The PSP is still far behind the DS, but Sony is still optimistic about their portable's future. The UK publication, Pocket Gamer, recently conducted an interview with Zeno Colaço, VP of publisher and developer relations at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and he had some interesting things to say.
The PSP already has an installed userbase of about 20 million, and while that's only half the number of DSs sold, it's still pretty impressive. But while Colaço praises Nintendo for the handheld's design, he also believes Sony hasn't done enough to bring big system-selling titles to the PSP's library.
"Our performance on PSP has been good but people have tended to compare it to PSone and PlayStation 2, where the hardware was always out of stock. It's a different challenge. We were new to the handheld space," said Colaço. "I think Nintendo can take a lot of credit for launching a different type of product for a slightly different consumer and it's done exceptionally well. Where in hindsight we've been short is one or two killer apps that would have been able to drive PSP forward."
He moved on to outline another of the PSP's most significant problems, which may soon disappear with time. Over the past year or so, we've noticed a lot of PS2 games getting ported to the PSP, and according to Colaço, this is the kind of thing that brings the system down.
"We went to all our publishers and developers and said, 'You're not going to set the world alight if you effectively take your PlayStation 2 projects onto PSP'. In reality, that's happened on a lot of early games. Where we have seen successes were games developed specifically for PSP – the GTA games are a classic example. So looking forward, the PSP business model remains very strong, especially for third-party developers and publishers because the 20:80 Sony model is that 80 percent of business will come from the games of the third-party developers and publishers."
Colaço wouldn't talk about the much-rumored PSP redesign, but he did say there would be more in the way of PS3/PSP connectivity in the future. He says one of the "key factors" will be downloadable content for the PSP, as well as connectivity with the PS3. We've grown accustomed to associating the PlayStation Network and Store only with the PS3, but clearly, Sony intends for the PSP to take advantage of both. For now, the PSP continues to be on the upswing after initially getting trounced by the DS, and with those third-party games on the way, Sony's handheld should hopefully continue its rise.