Sony misses the point with PSP

Posted by Matthew on Friday April 1, 2005 @06:03PM

from the April-Fools dept.

Handhelds

Matthew writes: While Thursday’s much anticipated launch of the PSP didn’t quite meet expectations with big retailers like K-Mart and Target failing to sell out, the PSP has nonetheless probably sold enough units to survive.

But will it?

By launching a device with an integrated proprietary mini-DVD reader (called UMD), Sony has shown that they simply don’t understand what consumer’s want and that they didn’t learn their lesson with the Minidisc format that took years of not selling to flounder. Movies on UMD will cost about $ 20 each and can only be played on the PSP. Why buy them when you can get the DVD cheaper and play it on anything? UMD games cost $ 40 to $ 50, and the unusual format guarantees that only mega-hits will be available. There won’t be any porting of classics that could have sold for a few bucks each to dedicated users.

The PSP can connect to the Internet directly via its built-in WiFi adapter. If you don’t have broadband and wireless you can just go to one of the many available public WiFi hotspots and use theirs. The purpose for wireless? Head to head gaming, apparently.

Imagine a Sony that had thought about the entire process. The process of integrating their hardware with their content. Imagine if the PSP had come with a 40GB hard disk drive like an iPod instead of the UMD drive.

When you turned it on, it could have automatically brought up “The Sony Store” where users could have purchased games, music, and movies for download to the device immediately, to be stored on the 40GB hard disk, with no PC required (or complicated synchronization, cables, requirement that you be at home, etc.)

That amount of space would be sufficient to store about 50 movies and games—far more than anyone is ever going to buy for their device. And it could store many thousands of MP3s. Because it uses WiFi, there would have been no bank-busting monthly contract that plagues cell phone based devices like N-Gauge. Players could have gotten together and decided which games to play, with those not having the game able to buy and download it immediately. Welcome to the world where you sell an end user twenty videogames at $ 20 each on impulse in six months instead of two $ 50 video games when you happend to find something you like at the store–and then abandon the device because you’re tired of those two games and trying to justify spending $ 50 on a videogame.

Sony had a chance to kill Apple and the iPod with an easy-to-use compelling competitor that Apple could not technically match. Sony owns a major game studio. They own a major record label. And they own a major motion picture studio. They own the rights to al the types of actual content that the PSP can utilize. By using direct digital download they could cut out the middle man and offered a wide range of titles that wouldn’t be subject to the vagaries of inventory, stock, and distribution. Titles could have remained online forever, instead of going through the “bang-bust-disappear” cycle of traditional media publishing–whic means that users could get exactly what they want, when they want it, for a reasonable price. Without having to have a computer, a monthly contract, or even their own Internet access.

Imagine if Sony had put a hard disk in the PSP instead of a UMD reader. Imagine if Sony had vision.

April Fools! Just kidding!

Was the Sony PSP hyped by marketers?

Posted by Matthew on Wednesday June 9, 2004 @05:47PM

from the What-the-marketers-giveth,-the-engineers-taketh-away dept.

Handhelds

Mongooseman writes: Sony have strongly denied rumours that the graphical abilities of the PSP have been overstated to help hype the machine.

After the PS2 failed to live up to its stated 395 billion polygons per second capability, Sony have issued an official statement to ease the worries about the same being true of the PSP.

A spokeperson said, “It is true that the PS2 did not quite match the specs we believed it could do. However, we do strongly believe that the PSP is fully capable of everything we have said. Including several newly announced features.”

These included:

  • -725 million billion trillion polygons per second
  • -Real-time bread toasting
  • -200 mile wi-fi range
  • -Full solar power running capability
  • -Smoke Detector Alarm
  • -Built in anti-tank missile guidance system
A Microsoft representative claimed that these figures are only half of the portable Xbox’s capabilities; to which the Sony spokesperson added that the PSP will actually be able to fit in your pocket, rather than just a house.

Microsoft announces wristwatch PDA

Posted by Michael on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:01AM

from the version-2.0-will-also-tell-time dept.

Handhelds

Michael writes: Inspired by the PalmOS-based wristwatch announced last week, Microsoft has announced plans to release a wristwatch PDA based on their Pocket PC platform. “Consumers have told us that PDAs just aren’t small enough, and according to market research people will buy anything that fits on their wrist,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Product development has not been without its issues. Reviews of the tiny fonts used on the device are mixed, and the stylus may be too large to select individual items. “We tried a smaller stylus,” said one source, “but it kept poking holes in the screen.” The battery lasts a short 3.1 hours, but a countdown timer feature reminds you to charge the device regularly.

Samsung, Microsoft team up to make suckier PocketPC

Posted by Matthew on Monday November 11, 2002 @08:30PM

from the if-you-can't-go-forward-go-back dept.

Handhelds

Matthew writes: Samsung and Microsoft have announced a partnership to create an even suckier PDA.

“We’re taking what we learned with running a bloated operating systems on barely adequate hardware and removing much of the feature enabling hardware such as the color screen, hard buttons, sound capability, and slots. We’re also cutting extraneous RAM in half.”

When contacted for comment, a Palm spokesman seemed incredulous. “I don’t know what they’re thinking. Nobody does suck like we do. We’ve had the suck market locked down solid for nearly eight years. We can run our OS on processors that are 1/20th as fast as theirs with 1/32nd the memory. How can they hope to compete with that kind of suck? Don’t make us put these things in cereal boxes.”

Pilot Pen: Please stop calling PDAs Pilots

Posted by Matthew on Monday October 28, 2002 @11:38AM

from the we-invented-this-word dept.

Handhelds

Matthew writes: Pilot Pen company, owner of the trademark term “Pilot” for anything that is long, reasonably straight, and pointed at one end, has appealed to consumers to please stop referring to all PDA devices as “Pilots”.

“We asserted our trademark rights to any product that included anything long, reasonably straight, and pointed at one end when we threatened to sue USRobotics to force them to change the name of the Palm Pilot to the Palm Device.” said a company spokesman. “At that time, there were 1/10th as many palm users as there are now.”

“But for some reason, consumers latched onto the term Pilot to refer to any handheld device. Even PocketPC users call their devices Pilots. It’s damning. They haven’t been sold as Pilots for over five years now, but we’re in danger of loosing our trademark rights to anything long, reasonably straight, and pointed at one end due to common usage. We don’t want to wind up like Band-Aid, Jello, or PC.”

The spokesman did not answer questions about how something flat, reasonably square, and not pointed at one end could have infringed their rights originally.

Palm sues Adobe over missing colors

Posted by Michael on Saturday September 7, 2002 @04:00AM

from the not-to-mention-violet-blue dept.

Handhelds

Squid writes: Earlier this week, Palm admitted that their m130 supports only 58,621 colors instead of their claimed 65,536. Since that time, Palm has been searching for the missing 6,915 colors.

Now it seems that Palm has found the missing colors in Adobe’s software. “We found them in Photoshop, InDesign, and several other Adobe apps,” said a lawyer for Palm. “They’re all there, from Green Blue to Raw Umber. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other stolen colors in there.”

Adobe has not yet responded to these allegations, but locals have noticed increased security around its huge warehouse of colors in San Jose.