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PSP: Portable Entertainment Center

Updated on December 17, 2009

Sony PSP

In the portable gaming market Sony's PSP has really gotten a bum rap: it's too big, the disc based media is slow in loading, the umds break easily, the psp sounds like engines rattling loose from a jet while reading the discs, etc. For all of its short coming the PSP's truly an ingenius gadget.


First off, if you've got a scanner (or access to the internet for that matter - but I won't endorse piracy) you can easily read your books and comics on the go. PSPhoto is a freeware program easily downloaded and installed on your computer. With minimal set up (basically install and tell it where to put files), and the ability to transfer a wide array of media, PSPhoto is a must have for anyone who has a PSP. It's simple to transfer cbr (comic book reader files), txt, and jpegs to the PSP just by plugging the portable console into your computer using a usb adapter cord. The PSPhoto program automatically adjusts them to be easily legible on the PSP's advanced screen. One thing I should note is that for comic books it's best to adjust the screen size, on the PSP, by pressing triangle when a page on the comic is open then pressing 'view mode' until the comic fills the screen. You can then use the analog nub on the PSP to scroll up and down the page. If you're into mangas make sure to rotate all pages (choose rotate all whether you're in a jpeg, bmp, or cbr reader on your computer) before transfering through PSPhoto. If you do this the manga can easily be read by holding the PSP vertically (like an iphone) and paging though the manga with the right/left shoulder buttons. Text is just as easy to transfer; just drag to PSPhoto and voila.

The Online Books Page has over 35,000 legally free books available, easily saved to the computer and transferred to the PSP. Nothing beats reading Ambrose Bierce, Poe, and Lovecraft during a lunch break to lighten the mood of the day.

Any of the pics, comics, or text can easily be sent to another nearby PSP by waiting for the side bar menu to pop up to the right of the image (by hitting triangle) and pressing send (with the LAN switch on) while the other person presses receive in the same manner on their PSP. Laugh and share together.

Many DVDs and Blue Ray Discs also have a digital copy on them, allowing the media to be transferred from your computer to your PSP through the usb adapter cable. If you have movies/tv shows on disc (or in electric format on your computer) but they're not in the proper format for the PSP, you should look for PSP Video 9. This is another freeware program, easy to install, but with a bit more of a learning curve to use (I'll devote a future hub to an instructional for this program if there's an interest in it). The nice thing about PSP Video 9 is that it converts almost all video formats (avi, divx, xvid, flv (youtube), mpg, DVD) to PSP format. The only real downside is if you don't have a lot of ram memory on your computer it can be a bit on the slow side with conversion. It's cool though to be able to watch your favorite tv shows while waiting for the bus, at the in-laws for dinner, or awaiting an arraignment hearing.

There is another good video converter for the PSP: TVC (total video converter). It is much faster and converts a few more video formats than PSP Video 9, but you have to pay for it after 15 days trial period if you want to keep it (unless you have a slew of e-mail addresses and don't mind unistalling and reinstalling the program).

As far as gaming goes, digital is the wave of the future. By purchasing, and downloading PS1 and PSP game titles from Sony's Online Store (which curiously is much easier to do using the PSP's wireless function than your home computer - for shame Sony, get it together) you have the ability to download, and play, the games on up to 5 seperate systems. Not only that, but you can also play the PS1 titles on up to 5 different PlayStation 3s.

I'm not one for hacking the PSP - got mine at Rent a Center for way too much to risk bricking with a pandora battery- but with all of the programs available online you should be able to squeeze all the entertainment out of Sony's black box that you can. Keep Gaming!


Sony released their Comic Book Reader app a while ago, but just recently added the actual downloadable comics. While the pricing will need to eventually be adjusted (it's a bit high right now) it does offer some fairly cool features.

First off the comics are accessible directly from the Sony Store link on your PSP's Cross bar. At the top of the opening page is a new link titled comics. They have organized the lists in a fairly sensible manner. Make note of the fact that there are 16 free comics available to download. They range in size from 6 mb to 35 mb. The Store itself offers comics from such publishers as Marvel (of course), IDW, and Image comics to name a few. Here's to hoping that the excellent Walking Dead series eventually shows up.

The Comic Book Reader takes a couple notes from Marvel's Digital Comics Online. Once you load the app and choose a comic you scroll through it with the directional pad. Doing so zooms you in to images and dialogue (usually in an appropriate manner) just like Marvel's. A very cool added feature is that while viewing the comic if you press the 'select' button on the PSP you can listen to your own music. The mini audio dashboard is a bit limited on options, but none the less a nice feature.

The comics are in a proprietary mnb format. No word yet on the ability to convert cbr or pdf formatted comics into mnb, but I'll keep searching.


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