The iPod has been re-created yet again. Not that this latest version doesn’t include a few nice upgrades, but come on, Steve Jobs, how many times can you revamp an overrated device?! It seems as if Apple’s got to have an iPod for every purse, pocket size, and month of the year. Now, take a look at Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP): One size fits all. Perhaps because they got it right the first time?
Before I find myself hanging from a white headphone wire, let me just say that the iPod is a sexy unit. Apple has got it going on in design and usability, which is why my advertising department demands Macs. For that matter, I even have a Mac Mini tucked away on my desk for those special moments. But I find myself getting distracted—this isn’t about Macs or PCs, but instead about the iPod and the PSP.
For those who don’t know, Apple just released version 5 of its iPod. This model has been enhanced, which is another way of saying that it can now play videos. To support this feature, a bigger screen with nicer colors has been added. The new iPod still plays music, but now it can also let you watch TV shows, movies, or even commercials on its little screen.
Like the iPod, the PSP allows you to listen to music and watch videos. In fact, its video abilities are so good that Hollywood is actually selling Universal Media Disc (UMD) discs—the PSP format—specifically targeted to PSP owners. In addition to visual and audio entertainment, the PSP supports some excellent gameplay.
But this quick overview doesn’t really do either product justice, or explain why I think one is better than the other. So, let’s take a closer look at several aspects of the PSP and iPod to see how they compare. In particular, we’re going to examine design/usability, music experience, video experience, gaming experience, and of course the extras.