Review by Ratchet Fanatic

"A beautiful, powerful, flawed system"

First off, let me say that although this is the best handheld on the market, it's not for everybody. If your still whining because your mom told you to go take a bath, this isn't for you. This isn't a Gameboy, you can't toss it around in a backpack and expect it to work when you take it out. This is a very delicate system. So if you can't keep yourself clean, stop now and don't waste your money.

Graphics - 10/10
These are the best graphics you can get on a handheld, period. With that gigantic LCD screen and the raw power, it comes out looking on par with some older PS2 games, no two ways around it. The screen itself takes up most of the face on the PSP. A word on the dead pixel controversy though. There are dead pixels. Some have more than others, and your chances of getting one without any are about the same as getting struck by lightning and winning the lottery in the same day. So don't count on it. My advice is that if you do get one, don't look for them. A single pixel is very small, and your not going to notice it unless you look for them.

Sound - 9/20
The sound, to me, is sweet. It sounds clean and crisp. Thing can get pretty loud too. But, I don't have much of an ear for sound, maybe you do. I don't really like the earbuds that come with it, but they're alright. I would recommend getting a pair with a longer cord, and a little more comfortable.

System design - 9/10
The design is almost exactly like a PS2 controller, only with a few more buttons below the screen controlling backlight, volume, sound type when you plug in headphones, and the Home button. The only beef I have with it is the finish on the front. Sony tried for a sleek and shiny look on the front, and while it does look like that when it's clean, most of the time it'll look like a sleek and fingerprint covered look. Everytime you touch it, you leave a print. Not to mention the screen, which can attract dust like nothing else. If I didn't know better, I would think a cleaning company designed the front as a dust wiper. There is hope, though. The package comes with a a microfiber cloth for cleaning. A microfiber cloth is basically a glasses cleaning cloth. I suggest that you pick up a few more of these and keep them with you. I saw a neat little think called a Rag in a Bag at Gamestop, it was a little cloth in a little bag with a hook on it, so you could put it on the wrist strap. Hopefully, this will work for you. If nothing else, tape one to the back. Your also probably wondering about the Square button issue. It is half off, but I haven't had any problems with it at all. So other than some minor annoyances, the system design is good.

Games - For now, 6/10
At the time I'm writing this, there is next to nothing on the damn system. All the games are in development. That means that there will be games on it. For now, I would just pick up Lumines and Wipeout Pure and be done with it for a while. About online games, the only one that I know that goes online is Wipeout Pure. Your going to be in for the day getting everything configured for online though. Once you do, your probably going to be thinking about maybe putting on some homebrew or a ROM or two. Thats something else all together, and your probably going to be in for another day getting that set up, if you can at all.

Gadgetry - 5/10
Man, this is a classic case of cash cow milking right here. When you buy the system, you get a 32 meg memory stick. This isn't any old memory stick either. It's a memory stick duo, which, before this, was just used in cameras. The other thing about these particular memory sticks is that they are expensive as hell. They come in five flavors, the 32 meg that comes standard, the 128 card, the 256 card, the 512 card, the 1 GB card, and the 2 GB card. Right about now, your probably thinking that you'll just pick up a 2 GB card and be happy. Unless your a filthy rich guy with money to burn, your dead wrong. You see, the 2 GB card is around $350. Thats more than the damn PSP cost!!! Not to mention that the only place you can find a 2 GB card is online! The biggest card you can find in a store is the one gig one, and thats $150 at Gamestop! The 512 is around $90 last time I checked, and I forget how much the other ones are. If your going to spend $150 on a memory stick, save your money and buy a portable DVD player. It's cheaper. Speaking of cheaper, you can find deals online, and hopefully, prices will go down soon. As of now, only Sandisk and Sony make them, Sandisk being a bit cheaper. Both are of equal quality though, so get a sandisk and save a little dough.

Overall - 8/10
PSP is a good system, what you can do with it is simply astounding. Slight annoyances and shameless cash cow milking aside, this is definitely worth your money.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/26/05

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