OPINION: PSP2 already impressing partners

A very exciting event is happening in Amsterdam next Wednesday, as Nintendo rolls out its European plans for the stunning 3DS handheld.

Our money is on a retail launch before the end of March, and the High Street will devour every last detail on marketing, price and software for the device.

At the same time, in quieter corners, there will be plenty of gossip about Sony.

MCV understands that the next-gen PSP will be on sale by the end of the year. It has been shown to some third parties and is winning fans already.

Retail and third party licensees will welcome news of a new PSP for Christmas – especially an impressive console that offers a storage device, strong retail proposition and experiential USPs over Angry Birds and the app hordes.

Sony and Microsoft did a fantastic job last year of retaining interesting in traditional static consoles via motion control innovation, whilst Nintendo kept the DS selling strongly and (as ever) showed how to produce compelling Wii games.

But if 2010 was the year of the add-on, thanks to Move and Kinect, then 2011 is already setting itself up to be the year of the handheld.

It will be fantastic to see the 3DS and new PSP battling it out. They won’t just be competing with each other, of course. Let’s make no bones about this: the handheld gaming space totally includes iPhone, iPad and those countless Android devices.

The much maligned ‘traditional’ market needs to punch back, whilst also moving into the digital space in a controlled way that protects retail and existing industry structures.

Evolution not revolution is what the big publishers (and retail) want. And that is what Sony and Nintendo will try to deliver.

Disruption is fantastic, but not everyone can play at that game.

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