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Matt gets his PSP to run on TV, nearly wets himself

posted on September 22nd, 2007 by matt

Woohoo! I finally got my PSP Slim component video cables in the mail on Friday. I was a tad disappointed to find out that Sony held the release of the cables until only recently (the Daxter bundle with the Silver Slim unit was released much earlier in the month), but the wait has been worth it. I promised my impressions on the video-out option, and I always keep my word. So here they are.

First, a little disclaimer: games cannot be displayed without the component cables. Sony has released composite cables, but you can only view movies, music, and photos with them. To play games on your TV, you need the component wires, as the games are developed with a progressive scan-enabled screen in mind. They’re the same price, so it’s not really a problem. You just have to make sure your TV has component inputs (most HDTV’s have them at this point).

So now we get into the nitty-gritty. UMD movies look surprisingly good. If you’ve seen DVD’s displayed in 480p, then you’ll feel right at home with UMD movies. The resolution is crisp, and the colors are vibrant. If you have a PSP Slim, I would recommend never buying another DVD. You’d be wasting money now. Which is surprising, since we’ve said the same thing about UMD’s up to this point. Why they didn’t include this option with the first PSP is beyond me.

As for games, it’s a little disappointing that the output is completely surrounded by black borders. It’s not as involving as say, playing a game on your PS2, but it’s still cool to see your games on the big screen. I put in over three hours of WipEout Pure, and it felt like a new game to me.

Unfortunately the graphical fidelity is a little lacking in some aspects. For example, the jaggies are far more noticeable when displayed on a bigger screen. It’s only logical really. If you’re an unassuming consumer you’ll think nothing of it, but for the anal retentive gamer, you’ll feel a little disappointed.

Overall, PSP games on a TV look fantastic, but it also depends on how good your game looked to begin with. Nothing will save Pimp My Ride, sadly.

To put it simply, the video-out option is an amazing feature, and will be used often in my house. You’ll wish it were a little better in the graphics department, but it’s still more than capable. If you’re used to Dreamcast-level graphics (which you should be), then you’ll be fine.

And it’s also funny to see how good it feels to play games with the PSP in your hands. The PSP basically turns into a Dual Shock controller, and it works amazingly well. It has a nice feel to it, concerning shape and weight, and it never seems weird. And the video wire is about the same length as a Dual Shock, making the comparison even more justified in my mind.

For any of those experimental techies out there, I have a request: play Lair on your PSP with Remote Play, and then output it to your TV through the component cables. I want to know if it makes Lair into a playable game, while still looking fantastic. I expect a response soon.

5 Comments

  1. Astrxs said on September 23, 2007:

    Matt – does this justify the extra $70? I just got a coupon from gamestop for used O.G. PSP (phat) for $99. I was just about to head down to get one (for Joan of Arc, FF Tactics remake, FF IV crisis core, etc.) That’s like 2+ games worth of cash difference.

  2. matt said on September 24, 2007:

    Hmmmm. With better battery efficiency, hopefully better load times for new games, lighter weight, and video-out, I would recommend the new PSP. If money is a concern you can always pass on my judgment, but that’s what I would do if it was me. Having the ability to display it on TV is really cool, and I’m seriously surprised Sony didn’t include it from the very beginning. I’ve spent an entire weekend playing my games on the tellie, and it’s a great feature to have. And every time I’ve found used PSP’s, they’re scratched to shit. I would always recommend getting new with the PSP.

  3. christian said on September 24, 2007:

    I find replacing standard, universally accepted (and copyable) DVDs with UMDs as my movie format of choice a terrible reccomendation.

    Aside from that, great impressions. Really want one of these suckers.

  4. Golden Jew said on September 24, 2007:

    This is interesting. One of the things I’ve heard from a lot of people is that the PSP becomes awesome when you start using it as a platform. Of course, this is extremely involved and only appeals to a smaller segment of the market, which probably explains, among other reasons, why the PSP has lower sales than the DS.

    Very interested in seeing this become a more viable platform, since I still worry that nintendo DS games are too kidsy and annoying (at least for me). Magical Starsign might be a cool game, but the manual was so cutesy I felt the need to murder puppies and kittens to restore the universes’ balance.

  5. Matt said on September 24, 2007:

    Christian, but think about it from a generic consumer’s POV. If they see the PSP can play its movies on the TV, as well as on the road, why even buy a DVD? Sony has finally found a reason to justify the UMD. From my point of view, depending on price of course (I will never pay over $30 for a movie), I’m going to take a UMD over a DVD. It just makes more sense now. They both look the same, but one is playable in two locations. I’m not sure why this would be such a bad recommendation. If you have the tech for playing DVD’s on the go, then fine, but for those gamers out there that don’t have the luxury, a PSP Slim and a set of UMD’s are the way to go, I say.

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