PSP 2 - Standalone Gaming Device or PSPhone?

Now that Microsoft has indicated Zune will find its way into Windows Mobile devices, will Sony do something similar with PSP? To jump start their status in the smartphone and gaming market? Two birds with one stone?

Alright, PSP is not the same as Zune. PSP is doing well. Zune is, well...Zuned. Microsoft really has nothing to lose but much to gain if Windows Mobile 7 gains wide adoption and allows Microsoft to regain a position it once held at as the top smartphone platform. And Zune maybe just what Redmond hope will do that. Tie together are Xbox, Zune, and Windows Mobile.

For Sony, they are looking at this differently. PSP is a relatively successful gaming platform. Thus, the risks are greater. If Zune doesn't work out in WM 7, Microsoft takes it out. It's already tarnished as a media device. No big deal.

However, do it wrong, PSP get Zuned and Sony gains nothing in the smartphone market.

So, what to except from PSP 2? I've read and heard a lot of rumors but nothing is concrete. Sony is most definitely working on the PSP successor. They started on it even before PSP was finished. You know that. I know that. It's the nature of business. However, one might wonder if the gaming success (real or not is up for debate) of Apple's mobile platform changed things in Japan a bit.

Perhaps before the iPhone came out, PSP 2 was suppose to be another standalone gaming device. HD screen. More powerful graphics. New designs. It was like the same thing for WM7, just another incremental upgrade and anything touching involves a stylus. But that all changed in the couple of years.

The battlefield was clear and defined and all the players knew each other well before Apple joined the game. Sony and Nintendo locked in a chess match in the portable gaming market while WM, Blackberry, Symbian, and Palm fought it out in the smartphone market. Apple sort of pulled the two markets together and changed the rules with a true mobile computing platform.

I'm gonna go out on a limp and say that Sony will leave things as it is. PSP 2 will be a standalone device with an app store of its own while gain some mobile computing functions. The question is why will we see it?

What do you think?

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