Woohoo! I finally got my PSP Slim component video cables in the mail on Friday. I was a tad disappointed to find out that Sony held the release of the cables until only recently (the Daxter bundle with the Silver Slim unit was released much earlier in the month), but the wait has been worth it. I promised my impressions on the video-out option, and I always keep my word. So here they are.
First, a little disclaimer: games cannot be displayed without the component cables. Sony has released composite cables, but you can only view movies, music, and photos with them. To play games on your TV, you need the component wires, as the games are developed with a progressive scan-enabled screen in mind. They’re the same price, so it’s not really a problem. You just have to make sure your TV has component inputs (most HDTV’s have them at this point).
So now we get into the nitty-gritty. UMD movies look surprisingly good. If you’ve seen DVD’s displayed in 480p, then you’ll feel right at home with UMD movies. The resolution is crisp, and the colors are vibrant. If you have a PSP Slim, I would recommend never buying another DVD. You’d be wasting money now. Which is surprising, since we’ve said the same thing about UMD’s up to this point. Why they didn’t include this option with the first PSP is beyond me.
As for games, it’s a little disappointing that the output is completely surrounded by black borders. It’s not as involving as say, playing a game on your PS2, but it’s still cool to see your games on the big screen. I put in over three hours of WipEout Pure, and it felt like a new game to me.
Unfortunately the graphical fidelity is a little lacking in some aspects. For example, the jaggies are far more noticeable when displayed on a bigger screen. It’s only logical really. If you’re an unassuming consumer you’ll think nothing of it, but for the anal retentive gamer, you’ll feel a little disappointed.
Overall, PSP games on a TV look fantastic, but it also depends on how good your game looked to begin with. Nothing will save Pimp My Ride, sadly.
To put it simply, the video-out option is an amazing feature, and will be used often in my house. You’ll wish it were a little better in the graphics department, but it’s still more than capable. If you’re used to Dreamcast-level graphics (which you should be), then you’ll be fine.
And it’s also funny to see how good it feels to play games with the PSP in your hands. The PSP basically turns into a Dual Shock controller, and it works amazingly well. It has a nice feel to it, concerning shape and weight, and it never seems weird. And the video wire is about the same length as a Dual Shock, making the comparison even more justified in my mind.
For any of those experimental techies out there, I have a request: play Lair on your PSP with Remote Play, and then output it to your TV through the component cables. I want to know if it makes Lair into a playable game, while still looking fantastic. I expect a response soon.