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1995-2001
GamesFirst! Magazine

Mobile Monitor for PSone


star06.gif (4104 bytes)

by Interact

Monitor.jpg (4345 bytes)When the first pictures surfaced of the sexy new PSOne with an adorable portable monitor on its back, I thought to myself: "GameBoys are for kids." This is the Real Deal! All of my favorite games on the go. Of course, it would probably use batteries pretty fast, but - - What a Ride!

This is about 7 months later and there is no word on when, or if Sony will release the screen-part of this dream-team. A few other companies have tossed down the gauntlet and it doesn't look pretty. Pelican was the first with an oval-shaped screen that, by all accounts has a very blurry picture and poor sound, all for the high price of about $150.00. Next comes Interact, a company that is generally respected in the peripherals world, with a fantastic square-shaped screen that is roughly the same size as the PSOne, itself. Though a little bigger, it offered a very crisp screen, better sound (larger speakers, placed further apart), and the glorious benefit of RCA A/V inputs for use with other consoles or VCR/DVD players. A nice little collapsible stand completes the package enabling it to function as a stand-alone A/V monitor.

What happened? Nobody in the gaming sales community seams to have it. This reviewer did receive one, but it failed to even turn-on, and had to be returned. Could this be the Achilles' Heal of this fine instrument? In any case a new design appears to have come along, and it is a L O O S E R! Guess what I found starring back at me when I opened the package? The same pathetic oval design that Pelican released. Either Interact originally manufactured it for Pelican or they have adopted the crappy design, but in either case, the dream machine appears not to exist. An Interact company representative stated that the square design is the newer and will replace the oval-shaped one, but EB and Babbage's are only offering the oval ones. So this is the one that must be reviewed.

While it does offer A/V inputs, they are a strangely modified 1/8" plug that might be difficult to connect to an actual device. It additionally requires a large, AC-adapter that must be dragged along if one wishes to plug it into a wall outlet. Unfortunately, the screen is also BAD! Anyone who has ever used a decent digital camera or a newer video camera, knows that these little active-matrix screens are usually pretty snazzy, but this one showed almost no variation in shades of red, poor middle-grays and 1/16" of color bleed on every object on screen. On a 27" screen, this bleed wouldn't be a problem, but on a four inch screen it totally ruins the whole picture. The speakers are only about 1 inch apart and offer a very tinny sound with NO stereo-dimension. The biggest possible problem is that the screen that I received, and one a friend purchased, both had a crippling problem with overheating. It would work for about 10-minutes and then a strange interference would begin in the sound and work its way into the picture, eventually causing the screen to go black. Once it cooled down again, it would run another ten minutes or so. The bottom (where it connects with the PSOne) became very hot, and could prove to be a fire-hazard.

This is a dream that dies very hard in my heart. As a college student, this might have been like a fine lover: attentive, intimate and fulfilling. But instead it wound up being more like an irritating TV commercial -- something that comes on to interfere with your peace of mind for a few minutes and then leaves you with nothing. At least for the time being, the world of quality, portable gaming still belongs to Nintendo.

Adam Albrec

Snapshot

Ups: Portable PSX gaming.

Downs: Overheating problems; color bleed; make sure you get the "square" model, which apparently works much better.

System Reqs:
Sony PlayStation

 

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