in orbit

I mostly talk about video games and the world wide web

Mar292008

PSP: It's Like A Nut You Can Eat

Through a strange string of events, the ramifications of which I'm still not entirely sure of, a Sony Playstation Portable has come into my possession without any traditional exchange of currency. It also arrived with copies of Wipeout Pulse and Silent Hill Origins, neither of which excite me that much, and a demo of God of War: Chains of Olympus, which does excite me, though not enough to put down $40 for at this moment in time (mainly due to owing the state of New York $200, those greedy bastards, and shelling out another $300 for a visit home to the very state which decided it was a great idea to take this money from me).

Anyway, the main reason for this post (aside from the fact that I don't have much else to do) is questioning the odd price variation in PSP games. The DS and GBA; the most recent portables I owned, had fairly consistent pricing. With the DS most top-shelf cost $30 with a select few making the jump to $35 (mostly reserved for big-name 1st party releases like NSMB, Metroid Prime Hunters and Kirby Canvas Curse). There are also the low-end budget titles, which are usually puzzle games, that cost $20. That's it.

The PSP, on the other hand, has prices as high as $40 with some new titles as low as $20. I know the difference between God of War and Patapon is fairly obvious, but this seems like a pretty huge gap to me. To make matters worse only a select few games seem to go down in price over time. LocoRoco, one of the most celebrated PSP titles, continues to maintain a $30 price point, while games like MGS: Portable Ops have dropped to $20.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, just that the pricing differences annoy me, especially given we are talking about a handheld. The $35 cap is also far more tolerable than a $40 cap, somehow, even though it's only $5. It is worth noting that the PSP is a pretty nice piece of hardware, however. It's far more powerful than the DS, and the screen is something else. The main thing it has against it is that it's kind of heavy, but considering it's capable of seemingly PS2-level graphics, it seems like a decent trade off, I guess.

However the DS remains king of homebrew. I recently purchased a slot-1 flashcard (the CycloDS) for the DS due to the incredible ease of running neat stuff on it. The PSP seems more like a gigantic pain in the ass, with firmware downgrades and all sorts hacks and even the possibility of bricking the PSP if not done properly. The DS is pretty much "insert card and have fun".

Anyway this is kind of meandering since I really had no focus when I started typing it, so I'll just say that the PSP is pretty cool... I just need to find some awesome games for it.
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