字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント We've already seen how PlayStation became the king of home consoles, but what about gaming on the go? This is the evolution of Playstation handhelds! Unless you're from Japan, or a huge PlayStation enthusiast, chances are that you've probably never even heard of the PocketStation. It was released exclusively in Japan in January 1999 as a peripheral to the original PlayStation home console. In addition to working as a memory card, it featured a monochrome LCD screen and worked as a standalone miniature handheld gaming device. The PocketStation was discontinued in 2002 after having sold 5 million units. Fun Fact: The PocketStation was revived in 2013 as an app for the PlayStation Vita. It allowed users to play PocketStation minigames of classic PlayStation games. Sony's first serious attempt at a handheld gaming console was the PlayStation Portable, or PSP for short. It was released in December 2004 in Japan and in 2005 everywhere else. The launch price in the US was 250 dollars. The PSP was up against some tough opposition from the start tough, as it was competing with Nintendo's very popular DS console. Nintendo had already firmly established themselves in the handheld market by this point, meaning Sony had some catching up to do. One feature that set the PSP apart was that it was the first to use the optical storage medium known as Universal Media Disc, which could store both games and movies. The PSP could connect to both the PS2 and PS3, any computer with a USB port, other PSP systems and the internet. The advanced graphics capabilities were also what made the PSP stand out, but of course their biggest draw was the games. Some of the most popular PSP games were; Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters Gran Turismo God of War: Chains of Olympus and the best-selling PSP game was Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, which sold over 7,6 million copies. The PSP-2000 also known as the 'PSP Slim' was introduced in 2007 and was a slimmer and lighter version of the original. It was in fact 19% thinner and 33% lighter. To decrease the long loading times of the original PSP, the internal memory was doubled from 32 to 64 MB. The PSP Slim had a new video output feature that allowed the PSP to play games and media on a television screen at a maximum resolution of 720p. Multiple special editions of the PSP were made for certain games, including God of War Star Wars and a yellow version for the Simpsons. The PSP-3000, also known as the 'PSP Slim & Lite', came out in 2008 and revised the console's LCD screen, with an increased color range. As ground-breaking as Universal Media Discs or UMDs were at the time, they also had long loading times, were bad for the battery life, required a large optical disc readers inside the PSP and the discs were incredibly fragile. While Sony had the intention to make UMDs an industry standard, like Blu-ray discs, this never happened. Funny enough, these Universal discs never became universal as they were only used in the PSP systems. Sony's next major redesign of the PSP came one year later in 2009 with the PSP GO. It did not require UMDs and instead relied completely on users downloading games and apps from the PlayStation Store, which they could then save on the device's 16 Gigabytes of internal memory. The memory could be extended by another 32 gigabytes with a Memory Stick micro card. The PSP Go had more streamlined aesthetic that could fit easier into gamers pockets and had a slick design where the screen slide upwards to reveal the controls. Despite its good points, many people didn't really like the PSP Go, mainly because it had a number of bad points too. For instance, it was not backward compatible with the original PSP, meaning if you already owned a PSP but wanted to upgrade, you'd have to but all your games again. Plus, the micro memory cards were quite expensive as well, so even if gamers were paying a little bit less for games, they still ended up paying more if the needed extra space to store them on their device. Besides the PSP Go was too expensive. While the PSP-3000 was 200 dollars at launch, the PSP Go was sold at 250 dollars, for this amount of money you could almost buy a PlayStation 3, which was 300 dollars. Although Sony had high hopes when it launched the PSP Go, it became a complete failure soon after it hit the market. Sony's final noteworthy edition of the PSP came in 2011, when they released the E1000 model, also known as the PSP Street. It was basically just a budget, stripped down version of the PSP. It had no Wi-Fi capability, no microphone and no stereo speakers. It was an okay option for casual gamers who didn't care about online play and didn't want to spend much on a handheld gaming device. During its ten year lifetime over 80 million PSPs were sold, making it the third best selling handheld gaming device ever. However, it was no match for its main competitor, the Nintendo DS, which to date has sold more than 154 million handhelds, and is the most sold handheld gaming device! One device that deserves a mention, although not technically a PlayStation console, is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play "A phone with everything you need, and the one thing you want; Xperia Play. Coming soon from Sony Ericsson." Primarily a smartphone but capable of playing PlayStation exclusive titles, it was actually quite similar in design to the PlayStation Go. The screen slid up to reveal the controls and it even had the PlayStation's trademark Triangle, Circle, Square and Cross buttons. The gaming phone was released in 2011 and operated using Android. The Play Store had a dedicated section for Xperia games and games were played on a kind of emulator called PlayStation Mobile, which looked very similar to the PSP's user interface. Owners of the Xperia Play could enjoy many titles, such as Asphalt 6 Fifa 10 and the Sims 3. Sony's last roll of the dice, in terms of handheld gaming devices, came in 2011 with the PlayStation Vita. It had the same launch price as the original PSP, set at 250 dollars. The Vita featured dual analog sticks, which gamers had been begging for since the release of the PSP, and was capable of displaying impressive graphics on a 5-inch OLED screen. It also included a microphone, WiFi, 3G, GPS, a motion sensor, front camera, rear facing camera, a multi-touch screen and a touch pad on the back of the handheld. A revised model of the Vita was released in 2013, named the PS Vita 2000 series, more commonly known as the PS Vita Slim. It was 20% thinner an 15% lighter compared to the original model. The battery life was improved and the screen was replaced with a lower cost LCD screen. In Japan the Slim model was released in 6 colors, while in North America and Europe it was only released in black and light blue. Games in the Vita's library included; LittleBigPlanet Killzone: Mercenaries World of Final Fantasy God of War 2 and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. While the PS Vita definitely had potential and a passionate fanbase, it is regarded as a commercial failure. There are a number of reasons why it failed: First of all, the PS Vita memory cards were very expensive, for example a 16 gigabyte card cost 70 dollars and a 32 gigabyte card even 120 dollars! The PS Vita only had 1 gigabyte of memory, so a memory card was necessary to have for most people. Second, Sony released the PlayStation 4 a year after the launch of the Vita and basically focused all its attention on selling this console. And third, there was a lack of support from major third-party developers, since Vita games were substantially more expensive to make compared to developing games for the Nintendo 3DS. Ultimately Sony only sold around 15 million units of the PS Vita, while Nintendo managed to sell more than 75 million units of the Nintendo 3DS. Fun Fact: Vita means 'Life' in Latin, which is contrary what it did for PlayStation handhelds, since it put and end to the production of PlayStation handhelds. After the Vita was discontinued in 2019, PlayStation confirmed that the company is no longer in the business of making handheld consoles. If this is really the end of PlayStation handhelds we'll have to see, since there are rumors of a new handheld that could use the 5G network. Just imagine playing PlayStation 5 titles like 'Spider-Man: Miles morales' or 'Demon's Souls' on the go. Would you like to see a new PlayStation handheld? Let us know in the comments. 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