Review by Blizzard122189
"PSP: The revolution of portable gaming? It just might be....."
Psp, those three letters, though simple, stand for something far greater, they stand for the first major competition against Nintendo's reign of the handheld market. They represent what could be the beginning of Nintendo's downfall, or the affirmation that they control the handheld market. So is Sony's first foray into handheld gaming the evolution of portables? Let's find out.....
System Design: As soon as you lay eyes on the PSP you are going to be in love. Sony's new portable is by far one of the slickest looking devices I've ever seen, it's contoured and shiny black, really to understand how amazing the PSP is you have to see one for yourself. An added plus to it looking good is it's all not just for looks, it's also very functional. The device is curved in such a way as to give you something to hold onto, there are two medium outward arcs on each end, which fit into your palms, then all the buttons are laid out to be easy to reach. All the controls work well, in my experience everything feels very high quality, I love the shoulder buttons and though the analog nub takes a little getting used to after you do it works great. So for the overall physical design I see no flaws, the system if very sturdy, sporting an aluminum interior frame, and everything feels solid. It's also comfortable to hold and nice to look at, so it's got the whole package.
Technical design: As far as hand-helds go the PSP is a crowning achievement, it literally packs the power of the PS2 into a little handheld device, and still manages to get good battery life. The system packs duel Mips-4000 processors each going at 333 mhz. Not to mention 2 graphics cores(one for effects and one 166 mhz core for the raw graphics themselves). To make it even better the PSP has a dedicated sound core and video decoder, not to mention over 32 megs of system ram and 4 megs of video ram. This thing is a beast, it can pump out at least as many polygons as the Ps2, except it can pump them out with hardware Anti-aliasing. So instead of using Cpu power to put AA in a game, developers can now just let the video hardware do it for them, this technically allows more power for Ai, better graphics, sound, frame rate, etc. Not to mention with a disc format as good as the UMD there is lots of room for hi-res textures, sounds, and fmvs.. I think what we have seen of the PSP so far is just the tip of the ice-berg, once developers have more time to squeeze the hardware like they did with ps2 we will see games far better than anything seen on the Ps2, if only for the reason of hardware AA and all the cpu power the system will save not emulating AA like ps2 does. So those are the guts of the system, some of it's other technical achievements include a huge and bright high resolution screen, 802.11 B wireless networking, which can connect to internet right out of the box, and everything using very low power consumption. So just to put it simply the PSP is astoundingly powerful, with it's multi-core design the system has the potential to rival the xbox in power and pretty much crush the Ps2 from a technical stand-point, the games we see on the PSP in a year will be as good graphically if not better than what's on Ps2 now, and by the end of the systems life we will be seeing graphics no one today would think possible. This is a system clearly built for the future.
Features: This just adds more sugar to an already sweet deal, the PSP comes with a built in Mp3 player, Mpeg 4 player, and picture viewer. Also with the easy to use wireless im sure we will see online gaming soon, not to mention all the options and little features of the PSP that make it great. One good example is the stand-by mode, this lets you hibernate the PSP at any time during a game, the neat thing is this starts you back EXACTLY where you where, you can pause and go into stand-by and when you turn it back on your wont have missed a single frame. Plus stand-by mode takes almost no battery. This is just one of many small features that make the PSP great, from adjustable brightness depending on situation to all it's extra functions the PSP can be more than a gaming device, but it makes a great dedicated gaming device to, once again it just has the whole package.
Games: This is an issue that gets argued over a lot, it really all comes down to taste. However in my opinion PSP has an amazing library of already released and upcoming games. I am enjoying my PSP now, and im sure I will continue to enjoy it thanks to all the great big name titles coming out. From a new Twisted metal to Gta:PSP it's looking to be a great year for PSP, even though it just launched.
Overall: The PSP is an astoundingly good portable gaming console, for a first attempt this is a home-run, I have essentially no complaints about the PSP and nothing but praise, after playing with the DS for a few weeks and then getting a PSP they just cannot be compared. The PSP is the future, it's sleek and sexy, not to mention an amazing technical achievement. It will be nice to have some real competition for Nintendo and maybe they will raise the bar for their next handheld, but for this generation my money is going towards my PSP. I give the PSP a perfect 10 and recommend it to anyone who wants to experience the future of handheld gaming.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/18/05
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