The Giants won the Super Bowl and I’m exhausted. Imagine how the players feel! Meanwhile here is a little something about my new PSP

I’ve been a video game player ever since I was a kid when my family got an Atari 2600 home video game system. Ahhh—the days of Space Invaders. I don’t play as many games as I used to in the heyday of the Nes, Super Nes and the Genesis but I’ve had plenty of systems. I even was one of the few who had an Atari Jaguar (AvP ruled). I currently play my XBox 360 for laughs and giggles.

I’ve always had a special fondness for the handheld systems. Ever since Matel Electronic Footbal. I preferred the more advanced (ha) Coleco Electronic Football but I played my neighbor’s first and it was Matel.

Handhelds have always been way behind the technological curve compared to the console systems (the ones you hook up to your TV i.e. XBox 360) but their appeal is that you can take them with you. And there is an intimacy in a handheld game that you don’t get from a console or a computer. It’s right there in your hands and in your face.

I have also found that since the handhelds can’t wow you with shinny spinning graphics like the consoles can there is more emphasis on actually making good games. Gameplay rules on the handhelds where graphics rule on the consoles. There is usually a different and wider variety of games to be found on the handhelds. Tons of quirky little puzzle and strategy games abound.

Over the years I’ve owned many different varieties of Nintendo Gameboys, a Sega Game Gear, an Atari Lynx, two NeoGeo Pocket Colors (had to trade cards with myself in Cardfighters Clash), and probably a couple of others that I can’t remember right now. Currently I have been jamming out on the latest variation of the Gameboy: the Gameboy Dual Screen (DS). It’s pretty neat. It has two screens, one being a touch screen. Games are played with a stylus as well as buttons and there is a wide variety of interesting games. The touch screen and stylus have made for a new type of game that can only be found on the DS. Good stuff.

I also like the Nintendo DS because it’s rugged. There is nothing precious about it. It has one screen on the top and the touch screen on the bottom and is hinged in the middle. It folds up on itself so that both screens are inside and well protected. It uses cartridges rather than a disc so the games are rugged too. You really can toss the thing around a bit with no harm done. No protective case needed.

On the other hand Sony’s hand held system: the Playstation Portable (PSP) is a delicate thing comparably. It’s a beautiful looking machine with a nice big, well lit, and pretty screen. The graphics are much nicer than the DS but you’re not tossing the PSP around at all. They sell all sorts of screen guards and protective cases for it and if you’re going to haul it around you better get one. It feels like if you drop it once it’s going to break. That might not be the case but who wants to find out. Definitely a more precious object.

The DS had been enough for me for the last couple of years so I never got around to buying a PSP. I’ve wanted one but they’re not cheap ($170 or so) and I hadn’t been able to save up my money and get one until now.

I first put the PSP on my Amazon wish list back in September. Sony was coming out with some new special edition packages of the PSP and I like special editions of video game consoles. I like them for no other reason than they are a little different from the normal ones. That’s all.

I picked out the Star Wars special edition one because it was white (rather than the standard black) and I wanted to try the Star Wars Battlefront game. I’m not even a Star Wars fan but the game got some good reviews and I wanted to play a first person shooter (FPS) on the PSP. My PSP was delivered and I cracked it open. Worst “out of the box” experience ever! I’ll tell you about it next week.