Tuesday 11 December 2007

And About Time Too!

Okay, so I have always been annoyed that Gran Turismo Mobile never surfaced for the PSP. Despite some of the games I own, like all other Sony Products I have come into contact with I thought that the PSP was really failing to hit the mark when it came to gaming satisfaction. I also think that it is the least portable of all the extensive handheld gaming technology that I own. I had heard rumblings from the 'underground movement' that it was very possible to play PS1 games on the PSP. This excited me, as I always believed that the very limited collection of original Playstation titles I own would go very well on a PSP, as games like Tenchu completely outshine their portable counterparts.

But the PSP is a very expensive piece of kit, and the only way I knew of playing such games involved custom firmware, downgrading, upgrading, the chance of bricking the fucker, downloading pirated games, a certain amount of incompatibility, etc, etc... Basically, I did not want to run the risk of ruining what is undeniably a great piece of kit by experimentation and inexact sciences. But then, I heard about the Playstation Store.

Initially, this (like so many other aspects of Sony) was shaping up to be a total let-down. For starters, it was only accessible through the PS3. A games console I really, really don't want to own. This was going to make it a store for total loyalists. Secondly, I thought that knowing Sony, games weren't going to be cheap. Therefore, imagine my excitement when recently I discovered that someone with half a brain in the huge conglomerate decided to put it out for the general public via the Sony site. Then, imagine my glee when after signing up and boosting my PSP to a frankly dizzying firmware version I found that classics like Wipeout and Destruction Derby only cost about £3.50 each for a direct download to my PSP, with the added bonus of free demos and trailers! This is the sort of thing I like to expect from big gaming companies. I had always liked the idea of Virtual Console on the Wii, and hoped that others would jump on what seemed to be a very sensible bandwagon. The online store itself has only been running for 2 months, and it does seem that the classic games have undergone a little modification to improve compatibility with the PSP. Therefore, at present there only seem to be a handful of titles available. But hopefully soon, the back-catalogue will broaden and I will have the chance to have games like Gran Turismo 2, Streetfighter EX Plus Alpha, and Tenchu 2 on a system that I can finally carry around with me without having to lug bagfuls of very fragile UMDs too.

Congratulations Sony, you finally did something right. Hats off to you! (Now back on again. It's fucking COLD here!)

- Galford

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