PS2 GamePak (LASR Accessories)
by brandon sheffield
For the nerd on the go...the PS2 GamePak.
LASR Accessories have come up with quite a product here. There has long been carrying gear for PCs and handheld game systems, but the stand-alone home console has largely been ignored when it comes to specific 'carrying solutions.' Thus! To fill the void...
The GamePak looks smart enough, with an outer design similar to many higher end bags of this contemporary age. And it doesnít scream geek either (well Ė no more than any other backpack does), meaning that people wonít stop and stare at the fellow carrying his PS2 about. Not that carrying your PS2 hither and thither is anything to be ashamed of, you know. And indeed, behind the attractive form lies precious, precious function.
The industrial looking bumpers on the bottom, the padding on the back (Iím told that there will be a harder plastic brace in there for the full retail release), these are quite obviously to prevent your system from getting jostled while in transit. The plastic brace in fact will absorb shock when you place the PS2 on the ground using the top handle. The system itself resides not at the bottom of the bag, but is sort of suspended in the middle by a snug pouch. This of course absorbs impact while walking et al. Quite a nice idea. The bottom of the pack opens up to allow the cables out Ė you can actually play the PS2 while itís in the bag, and all vents are completely uncovered!
There are lots of other pouches in the bag as well, as you can certainly imagine. Thereís a mesh webbing for controllers, an eight-slot compartment for game discs, and a manual repository, not to mention the usual zipped areas. Taking the thing for a test spin, I stuck my PS2 and one controller in the bag. ĎI can do better than thisí, thought I. There was quite a lot of room left. So I just stuck in whatever was around, game wise. I managed to fit the PS2, two controllers, a PSone, all hookups for both, four memory cards, a GBA and two games, a SwanCrystal, headphone adapter/headphones and five games, a GP32 and 14 SMCs, eleven game discs (one in itís case), one PS2 manual, a PC-flash writer and the Canon digital camera used to take the photos (not pictured for what I hope are obvious reasons). Rather impressive Iíd say.
Incidentally, Brad of LASR Accessories has bade me inform you that no, this PS2 bag is neither designed nor optimized for use with the PSone, and it is by mere happenstance that it fit into one of the other compartments. So, I do hope this does not shatter your dreams of using the bag other than as-intended, but you know...if you wanted to...
Right. The pack was comfortable to walk with; I took it on a mile-long trek through the horrid streets of Los Angeles and felt none the worse for wear. The weight sits squarely at the small of your back regardless of what youíve got in it, reducing your need to slouch in weight compensation. And while walking, due to my positioning of objects within the pack, I was able to unzip the bottom of the bag where the PS2 hookups come out, and unleash my GBA for constant walking entertainment. Excellent indeed.
Running the PS2 out of the bag was no problem either. Just unzip and go! Quite a simple affair, and the PS2 showed no sign of excess heat after two hours of play.
So letís talk about problems shall we? Thankfully theyíre very few, but even so, they must be addressed. The slot for the manuals is covered with a mesh webbing. This certainly looks better than a plastic sleeve, but is far less utilitarian. My Galerians: Ash manual got caught up in it several times on the way in and out, which is definitely not what you want. In fact the snug fit of the manual compartment was almost a bit too snug, adding to my difficulties. To be honest Iíd recommend not using this feature, at least not as it was initially intended. Put your memory cards in there or something. Or I suppose you could put those into their designated spots (they have compartments too, you see). Most collectors don't let their manuals out of the case, so...use it for your angry letters to the government then.
Another problem. Being a not-overlarge gentleman, the shoulder straps had a tendency to migrate towards the outer portions of my body. This was rectified with small adjustments here and there, but itís something to keep in mind. This is a common fault of backpacks, so the GamePak neednít feel singled out here.
But I must say that overall this bag more than adequately suits my PS2 transporting needs. And the minor nature of my quibbles bespeaks an excellence heretofore not achieved by a pack. It does what it sets out to do with gracious aplomb.
And hey, if youíre feeling wacky, you can even stick a PSone in there. Donít tell Brad, rebel!
The PS2 GamePak sells for $34.99 (with a one-year warrantee no less!) from LASR Acessoriesí website, and will soon be available through commercial retailers. There are X-box and Gamecube versions available as well, for you alternative sorts.
Indeed, itís really quite something, and worth the money if you have it. It's about time somebody thought of this, no?
brandon sheffield is nervously eyeing his other systems. If only they had clothes of their own!