When I first purchased my PSP, I picked up what I thought was a decent carrying case. It was roughly the size of the PSP, but a tad thicker so it could hold 2-4 UMD games in addition to the PSP. There was a cardboard divider to keep the UMDs away from the PSP screen, and straps to hold the PSP in. All in all, it was a decent case. Or, so I thought.
About a month or so after buying the case, I noticed that the clear plastic on one of my UMDs was cracked and pushing in towards the disc itself. Over time, this got worse until the UMD wasn’t playable anymore. I searched, in vain, for replacement cases. The only suggestions I found were either to not break it in the first place, or to break open another UMD case you didn’t want, and super glue that case back together with the disc from the broken UMD in it. Obviously, the first suggestion, complete with proclamations about the idiocy of such owners, was out of the question. So, I tried the second suggestion. I did get the case together, but the glue seeped out a little on the inside, creating a bump that the UMD would grate against.
Having failed to fix the UMD, I put it away, vowing to find a replacement case sometime in the future and to not break any other UMDs. I went and purchased a new PSP Complete case from Slappa, as well as a few Score UMD storage cases. There’s a nice comparison of the Score and Sony UMD cases on the official Playstation forum. These two items kept both my PSP and my UMDs much safer, but over time, a few other UMDs started exhibiting signs of a cracked UMD shell.
Fast forward about two years and I come across this post on the PSP Fanboy site describing a new replacement UMD case. This looked quite promising, so I went to the company’s site to check them out. My first impression was that this was either a brand new company, or a scam site. The website itself is pretty shoddy, mostly consisting of some poorly put together HTML and lots of Google ads. However, they did have a video of the case itself and how it worked, so I trudged on.
Having seen the PayPal logo on the UMD ordering page, I decided to try them out. I placed one UMD case into my on-line shopping cart and went to the checkout page. The first thing I noticed on the checkout page was the lack of an option to use PayPal for payment. I also noticed that the page was not encrypted with an SSL certificate. I really had no desire to give this company my credit card information, especially with no SSL certificate in place, so I tried to proceed without entering it. No dice. I resorted to contacting the company via their online form explaining that while I did want a case, I couldn’t find the PayPal option. Much to my surprise, they called me about 30 minutes later.
The gentlemen on the phone, whose name I forgot to write down, explained that the website was new and they knew there were some issues to work out. He explained that the information entered on the checkout page was merely transmitted to PayPal for processing, but that I could use PayPal directly and just send them the money for the case, which they would then ship immediately. I offered my concerns about the lack of an SSL certificate, which he promised to look into. After we hung up, I headed over to PayPal to order.
The replacement cases are $3.99 each for US orders, and $4.99 for international orders. This price includes shipping, so while it seems a little high, it’s actually not that bad. I sent my $3.99 to the email address I obtained via my phone conversation and waited for the case to arrive. Much to my surprise, I received my case in the mail a scant 4 days later.
The case was wrapped in a piece of light foam and placed inside of a standard white envelope. Not the best packaging in the world, but MultiMedia Recovery (MMR) makes the claim that the cases are mostly indestructible. True to their claim, the case was not cracked in any way and appeared to be in perfect shape. I happily retrieved the UMD that was broken so many years ago and went to work placing it in the new case.
Honestly, the hardest part of the entire process is installing the frighteningly tiny screws into the new case. I received three screws with my case, though only two are required. I did have to go out and buy a jewelers screwdriver, though, but I should probably have one of those around the house anyway. The screws secure the bottom portion of the UMD case, though I’m not sure they are really needed. Even without them, the case fit together quite nicely and there was no danger of it coming apart later. I suppose it’s possible that the case could be pulled apart when removing it from one of the UMD holders, but I don’t see that being a huge danger. I installed the screws anyway and tried out the UMD. It fit in the PSP with no problems, just like any of my other UMDs. I fired up the PSP and the game loaded flawlessly. Finally, I can finish playing Untold Legends. Good thing I kept a backup of my save game…
All said and done, I think these replacement cases are a pretty good buy. I would like to see discounts for bulk purchases, and perhaps better packaging, but overall, I am satisfied with my purchase and I will be purchasing more. If you have UMDs that have broken in the past, I definitely recommend checking these out. Hopefully MMR will address the problems with their website, but if not, the cases are available via david8950 on eBay.