picture from kotaku

these days when you hear anything about mobile gaming, “mobile” and “casual” seem to be used interchangeably.  some people may think of smart phones and tablets, like the iphone/ipad or any smartphone or device sporting the android OS.  makes sense – they’re fresh on our minds.  granted they do have some games that are becoming increasingly popular with the casual gamer, like angry birds and infintiy blade.  but in this surge of ios and android powered mobile devices entering the market, some people somehow forget that mobile consoles still exist.  given all of the new “competition,”  the nintendo ds/dsi and sony psp/psp go pretty much have a joint stranglehold on the mobile console market.  and given recent developments, that’s only going to increase.  nintendo was showing off their new 3ds unit at last year’s e3, with a march release this year.  the console supports backwards compatibility with games for ds and dsi software, a number of augmented reality functions, and 3d movie playback – no goofy glasses required.

sony, of course, has no plans of simply letting their biggest mobile rival take over the market.  rumors of a playstation phone have been hovering around for a couple months, and just about a week ago the web was flooded with images of a prototype of sony xperia playstation phone.  in this flood engadget has a pre-emptive review, showing pictures of a 4″ screen, 5MP camera, 512MB RAM and ROM, and running the “playstation pocket” app.  you can check them out for photos and action video.

but it gets better.  MCV is reporting that sony has an announcement tentatively scheduled for january 27th in japan, and that announcement is going to introduce the psp2.  now this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, since “generations” in mobile consoles are pretty common, but what IS surprising is the language that’s backing it up.  supposedly with sources that have “direct hands-on experience,”  the psp2 is going to have the same graphical capability as the playstation 3.  now that’s saying a lot.  according to 1up, the hardware on the device will run at just over half of the playstation 3’s processing power.  and since the graphics only have to be displayed on a small screen and not a big HDTV, it will be enough to equally display “earlier” ps3 titles.  also rumored as part of the device are a touchpad and a slider design complete with 2 analog sticks.  even though the device hasn’t even been announced yet, sony is putting this out there to try to differentiate itself from current app-driven mobile devices that run on ios or android with sweet and delicious HD media, even though it may still be able to download apps from the playstation network. in theory making this information public should attract developers as well.  it supposedly also will support physical media, which was a feature many felt was lacking from the psp go.

even disturbed fictional doctors enjoy some psp between
vicodin pills (engadget)

if they pull it off right, gamers will definitely see a direct differentiation between HD psp2 games and other consoles.  sure, the 3ds will have a glasses-free 3d display, but to me on a screen that small it just doesn’t seem like such a huge selling point to me.  3d tv’s are becoming all the rage now, but still, i’ve yet to see a breakthrough that screams “3d is where you need to live.”  in my opinion this gives the psp2 an edge if it excels at bringing 2D HD gaming to the handheld arena.  if it supports games that are already out on the ps3 that i can play on the go, then i’m on board.  now the argument can be made that richer, more intensive game content goes against the casual tone that mobile gaming has picked up, but i’m sure there’s a lot of people out there like me that like casual games, but would rather have some heavier stuff on the go.

because in a waiting room scenario, or a long train / flight situation, i’d much rather play god of war than angry birds.

… just make sure to add some more save points.

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About Tushar

Author and creator of Technical Fowl. IT/Tech hero. Jiu Jitsu purple belt. Enjoying the venn diagram intersection of tech, gaming, business, and politics.

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