Autoethnography again: The Sony PSP Portable Video Game

[Author's note: blogger was not depicting images that otherwise appeared to be uploading fine. Do a search of " PSP-1001 " at a site such as images.google.com or the Sony PSP web site, psp.com.]

I have two daughters, and my wonderful 5th grader (11 in 2 months) wanted a portable PSP, which she referred to as a PSP3. I decided instead to get her a PSP3 regular video game console and keep it at my house (I'm divorced, of course, with my daughters spending time at both houses), thus allowing me to continue to learn more about video games.

So here is my quick overview, we just opened up her Christmas presents yesterday. I bought it at Best Buy and they just handed me a separate plastic case that is an ingenius contraption that covers all of the PSP when being used except the buttons that must be available. It even covers the entire screen which looks to be approximately 1:00 to 1:85 aspect ratio (we can look it up). It came with 2 games on 2 small, CD-like disks but with a cover for most of the game side of the disk (taking me back to the RCA Selectavision videodisc player that was abandoned in 1984).

The device is rather heavy (but solid feeling) for its small size and it has video playbak ability (I bought one such disk for $19.99 and personally would probably never pay that price for another movie unless, perhaps, it was one I'd watch repeatedly. It's just too expensive and here is Sony, once again, getting consumers to repeat buy media content they so often changw. I've never read anything to suggest that the Sony Mini-Disc music player wasn't also another successful attempt to get people to repurchase old content on a new media playform).

To get to the movie first (because that's a simple non-interactive use of the portable PSP), you need headphones for quality sound (otherwise it's the kind of telephone-quality sound you might expect from a tiny speaker). What people have to understand is that in many cases, the smaller the screen, the higher the definition. That's certainly the case with the PSP3. So if you've been reading my blog, you know that I scratch my head as to when (we don't all ride subway trains and planes) anyone would want to look at a screen this small for a 1.5 to 2 hour movie.

But there is an application that I can see working quite well: that is the fact that this player is also a wireless device which quickly connected to my home network with the kind of immediacy you'd like all such devices to make. Now if you think of the dimensions of the screen, you can imagine that browsing the Internet is not the greatest experience. However, I was able to go to Google news which is, for me personally, an activity I really want to be able to do anywhere, anytime. As for video, however, from what I learned spending about an hour seeking videos to play on the PSP3 portable, it may be only videos in a format specific to the PSP (research assistant would fill in here). So with my limited experience, it's $20 PSP CD-like disk and a caddy.

The memory stick that comes with the PSP3 portable is small and anyone wishing to download games and other multimedia content will almost certainly have to purchase a larger memory stick (no surprise to any cynical consumer electronics purchaser).

I will write a separate section on using the PSP portable for Internet access and my first videogame experience of consequence since Space Invaders was not a retro program.

Oh, by the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2007, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


At 02 January, 2007 12:07, Blogger Rjcc said...

this is one of those things where all I can say is "obviously you haven't actually used it yet". I'm looking forward to the followup post, when you detail all the reasons why sony screwed up what SHOULD be a great device in the psp, by including the absolutely useless UMD drive.

At 10 February, 2007 03:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother has this... although, I think its "light" in weight... I mean think of alll that its can do, it's like a miniature computer! ... just a thought!


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