Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
11 December 2006
Installable PSP games
The UMD drive in the Sony PSP was a huge mistake. The format is essentially dead for movies. Having a mechanical drive in the PSP eats up the battery and probably makes the whole system more prone to failure. Memory Stick PRO Duos can now be had in 4 gigabyte sizes, over twice the capacity of a UMD, for reasonable prices. And today we find out that Sony has cards in development that have eight times that capacity, or almost 18 times the size of dual-layer UMD.

I've been told that shipping games on Memory Stick would be cost prohibitive. So perhaps Sony could continue to ship games on UMD but offer an option to have the game install itself on a large enough Memory Stick. I'd gladly plunk down for the largest Memory Stick I could find if I could install several of my games on the card, get increased battery life, and faster load times.

This weekend I bought Every Extend Extra (it was on sale for $20, a deal I couldn't pass up) and the disc access is painful. The game doesn't involve tremendous amounts of data like, say, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories might but it does slow down a bit when the UMD has stopped spinning while playing a level and then has to be spun back up to speed. EEE would probably fit on a smaller Memory Stick and thereby avoid the grinding disc access that currently breaks up what is an otherwise slick presentation.

No doubt unscrupulous people would find some way to exploit the system and play games they don't legally own. I can't help that. But with a system to install games on Memory Stick, Sony might be able to pave the way to a revision of the hardware that eliminates the UMD drive and moves to fixed media altogether.

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--Matt Matthews at 19:29
Comment [ 8 ]

Comments on this post:

I'm still going to express a longing for the true cart. From the sound chip in Pitfall to the extra controller ports in Pete Sampras to the stacking in Sonic to rumble and movement sensitive carts on the Game Boy, having a place where "anything" can happen is a great way to extend the life of your platform and allow for some interesting creativity in game design. I'm still sad to the see the N64 go.

Is there another good option for expansion in the PSP?

There's also that rumored redesigned PSP for next year. Wonder what changes are in store?

By Blogger rufwork, at 11 December, 2006 21:42  

talk about something that works today.

You can already back up your umd's with the homebrew tools, and store them on memory card.

You probably want a 1.5 firmware and devhook though.

By Anonymous Adrian, at 12 December, 2006 05:33  

Adrian: That is not a solution for the common man. I'm interested in a fully-sanctioned, easily used means of playing games. I'm not interested in specific firmware revisions or Devhook.

By Blogger jvm, at 12 December, 2006 08:55  

I'd say that, compared to the DS, the PSP is not a device for the common man anyway.

By Blogger Jeremy, at 12 December, 2006 14:48  

I'd say that, compared to the DS, the PSP is not a device for the common man anyway.

Now that's an interesting angle I've not heard before.

Why isn't the convergence niche of the PSP -- essentially an iPod video with an emphasis on sanctioned content (movies and games) -- aiming at the common schmoe? Or is it that they took aim and missed?

In either event, I would like to hear more on this slant.

By Blogger rufwork, at 12 December, 2006 14:56  

Here's one person - from Sony no less - putting that angle out there: Jack Tretton. In the recent Podcast #13 he describes PSP players as "people in suits", compared to the more common person playing a DS.

That podcast can be found here.

By Blogger jvm, at 12 December, 2006 15:01  

Not having yet HTFA, but would that mean the iPod parallel was unintentionally too spot on? That is, that the PSP is supposed to be to the handheld gamer what the Apple is to the PC user [and the BMW to the automobile market]? I'll have to listen, obviously, but if they really mean suits, they've grossly overshot (or grossly oversegmented the market) and it's no wonder the platform is dying.

If they mean guys aged 24-39 or whatever the demographic is, well, we're closer to a Mail Order Monsters victory.

By Blogger rufwork, at 12 December, 2006 15:12  

I find it ironic that Nintendo lost the previous generation sales race (N64 vs Playstation), at least in part because cartridges couldn't compete with CD's.

Now Nintendo is winning the handheld battle in part because the DS uses cartridges.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 December, 2006 14:32  

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