So here I am blogging from the dinning room table while my wife sleeps soundly upstairs. It's 06:07 as I start this entry and I've been awake for just over 3 hours now. I still have the dreaded lurgey, known in the office as "Man Flu", and my running nose could have completed several marathons by now. It's not fair to inflict the nightly sniffles and trumpetous nose blowing on the one you love and I couldn't sleep anyway so I thought I'd take a look at the PSP one of my colleagues has lent me.
Well lets start with the basics. They cost a fair bit in the shops in the UK, Â£179 for a value pack, but what you get is a smart black shiney media system that seems capable of pretty much anything. Checking around for prices, I found a guy on ebay selling them for Â£138 + Â£9.99p+p.
The "Value Pack" (VP) appears to contain, 1 x PSP, charger, headphones, case, cleaning cloth and crappy Sony demo disk.
So the PSP is shiney, black and very sexy, if not a little complicated, looking device with a big clear screen. It's got so much going on on the front that it looks like it was designed by the boys at NASA and not Sony. In addition to what you might expect from a Play Station Portable; the four action buttons, analog control thingy, direction button, start and select buttons, it has a menu button and a set of volume controls. it also has stuff on every side, just to keep up the impression it's been made by a button crazy maniac.
The screen is VERY clear, well lit and a great resolution. The refresh rate seems to have no problems at all and the DVD movies seem to run really smooth. The music videos I watched were are little jumpy and the lipsynch was fractionally out, enough to notice it and more than enough to be annoying. I have to admit I was doing all this with a high quality set of headphones on, so it was probably more apparent than it would have been normally.
The "UMD" media is a bit gimicky for my taste. I guess it's a great idea to wrap the media in a small protective case and bearing in mind that kids are going to be stuffing these things in backpacks and school bags, it's probably essential. Let's look at what is on offer then. Pre-recorded media only. Hmmmm, kinda limiting. I guess that someone somewhere is trying to create a writable media and snaplock case for it so it will fit like a cart into the back of the PSP.
Sony's previous record on Digital Rights and DRM has not been the best on the planet, and their anal rententive style has not been welcomed by the artists/publishers or buying public alike. So to see that you can buy a PSP anywhere in the world and it will run games and media from anywhere would appear to be an admission that Sony realise that if you proport that the Global internet is a good thing, then you have to reflect that in your business and products. The Internet has created a truely global marketplace that all suppliers have to deal with, and I'm glad that Sony this time have recognised that fact. Bring it on for rip-off Britain, and watch the prices fall in Japan and then the US and then here. However for this little device I suspect that will happen sooner than Sony would like. Getting out there early with the PSP in the nest generation handheld market will enable them to get market share just like they did with the original Play Station and PS2. On the whole, a very nice machine. A little pricey right now and the media could do with a little more usability. Do I want one? Hell yeah, time to start saving the pocket money... ;o)