First the news: During its press conference at E3 today Sony introduced a new PSP, which looks like the first PSP, except it’s 30 percent lighter and 19 percent slimmer. (Engadget gallery.) What’s “new” is a video output that allows you to play PSP games, movies, photos and other PSP applications on your television.
The new PSP will be available in September in original black, an ice silver color, and a Star Wars Battlefront special edition (as displayed by Chewbacca himself). The unit will cost $199.99.
Now the hmmm item of the day: Sony showed a version of PS Home working on a Sony Ericcson cellphone (Gizmodo story). It’s not 3D, but it does have communication and chat features working on the phone. It can automatically send photos you take in the real world and place them into PS Home’s 3D environment like a picture on a wall in your apartment.
My Second Life buddies tell me taking a picture in the real world and sending it to their virtual-world palace is possible but not without custom scripts and time-consuming hassle. Sony is able to achieve this by building the process into its PS Home system — it’s all Sony hardware, the PS3, the Ericsson cell phone.
What I wonder is how far will Sony take this? Will this Sony Ericsson phone work at a deeper level, not only allowing you to take pictures and upload them to your PS Home apartment but also to affect game play on the PS Network? Will you be able to communicate with players via the network while away from the PS3 console?
Cell phone manufacturers have been looking for ways to integrate their phones into the gaming world, and not just by putting silly games on them. If cell phones are to truly become the “remote control for our digital lives”, and if gaming continues to make its way into our living rooms and be played by more than hard core gamers, then it would make sense for Sony to go as deeply as possible with the Sony Ericcson phone working in harmony with PS Home, the PS Network, and the PS3.