Review by Swordless Link
Just when you thought that handheld gaming couldn't get any better, the PSP was released.
Sony's PSP. Before it's release, many were skeptical about it. They believed that it may just be them trying to take a shot at Nintendo, who, until the PSPs release, dominated the handheld world. But it isn't.
This console is a fantastic step forward in the handheld console industry.
Just the look of the PSP is enough to make most people want to play it. It looks very sleek and sexy, the buttons and analogue placed in convenient places which make playing games on it an enjoyable and comfortable experience. The console itself comes in two colours at the moment: Black and White. The White one was only released in Japan and Europe, however. Nevertheless, both the black and the white ones look very appealing, and quite frankly, look a LOT nicer than Nintendo's DS.
The controls on the PSP are excellent. While holding the PSP, the index finger of one's hands are both conveniently placed on each shoulder button, so no stretching has to be done to reach those. The main assortment of buttons, X, O, /\ and  are all easily accessible with your right thumb, which falls roughly in the middle of the square pattern while you hold the PSP. The left side of it contains the D-Pad, with the analogue stick below that. Both the d-pad and the analogue are within range of your left thumb, so once again, are comfortable and easy to use. The volume controls, Start and Select, "Home", and Brightness control buttons are all along the bottom, just under the screen. This is good because they are in a nice place, and they're ALL in there, instead of being scattered all over the system. Overall, the controls are very nice.
Possibly the main reason you would want to buy a PSP. Not only does it play games, but it also can be used a storage device for Photos, it can play Music, it can play Videos, and it even has its own Web Browser. Here's a little about each of those:
Photos: Each image file you put on your PSP can be selected from the main menu, be viewed in a range of sizes, and can be set as the PSP's background when a game isn't being played. The quality of the photos is perfect.
Music: All music you put on the PSP is selectable from the main menu. The sound quality is very good.
Video: Along with UMD Movies, normal video files can also be played on the PSP. The only downside to this is that they have to be in MP4 format to play, but there are an assortment of free converters available on the internet which convert any video file into MP4, so this isn't really too much of a problem. The quality depends on the quality of the video file itself: If it looks good on the PC, it will look good on the PSP.
Web Browser: Can be a little slow at times, but is generally quite good, especially for a handheld. Has no problem loading most pages, but improvement could be made overall. Possibly the only not-next-to-perfect thing about the PSP, but it WILL be improved.
The PSP has quite a few good games on it now. When it was first released, this number was obviously considerably smaller than it is now, but now, it's gone up quite a lot. You have games such as Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (And Vice City Stories is also available, now), along with such other titles as "Medievil Ressurection", a remake of a classic PS1 game. There're also games to suit most genres, like for racing, you have Ridge Racer, for action, you have GTA, for puzzle, you have Lumines and Metal Gear Ac!d (And MGA2). Pretty much every type of game has been tackled on the PSP so far, but bear in mind that it's still relatively new, and that more and more games will be released for it as it ages.
This is one of the best parts about the PSP. Its graphics are simply outstanding, especially when you consider the fact that it's a portable. It really is better than every other handheld here, and even some console games. The cutscenes (and general gameplay, really) in the GTA games are just as good, if not better than the console GTAs. Every Full Motion Video is excellent. It's almost like a movie. Now, I know that's to be expected from any game really, but this is on a handheld. This console pushes handheld graphics to the limit, and it has done it successfully.
Overall, the PSP is a wonderful thing to have. I am so glad I have one. It's one of the only consoles I play these days, because of how incredibly fun I find it. It's so much better than the DS, not that the DS is bad or anything, but you'll generally get much more fun out of a PSP than a DS.
Another thing. Chances are if someone endlessly bashes the PSP, they're a Nintendo fanboy. These people should not be taken seriously because they are only saying all that stuff because they are for some un-Godly reason anti-Sony.
Overall score: 10/10. It truly deserves it.
Reviewed by Swordless Link on the 24th of November 2006.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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