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Hirai confirms PSP2 touch controls

Sony games boss dismissive of Apple but cautious over PSP phone

Touch controls have been confirmed for the successor to the PlayStation Portable, with Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai discussing the device in a new interview.

Speaking to The New York Times Hirai commented that, "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," he added - in what may be a reference to Sony's ongoing argument that PlayStation Move's physical buttons allow for greater variety in gameplay than rival Kinect.

Rumours of a PSP successor have been ongoing for several months, with most pointing towards a track pad on the back of the device - although some rumours mention a touchscreen display on the front as well. A recent patent application made by Sony also describes a rear-mounted touch-sensitive panel.

Most descriptions of the prototype devices, which are believed to already be in the hands of developers, also describe two analogue sliders instead of just one.

Elsewhere in the interview Hirai was dismissive of competition from other mobile formats, saying: "The games being played on Android and Apple platforms are fundamentally different from the world of immersive games that Sony Computer Entertainment, and PlayStation, aims for."

Hirai also acknowledged rumours of a PlayStation-branded smartphone, believed to be based on current PSP technology. Despite leaked images being in wide circulation, Hirai was concerned at the dangers of confusing customers over which device to buy.

"We don't want gamers to be asking, what's the difference between that and a PSP," he said. "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."

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Latest comments (9)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
So, have they actually confirmed that there will be a PSP2, or what?! I find the whole secrecy thing around the 'PSP2' and the Sony Ericsson PlayStation (?) Phone to all be rather confusing.

At the very least, they should confirm if the phone is not going to be part of the PlayStation range, as has been rumoured. At the moment it's all clear as mud seeing as the company is not commenting either way, and that's not helped when one of their senior executives drops very strong hints like this.


EDIT - actually, reading back over that, nowhere does Kaz confirm that the 'PSP2' will have a touch pad - what he does say is that the PlayStation platforms house deeper games than you'll find on mobile phones, and that some games could work with a combination of touch-pads and physical buttons. Although lots of hints are dropped, no text in any of the quotes there mentions specifically a PSP2 or a PlayStation Phone beyond hypotheses.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 23rd December 2010 1:17pm

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Jared Mallia8 years ago
So...will we have our second analogue stick or what? That's all we really want! (Maybe better graphics too!)
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William D. Volk Researcher, Human Health8 years ago
Sony Erricson wanted to build a PSP phone well before the iPhone even released. Sony rejected that request.

Now it's too late.
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Show all comments (9)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
This is all getting annoying, but the circus seems to always be in town whenever a new product is launched. I still think no UMD slot on the PSP2 is a big mistake, but we'll see how that goes...
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Tim Hesse Product Development Executive 8 years ago
Doesn't sound like a confirmation to me...
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Torgeir Hagland Sr Programmer, Gaikai Inc.8 years ago
UMD should not be in any device ever again... EVER! (can you tell I had to work with it at some point?) :)
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Krasimir Koichev Producer, Riftforge8 years ago
PSP2 is way into the future. The PSP is not that old.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
The problem is, Torgeir, that too many current PSP users have big enough UMD libraries that Sony and other publishers will need to either convert a ton of titles over or ignore much of the back catalog as they try and palm off the PSP2 as "it's NOT the PSP Go this time!" before, during and after the launch. As much as folks go on and on about how great download-only games are, what does one do when servers go down, get hacked or there's a personal hard drive with purchased games on it that dies? I may be paranoid, but having seen this happen to a few folks, I prefer my portable systems with some sort of physical media.

While some of those folks are grumbling and typing out furious notes to whomever in customer support is on the receiving end of the fire when that big data wreck occurs, I'll be reaching over into my library, pulling out a favorite UMD game and playing it while everyone else is throwing their expensive "upgrade" into their pillows (don't want to muck it up, now - it cost more than the last one!)...
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Pip Fazakerley Junior Designer, Framework Creative Ltd.8 years ago
It makes me a little nervous that they have been saying the PSP2 is going to be almost as powerful as the PS3, not in this article though. Wasn't bad PS2 ports one of the real problems with the PSP's game catalogue?
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