Thursday, March 24, 2005

Go Go Gadget

So the PSP can play movies, which apparently is a big deal to all the magazines doing little blurbs on it. Does anyone else think that is just stupid? Apparently you’ll also be able to import files on memory sticks or something, which sounds mildly useful, maybe, but the idea of re-buying movies on a PSP-exclusive disc for twenty bucks a pop is moronic. If they couldn’t make it compatible with an existing DVD format, it doesn’t seem worth it.

Game Boy has something like this, cartridges that play Nickelodeon cartoons or something, but that's more a novelty for kids, not something that's being promoted as a huge new multi-function media product.

The price of portable DVD players has dropped enough by now that if watching movies is your thing, you’re far better off springing for the DVD player and watching movies you already own. The all-in-one DVD player functionality of the PS2 won people over because it added value (when it wasn’t wearing out systems prematurely). No one would have been excited if the PS2 forced you to buy special DVDs that didn’t work anywhere else.


Zack said...

Yeah, everybody, in public or not, thinks UMD is totally retarded. Even putting aside the cost of rebuying something, discs are a pretty dumb medium for current portables anyhow -- the reading/rotation drains battern life, and it's a bother to keep the disc properly aligned, and it's slower to read, which means big load times in a system you should be able to pop open, play for a minute and a half, and then shut down.

Anyhow, the PSP plays mp4 video files or something. Conversion's pretty easy. UMDs are one of those retarded consequences of the "entertainment" half of Sony fucking up the electronics half of Sony, like they fucked up the PSX and all of Sony's recent Walkman products.

GBA/DS has an add-on coming called Play-Yan, a movie/music playing cart that pops into the GBA cartridge slot. Like with the PSP *sticks*, you can add your own media to it. Is it worth it? Probably not. If you can spare the attention for a small, grainy movie, you might as well just play a game, and if you can't spare the attention, for music you might as well be using an iPod Mini or a MuVo or something. Plus, you can listen to the music of your choice while playing a game that way.

Zack said...

Oh, and even though the PSP, like the GBA, like the DS, is a mobile device, one that you might like to take with you when your travel abroad, and even though you will have no difficulties in buying European or Japanese games to play on your American PSP (which is region free in that sense), you will not be able to buy movies abroad in UMD format. ... although you will be entirely free to load pirated foreign mp4 movies onto your memory sticks. WTF, Sony?