In my line of work, it's pretty common to have large chunks of downtime. Although I usually have a book or two on hand, lately I've been bringing along my handheld du jour and maximizing the amount of game time I can fit in during a day.
Lately, the DS has been dominating my daylight hours between actual DS games and a number of high-quality GBA games that have come down the pike. Quite honestly, the fliptop has been keeping me more than occupied.
However, I just got a couple of PSP games that are due for reviews so I figured today would be the day that I start making headway. I knew for a fact that my job today would have a fat chunk of time where I had nothing to do, so it seemed perfect. Got my backpack, packed up the PSP, and threw in the game I'm supposed to be covering right now Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner and brought along MGS: Portable Ops just in case that didn't work out. The battery had just been freshly charged as I slept the night before, and everything was good to go.
So I get to work, check-in, and of course I have an hour before any to do anything. A stupid grin on my face, I bust out the PSP and fire up MKJS. What do I see? A friendly little note from Sony headquarters letting me know that I couldn't play the game until I update the firmware.
Of course, this is the one day when I decide to not bring along the unwieldy PSP cord and little power brick that comes along with it. For something with the word "portable" in its title, that plug is something that doesn't fit easily into soft carrying cases and seems to always get in the way whenever I bring it somewhere. Going on a long airline flight is one thing, but I don't usually bring along when I'm going out for one afternoon.
One long sigh later, I swapped the disks and pop in MGS:PO.
Naturally, another game that can't be played until the firmware is updated.
I don't care what the logic is and I don't care what the reasons are, what I do care about is that I bought a portable game system that gets scratched unless I keep it in a special womb-like environment, the plug it needs for its updates is a pain in the ass to bring along when I'm traveling light, and it arbitrarily doesn't work with games that I've paid cash for unless I capitulate and do what "the man" at Sony tells me to do.
It's a damned good thing books don't require firmware updates because I spent the next six hours finishing one book (one of Jim Butcher's Dresden entries) and starting another (the Zombie Survival Guide). This happened to me one time before, and I was totally steamed then. Now that this is the second time I've counted on Sony to give me my electronic entertainment and they've let me down, I couldn't be more disgusted. I absolutely can't stand for a product to simply refuse to work after I've paid for and use it legally.
To me, this is just one more area where Sony doesn't "get it". The end result of the specific decisions related to updating the firmware on the PSP result in one severely unhappy and inconvenienced consumer, and one that is becoming less and less likely to support them in the future. i don't want an update that lets me download hi-res snapshots onto my PSP or do some other type of useless multimedia crap, i want to PLAY GAMES. IT'S WHY I BOUGHT THE DAMN THING.
The next time I get ready for another work time gaming session on the go, I'm going to remember that the DS never needs to be updated... if I want to bring something that needs firmware maintenance, I'll bring my wife's laptop.