Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New PSP Phone Pics Emerge

On Monday we saw the first leaked images of a production grade 3DS, and now today there has been a leak of what looks like late stage prototype images of not one, but two models of Sony’s PSP phone. The photos on this page were first posted on a Chinese forum, HKGolden, and confirm much of what we already know about the device.

The PSP phone now looks like being mainly branded as an Xperia device, rather than a proper entry in the PSP series of gaming-based handhelds, with only a small PlayStation brand logo appearing on both units. Interestingly, the PS logo is in itself new, different to anything seen on current PS products, which also ties in with earlier reports stating that the device wasn’t meant to be an official successor to the current PSP, but instead a sideline to that particular brand. However, by the look of things, the design, and indeed planned support for a cross platform PSN, Sony are clearly looking to expand their gaming presence firmly outside the main PS line of products.

As previously revealed in early pre-production prototypes, both models of the PSP phone feature a similar slider containing the controls for gaming, much like on the PSP Go. Here we can see the familiar PS d-pad, along with the standard four face buttons iconic to the platform. Replacing the analogue slider found on all models of the PSP, is two separate touch sensitive panels, each performing the task of a regular analogue stick.

On another photo - this one showing a unit actually running – we can see that the system is powered by the Google Android 2.3 OS, with a familiar interface. There’s currently no sign of the Cross Media Bar (XMB) as of yet, although we imagine it will probably feature as an addition to the standard OS look as an alternative multimedia/games hub. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Sony’s CES press conference starts tomorrow evening, so hopefully more will be revealed, albeit officially this time around. Reports originally stated that a late 2010/early 2011 announcement was on the cards, so a CES unveiling would make sense.


  1. There will be PSP phone, however I don't think it will be PSP2. Most likely it will emulate PSP games.

  2. The PSP2 was confirmed unoficially months ago that it was a completely seperate device.

    Hardware-wise it wil be considerably more powerful than the PSP phone, reportedly approaching 360/PS3 quality graphics. Obiviously, there will less in the way of complex shaders and geometry being pushed per frame, but on such a small screen that rarely impacts on the quality once you reach a certain level.

    Given the expected inernals of the PSP phone, all bets are off in terms of emulating the PSP. However, I wouldn't rule out enhanced ports of PSP games, and all new ventures similar in size and scope.

  3. I objectively doubt PSP2 or even newer smartphone with dual core ARM chips can meet the quality of PS3 graphics. Graphics are not just displaying high res on the display, but there are tons of things to process, animation and physics simulations, AI, lightings, AA etc. Nope, I don't think mobiles will soon to push consoles graphics quality.

    It seems not more likely we will see PSP emulations or ports as:

    There is going to be an app so called playstation.pocket. I think it is a wise move, there is huge PSP games library, and why not to bring these to the mobile phones. Making games for one specific mobile phone will bring chaos to serious game developers. Some games take a year to develop, and mobiles or so to speak smart phones are evolving way too fast. A short term strategy could be to bring ported or emulated psp games to Android via playstation app. and also bring a separate PSP2 platform. However, eventually when mobile phones' hw becomes enough power ful then port PSP2 games as well. I think PSP2 will support glassless 3D like N3DS with state of the art hw. Hardcores will buy PSP2, and causal will stay with some mobile platfrom using ported/emulated psp games on playstation.pocket app. In near future we gonna see it will be common to have glassless 3D on mobile phones ...

  4. Looking at the PSP Phone's specs - roughly in line, if not slightly behind that of the iPhone 4 - full speed PSP emulation looks to be very unlikely. When you consider OS overhead on top of the significant grunt it would take to emulate the PSP, then this seems even less doable realistically. Porting looks like being the only way to go.

    In terms of 'approaching PS3 and 360 graphics' for the PSP2, I didn't mean literally in terms of pushing polygon per polygon, shaders per shaders etc, but rather in terms of overall looks and faking similar complexity. Games should easily be able to look as good as first gen 360 titles, if not some second gen ones also. Just take Infinity Blade on the iPhone 4 for example, it's lacking a lot of complex shaders, features simple lighting, but looks convincingly high-end'ish regardless - even more so when viewed on a small screen. An extension of that kind of look is what I expect.

    On the whole, it's more about simulating console visuals on a portable than actually achiving it in a like for like manner, which as you righty say won't be possible.

  5. By far the biggest question however, is whether or not developers feel the need to push the enverlope graphically on portable devices in such a way to reach console-styled visuals? Seeing as the more complex the visuals, the higher your dev cost become, there may be little incentive in truly pushing the PSP2 quite to its limit.

    Either way, I don't expect true PS3/360 quality visuals, but similar visuals... that could well be realised on certain titles with a good mobile CPU/GPU combo. Perhaps less in the way of advanced physics and AI routines, with something on the level of the PS2 and Xbox in these areas.

  6. I agree that it will be technically quite challenging to emulate PSP on current smart phones (ARMs chips). PSP uses MIPS 4000 64bit, and the current ARMs are 32bits. The PSP cpu including its graphic core is still quite powerful, so we can safely say it will be a port. I guess sony has been developing a good porting sdk for upcoming playstation.pocket, similar to PS2 games ports to PS3 with HD upscale? Even PS3 has a very powerful hw but unable to directly emulate PS2 games...

    There is certainly a limit when user can perceive the graphic details on a small screen. One thing can be said that you can have a feel/perception of graphic quality of consol games on a small screen but not the detail...

  7. "There is certainly a limit when user can perceive the graphic details on a small screen. One thing can be said that you can have a feel/perception of graphic quality of consol games on a small screen but not the detail..."

    I agree... this is exactly what I was getting at.