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Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Review

Posted on Saturday, April 02 2005 @ 19:00:51 CEST by LSDsmurf

When it comes to portable gaming platforms, the Sony PSP is hands down, bar none, the absolute best system you can get.

The first thing you'll notice when playing one is the graphics which fall somewhere between a PS1 and PS2. For a handheld unit, that is an awesome acheivement. But as every other company that's tried to step into the ring against Nintendo's Gameboy has learned, graphics don't make a better game system. But then again, no other company ever made a Sony Playstation that fits in the palm of your hand. And to be fair, the PSP is better than the Playstation ever was.

I already mentioned the graphical improvements and that it's portable. It also features a widescreen monitor. If that's not enough, how about built in wi-fi capability that allows it to access any 801.11g network or create it's own ad hoc network for multiplay between up to eight PSPs at a 500' range?

The games play off a new proprietary format called UMD which holds twice as much data as a CD-ROM (what the PS1 uses). Using fantastic compression, Sony is able to allow the PSP to play full 2-hour movies with crystal clarity. Theoretically, the discs could also be used to play music which would be great as the sound processor in the unit is fantastic. The unit has two micro-speakers built in, but it's not until you plug in a set of quality headphones that you really notice. Fortunately you can download music onto Memory Sticks and use the unit just like any flash memory MP3 player.

The system uses a new form of Memory Stick called a Memory stick Duo which currently can have capacities as large as 2-gigabytes on a card barely larger than your thumbnail. On said card is stored game saves, but the PSP will also read .jpg format for still photos, .mp3 format for music files, and .mp4 format for video files. All that's needed is a USB cable to connect to your PC, and it's as simple as dragging and dropping between folders.

Truly, Sony has delivered a total package multimedia device in the PSP. The design is elegant and the construction is solid (this aint no cheap plasticy kid's toy). However, it's not without it's faults. While it's great to finally have a portable with an analog stick, you'll wonder why they couldn't have included two (as is the standard today). The battery has a short 3-6 hour life (though recharges quickly in about 2-hours). The buttons under the monitor are impossible to navigate in the dark as they are matching gloss black and practically flush with the body. A little illumination would have been great. The unit comes with a 32MB Memory Stick which is plenty for game saves but nothing for music, and you can forget about video. Larger sticks (up to 2GB) are available but can get costly. Rumors exist of a PSP with a built in hard drive down the road, but I'd settle for recordable UMD.

If you are just interested in games, the launch line-up for the PSP is solid yet missing any killer apps. My selection of games includes Untold Legends (a 4-player action RPG along the lines of Baldur's Gate for the PS2), Dynasty Warriors, Lumines (a trippy Tetris-esque puzzle game), and Ridge Racer (an extremely impressive arcade racer that pushes the envelop in terms of speed and graphics all while being easy to handle). More games are coming soon, including the infamous Grand Theft Auto, which should triple the line up by the end of May.

All in all, the PSP is a pricey-but-worth-it toy that's probably better suited for you than your kids. It may not replace your iPod, but for what it does, and at the same price, the PSP definately deserves your consideration, especially if you are in the market for a high tech gadget.


Link: Sony PSP Shop




When it comes to portable gaming platforms, the Sony PSP is hands down, bar none, the absolute best system you can get.

The first thing you'll notice when playing one is the graphics which fall somewhere between a PS1 and PS2. For a handheld unit, that is an awesome acheivement. But as every other company that's tried to step into the ring against Nintendo's Gameboy has learned, graphics don't make a better game system. But then again, no other company ever made a Sony Playstation that fits in the palm of your hand. And to be fair, the PSP is better than the Playstation ever was.

I already mentioned the graphical improvements and that it's portable. It also features a widescreen monitor. If that's not enough, how about built in wi-fi capability that allows it to access any 801.11g network or create it's own ad hoc network for multiplay between up to eight PSPs at a 500' range?

The games play off a new proprietary format called UMD which holds twice as much data as a CD-ROM (what the PS1 uses). Using fantastic compression, Sony is able to allow the PSP to play full 2-hour movies with crystal clarity. Theoretically, the discs could also be used to play music which would be great as the sound processor in the unit is fantastic. The unit has two micro-speakers built in, but it's not until you plug in a set of quality headphones that you really notice. Fortunately you can download music onto Memory Sticks and use the unit just like any flash memory MP3 player.

The system uses a new form of Memory Stick called a Memory stick Duo which currently can have capacities as large as 2-gigabytes on a card barely larger than your thumbnail. On said card is stored game saves, but the PSP will also read .jpg format for still photos, .mp3 format for music files, and .mp4 format for video files. All that's needed is a USB cable to connect to your PC, and it's as simple as dragging and dropping between folders.

Truly, Sony has delivered a total package multimedia device in the PSP. The design is elegant and the construction is solid (this aint no cheap plasticy kid's toy). However, it's not without it's faults. While it's great to finally have a portable with an analog stick, you'll wonder why they couldn't have included two (as is the standard today). The battery has a short 3-6 hour life (though recharges quickly in about 2-hours). The buttons under the monitor are impossible to navigate in the dark as they are matching gloss black and practically flush with the body. A little illumination would have been great. The unit comes with a 32MB Memory Stick which is plenty for game saves but nothing for music, and you can forget about video. Larger sticks (up to 2GB) are available but can get costly. Rumors exist of a PSP with a built in hard drive down the road, but I'd settle for recordable UMD.

If you are just interested in games, the launch line-up for the PSP is solid yet missing any killer apps. My selection of games includes Untold Legends (a 4-player action RPG along the lines of Baldur's Gate for the PS2), Dynasty Warriors, Lumines (a trippy Tetris-esque puzzle game), and Ridge Racer (an extremely impressive arcade racer that pushes the envelop in terms of speed and graphics all while being easy to handle). More games are coming soon, including the infamous Grand Theft Auto, which should triple the line up by the end of May.

All in all, the PSP is a pricey-but-worth-it toy that's probably better suited for you than your kids. It may not replace your iPod, but for what it does, and at the same price, the PSP definately deserves your consideration, especially if you are in the market for a high tech gadget.




Link: Sony PSP Shop

Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)








Legacy comment system closed


Re: Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)
by Anonymous on Friday, July 15 2005 @ 02:57:11 CEST
i just wanna find a way howda get music to my psp...using windows media






 

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