We're getting pretty close to the big day! March 24th, the Sony PlayStation Portable will be available here in the U.S. Since I just moved to a new house in the burbs, a bunch of newspapers have been calling me offering free two weeks home delivery and today I got my first Sunday paper in a long time and in it, my favorite part: The Sunday Ad Supplements. All the big stores had the PSP advertised. Target, BestBuy, Toys R Us, WalMart, etc. etc. With a ton of games available as well. I haven't been this excited for a console launch since the Sega Dreamcast. This device is going to *rock*.
Everyone is saying as much already and just looking at the specs and the previews, it's easy to see why. This device is just soooo freaking cool. Big Screen, great processor, small size, memory stick support and WiFi. And it plays PS2 quality games in addition to movies, music, etc. I mean, this thing is insanely lustworthy - they didn't seem to cut corners anywhere. It's just a killer gadget. Check out the videos over at GameSpot - they're at the bottom of each game review. The screen and resolution look great and the reviewers just gush over the games. I'm especially excited about the World Tour Soccer game. I'm a huge portable soccer fan (on my GameBoy Advance and N-Gage previously) and on the PSP, World Soccer Tour looks awesome.
The amazing thing about this launch is how long this gaming platform is going to be around. The PlayStation 2 was launched in October 2000 and it's still going strong almost five years later. The PSP should see similar longevity, which makes it cooler to realize that the investment you make on Thursday is going to last a long time. It's sad to think I'll actually have to start paying for games again, but I think it'll be more than worth it.
I've been TiVoing "Icons" on G4TV lately and it's been very educational. These are shows about the history of the gaming industry and it's great to see both the long view and also get a sense of what's happening right now. Last night I saw shows about the evolution of Mario and Nintendo, and also of Naughty Dog Games and their Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter games (I hadn't realized the latter were related, now I know). Check out this video of UbiSoft and Prince of Persia 2 to see what I'm talking about. I've also seen the history of the various consoles, including the PlayStation and the GameBoy. It's interesting to see how Sony has taken over the console market - first with the PlayStation and then with the PS2. Now it seems they're doing the same thing to Nintendo. It'll be a while before the PSP is in as many hands as the GameBoy Advance is, but you can pretty much see from here that Nintendo's monopoly on the handheld market is now forever over as is probably their dominance.
Okay, so where can I line up on Wednesday night to get myself a PSP? I mean 12:01 a.m. on Thursday I should be able to snag one of these bad boys, no? They're already selling the games as only the console is embargoed until the 24th, so I may go down and snag a couple games early (Soccer and Ridge Racer probably).