PSP peripherals tend to be fairly uninspiring, at least as far as potential impulse purchases go. Let's face it, if you're one of the gang who got an initial year model machine that came with the functional - if ordinary - foamy case, it serves its purpose well. That is, so long as that purpose is being a depository for the chamois used to remove the ubiquitous fingerprints from the LCD screen while the machine is being played. There's not much more to it, so if you're interested in carrying around a couple of UMDs for your mobile gaming pleasure, you'd better be sure to have an extra spot handy to store them.
Enter Pacific Designs, a West Coast outfit that creates stylish cases for all sorts of electronic gear, such as laptops, iPods, and the like. They've come out with a new PSP-specific flip-top case that feels like leather (but isn't), snaps shut magnetically (nice), doesn't cover up any input areas or speakers (sweet), and lets you change UMDs without even needing to remove the PSP (genius). Even better, there's a compartment that allows for storage of a second UMD inside the case proper. For someone like yours truly, who games on the go with a couple of titles in the rotation, it's a space saver that's welcome and handy as heck. When I’m tired of getting my tail end kicked by Field Commander, I pop in Madden and exorcise any anger against the hapless Texans in a good old-fashioned gridiron whoopin'. No need to dig through my computer bag or even remove the PSP from the case. Good stuff, indeed.
The look and feel of the case is distinctly sleek and comfortable. There are four colors to choose from - black with a burnt red racing stripe; black with a bright blue racing stripe (the one I’ve got); industrial gray with a bright orange stripe; or industrial gray with a yellow stripe - so for those of you concerned with matching accessories, you're likely covered (not that I was particularly worried about that...). The material is polyurethane and feels great during gameplay. It's not slippery and it doesn't get in the way of your furiously moving fingers.
The top part of the case dangles while open, which initially feels strange but quickly ceases to draw your attention. What's better is that the second UMD is securely nestled into its nook, so there's no danger of it falling out. When finished, the case closes solidly with a magnetic button and feels tight. Then there's the unique trap-door that opens, allowing you to switch in one UMD for another without taking the PSP out of the case. When finished, the trap-door closes securely (again, magnetized, so there's no need to worry about fraying or wear and tear).
The trapdoor also serves as the perfect place to keep the aforementioned chamois felt cloth during gameplay or storage. This wasn't mentioned in the press release, but it's another nifty little compartment that is required for those of us that can't live without shining up the LCD screen every few minutes.
As someone who travels a lot and frequently uses their PSP for gaming, the Pacific Designs Flip Case is an excellent choice. The quality design, solid craftsmanship, ease of changing UMDs, and overall feel make it a welcome addition to my mobile gaming rig. The stylish layout looks appealing to the eye, having the appearance of a nice wallet case rather than the metal-plastic design favored by most other cases. At $29.95, it's money well spent for anyone who uses their PSP on a regular basis and wants to make their experience a better one.
- Black w/Burnt Red
- Black w/Bright Blue
- Gray w/Orange
- Gray w/Yellow
- Soft, durable Polyurethene - feels like leather
- Unique, open frame design
- Full access to all PSP controls, power cord, headphone/earbud cords in case
- Magnetic-closure rear access compartment lets you change UMD disks in case
- Storage slot inside the front flip holds an additional UMD disk