On Thursday, Sony gave us our first glimpse of the successor to the Playstation Portable (PSP1). I have owned a PSP since 2009 and whilst it hasn’t sold as well as Nintendo’s portable system, I love the thing. I was therefore excited to hear the announcement of the PSP2 (codenamed NGP).
When I first saw the images of the PSP2, I thought I was looking at the original PSP1 (PSP1000/2000/3000, not the PSP Go). The reason for this is that like the PSP1, the PSP2 features a brick shaped design. The layout of the PSP2’s controls is also somewhat similar to its predecessor.
Whilst on the surface, there may appear to be a lack of innovation by Sony, the PSP2 has an impressive list of new features. These include:
- Flash memory based cartridges (not USB disks like the PSP1)
- Five inch touch sensitive screen (960 x 544 pixels)
- Touch pad on the rear (mirroring the screen)
- Six-axis motion sensing system
- Front and rear facing cameras
- Built in GPS
- Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity
- Two analogue sticks
There more I think about the PSP2, the more I like it. At first I was quite sceptical about the inclusion of a touch screen. On reflection however, I think the move was a good one, allowing the system to play the sort of mini games so popular on the iPhone. So long as touch controls are not shoehorned into games for which they are not suitable, this in my view can only be a good thing. The touch pad on the rear of the PSP2 can only stimulate innovate game development too.
Overall, my first impressions of the PSP2 are very positive. The fact that it looks similar to the PSP1, in my mind, is a good thing. The inclusion of a second analogue stick is a small but significant development that should bring the controls in line with home consoles. Also, having a front facing camera should make video calls on Skype possible.