It's probably a violation of journalistic ethics to use this space to ask for something from Mercury readers, but I'm going to do so anyway. See, there's this videogame system that just came out--Sony's PlayStation Portable, or PSP--and I really, really want one. Problem is, they're 250 goddamn dollars.

Sure, that's a lot of money, but the PSP's significance is epic. A portable videogame console, the PSP boasts sleek lines, a huge, clear screen, and uses discs to store and play games, movies, and music. Add in wireless connectivity and hardware that makes the PSP's graphics nearly as good as the PlayStation 2's, and you've got a huge advance in portable gaming. (And something that, not coincidentally, makes Nintendo's clunky, kid-targeted Game Boy look as archaic as a rusted-out Model-T). "Holy shit" sums up the PSP succinctly; a more verbose description would be that it's the lovechild of a PlayStation 2, a portable DVD player, and an iPod.

There are, of course, potential pitfalls. Sony's proprietary discs for the PSP, UMDs (Universal Media Discs), could be a flop with non-Sony movie and music publishers. Sony also has shitty luck with first-generation technology, and then there's the big problem--a price tag that reads "250 GODDAMN DOLLARS."

Too rich for my blood? You bet! But you? You can spare a few bucks, right? Send it my way, friend! I'll use it to get a PSP, and then I'll play it, and I'll even write about it… just for you! Ah, what the hell--I'll even let you come over to the Mercury and play it with me! It'll be a blast! So dig deep, Mercury readers, and send your donations (checks, money orders, and/or well-concealed cash) to:

The "Erik Needs a PSP, Post-Haste!" Fund
c/o the Portland Mercury
605 NE 21st Ave, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232

Thanks in advance!