Appleseed UMD, Samurai Champloo UMD, and PlayStation Portable
Emru Townsend · From fps #4 · September 1, 2005 | In the 21st-century media landscape, it's all about the hi-def. We want bigger TVs, more detail, higher resolution, and more speaker channels. A 27'' stereo TV? Please. The baseline for fans of the moving image is six speakers and a screen so big and detailed you can see the paintbrush strokes in Bugs Bunny's cel paint. Right?

Directed by Shinji Aramaki
Digital Frontier/Geneon Entertainment, 2005
Originally released theatrically in 2004
105 minutes

Samurai Champloo Vol. 1
Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe
Manglobe/Geneon Entertainment, 2005
Originally broadcast in 2003
50 minutes

PlayStation Portable
Sony Computer Entertainment

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Wrong. The fact is, when the medium's convenient and the sound and image are clear, most people will watch anything on anything. Which is why the notion of watching video on Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) was appealing from the get-go. Its wide 11-cm LCD screen is large for a handheld game, but the device itself is reasonably compact and lightweight. That also goes for its official movie medium, Sony's proprietary UMD (Universal Media Disc), a two-inch magneto-optical disc that you pop into the drive on the PSP's underside.

The first movie released in the Americas on the tiny new format was Spider-Man 2 (a Sony title, naturally), but several companies have reached into their animation catalogue for UMD releases. Among the first handful of those were two Geneon titles, Appleseed and Samurai Champloo; perfect test subjects to see if watching animation on the PSP is a viable concept.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the September 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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