Review by Dninex

Reviewed: 06/30/05

A great system that just might end Nintendo's 15-year domination of the Handheld market

The PlayStation Portable is Sony's second attempt at a portable system, their first being the PocketStation, which was a Japan-only. The PSP shows superior graphics, never achieved before by a portable, even better than the DS or the Gizmondo. It is also a multimedia device, including movie, music and video playing capabilities. the PSP redefines and sets a point of the portable gaming's graphics, and is the best portable among its contenders.

Size, Button Layout & Controls

The system is pocket size, but barely. you won't be putting too many other stuff in your pocket with your PSP inside already, because the PSP will already take over much of the pocket space. but the thing is that the PSP is slim, so you'll be able to slip a notepad and a pen in your pocket with the PSP inside.

The button Layout is similar to Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, a giant screen is featured in the middle, with the PS family's traditional Square, Triangle, Cross and Circle on the right hand side, and a D-Pad on the left, with an analog stick right under it. Some games like Wipeout Pure benefit from the stick, because it gives the ships more maneuverability, but other games like FIFA make it confusing, because you have to rapidly switch between the D-Pad and the Analog to gain full potential of the game. I really wound have appreciated it if they added a Right analog, but I guess you can't have everything. Also, the position of the Stick makes your hand cramp after a few dozen minutes. The L and R buttons are present, and they are easily pressed, and you'll be holding similarly to the GBA, and all the controls are very responsive.

Screen and Graphics

The PSP has a temping large screen, but you'll need to buy protection for this screen. And the graphics are just amazing. They are almost as good as the PS2 graphics. No other portable has reached these graphics, and it is fully #D capable. Some Games like Wipeout Pure make you want to plug your PSP into your TV and play it there. Although this isn't possible yet, I hope this happens some day. These graphics are just amazing, and I think the Gizmondo or Even the Game Boy Micro will match the PSP's graphics.

Sound & Game Format

The Sound is just like a standard console game, so you won't be impressed if you hug your PS2/Xbox/GC/DC... or whatever every day, but nontheless, it is still impressive for a portable system. There are some voice sample, and they all sound very impressive, and the other sounds are very nice as well.

The game format is a UMD, it is smaller than a CD and contains more data than a CD. You also will be able to watch movies through these, and they never leave their caddy, th they somewhat gain protection from scratches.

Battery Life and Protection

The PSP's screen can be adjusted to save battery life. There is Dark, Medium, Light and Bright. I usually do it on normal, buy when I'm going on a road trip, i do it on Dark. It also depends on what you are doing, like listening to music will consume less battery than watching a movie. You'll get something like 8 hours at dark setting with 1/2 sound playing a game. So you'll need to charge pretty much daily if you are an avid gamer.

The PSP will withstand a lot of damage, but the screen won't. To protect your $250 system, you'll need a screen protector, usually under $5, and a protective case, which is usually around $25. the $30 investment is little compared to the benefits you get from the protection, and any PSP without at least a screen cover has an idiot for an owner.

Game Library, Fun Factor & Additional Features

The PSP is just like a portable PS2. Some titles are jolly fun, but some make you get annoyed *cough* *cough* smart bomb *cough* wha! now that was a real cough... anyways, sometimes you'll be tempted to throw your PSP, but you'll then remember that it costs $250 and stop yourself. So thi console is fun, but some titles are annoying.

The PSP also can watch Movies via UMD or memory card Duo, and you can also watch videos and listen to MP3's via your memory card. The PSP offers many features that an average teen might need.

The PSP has only been out for around three months, but it pretty much has every genre of game released. Most action games are decent and a lot of the racers are awesome. The possibilities are unlimited, and they all seem to suit the PSP quite well.

Overall Comment

An excellent system with only a few flaws, and perfect for the avid gamer. Well ahead of its time, and probably the best out of its competitors. The PSP is by far the best portable existent, and stands well above its competition.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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