So the PSP2 seems to be the most powerful ARM Powered device ever announced and demonstrated thus far, Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 is awesome, 5" capacitive OLED touch screen sounds fun. But the device does seem to lack some features which I think Sony could have "simply" decided not to purposefully hold back from including on this device:
- Why not use Honeycomb OS instead of a new proprietary OS? I feel it may be a sad thing to have such extremely powerful hardware and not have the software to go with it to fully take advantage of that hardware. Sony should have developed their whole platform based on PlayStation Suite, have it work on all other Android devices and use Honeycomb OS on the PSP2/NGP for full third party applications, UI and web browser support.
- No SD Card storage? Why introduce yet another proprietary storage media? Sony does this far too often, please stick to standards, there are billions of SD cards out there on the market, they could even have provided dual-SD card slots for even more storage expansion capability.
- A fold-out hardware keyboard would be cool. The PSP2 does have a proprietary connector underneath which in theory could be used to connect a folding keyboard add-on, so this may be considered just a feature request. I'm afraid Sony wants to facilitate expensive procrastination rather than cheap productivity.
- No HDMI output? Sony should have included a standard Mini-HDMI, Micro-HDMI or full sized HDMI connector on the side of the device. Since it is as powerful as the PS3, they should allow for connecting it easily to any HDTV to turn the device into a home console.
- Is the SIM card slot unlocked HSDPA? I think it needs to be. And eventually Sony could collaborate with carriers around the world to provide "free" bandwidth on a Sony SIM card that would work internationally and not require a daily/monthly subscription, but may charge by the GB or may be totally free when used for services that can be monetized elsewhere, same way as the 3G connecting in the International Kindle. Even more perfectly, it would have included a dual sim card slot, thus offering also the possibility to have a voice/sms SIM and a data SIM or a local data SIM and the international Sony SIM at the same time without having to swap them in and out too often.
- Does PlayStation Suite include a full unlimited access subscription plan? I think a sub-$20 monthly subscription plan should give gamers access to unlimited amounts of game downloads and online play, including the complete catalog of PS, PS2, PSP games and if possible more. In a perfect world, Sony would find a way to licence access and include all Nintendo NES/SNES/N64/GB/GBC games in the same subscription plan.
Which features do you wish PSP2/NGP included? You can post in the comments.
Here is the official PSP2/NGP announcement keynote video:
A Nintendo 3DS has been leaked on a Chinese forum, they immediately posted teardown pictures, I am trying to find out what type of ARM Processor Nintendo has decided to use for their next pocketable gaming console. When Nintendo upgrades a console it's a big deal, as that platform is expected to sell upwards hundreds of millions of units and keep selling for several years after its release which is in February/March, Nintendo are known to choose slower components to keep their costs down and aim for long-term reliability over short-term spec bragging. I already posted the features that I think Nintendo should use, including Android OS, downloadable subscription games, HDMI output, wireless modem module and more. Anyone know what processor it may have? As you can see the processor has a Nintendo logo on it, but that does not mean it's a Nintendo processor. Please post in the comments what your speculation is for this processor.
According to some rumors, Nintendo 3DS specs may be:
ARM Processor: Dual-core 266 MHz
GPU: 133 MHz
RAM: 64 MB
Video RAM: 4 MB
Storage: 1.5 GB (SDXC expansion slot?)
- Retailers say Nintendo 3DS to launch on March 18th in the UK (geek.com)
- Leak: Nintendo 3DS may be region-locked (electronista.com)
- Nintendo 3DS Disassembled Before Your Very Eyes (crunchgear.com)
- Nintendo 3DS given pre-release teardown (electronista.com)
- Nintendo 3DS Gets Torn Down (techeblog.com)
As the Nintendo 3DS might come with 3G and smartphone-like features, it is also about to be the time for the smartphones to include button layouts that are optimized for advanced 3D video games. As the OpenGL ES 2.0 3D rendering is getting so advanced with the latest ARM processors, all it takes to experience advanced video gaming decently on phones is game pad buttons on each side of the screen. While capacitive touch screens and accelerometers provide the start of an idea that gaming can work on these devices, to get the best possible experience, it is just a hardware issue relating to the hardware design.
Gaming emulators seem to work great on Android, it is to be seen if Nintendo will be bold enough to offer legal access to all its old games at fair prices to licence and download legally directly from within an official Nintendo game console emulator to be released in the Android market place. I think that the best pricing strategy that they could provide is $5 subscription pricing renewed each month that the games are played offering unlimited access to all Nintendo games on the specific supported platforms. Hopefully all Nintendo game console games emulated up until Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast would be supported this way.
Another very interesting possible development, is that the portable gaming device will have so powerful graphics acceleration that it will actually be able to function as a HD video games console when connected using HDMI to the HDTV. Whether the latest portable ARM powered devices are able to render 1080p video games at full frame rates using HDMI to a HDTV, that is to be seen, but the development might be approaching that possibility. At least current hardware definitely might output Wii level quality graphics to any TV using the TV output. So the portable Android gaming device might not only compete with the Nintendo DS and the PSP, it might also compete with the Wii, XboX and Playstation 3.
Engadget is reporting on a rumor that Sony-Ericsson is preparing a 1ghz Snapdragon powered Playstation smartphone with Android 3.0 onboard. It is to be expected that Sony may want to keep exclusive access to their own games to be released for that new Android gaming platform. The slide-out gamepad design from under the device that is shown in Engadget's mockup design, instead of the keyboard, is probably an okay solution for gamers.
I would like to see someone build a good elastic design for a wireless bluetooth gamepad accessory that can be strapped to each side of any smart phone or tablet of any size and shape and have good gaming buttons push inwards to cover as much of the screen bezel as possible. Even to snap into 4:3 gaming mode and 16:9 gaming modes as the user prefers. Thus a solution to nicely transform any Android device into an advanced video gaming device. The design below is not exactly good enough design for this idea, please let me know in the comments if you know any better design:
Sanmos Microelectronics Corp. is launching some cheap video games emulators, available from $13 with 8bit-only pre-loaded games or for $36 for the MiShark64 with MicroSD card slot and video game emulation support of upwards 10 thousand games (one can "find" on the Internet) from 8bit NES (FC), GB, GBC, 16bit SNES (SFC), Sega MD and up to 32bit GBA games. The MiShark64 also includes a composite TV-output and video playback support of RMVB, DAT, RM, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, FLV, H.263, WMV, AVI, ASF, 3GP, VOB formats and Audio codecs support of MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, APE, FLAC. It comes with an integrated 800mA Li-ion battery good for 2 hours of portable use, but it can also be used on the TV and comes with 2 game controllers for that.
This is the first Android device with such a gaming buttons layout. It's affordable available at around $300 unlocked at http://hardkernel.com but does not come with a 3G modem, only WiFi. It does have a pretty snappy ARM Cortex A8 processor from Samsung clocked at 833mhz, with 512MB DDR2 memory, a 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen display and 720p video playback through its built-in HDMI output. This is for now the Developer Edition of this ODroid product to be released in March 2010, followed by commercial editions of this product, to hopefully include full emulators for all game consoles ported to Android up to N64 and Dreamcast games if this device's 3D acceleration and processing power will be able to handle those emulators and if developers port those to this implementation of Android.