On the road again!
Don't you just love it when you bitch about something and people take heed? I do. Being a critic who is more jaded than most of the booty stolen from China's Forbidden City affords me a great deal of vexing, complaining, and jumping up and down in a fit of screaming disappointment. So it's always good mental meed when a company decides to implement my "ingenious" suggestions and "enlightened" wisdom to better their product.
In just a few short months, Interact has risen to be the savant of the PSOne mobility arena. Thrustmaster's XL Screenmate was the first 5 inch (4 inches is just too small) screen in town, making them the better choice for your mobile display needs. But now Interact's Mobile Monitor has grown an inch as well. And like I said before, an inch can make all the difference. [Insert disgusting pun here. - Ed.]
But Interact didn't stop there. We all know that neither of these monitors is adequately mobile aside from the car adapter option. The PSOne could really use some sort of battery/recharging pack, but Sony hasn't stepped up to address this flaw. Alas, Interact has!
Here we take a brief look at the recharging pack and larger version of the Mobile Monitor. Both together make a sweet setup. So for all you geeks on the go, front and center and all eyes on this.
The new Mobile Monitor has been redesigned with all the aesthetic merits that came with the XL Screenmate. Like magic, the RF cord has vanished, leaving just the plug, which is built into the hardware. Also, the stabilizer bar that I knocked Thrustmaster for not having is now missing from the new Interact MM. This metal bar allowed you to set the monitor upright on a table or other flat surface without having to be connected to the PSOne. But this only makes sense if you were going to use the thing for watching DVD or VHS movies. Who the heck wants five inches of display for that? So it's a pretty minor omission.
Other than the pleasant growth spurt and cosmetic changes, Interact has retained the same superb visual quality for a monitor this small. Brightness, color and volume controls make a welcome return. Unfortunately, among the list of returns is the less than modest price tag. A whoppin' $179.99 will get you a nice 5 inch Mobile Monitor - which is $30 more than the XL Screenmate. Boo…hiss!
But there is still the issue of true mobility yet to be addressed, which Interact finally deals with...for a fee.
Introducing the long awaited Mobile Power One. The MPO is a thin, rectangular rechargeable battery that fits snuggly under your system and powers the PSOne and the LCD monitor for a max gameplay duration of 2 Â½ hours. This device is incredibly simple. Ringing in at $49.99, the MPO comes with a single cord attached to the back of the unit, which innervates power to the mobile setup when plugged into the PSOne's power supply port. On the right side of the Mobile Power One you will find another small port, where the power supply or car adapter plugs in to charge the unit, hence charging the PSOne. Very simple!
What's not so simple is convincing your pocket book to relinquish $330 for 2 Â½ hours of on-the-go gaming Check out my "new" math: PSOne ($100) + Mobile Monitor ($180) + Mobile Power One ($50) = $330 plus tax. That's an expensive road to travel down.
Just to put a little perspective on things, this is the spending equivalent to buying an upcoming Nintendo GameCube ($200) and 2 games. But if on-the-road gaming means enough to you, or money in general means very little to you, then this is the setup of a lifetime.
Finally, thanks to Interact we have true portability for Playstation gamers.
Even though it is at a pretty hefty cost, I'm still glad to see at least someone
supporting this thing. I just wish Sony hadn't dispensed with the Sony link
support for the PSOne. With the Mobile displays now available, linking games
could have been a lot more interesting. And the Mobile Power One would've made
this feature an option for gamers while traveling. I could just picture it;
linked Armored Core at a nice park on a sunny day or on a long, boring
road trip. Never dare to dream....
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