Over the last several months, the leaks and rumors about PSP2 and a PlayStation Phone have been flying. Kaz Hirai, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, would not directly confirm either device just yet, but he did admit that he’s slightly concerned about consumer confusion if Sony releases both. Marketing will be key to send potential customers the right message for the respective offerings.

“We don’t want gamers to be asking, what s the difference between that and a PSP,” Hirai said. “We have to come up with a message that users will understand. It would have to be a product that keeps the PlayStation’s strengths intact.”

There can be no doubt that both Sony and Nintendo are feeling pressure from the growing games market on smartphones like iPhone and Android phones. While Nintendo is about to release its highly touted 3DS next year, Sony has not yet officially announced the PSP2. Nevertheless, Hirai remains confident that it will succeed despite pressure from the smartphone sector.

“The games being played on Android and Apple platforms are fundamentally different from the world of immersive games that Sony Computer Entertainment, and PlayStation aims for,” Hirai said, adding, “We re seeing people who never had an interest in games join the gaming population. That means that the gaming industry pie is getting bigger.”

As for the rumored touch-pad on the back of the PSP2, Hirai still noted that buttons would be more important than just touch controls. “Depending on the game, there are ones where you can play perfectly well with a touch panel,” he said. “But you can definitely play immersive games better with physical buttons and pads. I think there could be games where you re able to use both in combination.”

Source: New York Times