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Sony PSP Future Features Round-up

Apr 5 2005, 11:01am EST | by

Sony PSP Future Features Round-up
 
 

The target="_blank">Sony PSP is on the market now for about 2 weeks and yes it is not a total sell-out, but users seem to really embrace the versatility of the PSP that goes beyond what Sony offers today.
Mainly based on search query analyses on I4U, I found out several features people want to see available on the PSP.

Update:
Sony GPS for PSP is Coming.

The future Sony PSP features users are looking for are (Updated List 04/25/05):
Sony PSP as PC Game Pad
Sony PSP Car Stereo Connector
Sony PSP WebCam
Sony PSP Direct Data Exchange
Sony PSP TV
Sony PSP UMD Disc Writer
Sony PSP Touch Screen
Sony PSP Keyboard
Sony PSP Universal Remote Control
Sony PSP Bluetooth
Sony PSP TV-Out
Sony PSP Mobile Phone
Sony PSP eBook Viewer
Sony PSP Instant Messenger
Sony PSP Digital Camera
Sony PSP Hard-drive
Sony PSP VOIP Telephony
Sony PSP GPS
White Sony PSP
Web Surfing with the Sony PSP

Below I go into detail on each of those thought-after PSP functionalities and my take on the probability of them becoming a reality.

If you have a Sony PSP Feature request, please email me or post a comment below.

Sony PSP as PC Game Pad
The Sony PSP connects to PCs via USB. So why not use it as Game Pad for PC games? A Sony U70 user would like to be able to use the Sony PSP as game controller on the go, saving the need to carry an extra game pad. From just looking at the PSP it makes sense. Technically and market-size wise I think there is not much chance this will happen.
Probability of becoming a reality: 20%

Sony PSP WebCam
A USB video camera/microphone module that sits on top of the PSP for video chatting over Wi-Fi with AIM or other Instant Messaging systems would make sense. This feature request is more likely than the digital photo camera feature request below. Update: Sony announced a camera for the Sony PSP to come in August 2006.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

Sony PSP Car Stereo Connector
Users want to link up their Sony PSP to Sony Car Stereos and play stored MP3s from the PSP in the Car. In the light of MTV's Pimp my Ride, where they always integrate a PS2 in every car, there might come the time a Sony PSP will have a connection kit for Cars.
Probability of becoming a reality: 75%

Sony PSP Direct Data Exchange
The ability to exchange directly data stored on the Memory stick between two Sony PSPs via IR or Wi-fi. This would be a very useful feature. The Sony PSP is not USB Host enabled, so Wi-fi ad-hoc would I think make the most sense for this to work.
Probability of becoming a reality: 75%

Sony PSP TV
The Sony PSP Screen would be also of course excellent to watch TV on the go. There are small USB TV Tuner even HDTV USB Tuners are out there that could be used if the PSP firmware would support them. On the other side of things TV Tuners are already inside mobile phones, so a future PSP console could have a TV Tuner chip inside.
Probability of becoming a reality: 50%

Sony PSP UMD Disc Writer
That request is a controversial topic as it also of course touches on copyright issues. Because the PSP does not have a hard-drive and the memory sticks just do not provide a lot of storage being able to write music and videos on UMDs would be the solution. It is not any different from being able to record music on Sony Mini-discs. An UMD has 1.8GB of storage. On the other hand the new Sony Memory Stick PRO DUO announced in March have 1GB and 2GB capacity. Of course they will be expensive for a while.
Probability of becoming a reality: 30%

Sony PSP Touch Screen
The PSP For text does not have any means for convenient text input. The rumored PDA like functionalities that supposed to come might be inefficient to use. A Touch-screen and soft-keyboard or text recognition could solve that. The Nintendo DS has a touch screen. So a future PSP console might sport a touch-screen if the versatility of the portable Playstation becomes a bigger topic.
Probability of becoming a reality: 20%

Sony PSP Keyboard
If there is no touch screen a USB keyboard could be a solution. A Sony PSP Keyboard has already surfaced. It is not shipping yet. Telling from the photo it looks like it could work pretty well and as it also doubles as a screen protector it can be left on the console. I am just not sure if Sony has already a keyboard driver in the current firmware. So I set the probability not to 100%. Update: The company planning the Sony PSP keyboard canceled the product. Now it is back in Sony's hands to come up with a better text input for the Sony PSP. The current virtual keyboard is a joke.
Probability of becoming a reality: 30%

Sony PSP Universal Remote Control
The Sony PSP as a TV remote could be possible based on the presence of IrDA and IR Remote interfaces. Not sure what Sony's plans are with those infra-red interfaces. A simple remote I could imagine. A powerful universal remote is maybe a bit tricky from a user interface perspective as the PSP has no touch screen.
Probability of becoming a reality: 50%

Sony PSP Bluetooth
To interoperate with mobile phones the Sony PSP would need Bluetooth. The functionality of taking calls on the PSP, like with the existing Bluetooth MP3 Players, would be possible. A Bluetooth USB dongle could become available.
Probability of becoming a reality: 20%

Sony PSP TV-Out
A TV-Out would make the PSP a portable Movie player. Additionally users could view photos stored on the memory stick directly on the TV. Not sure if game-play would make sense on the TV with the PSP, but actually why not. I do not know if an accessory could provide that or if a new PSP console would be necessary.
Probability of becoming a reality: 30%

Sony PSP Mobile Phone
I do not think Sony will go the Nokia N-Gage route in the future. Sony Ericsson does interesting products that work with there mobile phones, so maybe they come up with a interesting synergistic solution. .
Probability of becoming a reality: 10%

Sony PSP eBook Viewer
eBooks are already available on the PSP via converting text pages into images. Most likely Sony will bring a real text based eBook viewer for the PSP. Reading books on mobile phones is already a growing trend in Japan. Lots of new MP3 Players already have a text viewer. Sony also has the Librie eBook on the market.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

Sony PSP Instant Messenger
There is already an IRC client for the PSP based on the Wipeout Pure web browser Hack. The writer of pspirc is supposedly working on an AOL Instant Messenger client for the PSP. As soon as the web browser is in the firmware many things will be possible through server-side applications.
Probability of becoming a reality: 90%

Sony PSP Digital Camera
So users want a digital camera on their Sony PSP. Looks like its not enough to view photos copied onto a Sony Memory stick on the PSP. Theoretically a Digital Camera could be a future accessory for the PSP connecting via the USB or the Wi-fi interface. There are no indicators that Sony plans a Digital Camera as far as I know.
Probability of becoming a reality: 50%

Sony PSP Hard-Drive
The Sony PSP could have challenged the Apple iPod, if it would have a built-in hard-drive. Rumors that Sony is working on a PSP with Hard-drive are already out there. This would mean users would need to buy a new PSP when it comes out. Which also means that it will be at least one or two years before Sony will bring a HDD PSP on the market.
Probability of becoming a reality: 80%

Sony PSP VOIP Telephony
Well the PSP supports Wi-fi and the TCP Stack, how hard can it be to have a Skype client run on the PSP? Only problem I see is that there is no microphone on the PSP. Not sure if the headset connector could also be used for a microphone. Update: William B. tells me that the female headphone connector has three contact bands inside, not including the remote commander pins. This is historically the case for devices with a left & right audio out and single audio in. Update: Sony will enable VOIP later in 2006.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

Sony PSP GPS
A GPS receiver could be connected via USB. An UMD could carry the map data. Typing in addresses without a touch-screen and a stylus might be a hassle though.
Update: Sony announced a Map software for the PSP. A rumor from a Sony Playstation magazine suggest that Sony might release a GPS dongle later this year. See Engadget for more details.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

White Sony PSP
Lots of people would like to have a white Sony PSP. Before the launch in Japan photos of a white PSP have been circulating on the web. It was a Gran Turismo branded PSP. Nintendo DS are already available in multiple colors. I am sure Sony will follow-up on that and issue special edition Sony PSPs. Update: available in Japan.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

Web Surfing with the Sony PSP
Surfing the web with the PSP is also a big thing for consumers. Sony already by accident distributed an update that had a browser included. Some smart people also recently hacked Wipeout Pure to use its web-browser to access the web. I am sure we will see a Sony PSP update that supports browsing the web and some other PDA like features soon.
Probability of becoming a reality: 100%

Miscellaneous Sony PSP Features
Of course there is already a project in the works to make Linux run on the Sony PSP.
IRC and RSS functionality are amongst the current PSP Hacks (Round-up on Engadget) that PSP fanatics already put out there.


Visit our Sony PSP Center for the latest Sony PSP Deals. See also our Sony PSP Photo Gallery.


If you have a Sony PSP Feature request, please email me or post a comment below.


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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.

 

 

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