With the leaked photos of the upcoming Sony PSP Go hardware, common consensus, is that, the hardware / industrial design is pretty darn ugly. While I am not an industrial designer, let’s try to examine why the public reactions are so negative.
When the old PSP first launched, everyone commented on the beautiful 16:9 screen. Sony did a great job keeping the shape of the old PSP simple and honest. With the addition of the new PSP Go slide out control, you ended up with many more circular design (4 circles shape on the control + the 2 added round edges of the slide out bottom) to compete with the rectangular 16:9 screen. If the actually PSP Go screens is square, you will have much less of a problem, but right now, in most consumers minds, it’s no longer the sexy 16:9 device, instead it’s something with various mismatched shapes.
Moving parts might look great in a transformer movie, but in general, things that move break. When things break, it mean they are cheap (and negative feeling abound). Just look at most of the consumer slider mobile phones and you will probably agree anything that slides around is just low-end or easy to break . (Note: the exception of this would be flip phones and laptop design – since the flip / clam shell motion communicate privacy and hidden treasure).
Glass is sexy. Metal is sexy. Plastic not so much. In one of the press photo that got leaked, gone are the sexy “breathing holes” on the old PSP, what you gain is uneven cheapo plastic surface. I hope Sony can (will?) fix it in production model, but the damage is done.
The Mylo legacy.
Dear Sony, nobody cares about the Mylo. The 12-14 years old these days all have cellphone, Mylo is not that useful to them as a communicator, and bringing the Sony Mylo legacy to the gaming world will just further confuse the consumers.
I blogged about the original PSP launch in 2004 with enthusiasm. How times have changed….