It’s amazing how the PlayStation Portable is still around. It was impressive for about two months upon its debut almost five years ago, and has been a constant source of disappointment ever since. Sure that’s a few killers apps for it (Lumines is still fun to play after all this time, albeit in short bursts, plus the new Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker looks to finally legitimize the platform… again, five years later), but for the most part, it’s been outclassed by Nintendo’s hardware on virtually every level, despite it being technically inferior by most counts, and Sony themselves has done with the job imaginable supporting the platform (the PSPGo anyone?). Them there’s the games, of lack-thereof. Forget about good games, there’s hardly any, period.
Not helping is the sentiment recently shared by Gavin Cheshire, VP of Codemasters, who had this to say about the platform: “”Well, speaking as a person who bought a PSP, the problem was that I always thought – because it was a better screen than iPod’s – that I’d be doing more with it… But it was such a bollocking useless waste of space; just getting stuff on it was ridiculous”.
Regarding the aforementioned second, download only iteration: “PSPgo’s a lovely device… really smart – but our senior VP bought one the day it came out and has a great story, because he ended up on some customer support line just trying to do basic stuff. He had to re-download his software, do an immediate firmware update, and that’s your user experience. Sony just hasn’t got it right. Stuff like that will make people leave it alone.”
Too bad he doesn’t go into specifics, like if it’s a bitch to program for and the such. I actually own the PSP version of DiRT2 and it’s pretty sweet, though not exactly a leap forward from all the other decent racers for the platform. It would seem that everyone is making the same games for years now, with no gigantic leap in terms of graphics, scope, or otherwise. Guess that’s why MGS looks so amazing; it appears to actually push the system in a manner that no one else has managed to do so, ever. I wonder what the story is here.
Yet the thing still sells, especially in Japan, where it gets the biggest slice of the new hardware sold in any given week pie. So strange. And on the flip side, it’s actually good that Sony has stuck with the platform, instead of moving onto something possibly better. But support means more than just keep store shelves stocked I’m afraid.