Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Perfect Device

So, they finally started selling the PSP in Small Country. I'm a fan of Penny Arcade so after all the praise they bestowed on the baby Playstation, I started thinking that maybe it will be the first console I'll buy (8-bit NES clone notwithstanding).

Well, first of all, it costs about twice what the slimline PS2 does now - and half of what I expect my next PC box to cost, so it comfortably exceeds the boundaries of the amount I am mentally prepared to spend on a gaming device. Of course, this is relative - my current gadget, an Archos Gmini 400, cost more still, and I'm pretty much down to using it as a straight MP3 player - the game functionality was useful in college, and the video playback was utilized mostly during bus trips between Capital City and Campustown; but now I've graduated and own a car.

But secondly, and more importantly, the Playstation Portable isn't actually portable. The enormous screen is quite nice, but it does make the thing too big to fit in your jeans pocket, which fundamentally defeats the point of a gaming console that you carry around with you. I absolutely refuse to use a belt holder, so the only pocket I have which would hold a PSP is the one in my coat, which I do not wear all the time.

At the end of the day, however, I just have no use for a PSP any more. Because I drive everywhere (despite ridiculous gas prices), I'm not bored during travel time, and even if I am, I can't exactly pick up a gadget and start gaming; and I get to where I'm going at the right time, so I don't have to sit and wait around. Now, the primary market for the PSP is obviously America, where everyone drives, so I'm just going to make the logical assumption that adults don't generally buy PSPs.

Dammit. I'm an adult.

The one killer feature of the PSP, however, is WiFi. I understand that the new firmware does actually incorporate a proper browser and email client. I'm not exactly sure how one uses them with the D-pad and action buttons, but it's important, especially here in Small Country, where WiFi is ubiquitous and one of the major political parties promises total wireless access throughout Capital City if they win the municipal elections. The ability to access the Net at any time is seriously appealing.

But not appealing enough to buy a PSP, because it is not, unfortunately, The Perfect Device. The concept of TPD necessitates a hard drive of at least 20GB capacity, as well as some means of text entry and easy interface control. There are actually two devices on the market today which come pretty damn close. The OQO, and the Archos PMA400. Both are properly pocket-size, have WiFi, touchscreens (even a full qwerty keyboard in case of the former) and large hard drives.

Unfortunately, the Archos costs eight hundred Euro and the OQO costs two thousand bucks. Crap.

No comments:


| More