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iPod is biggest threat to Sony PlayStation Portable

updated 10:55 am EDT, Mon October 17, 2005

iPod vs. Sony PSP

Apple's iPod may be the single as the handheld media system of choice, according to a to capture online contact data and then access, manipulate and report GameIndustry columnist. Rob Fahey says that the software behind Apple's new video iPod--including iTunes 6--, not the hardware itself, poses the largest threat: "....Sony faces a major struggle in ensuring that its device remains the platform of choice for mobile video. Right now, it has the hardware advantage - but the hardware advantage can evaporate overnight. What the firm needs to do, and what the games industry must hope and pray that it succeeds at, is to create a software and service platform that rivals Apple's, and build a user experience for acquiring and watching video content that is painless and simple."

by MacNN Staff




  1. rjlawrencejr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm selling mine

    Well, I certainly am selling my PSP. Given that I am not much of a gamer combined with the PSP's lack of a hard drive and the decision to make getting video on the device as difficult as possible, made it an easy choice for me.

    However, that PSP screen is awfully gorgeous and I will miss it.

  1. iomatic

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Seconded, rj, seconded.

    I think there are some major titles being release Real Soon Now™, so hold on just a while longer. (CMR2005, GTA, etc.)

    Though, I'm feeling the same way…

  1. benhur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    true but . . .

    I still think it's apples and oranges. There are the obvious similarities but the PSP is still a gaming machine with some cool capabilities even if they don't work as well as they should.

    I think a lot of people are hoping Apple would create something like the PSP and put all their innovation and engineering into it. I think the PSP is a great product but would just like to see Apple partner with them and have iTunes built in and a simple way to interface with the Mac. However, it's Sony and Apple so that would never happen.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    partial hardware advantag

    there are probably a dozen portable media players out there which have lots of hardware advantages over the ipod. they've done one thing: proven that hardware advantages don't mean squat except to the geek population.

    and as mentioned by the previous poster, IT DOESN'T HAVE A HARD DRIVE! so the only hardware advantage is a 4.3" screen. otherwise, it's bigger so i can't throw it in my pocket, which means i've gotta carry a bag; the lack of hard drive means you're constantly syncing it for new content, which becomes a pain; oh wait, unless i've overlooked something, it doesn't come with sync software so that's an extra step/hassle.

    sony tried a half-assed attempt at video content with the release of the PSP where they provided 1-2 minute video clips. they started to provide some interesting content, THEN THEY STOPPED!

    sony's gotta provide easy to use video content for the general public otherwise the PSP will become one of the many PVR players like the Creative Zen, which I'm sure is doing fine, but it doesn't have any iPod like marketshare or buzz for that matter.

    (and on top of that, the games have been, shall we say, lacking ever since the release. i use my psp alot but only while traveling because it's too big to carry around and it's a huge hassle to get new content for it.)

  1. evenprimes

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not the hardware!

    This is the first time I've seen an article explicitly say that it's not really about the hardware. iPod hardware is nothing without iTunes. That's where Apple has made the whole experiance completely seemless and a joy for users. From what I've seen, no one else has made the whole library/syncing process as easy as Apple has and it really shows in sales. The device is a small (but important) part of the overall picture and it seems only Apple has really figured that out!

    That said I don't think much about the new iPod display. The display is too small and battery life sucks. I think Apple should have made it the same thickness as previous models and given it a bigger battery.

    Jobs has said that they don't really know what the video market looks like and that's reflected in the tiny steps they made towards a portable video device. For a serious device the screen needs to be bigger and we need several hours of battery life, which means a large heavy device...I just don't see that getting anywhere near as big as audio.

    I'm not a gamer and the high cost of the PSP has kept me from looking at it, but I'll agree with some previous posters that I think the PSP is targeted at an entirely different market. Video requires far more attention and I think the portable video market is fairly small in comparison. I guess I'll be finding out soon if I'm wrong! :)

  1. sninesix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    gamers vs tinkerers+more

    No HD - my biggest reason to not get one. Second on the list is that Sony has constantly eroded efforts by third parties to develope software and maximize the use of the PSP. Personally I'd sit back and let the hobbyists and tinkerers out there spend their time and effort mucking with my hardware while I sit back and watch what comes of it. Then you just *borrow* those ideas and fold them into your own system for the masses. All the while you leave the hardware open so that those with the brains and skills to muck around with the PSP still can. Now you've got a huge block of your consumers satisfied.

    Apple has done this well. They go out and buy other companies that have done something right and then fold that technology into their own. Apple also makes the whole process simple - even for those that only recently understood the difference between a single and double click. It's the ease of use and making that technology available to a larger audience that has done them so well.

    Wait - who am I kidding? They've got genius advertising and marketing campaigns that make you want one even if you don't need one. Sony's PlayStation had amazing ad campaigns that were distinct and had a *very cool* factor. I have yet to see the PSP being pushed in the same way the iPod is. Then again the two units are not exactly the same piece of hardware. Really - the PSP is a gaming device with more potential and the iPod is an audio player with more potential. They both overlap into each others realms and some that belong to neither while remaining very distinct in their intended use. The PSP is for the gamers. The extras and the *what-else-can-it-do's?* are really for a very narrow range of user. The iPod is your portable media device. When a real video iPod is released a more distinct gaming unit vs media player will be defined.

    And on that long winded rambling note...

  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Allow Open Source

    Maybe if Sony let you run unsigned code and let a real open source community exist for the PSP, they wouldn't have to be as worried.

  1. rjlawrencejr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One More Thing

    Great additional points, everyone. As I said in my orignial post, Sony made it very difficult and confusing for mid-level geeks like me to add our own content. I guess they foolishly thought that by making it extraordinarly difficult to add home-brew video content (what is with all of the hidden folders and special directories), they were somehow combatting piracy and/or I would immediately seek UMD titles instead.

    I don't know if I will ever download TV shows from iTunes unless it is a series that is no longer shown. I am just glad Apple made adding your own video content as easy as audio content.

  1. Miniryu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    software, not hardware

    watch again as Apple's software puts it a step ahead. The video capable iPod is nice, but it is the MOVIE STORE that they enabled with iTunes that will be the big hit. I have no intention to ever watch video on an iPod (even if I do eventually own a video capable one), but I certainly will purchases videos from their store to watch on my computer.

  1. dootbran

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes Software!

    Yup, its all about the software.
    Until ipod can play Lumines my PSP is safe from Ebay :D

    Seriously that is probably the biggest reason that I bought the thing and about the only reason I see to keep it. I hardly ever use any of the video options (watched spiderman on a plane once) and its not about to replace my ipod for music. It just happens to have the best puzzle game ever.

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