I am in the dairy isle of the grocery store, checking the price and origin of different brands of sour cream for fish taco night. Mmm, fish tacos. My stomach quakes. I glance down at my PSP Go. Final Fantasy IX‘s Vivi is having an identity crisis upon uncovering Alexandria’s cache of black mage dolls. Back to the sour cream: this price seems the most reasonable for the quality. I put it in my basket and for the brief walk to the self-checkout lane, I continue to console Vivi.
This style of guerrilla gaming (as I have been calling it) was only recently afforded to me thanks to my PSP Go. Working full time and having an increasing number of side projects means less time spent deliberately playing games in front of a TV. Instead, it’s a short burst several times throughout the day, wherever I happen to be. Something about it feels a little dirty — I remember how I first played Final Fantasy IX: it had my undivided attention. Does it deserve better, or is this the best I can offer it? Probably both.
In my last post concerning my PSP Go, I held back from praising it too much. It had yet to change the way I play games. It’s also possible that on some level its discontinuation and relative panning from the industry made me feel that owning it wasn’t something to shout from the mountaintops. Now, after having spent over 80 hours with it I feel confident enough to give it further praise.
PSP Go Docking Station
This was recommended to me by someone on Twitter once I started getting into Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. Usually docks serve mostly a cosmetic purpose, so until this point I had never bothered buying one. The PSP Go dock, however, serves multiple purposes integral to how I use the device. In addition to the guerrilla gaming method mentioned earlier, I also occasionally hook my PSP Go up to my television and sync a Dualshock 3controller to it via bluetooth. Through this method, it hardly even feels like I am using a portable gaming device… right up until my battery implodes on itself with the weight of a dozen dwarf suns.
This setup is extremely taxing on the system’s battery. Ad-hoc? Forget about it! This is because the video out port is the same one used to charge the PSP Go. Meaning sending a signal to a TV while charging was impossible and limited how long I could play. This is the main problem that the docking station solves: I can play on my TV and keep the device plugged in. This does require a PSP-1000-3000 charger, but it’s a small price to pay for such a feature. Did I mention all PSP Go accessories are cheap as hell, as stores are in a rush to dispose of them? Well, they are.
A commenter (thanks, Jay) pointed out that I neglected to mention this in my first post. This feature really should be called “suspend game”, or something to that effect. Basically, at nearly any point during gameplay, you may press the PS Home button, and choose to “pause game”. After a few seconds you’ll be taken to the PSP desktop and a suspended state of your game will appear. As long as you don’t start the same game a second time you can keep that suspended state up, meaning you can play multiple games at once — great for those of us who become a tad ADD in the face of portable gaming.
Yes, my PSP Go and I are inseparable, leading to an entirely new and engaging way to play games. I love the system for its relative portability and versatility, which I would contend is matched by no other system. With prices for the Go and its accessories so low, I am enjoying bottom-feeding the decaying bits of one of Sony’s biggest (albeit unfortunate) failures.