[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

January 26th, 2011

Now with Typ-iT done with for the moment, I have some free time to write some thoughts on the PlayStation Portable 2… with the recent news that is showing up and the leaked specifications or patent submissions from Sony being analysed it seems that the PSP2 is turning more and more into what I felt the PSPGo should have been. It is also getting close to what I felt the PSPhone should have been too…

First off we aren’t going to be discussing about the specifications of the devices or any of the hardware capabilities. It is mostly about the features and ideas that I felt should be in a device such as a PSPhone/PSP2. Previously I did write about the PSPhone but that was more in relation to what it should do to succeed… Now that more information has been released we can look into this a little more.

So alright the PSPhone is now pretty much out there for us to look at and see what the deal with it is… it is an Android Phone under the XPERIA series with PlayStation controls and an application called PlayStation Pocket [Good name, brings back memories.] that connects with the PSNetwork and allows you to download and play games. Not too bad really… Though it isn’t something I as a gamer look at and think “I want this.” I look at it as being a gimmicky phone aimed at want to be gamers and people who have too much money and no idea what is good for them.

However with recent news of the PSP2, it seems like it is hitting some good potential… from my previous post which contains some discussion about the PSPhone, the points are still valid for most of the issues in supporting what would make a good device for gamers to pick up. Except this time, we are talking about a true gaming device… The PSP2 will be put up against the Nintendo 3DS which is going to be released next month, while the PSP2 is looking towards near end of year release.

With the way technology and the gaming industry is moving, I can see that the future of gaming resides in portable consoles rather than home entertainment systems. That or a hybrid… similar to how the PSP can be plugged into the television [though it was poorly implemented with requiring HDTVs]. As devices seemingly get too powerful for game companies to support them or reach their full potential because of the production costs for games it starts becoming an issue where developers spend too much time on matching the graphics quality to the systems that the games turn out not reaching their potential due to budget limitation on the development.

Anyway enough of that, so Sony will be releasing it’s details tomorrow in Japan. Before that I should outline what would probably make the PSP2 successful:

  • Integration: Sony’s devices from the PSP and PS3 along with their views on integrating with their products should be using the PSP2 to integrate everything as a personal Sony device control panel if they want their electronic consumers to pick up the PSP2 for market share, with a touch screen panel this should not be a hard task to enable especially with everything moving towards network connectivity etc.
  • Games: No this isn’t a joke, no matter what; the games determine the success of a gaming device and at the same time the devices capabilities determine the success of some games. Some games succeed with physical buttons while others succeed with a touch screen or motion… What ever is included in the PSP2 should be used to create games that need them, not just use it for an arbitrary part of the game and never use it again.
  • Network Connectivity: This may not sound like much, but the PSP lacked serious PSN connectivity. Despite we were allowed to connect to the PSN Store to purchase and download games we weren’t allowed to view our PSN Friend list even as a simple function in the XMB [Cross Media Bar Menu]. You could argue that there was no need because we aren’t able to access the XMB in-game anyway, but you can’t deny the fact that on-the-go PSN connectivity and portable social gaming is awesome. This being possible with the announcement of 3G connectivity with the PSP2, apart from that it is also a feature that Sony will have over the N3DS as Nintendo tend to want everyone to play games together in the same room [not that it is a bad thing just catering a different target audience].
  • Applications: Sony and most large companies prefer to have control over their devices, but one of the reasons these devices get hacked or jail broken is because there are people out there that enjoy programming and making these devices do things that they weren’t created to do. In most cases these people just want to test these devices or give it more functionality than the first party developers allow. Rather than prevent these people from making these extra functions and releasing one or two poor additional features every few months, companies should create an environment that encourages these people to add features to their systems to improve it without even costing them any firmware development resources.
  • Price: This is a questionable one. Portable devices especially current generation of smart phones are getting quite expensive, at the same time these are also the devices that portable gaming devices such as the PSP2 and the N3DS have to compete with for the casual gaming market. Of course the direct rival for price is the N3DS, it would be interesting to see the price matched this time or lower… However being Sony chances are slim. ;)
  • Communication Connectivity: Strangely despite the PSP2 will be getting 3G features, it does not feature the ability to make phone calls. Understandably this is to allow the PSPhone to enjoy an exclusive feature to it’s name… whether this is the right move or not, we will know as time passes. This is a real miss of opportunity though because in my opinion, as if Sony had the engineers work together to make a device that combines both of the devices it would make it simpler for their consumers in choosing a device. Though as this is the path they have chosen in their market strategy, the PSP2 can make up for this with the 3G and Skype capabilities as with the original PSP featuring Skype. As a bonus, Skype needs to be able to run in the background while gaming so players can voice chat while gaming… [This kills a few birds with one stone: Lack of Phone feature, No cross game voice chat and Connectivity or Communication with PSN friends who use Skype while not being able to log on from a PlayStation Device.]

Well that seems like enough from me for now, it’s probably best to sit back and watch as the events unfold… I could write more but this is getting too much to think about. I would like to hear about anyone else’s opinion of the PSP2 potential… Feel free to share or discuss. :)

January 26th, 2011

So here goes… A game that I have been working on for the last three months has now been uploaded and sent to Apple’s App Store for review and approval. Figured I should post about it and get the word out so people can try and give it a go when it is approved… It’s free so it’s not like you need to pay to play it. :)

What is Typ-iT? Well if you can’t guess what it is from the name or this picture here, then maybe you really need to play it haha… It is a simple typing game for the iOS devices with Game Center support along with Twitter posting. Despite it doesn’t sound like anything special, it was designed for the game play/points system, educational benefits and for those who want to improve their typing skills on their new iOS device.

Thanks to those who supported this project and ideas throughout the development. Also thanks to David for development support, though if anyone is complaining why this is iOS only… he’s the guy to blame too. :P Anyone who wants to see this on other mobile devices will have to wait and see… Probably not happening, unless someone wants to join me and port it to the other mobile devices.

Some people ask me if it is exciting to see the game get submitted… Probably should be, but I guess I’m more excited about prototyping and designing the next game. Game design is in my nature… as is playing games and analysing them haha… ;)

January 1st, 2011

2010 was an interesting year. I know this site began started up again during that time and then things slowed down after my trip to Japan. As a new years resolution I will try to maintain the site more and actively post new thoughts and discoveries from my gaming curiosity and ideas…

A few things I did plan to post about and didn’t find time to I may return and write about them… as an addition to the new year the site will be open to user registration so those who follow or read this site can make comments and opinions to my posts. On top of that YouTube recently allowed me to upload videos longer than 15 minutes… which is a really nice plus for me for uploading game recordings from the consoles… ;)

Hope 2011 is a much more exciting or challenging year for new games and game designers. :)