Wednesday, March 15, 2006

PSP Future sees GPS attachment

Good job Sony! The PSP will finally get that GPS attachment it always wanted:
"The GPS Receiver features an update rate of once a second and takes at most 40 seconds to get a first fix from a cold start. Developers have taken delivery of a partial set of tools for making GPS-ready software. Kutaragi mentioned a few potential applications for the device, including portable navigation software."
Yes - we can't get enough of that portable navigation software.

The first possible game is, apparently, a GPS enabled golf game where you can putt virtual balls? (just guessing). It's actually a nice idea - I can expect people driving a ball on Denny and putting in the lobby of the Fisher Building. It is one of those general GPS concepts that big companies consider when they look at GPS since it matches the industry standard of "one game to one world."

For example, GPS enabled game concepts like MogiMogi generally have random objects that are overlayed on the earth's service for you to find. Games like these can be easily generated through random placement which means anyone anywhere can drop in and play the game.

In comparison, Geocaching is a game where physical objects are placed in the world and their coordinates are shared online. By placing these physical containers there was some consideration of placement. "Is it accessible" is kind of a no-brainer when placing physical containers compared to virtual placements of objects - which by a computer can be problematic - and its lack of thoughtfulness of placement can be irritating at the least and life-threatening at the most.

The benefit, however, far outweighs the drawbacks to large computer gaming companies who are used to creating a game like Halo and knowing that it will work in the world no matter where it is played. To create an engaging GPS game though, location should be far more important. Shouldn't it be that way?

Of course! Location is key and so should be the thoughtfulness of each and every location-based game. The hardest problem will solve is making location-based games adaptable to the location without sacrificing the experience. Novelty will only go so far in this genre.

1 comment:

widowmkr said...

I'm looking forward to what the PSP will bring to the GPS arena.