US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin famously once opined that there are two things in life of which you can be certain: death and taxes. To that list you could probably add the inevitability that Nintendo will dominate the handheld gaming market.
Certainly that was the lesson that Sony’s entry into the market, the PSP, appears to have taught us. Despite high hopes at launch it has been resoundingly trounced by the DS. However, recent developments suggest that far from being chastened by the experience it may now be trying a slightly different tack.
Today it emerged that Sony is apparently looking to end its arrangement with Ericsson. This followed Sony’s rejection of overtures from the phone company to collaborate on a PSP phone. Putting two and two together, the blogosphere of mobile gamers are firmly of the opinion that this is firm evidence that Sony is clearing the way to go it alone with a PSP phone.
It’d undoubtedly be a good thing for mobile gaming were this to be the case, with a handset which prioritises gaming likely to engender a series of games which are much more sophisticated than those currently available.
But if Sony is really to buck the odds with a PSP handset and loosen the strangehold held by Nintendo it'll need to do more than simply house its existing gaming device in a mobile phone handset. We anticipate that it’ll have to come up with something as game-changing as the DS stylus control method. After all, the one thing the DS’ dominance has shown is that people want more from a handheld gaming device than just a last-gen console in a smaller case.
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