Monthly Archives: November 2006

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Sony has no clue about the PSP…

Sony is in big trouble with the PSP. They can’t figure out how to market it. First it’s a gaming machine. Then it’s a multimedia machine. Now, it’s something of both.

The truth of it is that the PSP is a remarkable machine. It could be so much more. But, one of the problems is that Sony’s advertising is misleading, in my opinion.

Take a look at their new “find me” commercial:  Find Me PSP

The girl in the commercial drops off a memory stick with the message “find me” to a guy sleeping (we can only assume it’s his bedroom – which is interesting because the situation implies he’s already “found her” and spent the night with her – but I digress).

Anyway, the guy looks at the various things on her memory stick for clues to her whereabouts. We see a video of her singing and a photo of her in a shirt with a unique logo that he finds on a poster.

Sure, its nice that you can put pictures and video on the PSP. What they don’t tell you is that you can’t do that very easily. You can if you cough up another $25 for Sony’s media manager. Or you can dig around for one of the freeware apps.

But, what would make the PSP a really cool machine is if the girl in question could have done all of this on the PSP natively. Oh yeah yeah, they have that nasty god awful brick of a camera that’s supposed to come out at some point (and costs more $$$).

Pics of PSP camera / GPS unit
So, why not just go ahead and make a PSP2 or PSP redux and integrate the camera in it? You would think it wouldn’t be that hard since every cell phone now has some type of camera in it, if not something with 2-3 megapixels.

While you’re at it, let’s rethink the GPS thing as well. I don’t care if it’s integrated, but I would like it to be a separate attachment that looks like it’s part of the overall design, not a big clunky block sticking out on top of the PSP.

And, go ahead and open up the source. The modders are coming up with really cool things for the PSP, so why stop them? How hard is it to make good music player UI?

It’s really sad because the PSP is one really cool little machine. It’s unfortunate that Sony can’t make up their mind about what they want it to be or invest the resources in making it a much better machine.

Wii are the champions…

For anyone not paying any attention to the world of gaming lately, two of the latest next gen consoles have released in the last week or so: the playstation 3 (ps3) and the nintendo wii (yes, it’s “weee”).

If you look at what’s out there now, I think the Wii is going to blow away the competition in sales over the next year, even though the Xbox 360 has a year-long head start. Why? Simple:

1) The Wii doesn’t use the bleeding edge technology the other guys have, which is a plus because they can crank them out production-wise. Sony barely managed to get out 400k units of the PS3 at launch, and they’re still struggling. Rumor has it that Nintendo plans to have 4 million Wii’s out there by end of year.

2) The Wii has a lower price point than the others. At $250, it’s a bargain compared to the other two (360 is at $399 and PS3 at $599 – don’t let the marketing guys fool you – sure they have a “lower end” model – but you’re better off getting the higher priced one by the time you buy the components separately).

3) Nintendo is making sure their major brands are out there with new games at launch, especially Zelda, which is by far one of their most popular titles. The worlds of Zelda  and Mario have sold them millions of machines over the years, and their popularity transcends the usual gamer market. That means, someone would buy a Wii purely on the basis that there’s a new Zelda or Mario game. Microsoft and Sony don’t have anything on their consoles that can even compare to that type of consumer loyalty.

4) Nintendo is trying something different with the way we play video games. They’re trying to make the experience more interactive with their unusual controllers. It’s hard to say how well this will work (and they can easily come out with standard controllers if it doesn’t), but the initial reviews have been positive.

In a way, Nintendo appears to be borrowing a page from Apple, whose ability to design products that “just work” is uncanny. Instead of making something bleeding edge, Nintendo went the other way. Let’s make a video game system that’s “FUN” to play.

Wow. Imagine that.

Things could get interesting if Microsoft chose to drop the price of the Xbox 360 to $199/299, but there’s no indication at this point that they are willing to do that. Even so, after looking at all three consoles this week with my family, there’s not a single title on the Xbox or the PS3 that entices me to buy the game.

But, that new Zelda game, on the other hand, might be worth picking up…

Now, if I can just get my hands on one of those Wii’s…

Moving day(s)

After a long absence, I’m in the process of doing something with this blog. Part of it is a redesign. Part of it is to actually contribute something to it. And, part of it is moving it to another hosting company.

I’m hoping to get this knocked out over the Thanksgiving holiday, so come back in a week and see how it turns out.

This theme, by the way, is called freshy, and can be found at http://themes.wordpress.net.