Rating

A

Specific Ratings

GameplayA
GraphicsA+
Learning CurveA
Replay ValueA+
SoundA

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Near-PS2 quality graphics
  • Great launch library
  • Online at launch
  • Slick design
  • Widescreen
  • Nice audio speakers
  • Analog, and great button setup
Cons
  • Very fragile
  • Horrid battery life
  • Noisy loads

Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable)

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Summary

This sexy little handheld is THE ideal system. You name it, it does it. But does it come at a price?

Images


Description

Ok. Let's just get the specs of this baby out of the way.

FACTS

PlayStation Portable System Specs

* Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.7 in x 2.91 in x 0.91 in
* Weight: 8.36 oz
* Controller: D-pad
* Processor: MIPS R4000
* Processor Clock Speed: 1-333MHz
* Processor (2nd): MIPS R4000
* Processor Clock Speed (2nd): 1-333MHz
* Main Memory: 32MB
* Video Memory: 2MB EDRAM
* Fill Rate (pixels): 664 Mpixels/s
* Fill Rate (triangles): 33 Mtriangles/s
* Display: 4.3" 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD
* Resolution: 480x272
* Colors: 16.77 million colors
* Brightness:
o Maximum luminance 180 / 130 / 80cd/m2 (when using battery pack)
o Maximum luminance 200 / 180 / 130 / 80cd/m2 (when using AC adaptor)
* Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers
* I/O Connectors: 1 x audio out, 1 x microphone, 1 x control connector, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Memory Stick Pro Duo, IrDA, IR remote. Allows simultaneous multiple PSPs to be connected.
* Integrated Communications: 802.11b Wi-Fi
* Media Drive: UMD Drive
* The UMD: The small, high-capacity optical medium Universal Media Disc (UMD). Allows for 1.8 GB of space and provides an extremely versatile format for games, music, and video.
* Codec:
o [Video]: "UMD": H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile Level3
o [Video]: "Memory Stick": MPEG-4 SP, AAC
o [Music]: "UMD": linear PCM, ATRAC3plus
o [Music}: "Memory Stick": ATRAC3plus, MP3 (MPEG1/2 Layer3)
o [Photo]: JPEG (DCF2.0/Exif2.21)
* Data Transfer: The wireless LAN connections, USB connections, or the use of a Memory Stick PRO Duo.
* Power: PSP's battery is a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It's possible to charge the PSP while using the system.
* Buttons: Square, Triangle, X, and Circle face buttons, a digital pad, start, select, an analog thumb stick and two shoulder buttons on the top.
* Basic Portable Functions: Exterior headphone connector, brightness control and sound mode selectors.
* Protection: A robust copyright protection system utilizes a combination of a unique disc ID, a 128-bit AES encryption key for media, and individual ID for each PSP unit. ({href}www.ebgames.com EBGames.com{href})

Price - $249.99 for the value pack, which contains:

* PSP Hardware
* 32 MB Memory Stick Duo
* Headphones with remote control
* Battery pack
* AC adaptor
* Soft case and cleaning cloth
* Movie/music/game video sampler UMD disc including multiple non-interactive game demo
* And for the first one million PSP Value Packs shipped, a special UMD video release of the feature film Spider-Man 2 from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The announced launch titles were:

Ape Escape: On the Loose, Sony Computer Entertainment America
ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, SCEA
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Capcom
Dynasty Warriors, Koei
FIFA 2005, Electronic Arts
Gretzky NHL, SCEA
Lumines, Ubisoft
Metal Gear Acid, Konami
MLB, SCEA
MVP Baseball, EA
NBA, SCEA
NBA Street Showdown, EA
Need for Speed Rivals, EA
NFL Street 2 Unleashed, EA
Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory, Konami
Ridge Racer, Namco
Smartbomb, Eidos Interactive
Spider-Man 2, Activision
Tiger Woods PGA Tour, EA
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix, Activision
Twisted Metal: Head-On, SCEA
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, Sony Online Entertainment
Wipeout Pure, SCEA
World Tour Soccer, SCEA

My take on PSP

The Design (PSP's External)

PSP is definitely the best looking handheld ever. Without a doubt. That aside, the PSP isn't without design flaws totally (Japan's famous PSP Square button issue, etc). Let's get this stuff out of the way

The PSP's design rocks because:

* It's not embarrassing to be seen with like other handheld systems
* Nice, bright widescreen
* Great sound
* Comfortable

The PSP's design flaws are:

* Screen is open to damage and other harmful baddies
* Analog feels awkward
* The surface is so shiny, finger prints are virtually there all the time (personal issue with me. I can't stand fingerprints)
*The Memory Stick Duo cover opens up occassionally

The Hardware (PSP's Internal)

PSP is a costly investment. I won't lie about that. However, I found it to be very worth it thus far. But as far as graphics, movies, music goes; PSP pushes the the technology to the limit. Video's look awesome. music sounds great, and better yet, games play really well (depends on what games you like, that is). Battery life isn't the best, but it isn't bad if you take in consideration what PSP can do. I watched PART of Spider-man 2 The Movie, and it had one out of three bars left on the battery meter. Sony stated a better battery was in development, so I hope it comes out soon and inexpensive. If you're in a car, I'd recommend getting a Car Adapter. If you're at home, use the charger and play it (it doesn't get in the way at all). If you're out-of-the-house, you shouldn't be playing it more than 5 hours anyways. But if you do, you can always stop playing and get back to work. Charging takes little time which was surprising to me. I believe I clocked in at about 2 1/2 hours charging (to max)


The PSP's Internal Hardware rocks because:

* Great grahpics
* Can play movies
* Plays MP3's
* Can go online

The PSP's Internal Hardware's flaws are:

* Hooooorrible battery life.
* Hooooorrible battery life.
* Hooooorrible battery life.
* Hooooorrible battery life.

Final Take

Right now (April 5th, 2005), PSP is definitely better library-wise.

Hardware department? It owns DS despite the not-so-good battery life. There is always other options to deal with this, but it is quite an investment, so you can't be rough with it like the good ol' Gameboy Advance.

Recommended yes

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