By August 10, 2005

DecalGirl Vinyl Skin for Sony PSP

It’s going to seem like I’m all about the Sony PSP since my first three entries have been about one of the current-gen handhelds. To be honest, I am — mostly because it’s so damn cool, but also because when you put that much bank on a handheld gaming system you want to make sure you max out your value 🙂

This latest string of gibberish is about my vinyl skin from I purchased the World Killer skin, which looks like this on the DecalGirl site:

The purpose of the skin is two-fold, to personalize your PSP/whatever from the mainstream black (and soon to be white) PSP, and to protect the surface of the PSP underneath the thicker vinyl surface.

I put the order in and got my made-to-order skin about four or five business days later. To be honest, I don’t quite remember. My friend Bond bought the desert camo one but hasn’t put it on yet.

I was pretty worried about this. I used to build models as a kid, and the only solace I took in the shitty sticker application job I did was that I would be blowing the hell out of them with fireworks and BB pellets later that day. There are some directions for the skin application on the DecalGirl site, but none that pertained specifically to the PSP. After reading the instructions for the GameCube, PS2, and XBox I was resigned to mucking it up. All three instruction sets recommended the use of a hair dryer to apply the sticker smoothly. Eek!

I was relieved when I read the instructions for the Nintendo DS. It was pretty much a peel-and-stick process, with some recommendations for clearing the device of any hand oil, snot, etc.

I rubbed the PSP down with alcohol and then went over it with the lint-free cleaning cloth as provided in the Sony PSP Value Pack of Little Value Other Than the PSP and Said Cleaning Cloth. I decided to do the back first, since the back skin was in several separate applications.

To my surprise and delight, it wasn’t so hard. The vinyl is backed with a patented reusable, goo-free adhesive that supposedly was bequeathed to DecalGirl by aliens from another time and dimension. I don’t know about that last part, but it was goo-free and came up easily when I wasn’t happy with the original application attempt. I did the left side first (the battery cover) and worked my way to the right. The center part was hard because of the silver-colored PSP logo on the back. The sticker set was supposed to cover it up, but I felt like it was a shame. The PSP logo looks pretty sharp.

I discovered that my previous dealings with cheaper stickers was going against me. Normally I would start on one edge, and slide a hard object (finger or credit card) along the top of the sticker while I slowly removed the backing. The problem with doing this with the vinyl decals is that the force exerted during the “pulling” process distorts the sticker. About half of my redo attempts were caused to my teeth-begritten, brow-furrowed overmuscling of the skin.

Here’s a shot of the back. The memory stick cover was the easiest 😉

The front was much harder. There was only one big ass sticker, and with all the buttons and crap at the bottom of the PSP I had to give it a few tries before I could put the whole skin on. And even then, my nitpicky side isn’t completely happy with my efforts.

Here’s what I’m talking about with the sticker distortion. It was a tricky process — not enough pull means the sticker is all wonky and shit when you push down to adhere it to the PSP, too much pull and you distort the area around the buttons.

The D-Pad:

The action buttons:

I was sort of crestfallen when the stickers arrived. I guess I was fooling myself, as the product shots on the Web site are probably Photoshopped, but I expected something a little more hi-res. If you go back up in the post and look at the product shot vs. my skin, you’ll note that the planet in the product shot is in a lot more detail than my skin. The back of the skin is more accurate. I think it looks good overall, and I’d definitely recommend them to someone else. I’d just be leery of the more chromatic skins.

$10.99 USD plus shipping

Good Points

  • Good delivery/shipping time
  • Looks pretty good when applied
  • Inexpensive given the quality of the vinyl used and the manufacturing process involved

Ungooder Points

  • Skin not as high-res as the product shots on the Web site
  • Browsing process is a pain in the ass on the Web site

DecalGirl vinyl skin for the PSP, I give thee:

Four and a half STFU mugs!

Posted in: games, review

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