Get off my lawn.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sony PSP

Andrew got a Sony PSP for Christmas today, at our family's final 2005 Christmas get-together. It's a pretty cool little machine: It plays games that come on little discs that look like miniature CDs in plastic cases. It plays music files, displays photos, and it has a web browser built in. It connects to a PC with (what else?) a USB cable, but unlike something like an iPod, the PC doesn't automount it. Instead, you navigate through the main menu on the PSP and select "USB Connection". As soon as you do (assuming the cable is hooked up), it starts a USB conversation with the PC, and it mounts.

I was a little puzzled about how to put photos on it, so I took a guess: "Maybe I'll create a directory called PHOTO on it and put a jpg file there." Did it, and it worked. The photos show up in the menu on the PSP.

There was a "MUSIC" folder in the folder that my PC mounted, so I drug a Rush mp3 into it. It worked. There's a lot less gyration involved in putting music on this thing than an iPod requires, frankly.

web browsing
The web browser displays everything a full-fledged browser does (text, images, links, etc.), with a heck of a lot more scrolling around because of the smaller viewport. Navigating around the UI in the browser is a little clumsy, but clever, given the controls you have to work with: You press the "triangle" button, and a mouse pointer appears on the screen. As long as the triangle button is held down, motion on the analog stick or the arrow keys causes mouse-like movement of the pointer. For typing text, you have to use a phone-like keyboard and point/click letters and numbers. It's not bad, but you wouldn't want to blog or something with it. While I had it mounted by the PC, I edited its "bookmarks.html" file with a text editor and added a few links. I don't know how you'd add links using the built-in browser, but I'm sure you can do it.


The PSP has a nice chunky feel when you hold it in your hand. It's impressively heavy for its size, and seems fairly solid. There are a lot of plugs, little switches, buttons, and other stuff on it, which makes me wonder how long it will last in the hands of a 9-year-old. The memory stick, battery, and game discs all fit behind little plastic doors that seem like they could easily be broken, lost, or otherwise mistreated.

Design-wise, it's interesting to compare it to an iPod. An iPod is simple and elegant, with a minimum number of controls performing the required functions in an intuitive way. The look of the iPod is characteristally "Apple", and it has a jewel-like aura of quality. The PSP has a different vibe. It feels like a quality piece like the iPod does, but it has a lot more grooves, buttons, and a busier look and feel overall, owing to its wider variety of functions. I noticed that the direction buttons (for example) can all be "jiggled" under the skin, which is kind of lame. You wouldn't find an Apple machine with stuff like this going on.

Anyway, it's a pretty sweet little machine. I'd like to mess with it some more, but Andrew has it. I think I might give him a few days to play with it, and then ground him for some trivial misdeed... Something stupid, like talking too loud while he's out in the yard. Then I'll have more time to do a quality review. It's good to be king.


  • At 11:21 AM , Blogger Dale Cooper said...

    Ground him for dissing Google Mail and jazz drummers so you can bring it to work this week. I got to see this little "div-sss".

  • At 11:37 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Good idea! I'll have to wait tho. He left his AC adapter where the dog could reach it, and it got chewed up. Doh!

  • At 10:26 PM , Blogger Dale Cooper said...

    Hey, when are you going to bring this to work? A chicken oriented Friday would be good.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home