All Posts Filed in ‘Games


Why we think the PSP Go hardware design is ugly

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.

The Shape
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
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).

The Material
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….




Stan just released the very first game from his game company.

It’s a very
cute puzzle game. Addicting too. It’s on Yahoo! Games now. Check it out. Best feature – allows you pause nicely when when you switch window
focus on PC – which is perfect for office, and that’s a great idea for PC game I rarely see. Keep up the
good work Stan. Looking
forward to the DS version or the Java Mobile version. 😉 We want it, and congratz. 🙂


Mr. Kojima’s Weblog

It’s amazing this guy can keep it up. He blogs like a banshie. Does he has a real job? Like, running one of the world’s hottest game development house?! /laugh

Anyway, check out his English Blog which you’ll find some interesting thoughts on creativity and his daily life. It’s neat to find out he is a fan of 安全地帶 – and indeed that’s something not cool to admit if you are under 30. He likes Peter Saville’s album art too. The English version is 2 months behind the JP version, but since he’s pretty dedicate to it so you’ll find a lot of stuff to catch up on. Good stuff.


Video Game is good for you.

Economist has an atricle about video gaming. I love this quote:

But look beneath the violent veneer of “Grand Theft Auto”, and it is really no different from a swords-and-sorcery game. Instead of stealing a crystal and delivering it to a wizard so that he can cure the princess, say, you may have to intercept a consignment of drugs and deliver it to a gang boss so he can ransom a hostage. It is the pleasure of this problem-solving, not the superficial violence which sometimes accompanies it, that can make gaming such a satisfying experience.


Thoughts on PSP

Some thoughts on the PSP now I got the chance to play with it for a couple of days.


  • the screen is amazing (pretty much the first thing people will comment about) due to the rather tiny pixel size.
  • it’s really not for full movie viewing but great for short clips (news, trailer, promo, or even video telephone messaging)
  • need easy development tool which developers can write simple apps for PSP (stored on the memory stick  i.e. mapping/GPS program that is 802.11)
  • now PSP is only an entertainment device but it will become a communication device soon (the platform as a whole)
  • the current phone like text entry system is truly horrible. Sony should just provide us a plain old software keyboard – I hope that can be fixed in future updates.


  • remake of a lot of classic PS2/PSX titles will guarantee sales.
  • ‘m very sad that Nokia never manage to do the network game thing – which clearly PSP is very big on at the moment
  • fact that PSP is not region lock allows US gamer to pick up some pretty interesting tiles is a big plus (same goes to the JP gamers as well)



Fall TGS Video – Sony PSP

I am really impressed by this Sony PSP propaganda video. The techo background music is cheerful… And without the use of annoying voice-over (I don’t care if it is Japanese or English they both can be annoying), pretty much every feature of the PSP was explained:

3D graphics
fun / enjoyment
stereo sound
wireless network gameplay
UMD optical media
easy access to UMD media (just like MiniDisc)
sexy hardware
slick software UI
wide selection of game titles

I can watch this crap over and over again and not getting bored….

Good product aside, that is what good marketing effort should be like… I WANT IT NOW! The other Sony PSP Propaganda can be found here. Oh… and this is funny too….

Some of my own observations:

– Sony is putting the 3D graphic computing power of PS2 (or close to) into consumer’s palm
– Their knowledge of MiniDisc technology is being applied fully into UMD/PSP so there shouldn’t be worry on battery life
– Widescreen 16:9 will give game designers new freedom to create new kinds of games.

All in all, I am VERY excited about the PSP.


Cold War nostalgia

So other than FFXI Chains of Promathia I am looking forward to play in 2 weeks, the other games I want to try out this fall are Metal Gear Solid 3 Sneak Eater and Ace Combat 5.

MSG3 took place back in the late 60s’. You’ll be fighting Russian combat troops in the jungle…. Lot ‘O CQB and camouflage actions.

In AC5, while the storyline is base upon a fictional world, in the preview you can clearly see a big Red Flag on the opposing force’s battleship… Expect everything from Mig-21 to F-22 in the game…

So I guess fight against the “Evil Empire” is in among the Japanese game developers.