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Friday, August 29, 2008

PSP-3000 hands-on at Gamespot

Gamespot has an article on the PSP-3000, comparing the screen with the PSP-2000.

There aren't too many exterior changes, but it is notable that the sides of the PSP-3000(silver) are sharper than the rounded curves of the 2000(white):

To me, the sharper edges hearkens back to the PSP-1000(Wow! Remember that one?) while the overall look is the PSP-2000.

Sony's John Koller gives a basic overview of the PSP-3000 in this video:

I really don't have much to say about Koller. Not necessarily because of him personally, but *ALL* US/European Sony people just come off as puppets given a script that they recite without actually believing in. Someone from Sony Japan tells them that the PSP-3000 is great, they go out & shill that it's "great". That's part of the problem with Sony's PlayStation division, they don't give a crap about anyone outside of Japan.

Gamespot PSP-3000 hands-on article


Star Wars Force Unleashed

Even though I don't have a PS3 or Xbox 360, I'm getting psyched about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

The PSP version is looking not bad at all.... it will definitely be scaled-down compared to the consoles, but it does look very good for a portable!

Gamespot posted some gameplay footage:

The PSP version has "historical missions" which looks like boss battles featuring classic lightsaber duels from the movies. That looks pretty cool.

I love the PSP, but I think I'm going to go for the Wii version because of the tactile feel.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comes out on Sept. 16/2008.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

Last night at 4:00 a.m., I *finally* finished Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Finishing the story mode unlocks some bonus missions featuring secondary characters, which I haven't played yet.

This is the first Resident Evil game I've ever played. I played it a lot before Christmas '07, but then put it away for months, and actually bought+finished games in between. The slow pacing kinda got to me. But I was determined to finish it off when I had the time. .. so now, summer '08 and I finally got around to it.

A common complaint from gamers is that games are too short. Well, if you're looking for a long game, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition fits the bill... it's at least 10-20 hours if you're really fast. If you're like me, or you want to check everything out, it'll take 30+ hours to complete.

But part of what makes it long is the gameplay... it's designed to be slow-paced. The control scheme is intentionally difficult & clunky; you can move, or shoot, but not both. Movement is handled by the left analog stick, but when you want to shoot, you hold down the B button & it goes into a "shooting mode" where the analog stick controls the camera, and you use the Wii remote to target. This control setup does work really well on the Wii, I haven't played any other version but I have to say that the Wii version must be the definitive one... I can't see it being any easier to use the right analog stick to aim under these circumstances.

The slow pacing of the gameplay is compounded when you have to account for EVERY bullet... you simply cannot waste a shot; every one has to count. It's very stingy, and counter-intuitive to the gamer instinct to just blast away.

The production quality of this game is pretty darn amazing. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is the best-looking game I have for my Wii; it blows me away that this is a port of a Gamecube game. I never thought the Gamecube was capable of such a nice-looking, sounding game that compares to the best from the Xbox.

The combination of intentionally clunky controls, difficulty & high production values is probably why Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition has gotten extreme reviews; many are very good, but there are lots of complaints and "not for me"s too. This is a game you either really love or would find too frustrating, which I think is a Capcom hallmark. Now I can take the plastic off of Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and bust out my Wii Zapper!

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition cutscenes/gameplay footage:


Firefox 3.0.1

Man... Firefox 3.0.1 just SUCKS......

It took away a key feature I use: the drop-down menu where you type in web addresses is now limited to like maybe 11 web sites!! How fucking STUPID is that??? They fill up the extra space with garbage; the meta-data junk on the sites like their title & description, etc.... so, that's not necesarily a bad thing to have title & site description info, but at the cost of showing most of the sites I typed in, that's just IDIOTIC. And there's no way to change it back.

I HATE HATE HATE Firefox 3.0.1!!!!!

What absolute garbage this thing is.


Sunday, August 24, 2008


A few days ago I bought Thrillville for the Xbox. It was a used copy from Roger's Video, for $9.99. The disc looks pretty scratched up, but it plays fine so far... what kinda bugs me is that there was no instruction booklet with the game. I didn't realize that before I bought it.

I'm always on the hunt for good games that are appropriate for my 7-year-old nephew... but are also fun for me too. For me, it doesn't matter if it's rated E, if it's a good game I'll probably like it. He seems to be into mini-game collections, so I've been trying to track down some good ones.

Thrillville is partly a Sims-style game, but also a mini-game collection. You play the part of a theme park owner, and you walk around your park(s) building rides and games. There is a bit of a storyline, but not much. You have a list of missions to complete, but when/if you do them is pretty much up to you. If you want, you can just walk around talking to guests & going on ride/playing games the whole time.

I really like that kind of open-world freedom. Thrillville isn't a complex open-world environment though.... you can go on all the rides, but basically you're just watching them go, it's not all that fun to go on a roller-coaster. The games, however , are a different deal. They are mini-games, and many of them rip off classic arcade games from the 80's-90's pretty blatantly. There's a mini-game called Sparkle Island that's *exactly* like Sega's Flicky: you jump around on a 2D platform environment, rescuing birds which you have to lead to an escape door. But even though the games are derivative, for the most part, they seem to play quite well. If you're going to rip off some classic 80's games, may as well do it like this.

There are also 2D space shooter games, a 3D racing game, mini-golf courses, a light FPS, trampolines, bumper cars... there are 20 mini-games in all, though some are just repeating the same basic theme.

The Sims-style part of the game has you walking around, listening to customers background chatter... sometimes they'll say things like "I'm so hungry!" or "I really have to go!" which I guess are cues that you need to install a burger vendor or washroom in that area. You can talk to them too; try to make them your friend by going through a tedious multiple-choice series of conversation topics, and/or challenge them to play some mini-games.

There's also stats with how well your theme park is doing; profit it's making, power consumption, etc. Kind of boring, but I haven't had to refer to it much so far.

This game is definitely skewed towards younger gamers; the mini-games are short & not overly difficult-- most games only use the left analog stick & 1 or 2 buttons... with the exception of the FPS games of course-- but don't be expecting Halo here (though there is dual-gun-wielding!) the FPS is pretty gentle; you shoot foam darts at robotic targets.

Even though it seems like there's lots to do, there's a lack of polish to Thrillville that makes it a bit clunkier than it should be. Little issues like when in conversation with customers, the text is often in the way. Overall the game looks.... not great. From The Sims to Grand Theft Auto, Sims-style games usually suffer from poor graphics, but even with that in mind, these are pretty bad, really. Walking around the park, sometimes the camera will get stuck and the screen will fill with light blooming, the models are all very blocky & basic looking. It's too bad, because with a bit more polish to the design & look, Thrillville could've been a really great game. It's not terrible by any means, it's still pretty fun.

For a budget price of $10.00, it's a great deal. But if I had gotten this game only for myself, I'm not sure I'd be replaying it much.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

PSP-3000: Do I want?

Been thinking a lot over the past few days about the PSP-3000.

I was shocked that Sony would throw out their PSP-2000 model not even a year after introducing it. Over the year, PSP sales increased upwards of 30%. But this is just another example of what a shitty company Sony is. As a Sony consumer, they've treated me terribly. I had problems with their PC PlayStation Store; one day for no reason it stopped allowing me to download content. I phoned up Sony customer support and their response was, "well, then you can't use it." Last I checked there's no HELP link *anywhere* on the site. What kind of commercial website has no way to contact & troubleshoot? A shitty one, apparently.

But Sony's lack of customer service is now extending into their hardware. Not only is PSP-3000 a quickie revision of a less-than-1-year-old piece of hardware, Sony's MP3 player division has been doing the same thing; releasing an mp3 player, then a few months later, discontinuing that model & releasing another model with pretty much the same features except maybe 1 or 2... either added OR taken away. It's random.

Sony sucks, basically. But by some miracle they created a wonder device back in 2005, the Sony PSP. And even though the promise & legacy of that great platform is being watered down, the PSP-3000 is still a fairly impressive piece of kit.

For me, I wouldn't have been all that concerned about the PSP-3000 based on the initial news of its new features: I don't use Skype, so I'd probably never even use the built-in mic. A less reflective screen sounds really nice, but that alone isn't enough to make me want to upgrade.

What really makes me mad is the added "enjoy games on a non-progressive (non-HD) tv".... because that's a feature I *REALLY* want. I love being able to play video on my standard-definition 27" 4:3 Mitsubishi tv. I love that I can watch video on my PSP Slim when I'm out, then finish it off when I get home on the big screen, or vice-versa. That's what I'd do with games if I could have. Why couldn't Sony have had that feature in the PSP-2000, instead of crippling it like they did?

So that, and the new screen, are the big reasons I want to upgrade to the PSP-3000. But I already have 1 PSP-1001, and 2 PSP-2000.... they are both the Star Wars white edition. I bought the 2nd SW white PSP Slim early July 2008, to replace my broken one if it isn't/can't be fixed properly. I don't really want a 4th PSP. And I sure don't want to send a message to Sony that I like what they're doing, far from it.

I'm now eying everything Sony-related with suspicion. I saw a great sale on some games next week, one of them is Secret Agent Clank, on for $20.00. Normally I'd jump at that, but now I'm wondering if Clank might be part of a future PSP-3000 bundle, like for the pearl white PSP-3000. They haven't given any details about that model, if it's going to be released as a bundle, but it probably is. So stores might be trying to blow out copies of Secret Agent Clank before it hits. This is all speculation, but I saw the exact same thing with Daxter a few months before the Daxter pack came out, and with God of War: Chains of Olympus before that bundle hit stores. If I decide to get the pearl white PSP-3000, I don't want to be stuck with a game I already own if it comes bundled with it.

I don't know if Sony just thinks they made their $$$ off of past customers, so forget them, or what? That's the way they've been treating their customer base lately. Not just PSP-3000, that's only the latest symptom.

If I was sensible, instead of shelling out that $200.00 for a PSP-3000, I'd put it towards getting an HD tv, I guess.....


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PSP-3000 announced

Today Sony confirmed the rumour of a new PSP model is true, they are releasing the PSP-3000.

It looks like a very slight modification to the current PSP-2000 (PSP Slim) design; the HOME button is now a PS-logo button, and there's a built-in microphone. The other announced feature (as of this writing) is that the screen is supposed to be glare-reducing, making it easier to see outdoors. PSP-3000 also allows games to be played on non progressive-scan (non- HD) tvs (PSP Slim can only play games on HD tvs)

Ugh. Basically this is still the PSP Slim, with a mic added in (presumably for Skype) and overall, that's both good & bad.

Good - it doesn't really alienate current PSP Slim users, and all the PSP Slim accessories (what few there are right now) should still all be compatible.

Bad - why bother making such tiny changes? Just come out with a whole new PSP with 2 analog nubs, and major improvements over the current system. If you really want a new PSP model, make it a new generation of PSP already.

I am not impressed with Sony releasing a new PSP model less than a year after the previous PSP Slim, with only very minor changes. This follows the Apple trend with iPods, and maybe Nintendo's history of (Gameboy series) handhelds too... but as a customer, I think it's very wrong for companies to do this, it just screws us over. Pisses me off.

The only new feature I can use out of that list is the glare-reducing screen. I like that idea because you really can't look at the PSP screen outdoors. It gets washed out, even on an overcast day.

EDIT: an article at IGN just stated that the PSP-3000 will allow gameplay on non-HD tvs! Now *THAT'S* a feature I REALLY want, as I use the video out feature on my current PSP Slim quite a bit. It's just awesome to be able to playback movies on my tv, you can watch with friends, etc.... but I can't play games because I don't have a progressive-scan (HD) tv.

This is just me wildly speculating, but I think that we'll see the previous PSP Slim colours (white, red, etc) but without the Darth Vader or Kratos artwork on the back. But I'm sure they'll have other models with artwork on the back of some kind.

Integrating the mic into the system, and the PS logo on the HOME button might be a sign they're going to do something big with those. But then again, it could just be the PSP Slim's version of the IR* (on the old PSP)....

Joystiq's PSP-3000 gallery

*for those who don't know, there was an IR port on the original PSP-1000 (PSP fat) model. Sony never figured out a use for it, so it just went away with the PSP Slim.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed

A few weeks ago I was in Vancouver & spotted this in Superstore at Metrotown, Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed for $20.00. Most other stores are selling it for $40.00-$50.00. So at $20.00 I had to pick it up.

DAH! BWU has been on my list of "must get" games since I played through both Destroy All Humans! 1 & 2 on my (gen 1) Xbox. I really enjoyed those games, they are short but have fun gameplay and don't take themselves seriously. I love games that can crack me up.

DAH! BWU is the 3rd DAH! game, I was really glad to see it was coming to Wii (since that's the only "current gen" system I have) but I was concerned that it was developed by a different company(Locomotive Games) than DAH1 & 2 (Pandemic Australia-- now owned by EA Games)

Like Star Trek: Conquest, the review scores for DAH! BWU are mediocre-- 5-6/10 or so. And at first, I was not loving the gameplay as much as the previous games. The Wii controls aren't as smooth as the Xbox controls. Like the previous games, DAH! BWU is pretty short.... really only about 5 hours of gameplay if you're barrelling through. The missions are too simple in design, and the humour is not as funny as the previous games. Let's face it, Destroy All Humans! is NOT the game franchise to find highbrow comedy; the jokes are meant to be goofy & sophmoric. That's part of its charm! But even with that in mind, the writing on DAH! BWU is pretty lame. Waaay too many "Big Willy" jokes. Most of the writing falls flat.

The open world design is still here, but the maps are definitely smaller than the previous games. For instance, in the city map, you can walk up to a bunch of buildings, but there's an invisible wall that prevents you from going into that area. It's like half the city is cut off from you. A bit annoying.

Still, after getting used to the Wii controls, this game is a lot of fun! The core gameplay of just going around & destroying humans, smashing buildings is still there. Adding the Big Willy mech was a really inspired touch. He steers like the saucer vehicle, doesn't do quite as much mass-scale damage, but it's REALLLLLY fun to stomp around town, pick up cars (or anything) and make throwing gestures with the Wii remote to throw or smash the stuff he picks up. And he has a few weapons like heat ray eyes. Aside from Big Willy, another thing that's better than the Xbox versions is the PK (pyrokineses) power; before, you used button presses to pick up people & throw them around, but here it's done by holding the A + B buttons on the wii remote, like tongs, and flinging them around with gestures. Because of the wii remote, you can hold onto things, use them as shields, smash them up against other things, etc. Very fun!

Like Star Trek: Conquest , I think DAH! BWU got lower scores than it deserves. It's not the best game ever, but it is still fun, especially at a budget price.

DAH!BWU "training" video:


Sunday, August 17, 2008

sending in PSP for repair

So.... I just finished boxing up
my PSP Slim to ship it out tomorrow to get it serviced.

I bought my Darth Vader white PSP Slim the day it came out, Oct.9, 2007. I was pretty amazed how light & good it felt over my old one.

But since early this year, I've been having this problem with the UMD drive; when I have a disc in but not playing, the drive would start up
randomly, even though I was doing other things like watching video or listening to music off of the memory stick. Basically the drive was "resetting", it's thinking that the drive door is being opened and a new UMD is put inside, so it starts up again... at random.

This seems like it might be a minor inconvenience, but it does it while I'm playing a game. So what happens is that the grey "Do you want to quit the game?" screen will pop up in the middle of playing, at random.

I taped a snippet of it, this is my PSP:

It's been getting worse & worse, and now it basically happens almost all the time.

I finally broke down & called Sony last week about it. The 1 year warranty covers Canada, but it's not the same program as in the U.S. In the U.S., if you need to send in your PSP I think Sony sends out a mailing box for you to send it in, then they replace your PSP with a refurbished one. I assume they fix your PSP and send it to the next guy who sends in a broken PSP.

But in Canada, they have a 3rd party repair depot that fixes PSPs, and presumably sends the same one back to the owner. I have to pay to ship it to them, then they pay to ship it back to me. They don't send me no box! Oh well.

So I've tried to box it up as carefully as I could, I wrapped it up in layers & layers of packing paper, and tried to make sure nothing jiggles around in the box. I hope it arrives ok, I did write "fragile" on the box but knowing Canada Post, I'm sure they'll ignore that.

I took off my Invisible Shield screen protector. Since putting one on my first PSP, this has been my go-to brand of screen protector. They have a lifetime replacement policy, you send back the old one & they apparently send you a new one. But I've never had reason to take off the IS on my old PSP, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go. It went pretty well. It's like a thick sticker, I was surprised how securely it stuck to the screen as I peeled it back. There was no residue left on the screen either, which many people have concerns about. So I'll have to mail that back to them eventually.

I also included a CD-R with the above video, and gave them the YouTube link if they need to see what the problem is (in addition to me telling them in the letter)

The turnaround is supposed to be about 7 business days... so I figure at least 2 weeks. Man.
I really love my PSP. Like REALLY LOVE it. It's my favourite console, because it does so much more than gaming. I originally bought my first PSP in 2006 as an mp3 player primarily, with games being secondary. But I never realised how cool & multi-functional the PSP was, and I've used it almost every day since May 2006.

I hope they fix the problem & it comes back to me as good as new. Worried.......


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Star Trek: Conquest

So about a month ago I picked up some really great deals on Wii games at EB Games. .. I bought Trauma Center: New Blood, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Star Trek: Conquest-- all "new" and all for about $10.00 each. Killer deal!

I've been playing Star Trek: Conquest the last few days.... it's fun.

Here's a trailer for the game:

This is a budget title, when it was released it was about $35.00 (Canadian) on the shelf. So from that I don't think expectations were too high for this title. But for huge Star Trek fans like me, we eagerly anticipate games set in the ST universe (and desperately pray that they don't suck)

Set during the Next Generation timeline (roughly) all the ships come from the shows Star Trek:TNG, Voyager & DS9.

The concept is basically, all the major races in the Star Trek universe are at war with each other. Just a big free-for-all, and even the normally peace-loving Federation are hell-bent for conquest. Gene Roddenbery might be spinning in his grave... if he was still alive maybe he'd be all like, "WTF??? War war war??? Where's the 'Wagon-Train to the Stars' I envisioned??" But then again, he would probably be cashing in his cheque & not asking questions.... let's face it, massive starship combat: it's just TOO FUN of an idea NOT to make a game of!

The game is turn-based light strategy, with some action elements. You move from system to system, and fight any opposition there. You can do this in 1 of 2 ways: "sim" style, which basically has the Wii fight out the battle for you, or "arcade" style, where you actually control 1 of your ships (you can switch between them all) and do all your flying/targeting yourself.

Most of the fun comes from this "arcade" style, the "sim" mode is best only if you don't want to take the time to fight it out. One of the problems with sim mode is that you can lose battles that you shouldn't really lose... the control is out of your hands. But sometimes the battles are just too slow/tedious that you just want to hit the sim button & move on.

Despite a bit of resource management, the game isn't super complex or deep. If you're a hardcore RTS or turn-based game player, Star Trek: Conquest probably won't satisfy. For me, I liked that it was fairly accessible right away (even though there's no tutorial)

The reviews for this game have been about 5-6/10-- mediocre, but if you read some of them, they actually admit to some entertainment value. I found that to be oddly paradoxical when I was researching the game, but after playing it... it is fun just to fly around & shoot up other ships in a top-down manner (maybe similar to Geometry Wars which I haven't played) but it is repetitive; you're doing the same kind of fighting every time... I think the reviews give it mediocre scores because the overall game & production values are kind of low. There's voice acting, but a lot of it is repeated & gets very tedious before long. You'll hear "This is for Earth!" way more than you'd ever want to. And while the interface & ships look very faithful to Star Trek, the top-down ship view & the space backgrounds are nice, but don't push the Wii as far as graphics. Sometimes it can be hard to see what's what because some ships will be green, but the nebula in the background is green... ugh. Could've used some polish.

That's the way the whole game feels, like it's a bit rough around the edges production-wise. Nothing I've come across is outright BROKEN-- I've gotta point that out. There is some lag & slowdown during some big ship battles... and I've had problems with the game freezing & locking up, requiring a Wii power reset. Judging by the reports it's a common glitch that should've been discovered after only a few hours of play by the testers.... if there were any.

The music is the same music used in the PSP/DS game Star Trek: Tactical Assault (I have both versions) and probably the Xbox 360 game Star Trek: Legacy (I don't have) All these ST games are published by Bethesda, though they are all developed by different studios. It would've been REALLY NICE to have had actual music from the movies, like James Horner's stuff from Star Trek II-III. The game music is not bad, but it's not quite Star Trek.

There's 2 gameplay modes, "Skirmish" & "Campaign". Skirmish is just 1 battle, you set up the parameters, play & it's over. Campaign mode is the actual turn based game, with the battles being the "skirmishes". As you win a campaign with each race, you unlock things you can use in Skirmish mode, but otherwise there's no real story or things to finish in the game. It's very pick up & play. It reminds me a lot of Star Wars Battlefront's Galactic Conquest mode, the turn based & map movement elements are very similar.

Overall, it's fun, but not really deep. Totally worth $10.00, I'd even pay $20.00-$30.00 for it. But I'm a huge Star Trek fan.


white PSP slim battery covers review w./pics

:::Note: originally posted on the Playstation Underground PSP forum 05-20-2008:::

I just got a 2 pack of battery covers from deal extreme today... it's this package:


in the 2 pack one is a regular slim cover, the other being for the extended fat PSP battery.

I have to say, the slim cover looks really great! This is at night when I'm looking at it, but I've been looking at it under a bright lamp and it looks exactly the same shade of white as the PSP slim! It looks pretty much exactly like the regular slim battery cover except no Darth Vader. The only difference I can see so far is no Sony logo.

EDIT: Looking at it in the daytime, I can sort of see a VERY SLIGHT difference in whiteness. Maybe it's because I know it's not the original cover... but it's only if I stare at it fro awhile that I can even notice anything. It doesn't look out of place.

However, the extended battery PSP cover..... is a total piece of crap!! It DOESN'T FIT PROPERLY. I can't even get both teeth to go into the groove, so one side is not properly fitted on, and not only is there a gap, but the lock doesn't close properly. It could very easily fall off. DO NOT USE.

slim cover = great

extended cover = complete junk

But for $3.00-$4.00 or so, it's totally worth getting just for the slim cover alone, if you really hate the Darth Vader image. Me, I *love* the Darth Vader back on my PSP Slim, it's one of the reasons I bought it. But I know a lot of people want a white PSP Slim, but want a plain back, so for those people, this cover is the answer to their prayers.

There is a bit of a gap on one side, but it's exactly the same gap I have with the official Vader cover:

The other side looks great, again, looks the same as the official Vader cover:

All these pics are of the non-Vader cover seen in pic 1.


DealExtreme PSP battery cover review

:::originally posted on the Playstation Underground PSP forum 11-27-2007:::

So, a review of the dealextreme PSP Slim battery cover.

As found at this link, they sell a battery cover for the PSP-2000 (PSP Slim), that allows it to cover a PSP-1000 (PSP fat) battery.

By the way, I'm using a Invisible Shield brand screen protector on my PSP Slim.

The price was pretty cheap, I paid $3.66 CANADIAN, it's a little bit more than that in U.S. funds^_^

They sent me a cofirmation email the day after I placed my order. it took a week for them to send me an email telling me they shipped it. And 2 weeks after that to actually get it. 3 weeks from order to arrival... kind of slow. (Keep in mind this is to Canada) but the shipping is free.

The packaging is basic, as you can see there's not even anything printed on the back.

Luckily the bubble packaging is not sealed, so it's easy to slide it open. The inside of the covers are a little sticky & have a bit of gunk on them:

I took a kleenex & tried to wipe it off but it left kleenex residue over it. Kinda gross. You can see a bit of the laminating spray on the inside, but it's not like you're gonna see any of this when the cover is on your PSP.

On the outside, the covers look great. They're glossy, meant to blend in & emulate the gloss of the PSP-2000.

obviously, these ones only come in black, wish I could get a white cover, but I'll wait for the official Sony one to come out. I have faith....

Comparing my PSP-2000 cover to the fat one: since my cover is white, it's hard to see in the pic, but the hooks & connections look very much the same between the 2 covers.

My PSP-1001 battery in my PSP-2001:

And with the new cover on:

The new cover fits really nicely. It actually fits more snugly than my official cover!

As can be seen, there's a bulge similar to the old PSP-1001, which makes the PSP Slim feel slightly lopsided... but it's not that bad. Also, the PSP Slim does feel a bit heavier with the old battery in it.

But the tradeoff in extra power could make it very worth it:

This is my old 1800 maH PSP-1001 battery. There should be even longer life is using the 2200 maH Stamina battery. Again, I'm going to wait til Sony makes an official cover available. But for now, this is nice.


UMD carrying case/pouch review

:::originally posted on the Playstation Underground PSP forum 12-29-2006:::

Awhile ago I bought this UMD carrying case/pouch. It holds 8 UMDs.

It's really nice looking soft case with lots of little stylish touches, but I was disappointed by the UMD holder sleeves inside.

This is one of 2 recent UMD cases that are "officially" licensed by Sony, they showed up at my local Toys R Us just before xmas.

It's a clamshell design; it unzips to reveal plastic UMD sleeves inside. The body of the case is a nylon material similar to camera cases. It's somewhat stiff, but still soft... you wouldn't want to have this case squished under a ton of textbooks or anything heavy like that.

On the outside, the PSP logo & Playstation logo are prominent & look very cool. The PS logo is even on the zipper handles! Nice. There's a carabiner clip for hooking it to a bag or a belt.

On the back is another zipper pocket, it looks like see-through mesh, but it isn't. It's a nice pocket, but very small... you could probably only fit 2 memory stick pro duos. Not your headphones, maybe even not a cleaning cloth.

Inside, there are 4 plastic sleeves that hold a UMD on each side (holds in total 8 UMDs) this is the weakest part of the case. The plastic sleeves are really thin & flimsy. The backing of the sleeve is this coarse paper-like material that looks & feels like a Bounce dryer cloth (only without the waxy feel of course) it's pretty much the same type of material used in cheap CD holder sleeves. I was really hoping for an acordian-like set of pockets for the UMDs.

Because the sleeves are so thin, they don't offer any kind of cushion between UMDs. So when you're flipping through your discs, it's easy to have them slap against each other. UMDs aren't exactly the most durable things, so you don't really want that.


-it's lightweight
-stylish looking


-wouldn't protect UMDs against being crushed
-sleeves are cheap & flimsy
-bulky design


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