Backstage: Finally, a good Sony PSP case!

pic Admittedly, my PSP’s been gathering dust for the past month or so as it awaits the potential greatness that is Wipeout Pure. But what arrived today is the single item I’ve been waiting for since the PSP was first released: a good case. A really good case.

What appears in the photograph here (and in a collection of four shots you’ll see if you click Read more) is the PSP Silicone Jacket, a surgical-grade rubber case that addresses the three major issues every PSP owner comes to fear roughly thirty seconds after opening Sony’s box: screen protection, body protection, and the bulkiness of Sony’s and other case options.

The PSP protection kit, which is on the cusp of introduction by Power Support, starts with a seriously excellent screen protector made from a resilient plastic and no-goo adhesive. Installed as part of the case, you can’t tell it’s on the PSP – it’s crystal clear and easily distinguishable from most of the cheap PDA screen protectors we’ve seen elsewhere.

Then there’s the silicone sleeve, which covers the PSP’s entire face, sides, back, and bottom, leaving small holes for the speakers, power and headphone ports, side switches, and even the bottom-of-PSP accessory mounting slots. Surprisingly, the case’s thick rubber speaker holes actually seem to channel the sound towards you better than the stock design. And control is very good. The contoured button and joystick protectors are actually polished on the inside to prevent problems with grip and usability. Power Support even includes a rubber cap for the PSP’s quasi-analog joypad. Very smart.

Like the company’s iPod cases, there are lips of top protection, but the opening works to provide easy access to the UMD drive, infrared, and top L and R buttons. Full PSP top protection would be desireable, but for obvious reasons is somewhat impractical for typical use. How bulky is it? The sleeve isn’t thin, but it’s nowhere near as thick as Sony’s fat neoprene pack-in, and you don’t need to pull the case off every time you want to use the PSP.

Come the PSP’s launch at the end of this month, I would call this a required purchase for PSP owners. Pricing sounds a hint steep at $35 per kit, but we’ve had very, very good experiences with Power Support’s products in the past, and they’ve proved considerably more durable and enjoyable than a lot of the cases we’ve tested. This one’s staying on the PSP until something decidedly better comes along. Hit Read more to see the additional shots.

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