Saturday, April 19, 2008
Hey Sony, Where's my PSP Battery?
I feel led on by Sony. Why? Back in 2004 a lot of gaming media focus was centered on the PSP launch and the questionable battery life - a problem which plagues the system to this day. GamesIndustry ran a piece stating Sony's intent was to create a battery that would last much longer than the current "four to six hour" run time:
The SCE boss was adamant, however, that the battery life problem would be solved in future - telling the interviewer that "in the future, we'd like a single charge to last for a flight between Narita [Tokyo] and New York" - a fourteen hour trip.
The article states he "stopped short" of declaring a bigger batter would definitely come out, but the argument the solution may solely lie with software efficiently is flimsy. Software efficiency is very important to the PSP, but it should not be the sole basis for battery life solutions - having a decent capacity battery is just as critical. Taking it further, today's PSP games - which are far more efficient than older titles - still do not give the system more than an average of 45 minutes more battery life than the last generation, based on my experience. It's nothing I'm writing home about.
So where's my super battery? The argument of the DS's battery life eclipsing the PSP's still stands four years later and all Sony has done is release a slightly bigger battery pack that adds 45 minutes to an hour to the system's overall life at a pretty cost. The new PSP 2001/Slim model is 30% more efficient, but a smaller battery is packaged with it, keeping overall life the same as the previous generation. Even if you have no aesthetic taste whatsoever and stick an older generation PSP battery into it, the overall life increase is minimal. Sony's argument for software efficiency is further negated with the newest versions of PSP firmware, which allow developers to run the system at a full 333 MHz, instead of the long standing lock at 233MHz, initially implemented for battery life purposes. Has Sony just given up caring about battery life? I don't know, but all the flashy, Skype-laden, fancy, eye-dazzling technology is moot if I can't even appreciate it before the screen goes dark.