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Category: Tech
Thursday, June 30th, 2005 @ 04:14 pm
Posted By Brent

Contrary to popular belief, being a rabid Nintendo fanboy doesn't automatically color my opinion of Sony's PSP. I like the PSP, it's a strong handheld, it looks great and the technology behind it is amazing. Unfortunately there are few games for it, and even fewer that are actually good. Like zero. I'm sure that will change with time, but if it doesn't then it wouldn't be the first technologically superior portable to have its ass handed to it by the Gameboy stranglehold. The list of units that have been spanked by Nintendo is as long as it is distinguished. Here's a brief summary:

That's by no means a complete list, and doesn't even begin to take into account the units that had worse hardware than the Gameboy.

So, Sony's PSP games are woefully bad and they're in a market that looks kind of like a battlefield, the ground soaked with the blood of the would-be brave, and there in the distance stands the Gameboy with its teeth bared and its claws unsheathed. But that's ok, they have their ace in the hole: Movies!

Yep, that's right, you can buy movies for your PSP! That means you can watch a movie on your PSP if you're on a plane, or if you're.. on a... plane, or maybe if you're in an airport! There's really no other place than on a plane that their marketing department could come up with for needing a portable movie, and that's not really their fault, I mean, there really aren't all that many places you'd want one.

This isn't to discredit watching movies on a plane or any comparable confined, boring situation. On the contrary, the ability to watch movies is a miracle in these situations, that's why God invented laptops that can play anything from the DVD movie library that you've already dumped too much money into. Not to mention the already existing portable DVD player market. Hell, my set top DVD player is actually a portable DVD player that I have my TV in's jacked into and the screen turned off on. Anytime I want I can unplug it and take it with me.

So you've resigned yourself with the fact that you're going to shell out some mullah for movies that you can only watch on one device, when you've got two and a half hours to kill doing nothing, and you can't leave. And you have to hold it up to your face. And its screen is the size of a playing card. You can always console yourself with the fact that PSP UMD movies will cost a whopping $1.00 less than a friggin DVD copy of the same movie. If that's not enough, if you actually buy the pile that is Amazon.com's apocryphal pre-discount List Price, you'll see that normally they cost the same damn thing. Now for the sake of full disclosure, newly released movies are priced much higher than the Terminator 2 DVD while newly released UMD movies are only marginally more expensive, but seriously, how long does it take for a new release to end up with a sub $20 price tag?

And that's my take on the situation: PSP movies are going to fail. Badly. Sony came out swinging with their report of 100,000 movies sold for the device, but the ever-vigilant Brian over at Kotaku quickly put the kibosh on any such celebration by noting that figure represents only 5% of PSP owners buying a UMD movie, even less if you figure there were poeple that bought multiple movies. The DVD player market couldn't survive having only 5% of owners buy DVDs and I doubt the PSP will be able to.

Granted, not having a movie market isn't going to kill the PSP by any stretch of the imagination. It will just have to stand on its own two legs as a game platform, and if you're wondering what I think its chances are as strictly a gaming device, well, re-read the first paragraph of this article.

I could be wrong, maybe someone will come along and publish a good game for it.


NAME: scott
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005 @ 02:07 pm
Don't forget the Gizmondo. Sting sez: It's the greatest!

NAME: brent
Friday, July 1st, 2005 @ 09:43 pm

NAME: dr01d
Friday, July 1st, 2005 @ 08:00 pm
i myself am holding out until they release one in electric blue...

NAME: pizza party lover
Friday, July 1st, 2005 @ 01:31 am
i bet sony has sold 900 billion of those things. i'll buy one two if the price drops 75 bucks. I here it works underwater too, and each unit comes with hardcrawler.

NAME: scott
Thursday, June 30th, 2005 @ 10:27 pm
I'm just glad that Hollywood Video is going to start renting UMDs next month.

Nevermind. Didn't say that.