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Backstage: PlayStation Portable (PSP) Photo Gallery 2

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, December 30, 2004
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We’ve opened our second (and likely final) gallery of photos of the PlayStation Portable, including:

  • More iPod/PSP comparison shots

  • Detailed pictures of Sony’s new UMD Discs and Memory Stick Pro Duo media

  • Comparisons of the UMDs with CDs, Nintendo DS game cards

  • Comparisons of the PSP with Nintendo DS (newly added, end of gallery)

  • Screenshots of a couple of PSP games (Ridge Racers and Lumines)

  • Game boxes, Value Pack accessories, and interesting close-ups of the PSP’s clear acrylic exterior components, plus

  • Fingerprint smudge shots to show how the unit looks after typical use - not for the weak-stomached.

    This will bring to a close our quasi-coverage of the PSP, but you can go back and look at our previous Backstage articles on the subject if they’re of interest.

  • « Backstage: New Podcast finished, posted

    Backstage: Guessing what’s to come in January »

    Comments

    1

    I’ve had a chance to compare the sound quality of a colleagues PSP to his iRiver and my iPod, and additionally the Nintendo DS using a LikSang Movie player.

    Based on trio of eclectic MP3s (4 Seasons “Winter”, Pink Floyd’s “Dark side of the Moon”, Lascivious Biddies “Truck Song”) and we both agreed that the PSP’s audio behavior is pretty inferior to both the iPod and iRiver. Any sense of a precinium of sound was fairly distant, something that shouldn’t happen with strong vocals (like the Biddies). It was better than the LikSang doohickie, but that’s not saying much.

    While it’s nice to check out gadgets here, the PSP sound quality is no where near an iPod or iRiver in quality. This is really just a toy.

    Posted by Jim In Holland on December 31, 2004 at 7:09 AM (PDT)

    2

    Notice the white earphones…

    Posted by iPodNod in London, UK on December 31, 2004 at 11:49 AM (PDT)

    3

    Two predictions: first, the vast majority of people who use the PSP as a music player will neither care about staging/proscenium/precinium issues, or even know what that means; and second, the vast majority of people who use the PSP will not use it as more than infrequently as a music player until Memory Stick PD prices drop further.

    I agree strongly with your comments to the extent that you think the PSP will be first and foremost a game playing device, but whether it’s properly classed as a “toy” is another question. It does have some serious cross-over potential, just not with hard disk-based iPods (yet).

    Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 31, 2004 at 1:27 PM (PDT)

    4

    “know what that means”

    You got that right! Is this something to do with surround sound?

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=proscenium

    pro·sce·ni·um
    Pronunciation Key (pr-sn-m, pr-)
    n. pl. pro·sce··ni·ums or pro·sce··ni·a (-n-)

      1. The area of a modern theater that is located between the curtain and the orchestra.
      2. The stage of an ancient theater, located between the background and the orchestra.
      3. A proscenium arch.

    Posted by Demosthenes on December 31, 2004 at 2:02 PM (PDT)

    5

    In an ideal listening/audio reproduction environment, sound should not be one-dimensional (all instruments, voice elements, etc. sound flat) or two-dimensional (elements appear to be primarily divided left/right/center, perhaps more), but rather appear in three dimensions with a concept of a “stage,” whereby individual elements can appear to be playing at varying depths and locations from the listener.

    You’ll typically need three things to achieve this 3-D effect: an appropriate source recording, an appropriate playback device, and an appropriate listening device. Lacking any of the three will result in sound that is one- or two-dimensional at best unless the problem is the source recording, the playback device is capable of faking the effect and the listening device is capable of reproducing the faked effect. This was part of the theory behind Dolby’s Pro Logic and several other psuedo-surround systems.

    Advanced systems use more than two audio sources (e.g. speakers) to produce real surround, and use multi-channel encoded source recordings such as Super Audio CDs to reproduce the artist’s intended sense of depth. It is taken almost as a given that _typical_ users of MP3 devices - generally intended for two-channel (stereo) output - currently do not look for accurate depth/stage reproduction of even presently surround-friendly recordings. As quality of reproduction, and surround reproduction become greater marketing points in portable audio devices, however, this may change. And at that point the iPod and comparable devices are in for a problem unless they’ve adapted to user demands.

    FWIW, Sony originally promised that the PSP would be capable of 7.1-channel surround decoding, but probably dropped this specification before releasing the product (without an optical audio output port) as most people today just don’t care. The omission of this feature places the PSP far closer to parity with the iPod than as its superior in audio reproduction.

    Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 31, 2004 at 3:36 PM (PDT)

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