Sunday, April 17, 2005


I enjoy games, from boardgames to computer games to console games. A few years ago I bought a Pocket PC, when prices on low-end models dipped below $250, what I was willing to pay for one. I used it to store addresses, keep a calendar, read books in ebook format, and carry around street maps. But I really bought it to play games. I thought, how many times am I waiting around somewhere, at an airport, for example. I could get a Pocket PC to use for something practical, but pull it out to play a game or two on.

So, I bought a few games for it. However, the interface of the Pocket PC is really only good for certain types of games: card games (hearts, blackjack), puzzle games (diamond mine), board games (chess, reversi, scrabble), and possibly real-time strategy games (Warfare Incorporated, which I playtested for some friends). So, not ideal, when I also like to play racers, platformers, RPG's, combat, sports games, and so forth.

I considered buying a Nintendo Game Boy Advance, but the target audience is really a lot younger than me. When I heard Sony was planning to release a handheld gaming device, I was pretty excited. I missed out on the first wave of pre-orders, but finally managed to get my hands on my own PlayStation Portable.

This thing is pretty sweet. It has a great screen, decent sound, gaming inputs (directional pad and buttons), and plays real video games. It has built-in wireless networking for playing head-to-head against other PSP's. It can also play music, show photos, and even play video - Sony sells an inexpensive program that transcodes video to a format that plays on the PSP. I'm not sure if I'll ever carry around TV shows to watch, but the option is there. Movies will also be available on the PSP, but I'm not sure I'll buy any since it is a new format (Universal Media Disc - UMD) which only plays on the PSP.

I bought a few games for it, but haven't had a chance to play any of them yet. Next time I'm flying somewhere, I'll have plenty to do, if I can keep from falling asleep on the plane. ;)

My New Toy

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