Friday, June 23, 2006

PSP: Crippled by DRM

Two good friends of mine have a knack for taking observations and data and compressing it into semi-precious stones. One I have sex with nightly, and the other I don't.

(One is my wife, the other is my male friend, Dove)

I told Dove that my GP2X was EVIL, because it nearly converted Ian, an IT guy and PSP owner, in 5 minutes flat. What got him? When he saw DivX video playing on it and found out it could use 4GB SD cards.

DRM Kills
The PSP is crippled by DRM, Dove pointed out, because everything you would want to do with it requires that you buy something. Not just videogames, but movies - nothing will play that isn't UMD, so if you want to have a movie on it, you have to pay DVD prices to get it, even if you already own a DVD of that movie. To make matters worse, the Memory Stick Pro Duo requirement is hard-wired into the PSP, so that either 3rd party sticks won't work, or at the very least, if you buy a 1GB stick, the PSP will only "see" the first 256 megs.

So when the PSP first came out, having a CD or two of music with you sounded cool (mind you, this is if you bought the most expensive Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo), but people have rapidly moved past this mindset and into the 20GB iPod market where they think "I can take my whole music library with me."

Even a GP2X can't handle more than an SD card can carry (unless you use a Break-Out-Box / USB Host to power an external hard-drive, which isn't portable), but...

  • A GP2X allows you to view DivX, Mov, Avi movies without worrying about UMD DRM.
  • A GP2X lets you use any kind of SD card you want (certain el-cheapo brands won't work).
  • A GP2X lets you play all kinds of games (I have over 700 Genesis games on mine, that I can save at any time) and pausing, saving and restarting these things is easy.
Most of Dove's friends who enjoy their PSP's think of it as a replacement of their GameBoy - and talk about the games they have where they can play for 5 minutes and save - be it their golf game or a racing game.

The GP2X, depending on the emulator used, allows you to save the state of the game you are in wherever you are - mid-jump during a boss fight? No problem! Homebrew games typically don't allow for such, and just have a pause feature - but that's one more reason to load up an emulator while in a line.

At any rate, well said. I had to write it down.