Sony's first journey into the portable market started out with promise. When the original PSP released at the end of 2004, there was nothing else quite like it. The graphics blew away the Nintendo DS, which released a few months earlier, and the device offered the ability to listen to music and watch movies. In the age before iPods and smart phones were as prevalent as they are now, this was a device to have.
Then came the piracy and the video game industry's inability to make appropriate games for the system. Developers ported console games to the handheld and generally just attempted to recreate a console experience on a handheld. The one thing very few developers of PSP games did was design their games around the system's strengths.
Can all the mistakes of the PSP be attributed to Sony and their inexperience in the handheld market? Will a PSP2 correct past mistakes and put up a competitive fight with Nintendo's upcoming 3DS? It appears we will find out those answers soon, as Sony seems set to officially announce the PSP2 at an event this Thursday.
This event, called the PlayStation Meeting 2011, will take place at 15:00 Japan time on January 27th. While Sony has not yet confirmed what will be discussed, almost everyone expects this will be where they first show off the next version of the PSP.
A leaked picture of the new system made its way out last night, and if legit, shows that at least some of the issues with the original PSP have been rectified. This pictured system includes two analog sticks, a touch screen with stylus, an SD card slot, a Memory Stick slot, and a sliding screen similar to the PSPgo. Keep in mind recent reports that the system includes an OLED screen and 3G connectivity, and we could be looking at a very impressive, and possible expensive, portable device.
If this does turn out to the be the big unveiling of the PSP2, it is great timing on Sony's part. Everyone is excited and talking about the 3DS. If Sony is able to impress with the PSP2, it might make people think twice about running out and purchasing a 3DS in the upcoming months.
On the other hand. if all these rumors turn out to be false, and all Sony talks about during this meeting is how many PSN users it has and doesn't announce the PSP2, they will be making a huge mistake. An industry analyst has already predicted that the 3DS will out sell the PSP2, and the PSP2 hasn't even been officially confirmed as real by Sony. To let Nintendo have an uncontested 3DS launch would be a seriously bad idea if Sony has any hope of selling respectable numbers of PSP2s.
So readers, what are your thoughts on the PSP2? Does that potentially real picture of the system seem like what you would want out of a new PSP? Or did the original PSP burn you out on the brand all together? Stay tuned to Game Rant for all the details that come out of this event this Thursday.