A game on phones

Elementary (CBS) is a great show – well written, funny, with a fantastic cast to boot. Sherlock’s deductions are usually hard to follow (that’s nicely put for “completely illogical”), but that’s fine since he’s so much smarter than most people smarter than anyone on this planet. He also knows about absolutely anyone and everything, which makes my observations about episode 22 in the show’s current second season even more relevant – Sherlock would never make such a rookie mistake.

So Holmes and his brother Mycroft are visiting a bank where the person they are currently looking for was working. There, Sherlock finds out his target person had a quite ingenious way to communicate with someone else: he used the chat on some rubbish video game. The presumed “video game console” is hidden in a potted plant in the guy’s office and looks like this:

Picture (c) CBS
Picture (c) CBS

While it may look like a portable video game console, it’s actually an iPhone 5 enclosed in a Logitech Powershell controller – something I’d expect Sherlock to be able to distinguish without even blinking. Interestingly enough, the show’s producers added a fake user interface to make it look more like a Playstation Portable:

Picture (c) CBS
Picture (c) CBS

Not saying they succeeded as the PSP’s interface looks fairly different, but at least it supports the claim that the internal storage is almost empty.

Why does this matter? Well, first of all, as I said before, the great Sherlock Holmes would have recognized this contraption for what it is – a cellphone with some plastic junk attached to it – and not called it a “video game console”. Second, using this device for the sole means of communication is incredibly unpractical as the controller actually makes typing on the iPhone even harder – you can’t reach the screen with both hands. There is absolutely no benefit to using the controller aside from the external battery, so why did the owner keep it attached in the first place?

But the third issue is the most problematic: iPhones are notorious for running out of steam very quickly. Since the owner was already dead for “over a week”, I highly doubt the phone would still be powered when Sherlock discovered it, especially since either WiFi or 3G would have been required for the chat function to work. The Logitech Powershell actually includes a second battery, but not even that would have kept it from shutting down. Ironically, a real portable Playstation – PSP or Vita – would have enough juice to stay on standby for a week.

As a little bonus, there’s a scene where Holmes is smashing his and Mycroft’s phone on the street. Ignoring the obvious idiocy of doing so, this scene was filmed at the corner of E 125th St & Madison Avenue in Harlem, and there’s a crew member visible:

Picture (c) CBS
Picture (c) CBS

Either that or that guy really likes to stand in the middle of a busy street talking into his jacket for no apparent reason at all.

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