Handheld Hotness

I really like both the PSP and the DS, but I have to admit that I’d probably choose this over either of them if the price came down a bit.

I remember reading about this guy in EGM (I think) and being impressed by his VCSp and PSp, but playing Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, and Skies of Arcadia away from a TV would rock unbelievably. That and having a portable SNES, of course. Nonetheless, the “portabilizers” (not my term, thankfully) remain an interesting little gaming subculture that’s always worth checking out as they’re getting ever more ambitious and continuing to come out with some seriously ambitious projects. The PSP might be comparable in some ways to the PS2, but these guys actually have portable PS2s! I can’t wait to see how the portable GameCube works out.

Back on the subject of the DC and portability, I know it would be nice to have some good new titles but the PSP seems like the ideal chance for Sega to give some of their underappreciated Dreamcast games a new audience. The power of the DC and PSP seems pretty comparable and when the PSP is crying out for AAA titles Sega have a nice pool ready to go. When it needs a good RPG can you go any better than Skies?

PSP Launch

Today, as you may know, was the much-delayed launch of the PSP in the UK and across Europe. To be honest I didn’t see much of it since I was at work and my store saw very little PSP action (four preorders and nothing on the shelves), but I still have a couple of stories to share from what I’ve seen and heard.

The mainstream press is always reliable for a laugh at console launches, and probably the most amusing was on the radio on the way to work when I heard them trying to get their head around the acronyms (they kept calling the movies “UVDs”). They also had a random guy who queued up for one and was ranting about how excited he was to be the first one in the country to have one. That was amusing when I was in the VGC where they’ve sold literally hundreds of machines since the Japanese launch last December.

While I was there I picked up Virtua Tennis and the Transformers The Movie UMD to bolster my burgeoning PSP collection:

My PSP Collection

A couple of things worth noting about those two: Virtua Tennis contains a forced firmware upgrade to v2.0, so anyone in the US thinking of importing who is holding onto v1.5 for homebrew applications should tread carefully; also the UMD of Transformers The Movie is the cut version with the “oh shit…” line taken out, so don’t throw out those DVD versions just yet.

Unsurprisingly it pretty much sold out everywhere. Both branches of GAME in Bournemouth were already redirecting people to the VGC when I went in there at about 9:45am, and even they only had 16 machines out of their allocation of 40 remaining, so that should show you how quick it happened.