Here’s my family’s recent experience with personal entertainment devices:
About 2 years ago, I thought Nintendo DS was a run away winner in personal game device because it seemed to be the perfect fit to the concept of transformation economy which was my favorite economic concept at that time. (It still is.) It was fun, and by playing some of their games, such as English lessons, or brain training, one could become smarter. As a mother I didn’t mind buying my kids DS. I would have said no to Sony PSP if my kids asked for it, because in my eyes, it didn’t have any educational potential.
Today, my 9 year-old and 13 year-old both own PSP. My husband bought the device for kids because he fell in love with it. I’m not crazy about kids playing with it, since I didn’t think their softwares have nothing that would improve the kids’ minds. But I am impressed with it’s potential since with it’s connectivity with web is pretty good, and with it’s various functions, if one wanted entertainment, well, it’s a good device for that. The kids mainly play games on it now, but my husband borrows it to listen to internet radio programs, download movies and TV shows to watch, occasionally watch one seg. One thing that surprised us during the past holidays is that when my 13 year-old’s friends came over, all 3 of them owned PSP.
I thought, wow! PSP is winning over DS within Japan! Although both PSP and DS has internet connectivity potentials, PSP makes that part seem more attractive to the users, catching someone like my husband who would proceed to buy one for all his kids.
But today, something interesting happened. Our 20 year-old son who’s a college student said he wanted a PSP too. I was sure my husband would have told him, buy it with your own work money. But instead, he said yes. (Surprise!) Then when he explained to the 20 year-old that PSP only has 4 GB memory compared to 40 GB of iPod, our son immediately lost interest in PSP. 4GB would only be the same what’s in the iPod Nano he now owned. Somehow, the 20 year-old succeeded in convincing his father to buy him an iPod with 40GB. This thing costs 25% more than the PSP. My son uses cell phone for e-mails, HP PC for e-mails, SNS, editing music, video, watching the web entertainment stuff, etc. With personal entertainment device, he was only interested in listening to music and watching his passion: dance. Anything else was not important.
Come to think of it, for a personal entertainment device, I would not give up my 40GB iPod for a PSP either, because as much as I use videos and photographs for my work, my personal entertainment is focused on listening to music, reading books, writing short essays. Of all the personal entertainment devices that I know of, only part that works for me is handling the music I listen to. Listening to music enhances my physical entertainment/fitness activities too.