Everyone should have one: a friend who you’re in friendly competition with over who has the wickedest gadgets. Mine is Yusuf and he usually wins. Not because he’s a boy, but because a) he’s got more disposable income than I have and b) he knows how to research the heck out of a potential purchase to make sure he uses that income to the max. In the case of today’s gadget versus gadget showdown, I admit it: he was right to buy the PSP.
Yusuf’s made claims elsewhere not to be a gamer, but that’s since changed with the purchase of the PSP. After careful research he bought a cache of games, including Locoroco, Lemmings, Exit, and Tokobot. He also showed me the PSP’s film playing ability and I’d say its screen quality is better than the video iPod.
I, on the other hand, came of age in the PacMan age, so have an affinity for video games, if not the inclination to keep current with them. Once Yusuf bought the PSP, I had to go out and get the Nintendo DS Lite for, if no other reason, to be contrary. Too, I liked the idea of the stylus and touchscreen. Even before the massive advertising campaign last autumn, it seemed like the DS skewed a bit older with its games. Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and The Sims 2 all offered familiar, but interesting challenges…for about a month.
Since Yusuf’s been hardcore studying for the last several months, I decided to be a Good Samaritan and confiscate his PSP. Despite the apparent Shiny Shiny preference for the DS Lite, I have to say that the PSP really captured my heart. While I had to go online and find cheats for Trauma Center that would circumvent the rubbish touchscreen, the PSP was like a return to the good ol’ days of simple controls. Other DS Lite games, such as The Sims 2, had me reading the instruction booklets, pausing the game, and returning to the booklets. I didn’t have the booklets for the PSP games and even though on-screen help is available, I rarely referred to it.
Verdict: I found the PSP’s games and controls to be much more intuitive than the Nintendo DS Lite. Admittedly, too, I started off thinking the DS Lite’s white casing was cool. However, after noticing the PSP accompanying other Londoners on the bus, I changed my mind and now conclude that the PSP in black is the daddy lick. Finally, though I’m a ‘Pod person, I can see watching films and listening to MP3s on the PSP— capabilties that are included—unlike the DS Lite and its various media add-ons. The PSP’s ability to do more might account for its poor battery life compared to the DS Lite.
In this episode of gadgetry smackdown, I concede the battle to my buddy/nemesis and will go get myself a PSP…or just hope he forgets I have his.
Kimberly Springer will return to teaching American Studies at King’s College London after a tasty, year-long sabbatical. In the meantime, she wishes Yusuf good luck on his exams and achieving a first-class degree!