Price tags, price tags,
price tags. It all comes down to price tags.
Conjectures in the industry
concerning the next generation of consoles are scary. The
Xbox360 might cost more than $300. The PS3 is tagged at a
whopping $465 (adjusted for exchanged rate from the price
tag in Yen). Of the three next-generation consoles, only
Nintendo's Revolution looks like it'll come in at under
In mobile gaming, Nintendo
had it down. GBA SP? $99 or less depending on where you
look. Game Boy Micro? Probably about the same. Nintendo DS?
$150, but it plays those GBA titles.
And then there's the PSP.
Amazingly, once you figure in the real costs of this thing,
it comes out worse than any of the home consoles. Why?
Because you don't *have* to have extras for them to enjoy
them - a standard TV with stereo sound will still be good
enough. CNN Money
predicted that the price of a "hardcore gaming rig"
might be over $1700 when you throw in a big-screen HDTV and
surround sound, but those are luxuries that most people can
live without and, further, that they'll use for other things
(such as watching movies and TV, especially satellite-TV
The cost of owning an
Xbox360 is really whatever the console costs, plus a few
bucks for extra controllers and a game or two to start with.
Same goes for the PS3.
With the PSP, it's a whole
new story. Because the PSP's "features" really aren't about
the gaming. Yes, the PSP plays games. It has some decently
fun ones. But the PSP, to be fully enjoyed, is supposed to
carry around a ton of extras. It plays music. It plays
movies. That's what it does. Provided you have the time to
dump your MP3's onto it (negligible) and are willing to
spend the time re-encoding video with a
free program (Sony
couldn't be bothered to make one for you to use), it does
those things rather well.
It just has one heck of a
See, it's not just the PSP
you need to buy. You also need a hard-plastic case, to
protect your PSP as you carry it around. The best one
currently available is from Logitech, and has hard plastic
on the outside and firm-fitting foam rubber on the inside.
Sony ships the PSP with a soft fabric case, but trust me, it
does NOT get the job done. Then, you'll need to buy a proper
USB cable to hook it up to your PC and copy those files to
Oh, and then there's the big
one; you'll have to buy a memory card. A very specific
variety, the Sony Memory Stick Duo, which have inexplicably
become very, very expensive recently. Depending on what you
want to carry around, you need at least 512 MB if not 1 GB.
If you want to haul any decent number of movies, 1 GB is
You *can* use other memory
cards that have a Duo form adapter, but they'll stick out of
the PSP when you're carrying it around, and you don't want
to take the risk of breaking your memory stick.
512 MB will run you over
$100 easily. 1 GB retails at $180. The total price of buying
a PSP, then, can easily exceed $460 in total; you'll be able
to do better buying an Xbox or PS3 or Gamecube, easily,
since you'll be able to trade in your old unit to a store
like Gamestop and buy a few games with your trade-in cash.
Add to that the price tag on
the new games ($40+ for PSP titles) and the PSP is one
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