Well, after months of deliberation, I’ve finally picked up a PSP Slim. Sure, it took 3 years for the PSP library to get to a point where it’s worth the recognition of its existence, but hey…it’s finally there, and I look forward to playing all of those titles that I’ve been secretly pining for.
In comparison to the original PSP, the first thing I noticed is that the new packaging SUCKS. Why? Because inside the flimsy cardboard box, the entire contents of the lot are contained within a hard plastic “clamshell” package. I’ve owned damn-near every game console & handheld that’s ever been released, and this is the first time that I can recall having to wrestle with clamshell packaging. It’s complete bollocks, really.
After successfully removing the Slim from its plastic hell with the Jaws of Life, I immediately noticed how much lighter it was than the previous model. In fact, it almost feels too light, as its low weight kinda gives off the impression of a product that was cheaply made. Of course, this is just an illusion, as the PSP’s high-quality remains intact.
Much ado has also been made about the Slim’s smaller form factor, but honestly, I barely noticed. Sure, the unit isn’t as thick as it used to be, but it doesn’t seem that much thinner now. Although, this may be because not only have I not held an original PSP in a very long time, but also because the size of the unit was never an irritation to me in the first place. *shrugs*
Other changes include the removal of the IR port (meh), movement of the speakers from the bottom of the unit to the top (meh), a less complex version of the UMD door (meh), a TV-Out function (might be useful someday), and the ability to charge the PSP through a USB cable (HELL YES!). This latter, iPod-like functionality is a truly fantastic addition, as it cuts down tremendously on the need to carry the bulky PSP AC Adaptor around. Even better, you can still use a standard mini-USB cable; not some proprietary Sony cable that costs $29.99. Good show!
The other big change would be the price, as the PSP Core system retails for $169.99, nearly $100 cheaper than the PSP “Fat” was three years ago. However, the lowered price is somewhat of an illusion, as you don’t get crap for accessories with the Slim. For the price of admission, you get the system, a battery pack, and the AC adapter. That’s it. They don’t even give you a tiny memory card so that you can at least save your games. By comparison, for the extra $80 that the PSP Fat originally cost, you got a shite-ton of accessories (some of which are absolutely necessary), and the total of which would surely cost more than $80 if bought separately today. Of course, if you’re down with owning a silver PSP, then the Dexter bundle is the best value for the money, as you get the system, battery pack, AC adapter, 1gb memory card, Family Guy UMD and Dexter game UMD for $199. (After being reminded of how obscenely the black piano finish picks up fingerprints and smudges, I wish I had gone silver now.)
While the PSP has always been a great multimedia device, it was originally hampered by the high-cost of the Memory Stick Duo. What good is the ability to play video, picture and audio files if you have no room to store them? When the PSP was originally released, the highest-capacity card available was 1gb in size, with a retail cost of $220 for the Sony brand and $110+ for the SanDisk brand. I was very happy to discover, that, in 2008, Memory Stick Duo capacity has risen greatly, while cost has dropped dramatically. (I bought a new 4gb card for $38.99 at the point of my PSP purchase.)
So all in all, I’m quite pleased with my PSP re-purchase. After using the DS and Video iPod for so long, it’s nice to rediscover that beautiful widescreen LCD that the PSP has, and with cheaper, higher-capacity storage available, I can see myself enjoying the multimedia functions of the system a hell of a lot more than I did three years ago.
Now, to see if the library of games will warrant its permanent adoption in my household.