The Do's and Don'ts of Caring for Your PSP - Part One

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First Things First

Ah, the PSP - God’s gift for the addicted gamer who can’t bear to leave his Playstation console at home and needs to take it with him. Its the perfect accessory, second only to your cellphone (of course) - usable just about everywhere. It takes out the boredom factor when waiting for a friend, or riding the bus. You can watch videos on it, listen to music and even play against friends. Its truly one of Sony’s best creations yet.

But in our zealous love for the PSP, we sometimes forget that it still (really?) a machine - subject to wear and tear and of course, since we use it basically outside, is subject too to the dangers of the outside world.

So what does a dedicated gamer do? He buys accessories (let’s tackle that later shall we?) and stock up on ways to take care of his precious gadget, keeping sure that its always up to playing par every time we take it out of our soft protective cases.

Here are some tips for gamers (noobs or experts) out there. Read one, while I take out my PSP and play some Tekken!

Caring for the Accessories

Let’s just go with the basics here - UMD, Memory Stick and the Earphones to be specific, stuff you need to be able to use the PSP. UMD’s replacing the CD’s for the PS1/PS2 , Memory Stick to save games (and for ROMs ) and the Earphones to keep everything hush hush

UMDs have this space in their casings through which the disk to the PSP - its a hazard area if you don’t know how to care for them properly. Likewise, Mem-Sticks are small fragile things that can break relatively easily if you don’t take care of them well.

So how does one take care of these extra gadgets? Well here’s where I come in to help.

A. As with most electronic gadgets, don’t leave your UMDs and Mem-Sticks in areas where there’s direct sunlight or excessive heat. That means, don’t leave outside the patio while you’re grabbing your lemonade inside the house. Keep them under the shade at least.

B. Following the don’t expose to sunlight rule, its obvious we have the “don’t get them wet” rule. That means, don’t spill things on it, don’t drop it in the tub while you’re taking your bath or any of those sorts. UMDs takes a long time to dry and even then you’re not sure if it will still work. The same goes for the MemStick, it might actually stop working you know - ye gads!

C. Don’t touch it too much - smudging the contacts of your MemStick or getting fingerprints on your UMD can cause big problems

D. If you’re not using them, keep them in their cases, where they belong. That means, no stashing them on top of the TV or by the bed where its easy to reach. If you’re going to do that, at least keep them in the cases first before putting them by your bed

As for the headphones, while they’re pretty durable accessories its still best to practice caring for them. Too high a volume and you’re in danger of actually breaking them (and your eardrums). Getting them wet is of course a definite no-no.

Just remember all these 3 accessories are important to your gaming and as such need to be treated with care. Now, on to the PSP!

The Do’s

A. Be careful with the controls, especially the analog one. I know its normal to have the urge to button mash but trust me, you’ve already pressed the button, digging your fingers in deeper doesn’t make the kick any stronger or the speed any faster.You’re only going to get a callus and broken hardware.

B. Find a dry place to keep your PSP stored in. Not too cold, and not too hot either.

C. Remember to charge your batteries. Imagine you’re playing the final boss and your PSP dies out on you because you forgot to charge it. How sad can that be?

D. Clean your PSP regularly. Use a soft cloth to wipe the smudges off your screen. Invest on the PSP scratch remover because trust me, a dirty, scratch filled PSP isn’t pretty.

E. Here’s something we tend to forget - static. Do avoid them. Don’t keep your PSP laying on the carpet or in front of the TV, it may fry your baby and that’s not a pretty site.

F. Turn it off when you’re not using it. I know its cool and all just to keep on stand-by and resume your game but switching it off is actually better, (unless you have an unsaved game) because it refreshes the memory cache of your PSP.

G. Remember that wrist strap that came with your PSP? USE IT. It actually prevents the likelihood of you dropping your PSP.

H. Same goes for the PSP Casing. Now you can use the standard leather one, for optimum protection or if you’re like me, get the soft foamy one too (cause its pretty and safe!)

The Don’t’s

Basically, simple rules to follow really.

A. Don’t do the opposite of the “Do’s Section.”

B. Don’t get it wet. I don’t have to explain this anymore right?

C. Don’t drop it. Another obvious rule that doesn’t need explaining.

D. Don’t keep it in a moist environment. Humidity is bad for electronic gadgets and well, moisture is just bad news for it (Remember the elemental weakness rules)

E. Same goes for sunlight. Avoid direct exposure to it.

F. Don’t abuse the UMD door. This is one of the most easily damaged areas (after the buttons) because you will use it often. Try to be careful in handling it because if this breaks - well… I’ll leave that to your imagination.

G. Don’t eat (too much) when playing. Or at least be sure to keep your fingers clean and your mouth closed.

H. Don’t take your memory card out too much, you’ll have more use for it inside the PSP anyway.

I. Most importantly, don’t show it off in public areas unless you’re using and even then, use it carefully. You’ll never know when some crazy person will hit you causing you to drop or break your PSP. And for obvious safety reasons, showing off an expensive gadget is eye candy for robbers and hoodlums alike.

That’s it Mr. Gamer. Hope you learned a little something about PSP care!

(Now where’s that PSP of mine…)