PSP

On my way to UBZ, I bought a PlayStation Portable at the airport duty free store. It was being sold as the value pack and Ridge Racer game together, which came out at roughly the retail price of the two individual items minus 10% GST.

As well as playing games it can be used as a portable audio or video player and photo viewer, using memory stick duos as storage. As the device doesn’t come with any computer software, the manual provides all the details about what formats to use for audio/video and where to put the files on the memory stick. This is quite useful for people using minority operating systems like Linux :) .

I wrote a little FDI file for the PSP to expose the portable_audio_player capability via HAL, but there doesn’t seem to be any standard properties to expose the other capabilities.

One of the more annoying aspects of the PSP is text entry. It seems as if they looked at the text entry used by consoles and mobile phones and combined the worst aspects of both:

  • There is a grid of buttons, each of which corresponds to 3 or 4 letters which can be selected by pressing the button multiple times.
  • You use the direction pad to select the button to press.
  • No predictive text input or similar.

For games this isn’t that big a problem, since they don’t generally require much text entry. It is more of a problem for the web browser where it is a lot more important. Something like Dasher might have been a much more useful text entry system, but I guess they decided to go with a more conventional approach.

3 Comments

  1. Posted 29 November, 2005 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Actually most games supply their own text input system. Socom for example provides a full onscreen keyboard.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted 29 November, 2005 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s annoying. Using a grid of letters is relatively conventional when you only have a direction pad and some buttons, but using a grid of telephone-style keys is insane.

    And yeah, dasher would be more useful; perhaps you should port it. :)

  3. Posted 30 November, 2005 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Damon: my sample size was pretty small: the only game I’ve played that required text entry so far was Ridge Racer, which used the horrible phone style interface from the firmware. I’m not surprised that third party developers decided not to use it.