Not in the mood to hack the PSP? China Grabber offers a $90 clone that serves as an emulator, playing old classics found on Sega's MegaDrive, Nintendo's Famicom, and other classic consoles.
Called the PXP-900, this Mp5 player isn't merely a hardware emulator, but offers other features that should have come with Sony's PSP in the first place. But don't let its appearance be deceptive: the device doesn't have the capability to play PSP games, and honestly, it's a wonder that Sony doesn't crack down on the manufacturer for mimicking the PSP look and control scheme so close to the original.
According to China Grabber, the PXP-900 has an internal memory capacity of 2 GB, but is also capable of accepting SD cards up to 4 GB. On the video side, the device sports a 4.3-inch QVGA TFT LCD screen (320x240 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio), churns out 25 FPS during emulation, and also offers a cool TV-out function. Additionally, the PXP-900 has a built-in camera, FM radio, a loudspeaker, and MP3/MP4 drag-n-drop capabilities; Sony's PSP doesn't feature any one of these items.
And unlike the PSP, the PXP-900's specs reveal that a built-in Ebook reader supposedly will read aloud any TXT file in Chinese or English. A movie bookmark feature will allow the viewer to return to the specified place in the movie at any time. There also seems to be a built-in microphone as well, recording sounds in WAV format. However, the lack of network information in the specifications probably means that that the device doesn't have Wi-Fi capabilities. This means that anything downloaded for the device--whether it's a console rom or a converted movie--can't be done across the network, but rather through a USB connection to the PC.
Of course, the built-in emulator is probably the device's biggest selling point. While the company didn't offer any specifics, the software is capable of running games from classic consoles including the NES, Famicom, GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and Sega's MegaDrive; the emulator supports the 32-bit Super Famicom and MegaDrive CD-ROM (aka Sega CD in the States) games as well. While it's not apparent if the portable emulator will come packed with pre-loaded ROMs, the company did say that gamers can download additional titles. Are these games legal? We assume that's a "yes," however China Grabber did not provide additional details on availability, pricing, or method of acquiring the games.
Still, for roughly $90, consumers will get the portable emulator, a user manual, earphones, an AV-Out cable, a USB cable, and a power adaptor. The unit comes in four standard colors--black, white, blue, and red--and is powered by built-in rechargeable lithium batteries (notice the plural). Additionally, the PXP-900 works with Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, 200, XP, Mac OS 10, and Linux 2.4.2 operating systems; the company did not specify Windows Vista or the upcoming Windows 7 OS in the product details.
While we haven't checked out the device in-house, the specs certainly sound better than Sony's PSP in certain aspects, especially with the built-in camera, Ebook reader, and console emulator. ON a graphical level, the PXP-900 doesn't stand up to the PSP--at least not in a gaming aspect. In all actuality, the PXP-900's cheap price tag means that consumers could have the best of both worlds, especially if they already own Sony's portable gaming device.