10 June 2009

Sony PSP Delivers on the smallest screen

Urban: I'm back from the desert.

While this is not explicitly about movies, it does touch on a number of points along the distribution element of the film business. Portable formats are a viable format which will only continue to grow as the platform expands.

While sitting in a tent in the middle of the Mojave Desert I had the pleasure of watching Ridley Scott's Alien on the most recent edition of the Sony PSP. I was pleasantly surprised. The screen was wider than those offered by both Apple's iPod and Microsoft's Zune. The sound was an initial dissapointment, not containing the necessary volume to please a viewer of feature films containing copious amounts of conversation. This problem was overcome with a pair of headphones, which yielded surprisingly good sound across all levels.

The width of the screen approximated a viewing experience that at very least recalled a movie screen. Different lighting conditions are handled well by the PSP with an option that can change the amount of lighting behind the screen.

Currently, only the biggest movie releases are able to see the light of day in the UMD format that the PSP employs. Certain classics have been given the greenlight as well, but these focus on on only the biggest hits of the 80's and 90's and today (kind of like a radio station). True diversity and depth of film viewing is not offered by this platform and it is rumored that, despite their press, may be attempting to move away from the platform in the next generation of PSP.

This issue is minimized by the ability to play computer media files. The primary issue here has to do with memory. Watching a ripped DVD normally calls for 7-8 gb of memory, which must be purchased as a memory card when using the PSP.

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