Friday, April 08, 2005
PSP & Ad-Hoc Gaming
Well, it seems talk about the Sony PSP has blown all over the place ... and for some reason I just don't get it. I mean, from a gaming point of view, it's just following the same "curve" of gaming consoles getting better from a (mainly) graphics point of view ... having owned an Atari Lynx back in the OLD SKOOL days (it rocked by the way, Blue Lightning was all that, and a bag of peanuts), it's not like it's getting "more portable" -- seems just the opposite. What seems to be happening (like with phones and PDAs) is a convergence of technologies ... so, instead of just a gaming console, you can now listen to MP3s, movies, surf the web ... it's not really doing anything special or new. Worse, in the case of the PSP, is that most of these "cooler" functions are hacks ... seeminly not intended to be open ... people are bragging about hacking the PSP to use IRC, etc... that's cool if you're a geek (hands up!), but is it really gonna impress the Early/Late majority? Why in Godzilla's name didn't the PSP just come with a browser option pre-installed (like Opera or a dumbed down Firefox), movie player, etc.... why does everything have to be hacked? Seems like a rather stupid move on Sony's part ... if your device can do it, why limit it?
Then there is talk about playing against other people -- which I think is cool, but the N-Gage has been doing it for 2 years ... and now, all of a sudden, it's a big deal? (granted, if you can play via Wi-Fi through your network against somebody playing on their LAN at home, that's an improvement) All of the hype just doesn't excite me ... I'm not really seeing innovation -- I'm just seeing technologies being mixed (which I like by the way) into one device ...
Does this mean that, PSP 2 might include a GSM module, so you can make phone calls? The days of propritary systems are coming to an end (anybody ever heard of a PC?) ... there needs to be an open platform on such devices .... and then we can go crazy. The N-Gage had the opportunity, but chained themselves to one game deck .... the PSP is essentially the same ... somebody, BIG, needs to come out and "license" a platform (Microsoft, are you listening?) that works one multiple phones .... do what the N-Gage failed to do, and rule the world...
Anyway, whatever the case -- backing up real quick to Ad-Hoc gaming -- the N-Gage has been doing it, the PSP is now doing it (with a different standard ... sound familiar?) ... what's next? Ad-Hoc gaming is gonna be big -- MARK MY WORD -- Nokia is pushing it hard on a "dead man walking" device (clemency would be the N-Gage jumping back as a platform) ... Sony will eventually start pushing this feature harder as well or its fans will. In fact, what I'm saying now has already been spoken about in a bit different form by others (Russell Beattie's comments HERE come to mind for starters).
Anyway, hype is good, but too much is a big turn off ... especially for the larger markets -- you can't hype up a device that you've gotta hack. That's rule number #1. Do you think Paris Hilton is gonna hack her own? However, get that out of the way, and somebody is gonna (actually, already is) make a lot of money.
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Ad-Hoc Gaming Proximity ]