Review by Terabyter

"A monopoly no more!"

In the words of Jim Morrison, "the old get older, the young get stronger"

The Playstation Portable from Sony, or PSP as it's commonly known, is the latest technological marvel to hit the world. The PSP faces tough competition; as for as long as anyone can remember, Nintendo and its Goliath GameBoy have ruled the handheld market.

However, does the PSP live up to all the hype and anticipation? Do the rants and claims of fans have any material? Let's find out.

The PSP has absolutely astonishing visuals. It's easy to compare this to most consoles, and this is just a portable system.

On games like Lumines, the graphics may not be used to the full extent of their abilities, but no doubt in games like Wipeout Pure and Ridge Racer, you can see the work that went into building a life like experience for the gamer.

Overall, in the handheld market, nothing compares to the PSP.

Good gameplay is made easy by the fact that the button layout is smooth and just perfect. The buttons feel fantastic and the D+Pad is responsive.

An analog nub is also introduced, but it didn't impress me too much. plus, you might just pass it by, thinking it was a speaker. It was a good idea though.

When I first picked up the PSP, it instantly struck me that this wasn't a normal gaming system. The sleek black design made it radiate sexiness around the room.

Minuscule buttons below the screen include a Start, Select, Tune (for selecting a style of music, perhaps? It toggles through different genres, Heavy, Pop, Jazz and Unique.

A brightness switch allows you to toggle 3 settings of brightness. The brightest will obviously use the most battery life, and the dimmest setting will use the least battery life.

Next are the volume switches. The higher your volume, the (slightly) less battery life you will get, and vice versa.

On the left side of the PSP, a WLAN switch allows you to play games with a friend within 50 feet, obviously assuming his switch is also set on and he has a PSP, with the same game as you. In addition to this, the purchase of Wipeout Pure and tinkering with some settings can allow you to browse the internet. Heck, how do you know I'm not posting this from my PSP? =P

UMD movie and saved videos can also be played on this omnibus handheld. UMDs containing full length films can be purchased at most game stores, and cost around 50 dollars. The downside is that they can only be played on the PSP, so they are a bit pricey.

Also, you can connect your PSP to your computer, and transfer movies (MPEG4 format only people!) to your memory stick.

Of course, trying to transfer Ben Hur and every season of Friends just isn't going to happen with the default 32MB memory stick. Sure, it's fine if gaming is all you're going to be doing, but if you want the end all portable, you'll need to upgrade.

You can purchase 128MB, 512MB, 1GB and in the foreseeable future maybe even (super expensive) 2GB cards.

Of course, turning your PSP into a digital photo album can also be done. Since files for photos are generally not 5MB, many photos can be transferred without emptying your pockets for a bigger memory card.

Only .jpg format though, so you can't show all your friends your .gif images of large, jiggling breasts through your PSP. Sorry.

What's this? The PSP is evolving!

The PSP evolved into iPodSP!

That's right, you can transfer music to your PSP!

The problem is that with your default 32 MB memory won't be able to transfer all of Beethoven's masterpieces to it without spending the cash for a better memory stick. However, with one, this can be just as effective as an iPod, or an iRiver, or whatever other i's there are. Assuming you don't have a gigantic music library that is.

Truly the PSP is an amazing handheld, and one that will not be forgotten for a long time to come.

...Or at least until Nintendo Super System 90210.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/01/05

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