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2008: The PlayStation Evolution

Article: How PlayStation will own 2008

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Home could be incredible. But if done wrong - if it doesn't run smoothly, connect gamers the way it promises to, feature all the constantly-added content or be easily personalised - it could just become another ignored icon on your XMB menu.

First impressions though are extremely positive, and we can't wait to get our hands on it for ourselves. Here's hoping it doesn't turn into a breeding ground for sub-human behaviour. Like Xbox Live is becoming.

Go! Explore - GPS on PSP

None of us have TomToms in our cars. It's got the worst name for a gadget ever, and the three-figure price tag is a lot to pay for fancy road maps that point you to the shops. They only end up getting stolen anyway.

So Sony unveils Go! Explore for PSP, which will be cheaper, smaller and more convenient than a dedicated machine. Suddenly we're a lot more willing to let the wonders of satellite navigation technology into our lives. In fact, we're actually looking forward to it.

PSP will become something that we'd actually carry around with us for its directional abilities. We're waiting to see the full service in action but having a UMD dedicated to London town or another European city could put an end to getting stung at dodgy restaurants because you couldn't find the one you wanted.

Skype

If GPS support isn't already good enough a reason to carry about your PSP everywhere, how about the ability to use it as a phone over the internet?

Skype, a free voice-over-IP (VOIP) program currently used by PC types, will allow PSP owners to contact each other for free, using a microphone attachment that'll come with the software. As long as you're in range of a Wi-Fi access point, you're good to chat as long as you like.

You can call real phones from it too, although that'll cost a little - but it should be reasonably cheap. The only major downer is that Skype will only work on PSP Slims. Owners of the older model - Sony's loyal early purchasers - will miss out on it completely, or be forced to make the upgrade. Thanks for that Sony.

Profile 2.0 Blu-ray support

A slightly less significant but nevertheless noteworthy part of PlayStation's evolution, particularly in 2008, is the expansion of PS3's Blu-ray playback abilities.

As we recently reported, it's ironic that not only is PS3 one of the cheapest Blu-ray players on the market, but it's also the only future-proof player.

Profile 2.0 Blu-ray features will be launched later this year, which will allow users to download new content for their films, including trailers, features and ringtones.

But most of the dedicated Blu-ray players on the market to date lack support for internet connection, rendering them completely incapable of supporting the internet-centred features of Profile 2.0.

So as you're downloading all the sweet Blu-ray content of joy on your PS3, you can laugh in the face of your rich uncle who bought a first-generation Blu-ray player for £1000 that can't do any of it.

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