Monday, 19 January 2009

Gadget Review: GO!VIEW on PSP

A few months ago I was asked to trial GO!VIEW on PSP! A joint venture between Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and BSkyB. Giving PSP owners the opportunity to access TV Shows, Movies and Sports on-demand and on the move.

From top entertainment shows including Heroes, Desperate Housewives and The Mighty Boosh, through to sporting highlights such as Barclays Premier League football from Sky Sports, and a wide selection of top movies, there’s content to suit every PSP owner’s tastes. With a full range of programming that is frequently updated, GO!VIEW provides a constant source of entertainment for PSP owners to use wherever they want, whenever they want.

Pros
*High quality video codec and small file size
*Available directly from the PSP's Cross Media Bar (XMB)
*Recession-proof rental and subscription tariffs

Cons
*Not platform agnostic - should support Mac OS X and Windows
*Multiple pop-up windows during file transfer
*Library settings do not stick
*No download indicator after a programme has been selected - I accidentally downloaded the same content 3 times
*File transfer is clunky and counterintuitive
*Using the PC for file transfer is cumbersome! I'd rather the service be available via wireless connection - PSN for example
*The GO!VIEW application does not boast the intuitiveness of XMB, which goes against my expectations as a consumer of Sony products

If GO!VIEW quickly addresses the negatives (no longer behaving like a half-baked product), and the PSP undergoes a refresh to include a touch screen, the iPhone and iPod touch would be battling a genuine contender for the crown of portable King! Incidentally, the PSP's recent press and television advertising campaign confusingly implied a touch screen - the whole world in your pocket, yes, only if you buy an iPhone or iPod touch!

Whereas GO!VIEW failed to convey the 'wow' factor, Remote Play stole the show for me! Remote Play allows the PSP to directly access many features on a PlayStation 3 console from a remote location using the PS3's WLAN capabilities, a home network, or the Internet. I was able to watch PlayTV anywhere! Streaming 4Music into my studio enlivened the working day!

Going forward, I'd like to see GO!VIEW integrated into a future firmware update/download from PSN on the PS3! PSP + PS3 is an excellent combo and may inspire me to buy another PSP in the future.

As it stands, the PSP continues to flounder even with the delayed arrival of GO!VIEW... Is that Nintendo's DSi that I spy on the horizon?