Last week I decided to buy a PlayStationPortable system in order to play Final Fantasy V. There were alternative console options for playing the game (I could play it in Japanese on my Super Famicom, I could play it on an emulator, or I could track down a PS or GBA copy) but I was going to want a PSP to play Dissidia and Dissida 012 eventually anyway. As an added bonus I'd been looking around at an EB a month or so ago and saw they had new copies of both Dissidia games at pretty cheap prices ($10 and $20). I looked up the price of a new PSP at Future Shop ($130) and headed out to see if I could find a decent used one at an EB. (I wish I could have gotten a PSVita for this purpose but despite promising PSOne emulation 'soon' it still isn't available.)
Now it turns out GameStop has pulled PSP units/games from a lot of their stores in the US and it seems EB has followed suit in Canada. The first EB I went to had no games or consoles. The second one I went to had no consoles but had a few games left. This was the place with both Dissidia games and fortunately they had them still so I bought them without having a console. The third EB I went to had a single 'refurbished' PSP 2000 unit for $70. It's an older version but I figured I wasn't likely to use it all that much anyway and it was going to be $60 cheaper. I verified with the guy that I could use the PSOne system on this version and bought it up. I was offered an extended warranty to replace the 30 day one and I remarked that as long as it worked right away I'd be happy.
I get it home, plug it in, and get rolling. First step, connect to the internet so I can buy a copy of FFV. Unfortunately it turns out the PSP needs a memory card and EB didn't include one with the system. And the guy didn't tell me I'd need one. *frown* Fortunately I bought a Sony camera a few years ago to use on my trip to Japan and it uses the same type of memory card. I swapped it in and got started. Connecting to my router was spotty at best but after many tries it finally detected it and stayed connected long enough to connect to the PSNetwork. But when I went to enter in an email address to sign up the emulated keyboard thing would instantly close. I found that if I held the cancel button down when I tried to enter into the keyboard that it would pop up a message asking if I wanted to cancel and keep the keyboard on screen. At least, until I said no, at which point it would disappear again. *frown*
Ok, time to turn to Google. Someone suggested resetting to factory default. Nope, that didn't fix it. Someone suggested busting it open and cleaning all the keys in case something was stuck. Aha! Is there a key that would show the behavior I'd been seeing? I played around a little bit and ultimately figured out the start button was stuck. I tried picking at it from the outside but couldn't get it unstuck. I checked EB's hours, found they were still open for another 30 minutes, and decided to see if I could take it back since it clearly doesn't work. I bet I could have fixed it myself but if it's showing busted behaviour right away I didn't have a ton of faith in the refurbishing job done on this particular unit. The guy at EB took it back as defective and gave me a refund. He would have done a swap but they didn't have any other units. He suggested I go to the Gamerama store in the basement of the same building but that I should make sure they didn't rip me off because they have spotty pricing sometimes. Ok, sounds good, though I had no intention of haggling. But if a used console was much more than $70 I'd just go get a new one from Future Shop.
Off to Gamerama. Turns out they had two used PSP 3000 for sale. For $60 each. With a 1G memory stick. And a free game from their limited selection of used PSP games. Ok, not getting ripped off then! I didn't recognize any of the games (except Dissidia which I just bought and a version of the original Final Fantasy which didn't have the disk) so the guy chose a random puzzle game for me. The way I looked at it I was getting a better unit and a memory stick for $10 less so the game was really irrelevant. It looks interesting but I doubt I'll really want to play it.
The PSP itself has worked great thus far. Better than great, even. Turning the power off puts my current emulated PSOne game in stasis and it resumes right where I left off when I power it back on. I even powered it on without the memory stick in (I'd knocked the PSP off my desk onto the floor and it kinda exploded), realized my problem, and tried again with it in. And the game still resumed! Sweet!
The PSOne library is pretty impressive too. I don't think I have a copy of Tactics so I'll be picking that up on the PSP. I may well get XenoGears to play on the bus at some point too. Heck, I may buy VII and VIII even though I have them to play on my PS2 so I can play them on the bus!