Sony Computer Entertainment may at least consider touch-based input for its next-generation PlayStation Portable video game system. At least, the company said that there are games which clearly benefit from such input technology, which may be an indicator that shows Sony's interest in using the technology for portable games.
“Depending on the game, there are ones where you can play perfectly well with a touch panel. 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," said Kazuo Hirai, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment, in an interview with the New York Times.
Of course, the comment cannot be considered as a direct confirmation that the PSP2 will use have a touch-screen, like modern smartphones as well as Nintendo DS and 3DS portable game consoles. However, touch-controls have been rumoured to be a part of the PlayStation Portable 2 for some time now. Moreover, the forthcoming Sony Ericsson PlayStation smartphone based on Google Android operating system will naturally feature a touch-screen.
Additionally, although Mr. Hirai was coy about the specifics regarding the second-gen PSP, he said Sony had been thinking of a successor game-console “since the day” the PlayStation Portable was released. The head of Sony Computer Entertainment also gave an intriguing comment about the yet-to-be-announced PlayStation smartphone, which can be interpreted in many different ways.
“We do not want gamers to be asking, what’s the difference between that and a PSP. We have to come up with a message that users will understand. It would have to be a product that keeps the PlayStation’s strengths intact," said Mr. Hirai.
Based on the information revealed earlier, the first ever PlayStation phone will resemble PSP Go portable game console, but will feature Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8655 system-on-chip clocked at 1.0GHz, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM and so on. The smartphone that will reportedly be based on heavily customized version of Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system will feature 3.7" - 4.1" screen similar to that of PSPgo. The hardware inside the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone will be vastly different from that inside PlayStation Portable and it is unclear which games will it support. Moreover, a lot of unofficial facts shape the PlayStation phone as a separate gaming platform, perhaps, compatible with at least some PSP games, but not as the long-rumoured successor to the game console. Moreover, the latter may actually be a competitor to the phone.
The only official information about the PSP2 is that it is in development and that some game developers already have prototypes. The PlayStation Portable 2 – or whatever its actual name is – is expected to be based on the Cell processors with four synergistic processing elements (SPEs), according to a report earlier this year. Back in late 2008 rumours transpired that Sony had licensed PowerVR graphics processor technologies for the next-gen PSP. According to other market rumours, PSP2 has two cameras, one forward and one backward facing, in addition, it has a touch-screen in addition to physical PlayStation buttons. Finally, according to the unofficial information, the device sports both 3G/3.5G and Wi-Fi connectivity.