Digital Comics on Playstation Portable Hands-On Impressions.

Interesting because we're not entirely sure who the move is aimed at. Hardcore comic fans will surely prefer reading their superhero gossip on paper; and will casual comic readers care enough to download them to their PSP? These are questions we're still yet to answer, but our hands-on with Digital Comics taught us one thing - the service is pretty good, whoever decides to use it.

After downloading the Digital Comics application and an issue of the Transformers (which weighed in it at just under 40mb) to our PSPgo, we launched into the application to have a poke around. The first striking thing about Digital Comics is its almost iTunes-esque presentation. The menus are simple, allowing you to browse your collection in a number of ways. You can sort by genre, series, read/unread and many more, so if you end up using the service a lot, you'll have lots of means to sort your collection.

Picking a comic is achieved by flicking through a series of covers. Again this is a lot like the iTunes presentation, allowing you to flick through the content and select your desired read.

Upon selecting a comic, you'll be able to press the "Autoflow" button. This is achieved by hitting the right button on the D-pad and is essentially Digital Comics' biggest feature. The "Autoflow" feature provides automatic navigation through the comic book and adds subtle animations to enhance the experience. For example - our Transformers comic happened upon a huge page shot of Megatron. The "Autoflow" control panned up his body, pausing on Megatron's face and then zooming onto a speech bubble. It's an awesome way of getting around the PSP's screensize. You can still zoom and peruse pages of the comic as you desire, but the "Autoflow" really brings the story to life. Another event encountered in the Transformers comic involved a big Autobot and Decepticon bust up. One particular panel displaying a large explosion triggered the "Autoflow" to shake in its wake. While the animation looks a bit canned, we're assuming as the service develops, new and more exciting animations will be developed.

Of course, comics are all about their artwork, and the Digital Comics service would be worth nothing if the books had low-res artwork. Thankfully, the comic we read had rich, vibrant colours and defined lines even if we zoomed in all the way possible. The artwork really pops on the brighter PSPgo screen.

Additional features allow you to bookmark pages and play MP3's from your PSP's storage whilst reading the comics.

The final hurdle for Digital Comics will be finding an audience and getting the pricing right.