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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games Hardware

PlayStation Portable Chip Details 147

Posted by timothy
from the just-happy-to-see-you dept.
boarder8925 writes "The Register posted an article today that detailed the PlayStation Portable's chip specs. The CPU will run at up to 333MHz, and its frontside bus at up to 166MHz. The graphics system, operating across a 512-bit bus, will be capable of rendering 664m pixels per second and 35m polygons per second. Its core, operating at 166MHz, will include 2MB integrated buffer DRAM."
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PlayStation Portable Chip Details

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  • Looks like a great candidate for running alternative software/OSes. I wonder what the extent of available I/O will be?
    • by Sevidrac (634513) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:28PM (#10074177) Journal
      Or, you know, you could play video games on it.

      Honestly, I never understand why people want everything to run an OS. Oh noes, the kernel corrupted on my linux toaster. Now it burns on one side and does nothing on the other.
      • and could make one heck of a controller for HVAC systems, remote monitoring, portable data acquisition, etc. Not to say that there aren't other options, but game consoles are usually cheap, reliable, and sturdy. If I can do all that /and/ play games on it, it's another opportunity for experimentation and learning on my end.
      • "Or, you know, you could play video games on it."

        Only if the games were actually good. Recall how quickly the Xbox was hacked to run the OS of the Week compared to the GameCube. :)
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, but I think that was more to do with the fact that the X-Box so closely resembled a PC. Unless you enjoy playing rehashes of 10-15 year old games, the X-Box's lineup is now and always has been far superior to the Cube;s.
        • Nothing to do with the hard drive then?
        • It also probably had stuff to do with the odd size of the discs for the game cube. Plus who wants to hack a nintendo product when you can hack a microsoft one!
        • One more suggestion along with the others..

          It may also have to do with the fact that the discs are read from outside-in, instead of the other way around, like normal CDs and DVDs. So it wasn't possible to create a bootable disc with a burned disc. Hackers had to wait until the PSO1&2 memory card (or network) exploit arrived to get it to run arbitrary code.
    • by gl4ss (559668)
      probability for sony to allow 3rd party apps: 0%.

      sad truth. if you want to code for a portable there's plenty around already though, zaurus, palms, pocketpc's, mobile phones, gp32..

      (gba doesn't count, you can't officially create your own apps)
      • probability for sony to allow 3rd party apps: 0%.

        On the other hand I could see them putting together a linux kit with the boot loader and the initial kernel on a UMD and your code stored on the memory stick. Coupled with the wifi and IR it would make a killer platform for the development of embedded devices.

      • Hokum. Every one of Sony's platforms has had development tools available to gen general public. Sony is the only company which supports amateur development on consoles (though it looks like Microsoft is about to change this.)

        By the way, third party apps would be from other game publishers. Third party apps are Sony's strong point, not their weak point. They've already got a list of more than a hundred and fifty third party apps to be released at the same time as the platform, which by experience I expe
  • by Qapf (661291) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:50PM (#10073236) Homepage
    exactly how many backpacks of batteries am I going to need to go 24 hours without a socket? /gba owner and proud of it.
    • seriously, this things is gonna draw way too much juice. 333mhz processors, huge screen, optical drive, etc... No matter how good the systems specs are, if battery life doesn't cut it, its going to be smoke by gameboy.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I don't think the optical drive will be a major power drain. Look at MiniDisc players. They're about the same size (physically) as the PSP's drive, and they get 50-60 hours on one AA battery. I think the drive's power usage will be relatively insignificant next to the screen and processors' usage.
        • I get 11 hours off my MiniDisc with a freshly charged 1300mAH battery. Thing is, MiniDisc keeps the juice consumption down by a number of tricks: the drive spin up is VERY slow (takes a couple of seconds) and it reads in burst and plays from memory.

          I don't know if this would work well on a game console.
      • by Frenchy_2001 (659163) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:23PM (#10074543)
        seriously, this things is gonna draw way too much juice. 333mhz processors, huge screen, optical drive, etc... No matter how good the systems specs are, if battery life doesn't cut it, its going to be smoke by gameboy.

        I hate to break all your dream, but technology has moved forward quite a bit since the Gamegear... Both for batteries AND power consumption.

        The latest PocketPCs are using a Xscale at 600+MHz and they have HOURS of autonomy. My older Dell PDA (only a 300MHz Xscale) can play games for 6+ hours before needing a recharge (and using a PSX emulator with games on a microdrive)) and the battery was not even that impressive. I could watch a movie for ~1.5h.

        Sure, they may not reach the portability level of a GBA (which itself is years behind a Palm, that could live MONTHS on 2 AAA), but it may be *enough*.

        Then again, maybe not... so, wait and see...
        • That's great but does your Dell PDA have a disc to spin and a laser to read the information of the disc?
        • How do you get four times as much life playing games than watching movies? Explain how that's possible.

          Anyway, this thing does a little more than that old PDA does. The disc drive takes a significant amount of power, for one thing. As does extra memory. It's got not one processor, but two. And that thing has one hell of a screen, which I suspect draws more power than any of the above. Possibly combined. Remember, the goal here isn't to beat the Gamegear in battery life (though I do honestly question wheth
          • How do you get four times as much life playing games than watching movies? Explain how that's possible.

            Chances are that the movie player doesnt buffer the movie file, so the microdrive is constantly spinning. THe games are sufficient that once loaded, most probably rarely touch the disk, allowing it to spin down.

      • As of E3 Sony was able to crank (depending on games) 6-8 hours out of their battery system, and was claiming they'd expect that number to jump to 7-10 by release. Movies, which make far more demanding use f the optical drive, are expected to drain the battery in about three and a half.

        The processors don't honestly take that much power, and the big screen doesn't actually draw as much as the DS' two screens. The optical drive is pricey, yes, but the system has 32 meg of RAM; caching behavior and intellige
    • maybe it'll take fuel cells? (it won't, but it's something to get thinking about. energy density wise. and no i didn't RTFA. i was going to make the same joke but you got there first, bastard ;) /also a GBA owner and Ninty fan 4-ever.
  • Impressive... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by keiferb (267153)
    Granted, my understanding of electronics isn't what it should be, but I always find it amazing that the processors used in these things can be so slow considering the requirements of most PC software these days.
    • Re:Impressive... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lisandro (799651) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:35PM (#10074613)
      It's because it's not the clock frequency that matters; it's also the ammount of work per cycle that matters. Not only that, they're not general purpose processors, they're tailored for the need. GPUs, per example, are clocked much lower than most desktop CPUs, but don't try beating them pushing polygons with your brand new Athlon.
      Also, there's a lot of crud the CPU won't be dealing with - the OS is much more minimal and oriented just for games.

      That being said, 333MHz it's quite a lot of processing power. I'm amazed they can get chips clocked higher and higher into portables while keeping the power consupmtion down.
      • by miyako (632510) <miyako.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @10:40PM (#10074994) Homepage Journal
        mod parent up
        The reason that you can do more with consoles than you can with PC games, even though consoles tend to have lower specs is that when you know what hardware the program will be running on you can do a lot more optimization.
        When you have a single hardware configuration and the time to learn exaclty how it performs under what circumstances you can squeeze a lot more performance out of that hardware.
        Another reasont that we don't see the same performance out of modern PC applications (game or otherwise) is that as hardware progresses, optimization gives way to higher level languages, coding styles, etc. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but if every application was optimized as much as console applications are (and if it were even possible given the variety of hardware), you'd be able to run $your_favorite_os, $your_favorite_office_suite, $your_favorite_media_player, and $your_favorite_web_browser all at the same time quite comfortably on a 300mz machien with 64 megs of ram.
        • gah, hate to reply to myself, should have used preview.... forgot a chunk of what I was going to say
          You also have to consider that this hardware is designed specifically for games. Standard pc hardware is very general in nature, but console hardware is not standard PC hardware, it's put together to be able to perform in exactly the ways where games need performance.
          • Whereas I agree with most of what you said, this last bit isn't really the case. The PS2 is the last of the big consoles to use proprietary hardware; case in point, the PSP as discussed is a series of standard issue general purpose processors (as are the DS, the PS3, the XBox and XBox Next, the Game Cube, et cetera.)

            Whereas ASICs outperform GP CPUs, GP CPUs' margins allow them to be pushed harder than ASICs by a wide enough margin that GP CPUs win out in the long run.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's because it's not the clock frequency that matters; it's also the ammount of work per cycle that matters.

        That being said, 333MHz it's quite a lot of processing power.

        So, just to clarify, clock frequency doesn't matter, unless it's quite a lot?
  • I Bet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by FlipmodePlaya (719010) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:55PM (#10073283) Journal
    "Sony will also build in a dedicated security engine, which it *hopes* will eliminate game piracy and attempts to hack the system." (emphasis mine)

    Oh, just like with the PS2 and PS1, right? Even the GBA has a flash card you can use to play ROMs and NES games. I understand that they need to be able to say they put effort into preventing piracy, I just found it funny they had hope.
    • Re:I Bet... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      The goal is never really to defeat piracy, most sane people concede that it's impossible to defeat. What you want to do though is raise the bar high enough that most potential pirates buy the game instead of copying it. Having no copy protection would be just plain dumb, it will be beat, but Sony is hoping that it will be so difficult only a handful of skilled people will be able to do it, and they won't be able to mass produce anything that will allow laymen to pirate.
    • The Cube (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @11:19PM (#10075210)
      The Cube *still* doesn't have a flourishing pirate scene because of how well Nintendo did. Small games can be loaded into main RAM over the network from a PC, or what have you, but it's such a pain in the butt it isn't worth it.

      It's easier and cheaper to rent until you're done playing.

      "Eliminate piracy" is a sort of statistical phrase. At least one person will eventually pirate on any system. The issue at hand is whether the pirated copies are being sold on the streets of hong kong.
      • I just saw a demo video clip of a copied game being played on a gamecube. The system had been modified and it was out of its case to accomodate a 5" CDR but the 3" discs do exist, including DVD-format. Gamecube is likely to soon have a nice big game copying scene.
      • And I wrote software for modifying game content for downloaded gamecube games! yay!

        http://gcmtool.sf.net/ [sf.net]
    • I'm betting that people will be able to hack it to run homebrews off the memory stick. Thankfully, it's just right in the resolution department, but it'll look kinda small when emulating SNES, GB, NES, etc. (BIG gaps in the widescreen). And no, stretching it would make it really ugly.

      BTW, does this thing have L1,L2,R1,R2? Any other hidden buttons I don't know about?

  • 90nm fab (Score:3, Informative)

    by Andy_R (114137) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:59PM (#10073329) Homepage Journal
    I'm a little surprised at this statistic, when the PS3's cell chip is supposed to be 65nm fabbed.
    • Re:90nm fab (Score:5, Insightful)

      by suyashs (645036) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @07:08PM (#10073430)
      Sony's got a habit of boasting about their products before releasing them at lower specs... I doubt that the PS3's processor will be 65nm considering that the major chipmaking companies are having a hell of a hard time with 90nm anyway and there really isn't a need for the chip to be 65nm right now anyway...
      • Re:90nm fab (Score:2, Informative)

        by sammaffei (565627)
        Yeah, seems IBM still has some problems making 90nm G5s. Apple had to hold back that G5 iMac because of that.
      • Re:90nm fab (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Frenchy_2001 (659163)
        I doubt that the PS3's processor will be 65nm considering that the major chipmaking companies are having a hell of a hard time with 90nm anyway and there really isn't a need for the chip to be 65nm right now anyway...

        but the PS3 is not planned until Xmas next year... that let plenty of time for the process to mature.
      • They may be having a problem with it, but one thing that is true in any industry is that if you throw enough money at a problem it gets solved. I would love to see Sony throw enough money at this problem in order to solve it, currently the only company that really solves this sort of major problem in the nano-tech industry is IBM.
      • Re:90nm fab (Score:5, Informative)

        by mausmalone (594185) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @11:09PM (#10075148) Homepage Journal
        Sony's got a habit of boasting about their products before releasing them at lower specs.
        I still have the articles that claim the PS2 is capible of over 130 million polygons/second (66 million in the CPU and 75 million in the emotion engine). In game, it's really closer to 5-10 million polygons/sec depending on the quality and special effects. For those of you not following specs, 5-10 million polys/sec in game is extremely respectable, but 130 million is absolutely unheard-of. X-Box and Gamecube both get around 10-30 million/sec depending (heavily) on quality and effects... faster by virtue of being newer.

        Now, given their claim of 35 million polys/sec, and Sony's knack for boasting, you'll probably only see 1-5 million/sec (many developers will take advantage of the power stepping and opt for lower detail for longer battery life). For comparrison's sake, the PS1 was able to do something like 300 thousand polys/sec, so the detail level will be very significant for a portable device.

        Odd that they'd boast the fill rate, though. At a resolution that low (compared to PC resolutions), it really shouldn't be an issue at all. The only way that would really matter is if they have a ton of texture combiners and pipelines, which wasn't explicitly stated. Should be neat to see this thing in action.
        • I still have the articles that claim the PS2 is capible of over 130 million polygons/second (66 million in the CPU and 75 million in the emotion engine).

          You've probably got that slightly mixed up, as the Emotion Engine is the PS2's CPU, the graphics chip is called the Graphics Synthesiser. Although they're now on one chip in newer model PS2's anyway. Sony does seem to be good at making bold claims about new hardware though. I assume those are 130 million unlit, untextured, with the system doing nothing b

          • yeah,... that's my mistake. Supposed to be 66 million in the Emotion Engine and 75 million in the Graphics Synthesizer. I was just typing faster than I was thinking.

            At any rate, for anyone who didn't see the utter BS in the original 130 M tri's stat, even if the GS could do 75 and the EE could do 66, the GS would have to sacrifice some of those in order to copy the EE's local framebuffer & z-buffer over to the GS's framebuffer and then throw more polys on... which it may or may not have the ability t
        • Re:90nm fab (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rallion (711805)
          Gah, I remember that. Nintendo was releasing their estimated polycounts with all the effects on and everything, Sony was releasing theoretical numbers with no meaning. Heh, sure, the system can draw that many, as long as it has something else doing everything besides simply drawing. That is when Sony really, really started to annoy me. Especially since it was the final nail in the Dreamcast's already-well-built coffin.

          And they clamed two hours of battery life with the screen on. That translates to what, 20
      • Don't you know the current generation of EE+GS for PSX is already fabbed in 90nm without a problem?
  • Relative performance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psyconaut (228947) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @07:09PM (#10073440)
    On a pure polygon basis, that's ~50% of a PS/2 in your pocket or about ~25% of an Xbox in pure polygon performance.

    Naturally, these are meaningless numbers...but if does give you a hint (especially given the pixel real estate being small) that the PSP will have proper, immersive 3D gaming capability...which I guess has been shown to good effect with the GT4 demo.

    -psy
    • by xgamer04 (248962) <xgamer04.yahoo@com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @07:23PM (#10073616)

      ...[it] does give you a hint that the PSP will have proper, immersive 3D gaming capability...

      At that screen size, the immersiveness will be spectacular.

      • Actually, the screen is damned good, and 'huge' for a handheld. Pic of me with it at E3: http://www.geocities.com/arcade_fan2001/sonik_play ing_psp.jpg You can see how well the screen showed up on camera, even givin the angle. And yes, I know /. will kill my geociities bandwidth in .001 seconds or so.
        • Um, naming the pic "playing" might be misleading.

          I was at E3 as well; and there wasn't a damned thing actually PLAYABLE on the PSP. The most you could do was change the camera angle in Metal Gear Acid, and the closest thing to playable was running around a small town in some RPG where you could talk to like 4 people. No leaving town, no menus, no battles.

          Hell, you couldn't even do anything like pause, rewind, fast forward, or stop any video being shown on the PSP units that were showing movie trailers

    • The thing is, intensive use of 3D will probably double the power consumption and halve battery life...
  • Battery life? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chrispyman (710460) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:11PM (#10074055)
    Maybe it's just me, but it sure doesn't sound like the PSP is going to be that energy efficient with specs like that. What good is an impressive portable system that sucks batteries worse than a Sega Game Gear?
    • Re:Battery life? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Maybe it's just me, but it sure doesn't sound like the PSP is going to be that energy efficient with specs like that.

      RTFA:

      The PSP's MIPS R4000-based CPU will run at up to 333MHz [...] Its frontside bus runs at up to 166MHz, with both frequencies controlled by processor load.

      When playing Gran Turismo 4, it's going to suck down the batteries. Bring your AC or DC adapter, depending on where you're going to be. Maybe even invest in a jacket with a goofy solar panel on it or something. Or, here's

      • " Bring your AC or DC adapter, depending on where you're going to be. Maybe even invest in a jacket with a goofy solar panel on it or something."

        Or invest in a Nintendo DS.
        • The DS won't play games like Gran Turismo 4. Well, it might play games kind of like it, but not as detailed. My GBA will cover my needs in terms of cute little puzzle games, I don't need to buy a DS. But, there is room in my collection (if not my wallet) for the PSP, which is a very different beast.
          • Re:Battery life? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @02:22AM (#10075880) Homepage Journal
            "The DS won't play games like Gran Turismo 4. Well, it might play games kind of like it, but not as detailed."

            Though I'm a Nintendo fan boy, I concede that the PSP will have better graphics than the DS. However, it isn't clear yet that the DS would or wouldn't be able to do a decent port of it. That thing can more or less push the same polys an N64 can (fewer texture effects of course...), it'll do alright.

            "But, there is room in my collection (if not my wallet) for the PSP, which is a very different beast."

            Very different than what? The only ups it has are the optical media and it can push a few more polygons around. In terms of being 'very different', the DS easily holds that crown. Maybe I'm being too much of an optimist here, but I'm excited about that thing having a stylus screen (on a seperate display, no less) and built in 802.11. It'd be trivial to make that thing play games over the net. If they got that working, those two features together make for a damn interesting machine.

            However, this is really an academic discussion. I'm not intrigued much by the PSP. But if you buy one, and you have fun with it, then nothing I say matters in the slightest. Know what I mean? Buy these things for fun. Stylus interface + 802.11 == 0 if the games aren't interesting to you. Equally, if the PSP ends up with games I'm interested in, I'd probably end up with one. (Heck, I'm finally getting a PS2 when GTA:San Andreas comes out.)

            So, in short, hope ya end up happy. Just be careful about getting sucked into Sony's (or Nintendo's) hype. Go by the games, not by their silly claims about what their hardware can do.
            • I'll be buying a PS2 when GT4 comes out, and I'll be waiting to play GTA:SA on the PC, when it comes out there :) As you say, the ultimate arbitrer is where the games are. Lots of console and handheld developers have forgotten this, for some amount of time and to some degree, at their peril. Just look at neo geo pocket color, if you can find one.
            • So, in short, hope ya end up happy. Just be careful about getting sucked into Sony's (or Nintendo's) hype. Go by the games, not by their silly claims about what their hardware can do.

              That's exactly where Nintendo will falter. The DS lineup will look like this:

              Mario: We Repackaged Your Childhood
              Pokemon Gold-Enlaid Silver-Trimmed Edition
              Pokemon Ruby-Encrusted Platnium Hyper X Edition
              Pokemon: Again
              Pokemon: ...and again
              Pokemon: ...yet again
              Pokemon: Seriously, You Guys Still Like This Shit?
              *generic 3rd-rate

              • Re:Battery life? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by ivan256 (17499) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:55AM (#10078094)
                the game lineup on the GBA was the worst thing about it

                The GBA is the last bastion of 2D RPGs and platform games. Some of the titles availble for GBA will end up being the last and greatest games available in those genres. Sure, there are hundreds of throwaway titles based on tired licenses and professional "wrestling", but there are dozens of gems amongst them. Considering the number of platforms out there that never made it to having 30-40 exclusive titles total, it's hard to complain about a platform that has 30-40 really excelent games mixed in among the 500-600 really terrible ones.

                The only point I think you've made is that you can't pick out the good games amongst the bad.
                • The only point I think you've made is that you can't pick out the good games amongst the bad.

                  And what gave you that impression? All I was doing was a bit of a parody of the GBA's most popular games (and got modded troll for poking fun at Nintendo... on Slashdot... imagine that).

                  There's no real reason the GBA has to be the 'last bastion' of 2D games. They'll still be around on the DS, and there's still a massive back-catalogue of them to play. And there aren't even that many of them, anyways. Phantasy St

                  • FFTA is a great game. It's not FFT but I really enjoy it. Actually I got FFTA after FFT, but regardless, FFTA is called ...A because it's on the GBA, not because it's advanced.

                    I'm 27 and I like FFTA. The story doesn't bother me at all because I don't play strategy games (or small unit tactics games) for the story.

                  • There's no real reason the GBA has to be the 'last bastion' of 2D games. They'll still be around on the DS

                    I've heard first hand from developers for the PSP and the DS that they are being "encouraged" to make games that take advantage of the platform's 3d capabilities. When I say "encouraged," I mean it in the same way that people were "encouraged" not to make 2d games for the N64.

                    The theme I was going for with my comment is just that the GBA is derrivative

                    Whenever somebody complains that something is
      • Or, here's an idea, a battery pack that goes in your pocket and feeds the system through the charging socket.

        Sony already has that planned. However, the battery unit at E3 was about half the size of the PSP itself, which is going to be hard enough to fit in normal sized pockets.

        And, of course, no mention on how expensive this extra battery unit will cost, either (since they didn't talk a sylable about price for the unit, accessories, or the games at E3).

        Besides, are you going to want extra wires han

      • "However, if you're playing GBA-esque games which will mostly fit in memory and demand little CPU, the system will scale peformance down to preserve battery."

        Which simply won't happen. If you're going to make a GBA-esque game, you're going to make it for the GBA, because the Game Boy has an installed base "the likes of which God has never seen." Short of nuclear war, that's not going away overnight.

        Sony will have developers over the embers to seriously push the PSP hardware to produce games that look a
        • When they optimize the firmware, will it be for a game system or for a "media device?"

          What are you talking about? It has cpu scaling and the ability to turn off unused components, it's not a matter of optimizing for one or another. The system will use enough power to accomplish the task it's performing, and if anything the game or application in use at the time will determine power consumption, although there is room for them to do it automatically. Nonetheless, it's not an issue of how the firmware

    • My guess is they are going to use some kind of recharchable battery system, lithium ion anyone?. That's probably the only viable solution.
  • by MBraynard (653724) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:50PM (#10074708) Journal
    I would guess that 99% of all gameboy playtime takes place where a power source would be available.

    Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source? Cars have the lighter ac converter and I recall always being able to find an outlet for my laptop at the airports.

    Even back in the day when I had a game gear, I almost always had a place to plug it in.

    • occurs on my laptop or desktop. ^_^
    • by nic barajas (750051) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @12:06AM (#10075442)
      Fair enough, you are always near an electric source. But isn't the main point of a *portable* to take it with you, away from electrical sources? We all know we can keep portables plugged in all the time. But the point is that when not plugged in, they can still keep a reasonably long charge. Something like 8 hours should be good for such technology, or a company shouldn't push it. It's not worth the money.
    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @02:29AM (#10075903)
      "Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source?"

      Spoken like someone who's never played with a WaveBird. In general, you'll never notice how much having to work around the length of a cord hampers you until you're given the opportunity to go without one.

      After all, why does anything need batteries? Why cordless phones? Why infrared remote controls?
      • I can play with my WaveBird plugged into the electrical outlet a hell of a lot easier than I can with the standard GameCube controller plugged into the GameCube. After all, the electrical outlets are a lot closer to the couch than the GameCube.

        On the other hand, I have to have a 3rd-party adapter to keep from having to constantly burn up AA batteries on my Wavebird, too. Still, it's got nice battery life.

        Most of my use of my GBA is in the car (no, not when I'm driving), but I certainly wouldn't want to be
      • Since I have an Xbox, the cords are more than ample in length that I have never felt the need.
    • by Monofilament (512421) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:31AM (#10076815) Homepage Journal
      Seriously. The whole reason i own a gameboy SP (and i imagine why its so popular) is because i can put it in my pocket easily and take it on travel. Plane rides, train rides, backseat of the car. ALL of those places are tough to get any sort of power plug from. Yeah ok the car you may be able to plug in the cigarette lighter but thats about all. many times you can't though. At least on my travel. I haven't traveled in a plane yet for my budget that gives me a plug in recepticle.

      99% of my gameboy play is in that travel mode. I mean hell, when i'm home .. i have XBOX Computer/PS2 whatever else. Why play the portable when you're not moving.
    • Even back in the day when I had a game gear, I almost always had a place to plug it in.

      The Game Gear isn't exactly a good example for modern handhelds, the Game Boy series and other modern handhelds all have far better battery consumption levels than that battery muncher. You can actually use for reasonable lengths of time them without being chained to a power source. Although the PSP might be going back to the bad old days from some appearances...

    • Just thinking about where people play their gameboys. Is it really that far out of reach of a power source? Cars have the lighter ac converter

      City buses and school buses do not have available 12-volt lighter sockets, and neither does a car whose driver smokes tobacco.

    • Considering that the only other serious cartridge-based contenders in the history of portable gaming went under because of battery life...

      I'd have to say yes. Battery life really IS that important.

      It wasn't technical (Lynx and GameGear were so much more advanced than a Gameboy it wasn't even funny). It wasn't game libraries (both of the Gameboy's competitors had a lot of good games for them - and this is back before the Gameboy had 1000's of titles). It was battery life, pure and simple. The Gameboy was a
    • Cars have the lighter ac converter and I recall always being able to find an outlet for my laptop at the airports.

      But they don't have outlets on the planes. Not usually, at least. My iBook's battery has never survived a cross-country flight.

      I'm convinced one reason Game Boy did so well is because the batteries lasted a long, long time. A lot of adults play, but the main market is kids-- and Game Boys are the best pacifiers for a hyperactive 12-year old imaginable. They have to last on a long plane ri
  • Old news (Score:1, Redundant)

    Extremetech ran this 2 days ago. My story submission was denied yesterday. Heres the link:

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1639250 ,00.asp [extremetech.com]
  • by WapoStyle (639758) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:50AM (#10078027)
    Yeah, those specs look cool, but they will drain the battery very quickly. Don't forget Sony is using their "minidisc' media (or whatever they call it). That's going to be spinning an awful lot for loading and such. I think that will be the biggest drain of all.

    It really might not be that big of a deal, I almost always play my GBA within easy reach of a power source, so the PSP would be fine for me if your thinking about powering it. However, I'm not going to buy a very expensive new portable system just to play Metal Gear Card Battle Deluxe. If they don't get some abosolutely must have games that aren't available anywhere else then it's going to fail in a big way.

    • Forget the media (Score:3, Informative)

      by jaaron (551839)
      Don't forget Sony is using their "minidisc' media (or whatever they call it). That's going to be spinning an awful lot for loading and such. I think that will be the biggest drain of all.

      Have you ever used a minidisc player? They have incredible battery life. My old minidisc player can last days before I need to recharge the batteries and that's with playing it most of the time.

      As most of the other comments and articles point out the media IO is not going to be as big as a drain as powering the scr
  • I'm just looking forward to playing games with a little more action and carnage. You just don't find games like Twisted Metal and Grand Theft Auto on the GBA.
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @03:35PM (#10081539) Homepage Journal
    A lot of comments here have focused on battery life. I think that the integrated chipset may have another potential benefit. It may make the PSP easier to develop for. If this is the case, it will give the PSP a better chance of competing with the GBA and the DS. It has already been reported that Gran Turismo for the PSP will be a nearly straight port from the PS2 version. Assuming this is not overly difficult, it means that the PSP should be able to draw on the large library of PSOne and PS2 games for its first generation. Hopefully some brand new stuff will be made too, but living off of ports isn't so bad in the first year.

    Ease of development was a big plus for the original Playstation. And the initial difficulty of development hobbled the PS2 (killed Saturn). Hopefully Sony is designing the PSP with development considerations in mind. Of course those batteries had better last more than a couple of hours too!
  • Nintendo has had years to perfect the design of the gameboy. sony may be a bit naive by trying to cram in too much power into a battery-sucking device.

    they need to balance power vs battery life

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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