Technology With A Purpose

As part of my ‘kit’ travelling to the recent Ready-Up team meet I packed my PSP. I’d dug it off the shelf and put a charge into the beast on the off-chance that I had a few minutes to kill and there wasn’t an Xbox 360 handy (there wasn’t – actually there was but that’s another story) and it wasn’t until I’d slotted Motorstorm: Arctic Edge into the back and got cracking that I remembered something, I REALLY like this device!

PSP-Motorstorm

My PSP is one of the older models, it’s a bit bigger, a bit heavier and would probably cause a curl in the lip of the carriers of the newest model – fools! – but during my re-discovery and enjoyment I got to thinking about the movies I re-formatted and watched on the PSP and what today’s devices are capable of.

As more hardware becomes general in its purpose we’re offered the opportunity to do more with less. The, now ubiquitous, iPhone provides the most solid example of this multiplicity of purpose and games for the device are being reviewed right here. The PSP plays games and movies and streams media. DS owners can enjoy reading eBooks as well as looking after their Brain Training and learning how to cook! Even our consoles, former bastion of the dedicated system, are now multi-use platforms – although it could be argued that for some the PS3 remains a BluRay player with a games console attached – featuring streaming audio and video from the internet, local HD playback of movies and the like.

And the technology keeps on coming. The iPad – now scheduled for an April release in the UK – provides access to a newer control set than even the iPhone with a bigger surface area to play with and I have no doubt that there are devs out there building games for the iPad which will take full advantage of that device’s special features. The zero-touch control systems are also bubbling up. Project Natal for the ‘360 picks up where the Wii-Mote took the first steps in a journey down the road of gesture only control and interaction and Sony are following suit with their motion controller wand “Move” – albeit with a recently announced delay pending increased game support.

PCs of course have always been multi-purpose systems, this is one of the reasons I’ve moved away from them for gaming. At the time this decision was made I was considering the purchase of a £129 graphics card for my current PC and the original Xbox was only a few sheckles more. My conclusion was that with the new card, some more RAM and probably a new processor, gaming on the PC was getting to be an expensive business and it made much more financial sense to buy a box which would always work for the games I was able to buy. For me this decision still holds true today and I just don’t ‘get’ the notion of spending the huge amounts folks do on a gaming PC. Especially as this is generally tuned and used only for that singular purpose.

It’s a strange dichotomy that we’re seeing our consoles becoming multi-service platforms and PCs being single purposed for gaming – but that’s the great thing about technology!

My name is John Brown and I am a geek. It’s not longer something that’s sneered at or mocked, some of our national treasures are self-confessed geeks and proud of it. Technology has always been part of my life and will remain a greater part of it too as time goes on. The thing is that technology is becoming so accessible that the population at large are also becoming geeks, they’re simply doing it under the cover of consumerism. Our consoles have had pretty interfaces applied to them, our phones have become ‘smart’ and yet simple, our working lives are becoming ever more point and click (even stacking shelves involves the use of a hand-held device now). We sit in our homes with laptops to hand and reference the internet and our good friend Mr. Google sooner than you can say “What does ideology mean?” in order to greater understand ourselves, our lives and those around us.

Special Edition 'Wood Veneer" version!
Atari 2600 'Wood Veneer" version!

The greatest thing, for me, though is that it’s fun! Seriously, how much fun do we as a collective have with our tech’ nowadays? Oh sure the Atari 2600 VCS had its moments, but ‘Pong’ gets a bit dry after a while. Our fun is becoming more sophisticated, more involved and more immersive. Our games are becoming more experiential and more open to the whims of our individual personalities and our gaming lives are more connected now than they ever have been before. We have technology to thank for this, technology regardless of brand, affiliation, genre or effect. The learning curve can be steep at times but I’m glad to be on it and I’m glad of the company I’ve found along the way!


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4 responses to “Technology With A Purpose”

  1. Darach avatar
    Darach

    The PSP does look lovely. But how do you plug it into the tv?
    And just so you know, ideology is the study of passports and identity papers which which to proove you’re old enough to drink – I didn’t have to Google it or nuffin’. 🙂

  2. John avatar

    Hooked! 🙂 “An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things” the inclusion was it’s own sub-text you see!
    Re. the PSP – older models can’t be connected to a TV, but newer ones (PSP 2000 and on) can. You can stream content TO the PSP though, from any DLNA compliant server, there are many available out there for free for almost any platform you could have.

  3. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I still ahve my original PSP and had been interested in the PSP Go. More for a media device than a gaming only handheld. Seems I might be better off with the iPod Touch. Still, the Go does look nice.

  4. Simon avatar
    Simon

    I loved my PSP.

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