PSP Digital Comics Reader Launches With Free Comic Offer

PSP Digital Comics Reader Launches With Free Comic Offer

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Sony has released its free digital comics reader, and is throwing in a free comic for a limited time to tide us over until the actual digital comics store launches.

Sony's digital comics store won't go live until December, but its free PSP digital comics reader is available to install now. Simply visit the official PlayStation Digital Comics website, choose your language and region, and follow the instructions.

I know what you're thinking: "Why download the reader if I can't use it yet?" Actually, you can. Sony is giving up two free digital comics, though it looks like only to English speaking regions for now. Currently available for download are an issue of Star Trek: Year Four - The Enterprise Experiment and Transformers: All Hail Megatron #1.

The code required to download Star Trek can be found on the PlayStation Blog, while the code for Transformers is found at the PlayStation Digital Comics website. The codes are supposedly region specific, so make sure you're entering the correct one, and they are only valid until December 16, 2009.

Sadly, these can only be redeemed using a PSP, not using Media Go on a PC or through a PS3, so if you're like me and your PSP won't connect to your wireless router, then no free comic for you. Some have complained of download trouble, but some help is available here, and it wouldn't hurt to also follow PlayStation Digital Comics on Twitter.

Downloading comics straight onto a PSP is a novel idea, though it almost pains me to see another obstacle put in the way of the world's remaining comic shop owners. I don't see myself buying many comics digitally unless they're super cheap or have special features included. According to the PlayStation Digital Comics Twitter account, publishers are able to add sound to their releases, and even manga should be available on the service. For manga, a digital reader almost sounds perfect if the pricing is right, because of the space requirements needed for the massive amount of physical volumes out there for many titles such as DragonBall. For The Walking Dead and other more "traditional" comics, I think I'd prefer the real thing.

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I imagine that trying to read over the PSP is pretty difficult. Why don't they just release comics over something less of an eye strain like the Kindle?

Frankydee:
I imagine that trying to read over the PSP is pretty difficult. Why don't they just release comics over something less of an eye strain like the Kindle?

You zoom in on each individual box, so it isn't too bad.

I tried it, but I don't like it too much. The camera movement is triggered by your hands, but once it starts, it doesn't slow down or anything. There isn't much user control if you want to zoom out a bit and take more of the image in, etc...

I downloaded this with the system update but just like sensme I didnt use it...

hansari:

Frankydee:
I imagine that trying to read over the PSP is pretty difficult. Why don't they just release comics over something less of an eye strain like the Kindle?

You zoom in on each individual box, so it isn't too bad.

I tried it, but I don't like it too much. The camera movement is triggered by your hands, but once it starts, it doesn't slow down or anything. There isn't much user control if you want to zoom out a bit and take more of the image in, etc...

That's a shame. Like I said, I wasn't able to try the reader out yet, but if it's hard to use like you say it'll be pointless. That is, unless they give me my comics for super cheap.

Tom Goldman:
That's a shame. Like I said, I wasn't able to try the reader out yet, but if it's hard to use like you say it'll be pointless.

Pushing the d-pad at certain intervals isn't hard :P

The problem is their program aims to be "cinematic". The focus was on trivial things like the screen shaking everytime it reaches a panel with an explosion.

Rather, they should have made it so it would rival the "freedom" that a physical comic provides.

For example (to better explain it), if you reach a panel larger/wider than the screen, the program will move about it as it so chooses. There is no user control during movement, only in initiating it.

Also, if the screen rests and you want to see some other part of the panel, your best option is to replay movements again. There is no "zoom in/out", "increase font" or "magnifying glass"...features that would have made this a real rival for the physical medium.

Tom Goldman:
That is, unless they give me my comics for super cheap.

Wouldn't be worth it in my opinion, but I think a digital distribution for comics/manga is long overdue.

How long have they been circulating the internet?

We give so much attention to the music and movies industry complaints of losses...given the presence and popularity of sites which host comics/manga for free, shouldn't there be an effort to reign it in and make sure money is put in the hands of the creators?

hansari:

Tom Goldman:
That's a shame. Like I said, I wasn't able to try the reader out yet, but if it's hard to use like you say it'll be pointless.

Pushing the d-pad at certain intervals isn't hard :P

The problem is their program aims to be "cinematic". The focus was on trivial things like the screen shaking everytime it reaches a panel with an explosion.

Rather, they should have made it so it would rival the "freedom" that a physical comic provides.

For example (to better explain it), if you reach a panel larger/wider than the screen, the program will move about it as it so chooses. There is no user control during movement, only in initiating it.

Also, if the screen rests and you want to see some other part of the panel, your best option is to replay movements again. There is no "zoom in/out", "increase font" or "magnifying glass"...features that would have made this a real rival for the physical medium.

Tom Goldman:
That is, unless they give me my comics for super cheap.

Wouldn't be worth it in my opinion, but I think a digital distribution for comics/manga is long overdue.

How long have they been circulating the internet?

We give so much attention to the music and movies industry complaints of losses...given the presence and popularity of sites which host comics/manga for free, shouldn't there be an effort to reign it in and make sure money is put in the hands of the creators?

I admit it, I'm guilty of reading manga on the internet, and the problem I find with most readers is simply that the medium isn't really suited to being looked at on an electronic screen. Splash pages can't really be taken in as well as they can when they're in your hands, and intricate details have a tendency to get ignored. I agree, those features you mention are what make a digital reader attractive.

But I'd deal with it, like I said, if I can get a bunch of volumes for really cheap.

Tom Goldman:
I agree, those features you mention are what make a digital reader attractive.

Time for me to get some egg on my face.

I swear, the first time around, I wasn't able to use any of these "auxiliary" controls, but there appears to be a zoom in/out feature, and you do have the ability to pan the camera, etc.

Sony 1, hansari 0

As for price, we'll just have to wait and see. (Maybe after Dec. 16 when the promotions expire)

 

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