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Category: Tech

PlayStation Phone, Replaces the PSP?

Written on December 27, 2010 by B Waldorf

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“We don’t want gamers to be asking, what’s the difference between that and a PSP. 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.” ---Kazuo Hirai, Sony

’s gaming master, Kazuo Hirai, gave out hints last week about the circulating rumor around the world for quite some time now: What will come after the Portable?

Eventhough he remained a bit tamed on the details, he said Sony has been thinking of a successor game “since the day” the PlayStation was released. The company envisioned the device to contain both touch-screen controls and conventional buttons and analog sticks that the current version has.

“The games being played on Android and 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.

The first round of rivalry between Nintendo and Sony was when PS Portable was launched six years ago. It was the first serious challenge to Nintendo’s handheld devices since the first one was a hit. But Nintendo held its place on top garnering 135 million units sold while PS Portable got only 62 million sales in September.

With the launch of 3DS, its gonna the start of round 2 fight for both big wigs.

What now is the big surprise of Sony?

“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.”

Mr. Hirai said the fast rise of casual games could in fact be good for Sony’s gaming business.

“We’re seeing people who never had an interest in games join the gaming population,” he said. “That means that the gaming industry pie is getting bigger.”

The Wall Street Journal recently reported about Sony Ericsson’s alleged smartphone capable of playing simple, downloaded video game titles, including ones from Sony’s first PlayStation. Since then, the speculation of a future PlayStation Phone heated up, especially in October when the technology site, Engadget, released video clips of a prototype phone.

“We don’t want gamers to be asking, what’s the difference between that and a ,” 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.”

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