gamers with deep pockets, hence the sales figures.

      It doesn't matter how good it is, the 3DS will outsell it by an order of magnitude or so.

      Where they really need to take a leaf out of Nintendo's book is to make the sodding thing nigh-on impossible to fix and self-destruct when dropped six feet onto a hard surface / thrown at a sibling / subjected to harsh language. The first-gen PSP at home has been through three screens, a front case, a couple of batteries, an analogue stick and some microswitches. It's still going strong and it's a piece of the proverbial to maintain. I've lost count of the number of bloody DSs I've bought over the years. There's nothing like repeat sales to keep the figures up.

    2. Dan 92

      There are a lot more kids than there are hardcore gamers

      So the 3DS will do ok. The real problem for the 3DS is the cost, many parents are not going to spend that kind of money on a handheld for small kids. They just get lost and broken too easily.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    3DS haha

    It will easilly outclass the 3DS, which is nothing more than a parrallex barrier gimmick. Whether it outsells it is another matter.

    The Current PSP easilly outclasses the DS, but the DS outsells it. Quaility and sales don't go hand in hand unfortunately, marketing, spin all get in the way of that.

    1. Annihilator
      WTF?

      Eh??

      The Wii sold bloody well too. Not because it was underpowered, or because of marketing, or spin, but because it allowed non-gamers to get in on the act. The DS sold because it's accessible to me, my mother and my grandmother.

      I love that you're writing off the 3DS already as a gimmick without even trying it... Sony called by the way, they've got another shiny shilling for you.

  4. Tom 15

    If it is just a portable PS3...

    Why not make it the size of a Blu-ray disc and allow it to play Blu-rays and PS3 games straight from the discs?

  5. Bill 2

    I wont be buying one

    having been pissed off by Sony time and time again, but I was wondering whether it had a HDMI out? Not sure about the length of HDMI cable people would need to connect it to their HD TV's but if its a portable PS3 then would it be possible to use it as a full time PS3?

    1. P Zero
      Alert

      Type your comment here -- plain text only, no HTML

      It would be nice to see a mini-HDMI connection on it, but chances are Sony will want to keep their handheld and console systems separate, more money that way.

  6. Recaf
    FAIL

    Enough to outclass the 3DS?

    Probably not: the existing PSP technically outclasses the DS in almost every way and look at how that turned out.

  7. Gadget Rage is BAD

    As powerful..

    But no doubt not compatible with.

  8. DRendar
    Joke

    As Powerful as a PS3

    So the Arm Cortex-9 is as powerful as a CELL now is it?

    Fuck me those ARM boffins have pulled their socks up haven't they?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Jim_aka_Jim

    why oh why....

    I'm sure the hardware will be great.

    I'm sure the games will look amazing.

    I'm sure that in trying to compete with the iThings & Nintendo, Sony will have another flop on their hands.

    It'll be too expensive for the 'casual' gamer, it won't be backward compatable with anything, and tha games won't be good enough for 'hardcore' gamers.

    But I do love the idea of it. Maybe it'll be good once it's hacked: I'll have to wait an extra week to find out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes because selling only 60+ million PSPs is a flop

      Just because the PSPs haven't sold as much as the DS doesn't make it a flop. This isn't aimed at the casual gamer so I don't expect a lot of penetration in that market. The PSP games were good enough for the hardcore gamer and now that they have addressed the lack of a second analog stick I'm sure the upcoming games will be more than good enough.

      1. Jim_aka_Jim

        60+ million...

        AC, I didn't campare the PSP to the DS. PSP games were never good enough for the hardcore gamer, the only ones worth getting were the PSP versions of much larger console games (unless you're talking about locoroco, but please don't try telling me that's a hardcore gamers game)

        Atleast 4 incarnations and 7 years. Easy hacks available. UMD which as aweful, they even scrapped it themselves making early adopters games useless on new versions.

        So yeah, to me that says: try, fail, try, fail, half try, more fail = flop.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it cost as much a PS3 too?

    and remember - Sony struggled to make money on the PS3 hardware because the specs were so high. Apparently Sony are still using the same playbook for this.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Sounds superb

    As it's Sony the number of file formats supported will be limited. I await the first custom firmware to allow me to play any media format I want, then I'll happily buy one!

  12. Alistair MacRae

    It's not a portable PS3 just claime AS powerfull

    I dont think it's going to be like that. The games will be different i think.

    Even if it was i doubt Sony would let you port the PS3 games over to it considering the PSP Go won't let you do that with old PSP games. (At least last time I checked anyway)

    So this PSP2 has a 4 core processor? Is Sony not continuing with the Cell chips?

    I've heard the PS3 was hard to develop for because of the Cell, maybe things will be easier this way.

    I think that the maker who build its console in a way that developers find easiest to work with will have the edge over the rest.

  13. Silver
    FAIL

    Yeah right

    Didn't Sony claim that PSP was as powerful as the PS2?

    Didn't Sony claim that the PS2 could render Toy Story in real-time?

    Sony have made wild claims before and I shall be taking this one with a large bucket of salt.

    1. Tom 260

      ditto

      I'm sure I remember the claim about being as powerful as a PS2 as well, but really it was more in the ballpark of the PS1.

      I'll be keeping my original PSP, I mostly use it as a video player these days anyway (not UMD movies though, they were a waste).

  14. Jedibeeftrix

    Oh yes please!

    "There you have it guys - a portable PS3, apparently. Enough to outclass the 3DS? What are your views?"

    Yes, it blows away the 3DS.

  15. Piloti
    WTF?

    So, does that mean.....

    .... the end of a machine which is just a games machine ?

    Why does everything have to be connected, wi-fi / 3g with gps blah blah.....

    It does look like there is room for games only games machine, like the Game Boy used to be.

    I wonder if Sega could be tempted to fill this niche. The Dreamcast [not hand held I know...] was a cracking good machine.....

  16. Alpha Tony

    Doesn't matter

    *sighs* Sadly I don't think it would matter if it was 40 times the power of the PS3, came with a built-in HD projector and could give blow jobs.

    Sony have lost the plot when it comes to software development and marketing. Their pitiful handling of the PS3 shows a frankly superhuman ability to come in last on the fastest horse and I can't see that changing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    as powerful as the PS3?

    well the PS3 have 8 cores (1 is disabled, don't know when will they enable it) and it output at 1080i.

    the PSP2 (NGP) have 4 cores (and according to the net, clocked at up to 1.5 GHz) and it output at 960x544 (i544?). So I guess if you keep the screen size in mind, the statement might be true. In fact, while keeping the difference in screen size in mind, the PSP2 might be able to do more the PS3, especially if they give it more then 512 MB RAM + 256 MB RAM for the GPU. You might even be able to play FFXIV on it.

    now if they will give you a mini-HDMI port, then you should be able to use it to watch HD movies in your living room.

    note to Sony, I am willing to pay an extra US$ 50 for an attachment that can load UMDs into this device.

    1. SuperTim

      8 cores?

      They cannot enable the 8th cell as the specs for the PS3 only ever call for 7. one ringfenced for the machine and 6 for software to access. This was chosen to get better yeild from the cell processor production. They could utilise all the chips that only had 7 cells working. If you activate the 8th, then some machines will never be able to use them and you cannot tell which ones can, and it would only make a small percentage difference anyway!

    2. Citizen Kaned

      your ps3

      can only handle 1080i?

      where did i get my 1080p one from? not that many games can do 1080p without being upscaled but some do. and they look so much better

  18. Si 1
    Flame

    Let's stop repeating the "as powerful as the PS3" lie

    Why do people keep repeating this clearly incorrect fact? It's an incredibly well specced portable device, but it's not going to be as powerful as a PS3, even if that system is approaching 5 years old.

    For starters with a 960x544 screen it's not even going to be pumping out 720p imagery, and since the quad core GPU is likely to be clocked around 200MHz it's going to have about the same graphical power as the Xbox 1 (which for a device that size is incredible).

    The specs on this thing are fantastic, but why keep saying it's something that it's not?

  19. Thom Brown
    WTF?

    ARM vs Cell

    So a 32-bit Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 (up to 2GHz) is as powerful as a 64-bit 8-core 3.2GHz Cell processor? If they're comparing performance of a relatively low resolution portable device to a high definition console, that's not a real comparison.

    1. Davidoff
      FAIL

      Cell is not a 8-core processor FFS!

      "So a 32-bit Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 (up to 2GHz) is as powerful as a 64-bit 8-core 3.2GHz Cell processor?" No, because there is no 8-core Cell processor. Cell is a simple single PowerPC core with 8 co-processors (which are only fast for a few operations). This is far fom being the same like a symmetric 8-core processor, or even a quad-core processor.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Cell is not a 8-core processor FFS!

        Technically speaking, the Cell architecture allows for any number of PowerPC cores to be coupled with any number of SPEs. (I'm not sure what the upper limits of each are.) The Cell implementation in the PS3 has a single PowerPC connected to 8 SPEs, one of which is disabled to improve production yields.

  20. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Happy

    Looks nice

    I wonder how much it'll hurt the wallet though...

  21. Sulphur Man

    Nice try, but too much competition and bad timing against it

    As we know, the PSP has been utterly trounced by the DS, and looking at that PSP2 launch line-up, I can only see history repeating itself.

    If this repeats the PSPGo sales model of only distributing titles online through PSN-Store, then it will be spurned by many from the start, as the PSPGo was.

    And having read the various articles of grown-men weeping in reverence at Pro Evo Soccer on the 3DS, it could be game over already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      Re: Nice try, but too much competition and bad timing against it

      "If this repeats the PSPGo sales model of only distributing titles online through PSN-Store"

      as it have been pointed out in the article, it will use memory sticks for games, instead of game cartridges or discs. Those will be physically bought from stores.

      note this memory stick will be different from the SD card used to extend its storage space. Also the space on those sticks will depend on the game, developers won't be restricted as far as I know.

      1. Sulphur Man

        Uphill struggle

        Can this thing survive, given an 8-month headstart for 3DS, dual-core smartphones almost upons us, the lighter and more portable iPad2, and having no HDMI out, which is a big minus for many people.

        Being powerful isnt a USP. As Wii & DS sales testify.

  22. Geoff Spick

    Beyond the hype, key points here:

    * A non-final hardware design, (every picture says design and specifications subject to change).

    * Some lovely looking games technology demos from many industry big hitters. What may happen is lots of game+ editions (MGS4+, MHP3Turbo, etc) with new content, extra levels and so on in the first few months.

    * A code name - NGP will not be the final system name.

    * Battery life is being quoted at 4-5 hours

    * Sony will sell the unit at a loss, so price could be lower than expected

    * Some big names still not on the publishing list

    1. Captain Underpants
      Boffin

      Not necessarily

      That battery life doesn't sound great for a portable, which makes me wonder whether Sony will then play the usual game of silly buggers with replacement battery pricing.

      In terms of pricing, I wouldn't rely on "selling at a loss" meaning "reasonable price". Hell, the PS3 has always been sold at a loss and still spent several years costing a frankly stupid amount of money.

      The tech in it is fabulous, but it's useless without a decent library of games - the PS3 before it also had fabulous tech, and yet Sony managed to fumble the software library side of things so badly they now have to use "It's not just a games console" as the sales pitch.

      It could be nice, but with Sony's handling of the PS3 I wouldn't take it for granted.

  23. Calaerial1

    Its just a little bit of history repeating....

    One does have to question whether Sony have really learned from their mistakes here.

    For me, the biggest problem with the original PSP is that they didnt understand the hand-held market.

    In a hand-held, i dont want to play cut down versions of full console games, i dont want the full console experience in my pocket. I THOUGHT i did, before i had it. But then i realised that the hand-held is all about those 5 minute experiences while waiting for a train, pick up, put down, without having to retain anything in between.

    Thats why the DS won, and as much as i respect this technology hugely if it is as good as it says, it smells a little like Sony have failed to learn from their mistakes last time around.

    Time will tell i suppose.

    1. Steve Gill

      Except there were some true hits

      Some games (for example the Monster Hunter series) managed to hit the high-end mobile market just right - beautiful graphics but intentionally short action episodes, perfect for commuter train journeys.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      Re: Its just a little bit of history repeating....

      you do use portables consoles for long gaming sessions, example, waiting at the airport, staying at a hotel or long road trips. Also the flexibility of being able to use it (almost) anywhere means you can play it from your bed.

      from my point of view, 5 minutes gaming sessions is what the smartphone is for.

      any way, now that the PSP2 (NGP) have a touch screen.....

      I wander if I will get my LovePlus++ on it :-p

  24. Bub

    The right market

    "In a hand-held, i dont want to play cut down versions of full console games,"

    ... so use your iPhone or your DS.

    There are lots of people, myself included, who *do* want to play proper console games on a handheld. The original PSP wasn't quite good enough for this - the lack of dual analogues being a massive factor.

    The new PSP is aimed at a market that neither Apple nor Nintendo nor Microsoft is competing in. Makes sense to me.

    If Sony had aimed squarely at competing with the iPhone and DS markets they would indeed have been making a bad mistake.

  25. DrXym Silver badge

    Of course it's not as fast

    It probably shares the same relationship to the PS3, that the PSP did to the PS2. On its best days you could almost be fooled into thinking this was a home console, but usually it fell short. Compare the best of the PSP, games like GTA VCS or God of War: Ghost of Sparta. You could *almost* mistake them for home console games, but the compromises they make are still noticeable.

    That's not to say the PSP2 won't be a good handheld. It looks like a kick ass handheld with specs that massively outclass the 3DS and most phones. Of course better specs do not mean more sales. I suppose the way the market will go will rest on whether people want 3D (in an otherwise fairly lacklustre handheld), or no holds barred mobile performance.

  26. Stuart Archer

    Battery life?

    I may have missed it, but there didn't seem to be any mention of battery life. I can't imagine playing for many hours on a device with this spec!

  27. MJI Silver badge

    They are trying to make us buy it.

    A new Uncharted no less.

    If it is any good (as it is not a Naughty Dog production) it will be a system seller.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Sony will have their arse handed to them on a plate by Nintendo.

    For a THIRD time.

  29. Calaerial1
    Badgers

    @ Bub

    To be fair Bub, i think that the majority of the market isnt with you on that one. And i think that the fact that the PSP (barring a few stand out titles as has been pointed out) died on its arse; somewhat bears out the fact that the "Micro games" approach used by the iPhone and to a lesser extent the DS is winning on handhelds.

    Fair play, you may want that full cinematic experience on the move. But i think most people are much happier with something less involving for their commute to work. Myself included.

    That said im not condemning this device before it arrives, maybe it'll be great. Maybe the market will shift back towards the hardcore.

    But on the evidence of the last few years, casual is the direction that the ship of gaming is drifting in, and it seems unlikely to change any time soon.

    1. Bub

      @Calaerial1

      I don't think it's a matter of the market shifting. The market is growing wider and there are whole swarths of people playing Angry Birds on their iPhone who probably wouldn't have played video games at all before.

      My point is that Sony is not pitching the PSP at the iPhone market. It's pitching at a different market. Whether that market exists of course is a matter of debate, but it's certainly a market for which no device currently exists.

      I'm a "professional" in my 30's, used to commuting and business travel. I get far more time to play games when on the move than at when at home with my family. I've love to be able to play "proper" PS3-style games on the tube, on the plane and plugged into the hotel TV in the evenings on business trips. Lots of my colleagues play video games. So I'd imagine "we" would be a reasonable part of a target market.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SE Xperia Play?

    So the NGP will eat the new Xperia's market share? Will NGP eat Android or IOS4?

  31. Sly
    Grenade

    it'll get hacked

    and then people will run whatever they want on it since the Sony games aren't worth their time.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re:Sly

      Sounds about right

      Known 8 people with PSP's (6 of the people sold em) that only bought 1-2 games before hackin it to run home brew applications.

      The 2 people that still have them strictly use it to play emulated (nintendo) games cause in their words the games that are sold for it suck.

  32. Citizen Kaned

    i think...

    the majority of people who are hardcore gamers just dont even consider buying a handheld.

    also, london-centric people, remember the vast majority of people do not commute by train to work. or bus, even. remember there is this big place outside of london, called england, where the majority of people live and work.

    if i was to get a handheld it would be a psp2 - the nintendo feels too kiddified to me. but i drive to work.

  33. CaffeinePwrdAl
    Jobs Halo

    ARM + SGX on your phone, your console, your TV...

    The *win* is that it is the same family of CPU & GPU as is in the iPhone, iPad, a whole raft of Android handsets, Palm Pre, and other devices.

    A game written for one will be dead simple to get running on the other - this gets them square with Apple/Google on the software front + with Unreal Engine and Rage already geared up and ready to go makes life so much easier for dev's!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Great

    Now they can stop updating the current generation PSPs firmware in an effort to combat homebrew and piracy. Just make sure their next console is up to snuff...

  35. Annihilator
    Unhappy

    Uh-oh

    Just realised, Sony have yet again introduced (drum-roll please...) a new proprietary flash. Presumably the only way they could defend against the original PSPs homebrew weakness.

    1. Gangsta
      Go

      heheh

      I can imagine the headlines next year...

      Sony Leaves Day One "System Security 101" hole in PERMANENT EXPLOIT FOR PSP2.

      Spend all that time on the complicated stuff while leaving out the basic easy defences.

  36. Adam T

    TBC

    Nice hardware perhaps, and they've shelled out on some good titles, but it's the whole package that counts and that's where Sony tends to struggle.

    And Sony have a super reputation for screwing customers over and fragmenting their own product line. They'll have to overcome a lot of resentment if they want to win over the hardcore market - and they're the ones with the longest memories.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Touch Screen you say?

    I wonder if it will have some of the epic arcade titles you can play in Japan on it then, as I'm chomping at the bit to be able to play border breaker again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXswexwr6zo&feature=related

    Touch screen in games has a lot of potential particularly for rpg/tactical squad stuff/rts and turn based strategy.

    I spent a great many Yen on this and an RPG they had.

  38. Stu
    FAIL

    Not s/w people

    If Sonys hardware dev team have proven anything over the last decade or so is that they're extremely poor at developing software, specifically the OS, and in areas of security and OS lockdown, not to mention consistency.

    -A random number gen seeded with a constant 4 every time!?

    -The PS3 has multitasking simply patched into the firmware, thereby making it so background tasks are extremely limited.

    -Removal of the Other OS feature mostly only because it presented an 'attack vector' to the hackers - a slap in the face to those loyal customers making good use of it.

    -Charge people an arm and a leg for old content on the PSN and screw everybody around.

    -PS Home was just a laugh, a social networking system that demanded a three hour wait time getting between zones, of which the zones are very small, with very little real substance. What substance it did have was charged for - the PSN equivalent of your crazy frog ringtones and graphics.

    -Apple devs typically charge anywhere up to a fiver for a game title on their mobile gaming systems (mostly the touch, but includes all the iOS devices). So how much do Sony charge for their wares? And how much will they add on top for PSP2 titles? Didn't PSP1 titles originally retail for £30-40

    -Much like how Windows Phone 7 took nearly a full year to arrive since announcement, by the time PSP2 comes out, the technology won't be anywhere near as impressive as it sounds today.

    etc. etc.

    Then onto their handling of the situation - take the people to court! Fantastic!

    For how it should be done, look at how Microsoft recently treated the team who opened up the WM7 platform, essentially open armed.

    Basically Sony failed to spot that having a more open platform means more people buy their hardware. It happened on the PSP, and will happen all over again by the end of this year.

    .

    So how will Sony treat the implementation of the PSP2, they've got less than 12 months to go about improving pretty much everything they do, and how they go about doing it, and charging a lot less to do it! I'm not holding my breath.

    *FAIL icon at the top but I'm sure it'll be a runaway success as the drones buy it in their droves.

  39. Yarrow Paddon-Butler

    Nice...

    But I want UMD compatibility or at least a new Monster Hunter worth playing before I dedicate my student loan to this hulk of a beast.

  40. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Release date?

    Sony can claim it will be as powerful as they like if there isn't a release date.

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