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Things I Have Been Doing Since We Last Met #2 - Lovin' My PSP

As regular visitors to the previous incarnation of Tokyo Tales may remember, I used to spend a significant amount of time blogging about my PlayStation2 obsession, in particular the Gran Turismo series. Three years later, we're up to Gran Turismo 4 which, yes, of course, I bought, and yes, of course, I spent four months playing solidly, and yes, of course, threatened to derail every other aspect of my personal life, and yes, of course, I eventually got bored of. (24-hour endurance races? In real time? Even I balked at the thought of that.) That one's doomed to remain lodged at 79% complete for a while longer, I fear.

However, apart from the GT4 and a brief daliance with The Getaway, which only came out in Japan in late 2003, it's been a largely gaming-free existence for the last few years. And then Sony went and brought out the PSP...

Ah, the PSP. With this little bundle of sleek black sexiness, Sony are clearly aiming to do for handheld gaming what they did for console gaming with the PlayStation - not pioneer it, which obviously it's too late for (most people would credit Nintendo's 1989 Game Boy with that), but kick it up a demographic band, into the hands of twenty-somethings who remember their teenage Game Boy years fondly but wouldn't be seen dead with a GBA (or a Nintendo DS, for that matter) today.

While it's not uncommon to see fully-grown salarymen playing with their GBAs on the daily commute here in Japan, it's a different story in the UK, where as far as I'm aware, handheld gaming is for kids. (I'll admit I don't know much about the US or European handheld gaming scene. Anyone?) But with upcoming releases of Grand Theft Auto and (my beloved) Gran Turismo for the PSP - as well as a host of other games with more adult content - Sony are clearly trying to repeating the strategy that served them so well for the original PS and PS2.

Plus there's the whole media player aspect of the PSP, too. While I can't see myself ever buying a movie in Sony's proprietary UMD format (not when the DVD is so much cheaper, better quality, and more widely playable to boot), I *do* use it to watch TV shows on my way to and from work. Recently I've been taking MPEGs of The Daily Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm and transferring them to my PSP's memory stick. It works really well, and at 55MB an episode, you can Curb a lot of Enthusiasm on a 1GB memory stick.

So, PSP = a Good Thing. It's well worth the cash, and it is most definitely *not* your 7-year-old nephew's game console. Or yer Gran's - until Gran Turismo comes out for it, that is...

Posted by chris at September 6, 2005 10:09 PM | Permalink


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