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March 21, 2005

PSP, Portable Media Player?

Thursday Sony will launch their much anticipated Playstation Portable (PSP) which many have said is the next generation of portable gaming. It also includes support for MPEG4 video encoded movies, as well as audio MP3 files. From the reviews I've read, it's been given high marks for gaming and been knocked for it's support for video. From the Washington Post review:

As a portable game machine, it's a peerless piece of work, combining sharp graphics, deep game play and easy online connectivity. As a multimedia gadget, however, it's a dud.

The review goes on to point out the lack of support Sony gave to make video and audio easy. For instance, it doesn't come bundled with a USB cable as well as a puny memory stick, incapable of storing video and audio files. It also lacks any PC software to make it easy to transfer video and audio to the PSP.

Sajeeth Cherian, the creative talent behind Videora, is trying to make it easier to use the PSP as a media device. His new freeware software, PSP Video 9, looks like something Sony should have bundled with the PSP. PSP Video 9 will automatically transcode a video file into the proper format for the PSP and transfer it. It also has integration with his BitTorrent software, Videora, so that you can download and transcode all automatically.

I've been wondering what my rationale would be to stand in line Thursday to get a PSP.

Posted on March 21, 2005

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Watch, Sony will hate this and try to shut down these kinds of efforts in the name of UMD, even though it has the chance of making the PSP a category killer. Sony is crazy.

Posted by: Alex Rowland at March 21, 2005 11:41 PM


I couldn't agree with you more. When you look at the price point of the PSP, $249 is probably out of reach for the traditional demographic of portable game users (e.g. children and teens), and you couple that with the hardware features like wifi and video, it's a good bet that they could appeal to older users if they opened the device up more.

There are a ton of interesting features that could drive sales to adults and professional users. The device could easily add features that are on a palm device like contacts, scheduling, etc, as well as adding rich media content to news headlines, movie previews, etc. If I'm a white collar worker with a 30 minute ride on a commuter train, I can see buying one just so I could download the local news or CNN headlines video, or an ESPN video, etc. before I leave the office, and watch it on the way home.

I agree with you that Sony will try to shut it down. They have a long history of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Posted by: Will at March 22, 2005 08:51 AM

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