Rants and raves about all the latest in video games and other forms of mindless entertainment.

April 16, 2005

PSPants Party...

While I'm not one to oppose new hardware, the skepticism surrounding the PSP is unfortunately something that impeded upon my decision making process when chosing whether the PSP was right for me. Battery life was given it's fair share of noob beratings, and fuck if I know how many times the message boards were flooded with musings about a 2 hour duration. Second to that, the very believable, but inevitably fallacious ejecting UMD problem had my shorts twisted and bunched up in places I'd rather not mention. While I always like to conserve money and monetary possessions, the price was a non-factor in my decision, as I was always aware that such a powerful and compact device, would come with a hefty price tag, underscored in blood red (blood) ink. This wasn't just something you said "Oh heck, might as well get one", it's an investment, and risky one at that. Sony infiltrates as the newbie in the handheld market; but that certainly does not mean they're new to gaming, and that's something I should have reminded myself of before I decided to lose sleep and grey my hair over this costly decision.

Sony has delivered on all fronts for the past ten years. They've been the leading innovator in game design, creating a lion's share of new franchises and titles per capita among all of the 3 major game developers, and have managed to stealthily sneak by with only a few random faux pas', merely to be rectified months later. Sure, Sony has never been a perfect company. A few PSone's that went kaput after initial boot up, and an overblown Disc Read Error catastrophe, Sony has been under the microscope if not for the reasons I just mentioned, but merely because they were the first company to truly assail and compete against Nintendo. If they slipped up just once, everyone would call their bluff, deem them a failure, and claim Nintendo the victor. We know that logic is as ignorant as Mr. Iwata, but it's an unfortunately disheartening and agonizing reality in the realm of fanboys and fangirls.

If anything, prior to the release of PSP in Japan, Sony was sitting in the best (throne) place to release a new piece of hardware. They've had the best selling hardware ten years running, and have the highest selling games of any console over such short lifespans (barring the collosal sales of midnight madness and the Japanese defection to quirkier products). Time and time again, they create and publish games that are greeted with critical acclaim, and they certainly know how to draw a crowd. The PSP was a surefire hit. These things are what calmed my fears. Aside from the fact that deep down everyone knows a battery life of 2 hours is proposterous, the ejecting UMD scare was easily debunked as foul play by a very angry Nintendo fanboy. Poised to take the new throne as the king of handheld gaming, PSP is far and away the best piece of hardware ever put together. Not only is it's battery life impressive for the power ouput, but it's added features more than make up for some of it's downsides. If not for the shallow and bullet pointed reasons I just mentioned, the PSP is a great device. It ecclipses every effort Nintendo, SEGA, or even Nokia have made to capitalize on handheld gaming. Battery life is more than sufficient, it's a multimedia device that does more than just games (the best looking handheld games ever I might add), and it's online capable with more than a few launch titles right out of the box. It's a work of art. If only the world would see this, and stop buying Nintendo DS' or Game Boy Advances for their children, and buy a PSP for themselves.

Check back for a full review on the PSP and a handful of it's launch titles (some this, some that) later on.

In the warp pipe (on the way): God of War, Hideo Kojima, Tomobonou Itagaki, EA, and Next-Gen Hardware.

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