Although the PlayStation Portable (PSP) is steadily increasing its worldwide user base every month, Sony's handheld is still lagging behind the massive sales figures of the mighty Nintendo DS.

Even the PSP's recent price drop has not had a significant effect on sales results, since even some Sony representatives feel that it still lacks "the one title that defines the product".

Tony Buckley of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe hopes that his company's upcoming title, WipEout Pulse, will help in some small part to change that. In a recent interview with CVG, the game director lists the game's online functionality as a major discussion point, although he also admits that his development team hasn't revolutionized the series with this particular game.

"Some feel you should always look to re-invent a game, and we're dead against that," Buckley asserted. "We feel like we've got a winning formula and as long as we can invigorate it we can please the solid install base of WipEout fans. We've got to cater to them first."

Yet, despite WipEout's popularity over the years, it's unlikely that the title will completely change the way consumers view the PSP. That is why Buckley feels that developers for the system need to change their approach by utilizing "other areas of the machine".

"Rather than focusing on the gameplay side of it, I think we should be focusing on how to fully utilise what I think is quite a sophisticated piece of kit," he offered. "And that's why we're making efforts to go online, surf the web with it, check out the news, we want to make it easy for people to share content and all sorts."

In particular, Buckley brought up the incorporation of music as an example:

"You know, there's a lot in there that you can use," he added later. "For example the whole idea of playing your own MP3s in a game - it's not rocket science so we've done it and it's a nice extra feature. The music is there on the machine - why should you not be able to use it[?]"

See also

Sony speaks out on PSP 'redesign'