Review by Time_for_Beer

"Too expensive? Right now, yes... Technological marvel? Yes again."

The PSP has been widely discussed hyped now for a very long time. When the concept picture hit the WWW, gamers everywhere fell in love with the Wide Screen and Dualshock button layout. As the time passed, new features for the PSP were announced, and the hype grew and grew. By the time of it's release, the PSP was more sought after than any handheld on it's launch.

When I walked into a gaming store that I choose not to promote to pick up my PSP value pack, it was truly a bittersweet moment. I had not pre-ordered, so I wasn't expecting to get my PSP... and the price just ate at me. I went ahead, because Sony had been very good to me over the years and picked up my PSP, since they had not sold all of their order in pre-orders.

When I got home, I was very impressed. I picked up Tiger Woods and Wipeout XL (For $40 each... another thing that irked me). I was very impressed by the graphics of the games. I thought this was supposed to be competition for the Nintendo DS, but it really blows the DS out of the water graphically. Tiger Woods looks very close to the PS2 counterpart that I also play, and Wipeout XL is great, nearly rivaling F-Zero GX for GCN. The games play well, and despite some early discomfort with the placement of the buttons, I didn't experience any [] Button glitch or anything like I had heard I would. The overall comfort of the PSP is kinda odd... since it is so wide... but I am sure some getting use to will knock that irk out for good.

The sound on the PSP is great, also pretty much beating the Nintendo DS. Especially when watching Spiderman 2. I couldn't get over how awesome the movie looked and sounded on such a small screen! It was great. I can't wait until a larger movie selection is available in UMD format. I won't be starting another collection of movies, but it would be nice to have them available for road trips and other times when you need some portable entertainment... like in school.

The downsides to the PSP are the price of the hardware and software and the battery life. The battery life is sort of short, compared to that of the DS and GBASP, but I don't find myself sitting and playing PSP for hours and hours like I could on a console. I think that is the norm for most handhelds... because I don't play my GBA or DS for too long either. The DS and GBASP both have a better battery life than the PSP, but a new battery with longer life can fix that problem. It will cost extra sure, but for those hardcore handheld gamers who will sit up all night playing in bed, it is great. The PSP is a movie player, yes... and a handheld video game player with top notch format games, but I do think that $250 is a lot to pay for the system. It would have definitely been better if Sony had released a Base unit for maybe $200 with just a PSP, and then the Value Pack with the Movie and Memory Stick also. I could have done without Spiderman 2 and a case really. They are nice, but $250 is kinda pricey for someone in school like myself.

The price and battery life is why I gave the PSP a 6/10. I took 3 points off for the Price, and then 1 away for the battery life, since as I said, not a lot of people would be playing for 8 hours straight. The system is amazing, but I feel kind of robbed having paid almost as much for this as I paid for my PS2 on it's launch. Especially now that all consoles and other handhelds are $150 and under. I am excited to see what Sony and the 3rd parties have in-store for PSP owners, since PS2 is the dominant system... I'm sure PSP will win the handheld war in the end.

P.S. I twisted my PSP a bit while playing, and the UMD did NOT shoot out like it had been speculated. This rumor is NOT true for US PSP systems.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/04/05

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