PSP was Sony’s first attempt to crack the handheld gaming space. Despite selling well over 50m units, it proved to be a tough learning experience for the platform holder.
SCEE president Andrew House says one of the key problems was not understanding what consumers wanted from their handhelds.
“With PSP we went on the assumption that if we took a successful home console game experience and applied it wholesale to a portable device, that that was a great route to success,” he says.
“What we learnt in the course of the PSP is that consumers want a different experience. Even if it is the same franchise. That was a huge piece of learning that really informed the design of NGP. Take the best of the console experience but give people something that is different that they can only get with that device, on-the-go.”
House also adds that digital had not been fully thought through with the original PSP, which was something Sony focused on with NGP.
“Digital is baked into the strategy behind NGP,” continues House. “With PSP, perhaps in some regards a reflection of where technology was at the time, our digital strategy was almost bolted-on after the initial release of the device.”
But Sony hasn’t just learnt from the mistakes of PSP. House is keen to highlight some of the things SCE got right with the device, which has influenced the design of NGP.
“Six years ago people were very enthusiastic about the screen and the graphical-strength of the games,” continues House.
“Plus, after much internal debate, we decided to go with the candy-bar design over the sliding screen. I think you can see the heritage of original PSP in the physical nature of the device.”
To read MCV's full interview with Andrew House, click here.