Friday, December 31, 2010

PSP Dog Days Sales Looking Good

As the PSP enters the dog days of its life, it has just had a might kick with the launch of Monster Hunter Portable 3 in Japan. Even the PSPGo is selling 5,000 a week, up from its usual 1,000+. And with 3rd Birthday selling 14o,000 copies in its first week, a PSP dating game selling 250,000, it looks like there is plenty of life for it back home.

Over in the west, well, the sooner we get the PSP2, the better. A bigger, better, store, more relevant games and some decent marketing cannot come soon enough. You just have to hope that Sony Japan sees the weakness over here and gets a wiggle on, not basking in its success back home - this could be the one advantage of having a westerner in charge of Sony!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Praying for Push Updates on the PSP2

Having seen Fieldrunners get a hefty update on the iPhone, I checked the PSP store to see if our version was getting some extra-level love this Christmas. Then I noticed there is no real update mechanism for PSP download games.

You have to go to the XMB, game menu, access each game and use the Update feature to check if there is one. That's not a good user experience, and its made worse by the fact that not one of the games I own has been updated, which is a pretty poor show, given how smartphone games thrive on giving their users updates and extras.

So, that's one thing the PSP2 design can fix. Its a simple enough feature that the iPhone demonstrates perfectly... so come on Sony, catch up with the pack!

PSP2 Fake Render or Real

Ah, the good old nip off for a seasonal holiday and when you come back someone has a convincing pic of the PSP2 game. Well, for a start, if I tracked it back correctly, these came from a Turkish gaming mag? What the heck are they doing with access to a PSP2?

Judging by the lagged edges, flat background, strange light source on the screen and the fact that its floating in space and there is no logo on the rear, these are just neat renders, but impressive nonetheless. They can't be far off what the final design will look like.

Bring on the real thing please. UPDATE - Kotaku reckons they came from a PS3 mag and are unofficial renders - fair enough!

Friday, December 24, 2010

New York Times gets some PSP2 clues out of Kaz Hirai

This article in the NYT offers a little light on Sony's thoughts about the next PSP console. Perhaps the key takeaway is the line

“Depending on the game, there are ones where you can play perfectly well with a touch panel,” Mr. Hirai said. “But you can definitely play immersive games better with physical buttons and pads. I think there could be games where you’re able to use both in combination.”

So, once again Sony aims to be jack of all trades, lets just hope it won't end up a master of none, as the media features of the first PSP have proven - I mean it has only just got its first proper music store in Europe - makes you wonder where all the vision was at the launch?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PSP Store Update 22/12

Adding to the recently posted sales news (valid 'til 5th Jan), Sony's last European store update of the year has a few new bits and bobs:


Everybody’s Stress Buster - (From Clap Hanz, the people who did Everybody's Golf)
Rainbow Bundle £6.29
Green Pack £2.39
Blue Pack £2.39
Red Pack £2.39
Yellow Pack £2.39

(Whichever colour version has the Capcom Commando clone in is probably your best bet, the demo was great fun)


King of Fighters ’94 £5.49
Metal Slug £5.49

NOVA – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance £3.99
A Space Shooter for Two Bucks £1.74

Lord of Arcana

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#PSP2 - Will Lego Star Wars III hit PSP2?

Looking through the release lists of games for next year, one struck me as more PSP2 likely than PSP. just looking at the video for Lego Star Wars III, it looks a little too ambitious for the humble PSP but would make another good demonstration of the PSP2's power.

I've seen it tagged as a PSP title on other sites, but the temptation to hold it for PSP2 where it can be compared more directly against the Xbox and PS3 versions must be a big temptation. It is scheduled for release in March 2011, but a teensy delay won't hurt what would probably be a minor delay for the PSP2 launch.

Monday, December 20, 2010

#PSP2 - Does two games make a list?

One way or another news is creeping out about Sony's PlayStation Portable 2.

Sure, its all rumour and here-say, but so far it looks like LittleBigPlanet 2 and Uncharted 3 are on the list of games being developed for it. Since MediaMolecule helped get the fantastic version of LBP on the original PSP, and Uncharted will help promote the power of the PSP2, I think both are a shoe-in for the launch date.

What other games will be added to the list, maybe we'll see more at CES. Anyway the list starts here, come on back for updates.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New PlayStation Network app beckons for iPhone/Android

On the European PSN Blog is news of an iPhone and Android app to keep track of your friends, game status, trophy information and other goodies. Apart from horribly ignoring the PSP (guessing it will be built into PSP2 and PSP Phone though), it looks like a reasoned response to Microsoft's move OF adding Xbox Live to the Windows Phone 7.

You will also be able to find about upcoming games and other news, with more features to come in subsequent upgrades. So, soon you'll be able to bury your friends in a PS3 game and taunt them about it over your mobile as well, mild fun beckons!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shining Hearts out in Japan Today

Shining Hearts, published by Sega, hit the streets in Japan today, as did lots of gamers queueing for the game and the free bread delivered by suitably attired girls [Dengeki]. It looks like a pretty traditional JRPG with art by Tony Taka, [Wikipedia] has a pretty good run through of the plot and game design.

A team attack system using the game's Mind over Emotion motif is used to create different types of attack and players will get to upgrade their boats as a fair amount of play takes place on the open water.

Players can have up to four members in their team and the combat scenes look lively and detailed in comparison to many RPGs. The [official site] has a lot more detail, you can listen to some of the in-game music and more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3rd Birthday Final Trailer up

Sticking to the 3rd Birthday site like glue is providing more PSP news than all other games put together at the moment. Not only do we not get a couple of new backgrounds but here comes the final trailer, showing some traumatic scenes that could signal the end for our heroine?

Could Square really let a series die before the 13th version? If this is one of the last big games for the PSP, then it is really getting a lot of effort and love lavished upon it.

PSP Store Update 15/12

Things naturally tail off towards Christmas, the US store got a single PSP mini this week, the fun looking I Must Run, which we also get to enjoy. Meanwhile the Japanese get to bask in one of the classic PSOne titles, Chrono Cross.

What do we get? Um, this little lot. Not to shabby really. Don't forget Persona, a must at only £13.99. Note also the trailer for Clap Hanz's Stress Buster, this is an ace collection of minigames for which there are a bunch of Japanese demos available.

PAL Store

Prinny 2 - £23.99

Bakugan - £19.99

Shapo - £3.99 (PSP Minis has a review up)
Core Blaster - £2.49
Dr Minigames - £2.49
Farm Frenzy - £2.49 (Site here)
I Must Run - £2.49

Everybody's Stress Buster - The European name for the Clap Hanz Sukkiri mini-game fest. The demos included a rhythm action game which adds to the baseball, car racing and Cannon Fodder-style fun demos that are available on the Jap store.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona – £13.99

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 £7.99
Splinter Cell Essentials £7.99
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Predator £16.99
Panda Craze (mini) £2.49
Caterpillar (mini) £2.49

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rumor - Uncharted for PSP2

Slap a big fat "rumor" tag on this one, but reckons that Uncharted is coming to PSP2 in some form. Now its not hard to imagine the PS3 Uncharted 3 game coming on both platforms, so you can take the same game on the go. Or, for two different games to cross-feed content and extras into each other as you work through both stories.

What is needed is for Sony to create ways of getting PS3 owners to want a PSP2 as well to attract new gamers. This would be one way for all those who complained about the PSP being a lesser format to get a new perspective, all it would take is dual-sticks, matching visuals and enough incentive to play both versions.

In-car PSP Monster Hunter Portable 3

Nice shot from a Japanese developer, not so much for the game as the fact they seem to have network ports in their plane/car seats!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Season for PSP owners

Despite it being at the end of its life, sites are still dragging out the PSP for the festive round-ups. So, what do they recommend for the gamer that doesn't quite have everything? There are quite a few duplicates but I think anyone could find something they haven't already got from these lists of present ideas.

[Pocket Gamer] recommends GTA Chinatown Wars, Ghost of Sparta, LocoRoco 2 and Patapon.

[MSNBC] offers a sprinkling of variety and goes with Peace Walker, Invizimals, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Fat Princess.

[Kotaku] goes with Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3, Valkyria Chronicles, Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman and Persona 3

Gran Turismo PSP sales figures released

In an interesting bit of information from the Gran Turismo 5 sells bucketloads press release, we find out just how the PSP version sold. Two and a quarter million isn't bad (including downloads) but some way off the big console numbers and also way off in Japan, where most PSPs are sold.

Are the Japanese PSP owners really that hooked up on Monster Hunter that they failed to notice an entire GT release? At least Europe took notice! Which all makes you wonder if Polyphony Digital will bother with a PSP2 version, or will they just tweak the PS3 edition, if the console is as powerful as claimed...

Cumulative Worldwide Sales of Gran Turismo Series (million units)

North America*1

Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo 2

Gran Turismo 3 A-spec

Gran Turismo Concept 2001 TOKYO*3

Gran Turismo 4 Prologue

Gran Turismo 4

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue*4

Gran Turismo (PSP)*5

Gran Turismo 5



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Engadget benchmarks PSP Phone

Those crafty buggers at [Engadget] have finally showed the PSP Phone (aka Zeus) playing a game. I suppose this makes up for the aborted/fake launch/unveiling event that was supposed to happen today.

Don't recognise the game its playing, although as it has a decidely Japanese feel to it, except the graphics look pretty rudimentar. So does this thing have a hope in hell of making an impact on the market? Not if this is the result, perhaps that's why Sony Ericsson want another three months work on it 

3rd Birthday new images

I love the official [3rd Birthday site], its one of the better created games pages and gets regular updates, including a new PSP theme. [Andriasang] points out some new images showing "clothing damage" so when you take hits, bits of the poor girl's clothing comes apart. I can see this being a game where people die repeatedly just to see just how much flesh they get to see.

3rd Birthday really does look like being one of the PSP's best titles - lets just hope that the previous versions get a new lease of life, which if this is successful is pretty much a given. Both titles are already out on the Japanese PSN store, so what's the delay?

New Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim shots

Some cracking new visuals are up on [RPGSite] with some of the new characters, arenas and action from the semi-sequel. It does look gorgeous, but is it worth getting if you have the original? Time will tell and it'll also be worth waiting to see if it scores above Dissidia's metacritic rating of 79%.

Source blabs to IGN, PSP2 as graphically powerful as the PS3

I'm thinking more and more that the PSP2 will be a console you plug into the television (or it could come with wireless HD) to play at home and then take on the go with you. The same games wherever you happen to be wipes out the need for two consoles, a lesser experience on the move and crappy ports.

That would be cool but for now those pesky "insiders" are talking in vague terms. Full blurb (but not much detail here) [IGN]

New Ys review and the campest game title ever!

While I get up to speed, here's some news from around the web. While PSP still dominates in Japan, things are getting a bit quieter in the west, still plenty of games and interest to keep us busy until the successor arrives.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana Review - a so-so addition to the series according to [Gamespot]

Star Driver - you just have to love it for the subtitle [Siliconera]

PSP2 Roundup Is Go

Hello and welcome. This blog will cover all the Sony PSP2, PSP Phone, PSPGo and PSP games news as and when it happens. Come here for news, reviews and links gathered from around the webby world, so you don't have to go looking for them.

I'm Go, Go, Go waiting for whatever Sony does next.