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Posts with tag media

Sony to compete against Nintendo with PSP's multimedia features

After reporting some pretty disappointing losses, Sony is desperately trying to restructure its games division to at least break even. After stating boldly that they will not give up on the PSP, Sony will now seriously push the multimedia capabilities of the system. They've already started developing partnerships with media providers, such as amazon, but it looks like Sony is looking for even larger partnerships.

According to MarketWatch, analysts are predicting Sony will partner up with "at least one big ISP, such as Yahoo." Such tie-ins will promote the PSP's ability to download movies, television shows and PlayStation games. The PSP is technically capable of doing a lot, but the goal is to get the word out to the mainstream.

"It was pretty much a competition issue with the Nintendo so we have to fight back by introducing more attractive applications [for the PSP] by using the network," Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony's CFO, told the Financial Times.

[Thanks, nav! Via paidContent]

Sony exec admits PSP more about media than games

Dave Karraker, new PR head for Sony, was recently confronted by Gamasutra in a pretty intense interview. While it focuses mostly on the upcoming PLAYSTATION 3, Karraker had a few interesting things to say about the PSP:
The PSP is doing incredibly well, and I think that you'll see even more interest behind it now that the PS3 is coming out, because the inner-connectivity between the two, I mean you saw the demo in terms of accessing your PS3 harddrive through your PSP. That's just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with that... I'm not just talking about games, I'm talking about entertainment content as well. Already the TiVo-to-go option for the PSP is turning into a huge hit for us, as people discover that they can take the shows they've already stored on their TiVo and put it on their PSP and while they're riding the bus to work or to school, they can watch television shows on the PSP, I mean that's huge. You can't do that on anything else. So again, I think when you compare the two products, the Nintendo product versus our product, it's kind of apples and oranges. We're providing more of an entertainment system, and they're focused more on gaming.
While the Nintendo fanboys may criticize Sony's approach to creating a media convergence machine, I highly applaud it. I do a lot more things than simply game on my handheld, as I have no desire to carry around a huge laptop to watch movies, listen to music, and use the internet.

Continue reading Sony exec admits PSP more about media than games

PSP Media Manager 2 reviewed

PSP Media Manager 2 reviewed
Sony really dropped the ball early on in the PSP's life when there was no official media software available. However, Sony finally came through when they released the PSP's Media Manager, but like many other available software programs, it had problems, too. Well, Sony is giving it another shot with Media Manager 2, and CNET has had a chance to take it for spin.

Positives
  • The new interface is "pretty stylish and sleekly designed."
  • Features XMB crossbar.
  • Better access to system's multimedia capabilities.
  • Ability to transfer word documents and view them in HTML.
Negatives
  • Most of the functionality is available in other freeware programs.
  • Somewhat high system requirements.
  • Can't transfer copy-protected DVD's or audio files.
  • Won't encode at 368x208 size.
Overall, CNET gave Media Manager 2 a 6.3 and said if you have a decent understanding of how to run a computer, you'll be better off with a third-party software, such as PSP Video 9. While it looks like Sony didn't do much better with its latest media software incarnation, its release really begs the question "Do we really need it at this point?"

I manage to do all my file transfers and video encoding through freeware just fine, so I see no reason why anyone should spend the $17 to download the software or especially the $25 for the boxed version. But if you really feel the need to pick this up, you can buy it here.

Windows Media Center support makes PSP an even better PMP

PSP fanboys know that the iPod can kiss our butts when it comes to being the best personal media player out there. Sure, the iPod outsells the PSP by a wide margin, but it lacks PSP's widescreen display, a crucial feature for any movie lover. Sure, the PSP was notorious for its unconvential naming scheme for videos, but ever since the 2.80 firmware upgrade, the PSP has been quite versatile in accepting iPod-formatted videos, no matter what they're named. Now, Sony's taken another step in beating Apple in the PMP game. Sony's newly updated Media Manager not only allows you to convert AVI, MOV, MP4, and WMV files for the PSP (something the free PSP Video 9 can handle quite well), but it'll convert Windows Media Center content, for those of you that use DVR on a Media Center PC.

To quote our sister site PVR Wire: "If Microsoft is going to insist on using DVR-MS files, then it's nice to companies that don't include Windows software on their PMPs steeping up and making it easier to get DVR-MS files onto their devices. Sony's done it... Wouldn't it be nice if Apple followed suit?"

[Via PVR Wire; Thanks, gregger!]

Zune & its impact on PSP's identity crisis

Rocky Mountain News recently sat down with senior marketing manager and friend John Koller about the current state of the PSP, and how it faces an identity crisis. "We looked at (the PSP)... as a strong portable game system with multifunctional limbs... It's still a gaming system at its heart." The article notes that Sony wanted to highlight the games of the system first and foremost, and with an excellent library of launch games, the gaming critics and community at large embraced the handheld.

However, with a lack of consistent high-profile original games for the system, many PSP users demanded the media functions of the system to be up to snuff. With the failure of UMDs, and cumbersome media restrictions, the PSP has failed to reinvent itself as a defining media platform as well: "The PSP consumer has turned out to be a different consumer in many ways than what we have targeted," Koller admits. By focusing on firmware upgrades, the upcoming GPS and camera peripherals, Sony has a chance to redefine itself. Some other highlights of the article include:
  • As mentioned before, Sony is working on a DRM that can deliver video and music to the system. They are considering how to deliver content, whether it be through Connect, or even a third-party service.
  • "Future iterations of the PSP are likely, Koller said, but Sony is counting on the current version to be around for 10 years, much like their consoles. Sony typically releases a new console about every five years, while continuing to support previous models for another five years."
  • While Nintendo will be Sony's direct competitor, Microsoft's upcoming Zune appears to worry Sony. "I am assuming, we are assuming, that the Zune will eventually have game play," Koller predicts. He expects Zune to have "a huge impact" on the industry.
[Thanks steve, Via Kotaku]




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