While the PSP is still a solid handheld gaming device that a lot of people use to this day, it’s become a bit dated in terms of Sony’s standards. It’s been almost 7 years since the original PSP-1000 released in Japan back in December 2004. The hype back then was massive, Playstation finally was getting their hands in the handheld gaming market with the graphics of a (at the time) current generation console. Gamers could hardly contain themselves, Chobot even established a career off of licking it! And then things started to change… slowly the hype died down and unexpectedly the Nintendos DS was able to outsell the PSP to a stellar extent despite the flack it got upon initial announcement. Don’t be mistaken, the PSP is still a success at almost 70 million units sold worldwide. With the rise of mobile gaming Sony now has a third competitor, and they’re going to have to bring their A game this time around. This is how PS Vita can be a massive success.
Full PSN Integration On Day 1
The one thing Sony needs to make sure they nail 100% is Playstation Network functionality. The Playstation Network integration needs to be just as good, or better than the PS3, from day one. While features can be added later via firmware updates, all the core aspects that gamers have become familiar with on the PSN need to be there, or you can expect an inevitable backlash. Sony is currently marketing the term “Full PSN Integration”. While that may sound nice and convincing, we haven’t seen an in depth look of PS Vita’s user interface. While Sony’s next generation console will have to re-do and update the PSN (primarily communication between friends), the current structure found on the PS3 can be good enough for Vita. We need to consider that we haven’t seen a full online infrastructure in any handheld device that compares to a home console. One has to assume that seamless communication to your PSN friends will be a driving feature in the PS Vita when it releases. We may just think of PSN integration as just another feature, but gamers have never experienced a social network on a handheld device to the magnitude that we can experience at home. If Sony can nail this, they’ll be halfway home.
Beat the DSi’s Battery Life
One of the biggest technical hurdles every portable electronic device has to deal with is battery life. One big thing the PSP had against it was its battery life compared to the DS. Average play time for the PSP was about 3 to 6 hours while the DS ranged from 3 to 14 hours. Luckily this time around Sony might have a blessing in disguise. Currently the 3DS’s battery life is averaging at almost 4 hours per charge, one of the biggest complaints for the system so far. If Sony can beat that by even a small amount, it’s one less thing the press can attack them for. All they have to do is meet the battery life of the original PSP.