Lifestyles of the rich and nerdy!
Have you ever been out and about - at the park, in a car, on a train or in
a plane (I gotta stop reading Green Eggs & Ham before I go to bed) -
and felt that what would make these experiences more palatable is to be able
to have your trusted and faithful PSX system right there with you? You know,
like a portable Playstation system that could function on its own rechargeable
power reserve, much like a Game Boy. Hmmm...something that would allow you to
play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
2 while peacefully traveling up the River Ganges in the Himalayan mountains.
Nothing like getting in touch with nature.
Well, Sony took half a step towards making this a reality when they introduced
the slimmed down PSone system. Now Interact attempts to complete the
step with the Mobile Monitor, a fairly pricey yet fully functional color
LCD screen for use with the PSone. While it brings us much closer to
becoming travelin' gamers, the Mobile Monitor neglects to include some
of the features that would make this little treasure truly mobile.
The Mobile Monitor is a small, portable LCD screen. It can stand independently
via the metal stabilizing bar, or it can be easily attached to the back of your
PSone using the screw-in tabs at the base of the monitor. With a nifty
hinge between the monitor and the base, you can conveniently fold the monitor
down over the top of your PSone for ease of transport. It resembles a
small waffle iron or the George Foreman Party Grill. I would advise against
trying to grill any actual food, but hey, that's just me.
The Mobil Monitor has a secondary AV-in port that allows players to
plug in a VCR, DVD player or other game systems. This gives the monitor some
really good versatility, although I have no idea why anyone would do this. Looking
at this tiny screen for the duration of a full-featured film can't possibly
be good for your eyes.
For the discerning viewer, Interact has included color, contrast and brightness
controls. I found myself using these controls quite regularly, since LCD screens
can be a little tricky in brightly lit areas. Volume controls, a headphone jack
for silent gaming and two stereo speakers round out the features of this miniature
The resolution is sharp and clear, though I found it best to keep this thing
as close to my peepers as possible. An approximate measurement showed the actual
viewing area at about 2 X 4. Yes, those are inches. If I was in high school
and this was an index card, I wouldn't have enough space to make an acceptable
cheat-sheet. I would have liked more viewable area.
Sadly, Mobile Monitor is something of a misnomer. There is no battery
pack or rechargeable power source. You get two adapters; a standard AC adapter
to plug into a wall outlet and one for your in-car cigarette lighter. So in
fact, the Mobile Monitor can't stand on its own. You cannot take your
PSone to the park or play it on the bus. It will always be anchored to
something, making it distinctly immobile.
There remains one more flaw, and it's fatal - the price. You're looking at
a suggested retail price of 15 thousand pennies. For those of you still using
"Old Math," that's exactly $150 American dollars, and you still have to shell
out another $100 bucks for the PSone system. So the whole package clocks
in at $250 bucks! Note that that is a mere 50 shy of a PS2. Bling Bling!
Plain and simple, the Mobile Monitor is a nifty toy for those of you
with money to burn. The absence of a portable power supply and the high price
tag makes it a bit hard for the money-minded consumer to swallow. However, the
decadent, the privileged and the pampered masses who would like to do some gaming
on the road may take a shine to this new little gadget. Unfortunately, my dust-filled,
cobweb infested wallet doesn't allow me to even pretend to qualify for such
elite and superior financial status. And you know what they say
about people who pretend to be superior.