Review by RyanSBHF

"PSP - Tries to do everything. And fails."

This is my first review on GameFAQS. I decided to evaluate Sony's newest product, the PlayStation Portable -

Sony, after a decade of dominating the video game market over Nintendo and later Microsoft decided to enter the handheld arena which has been ruled by the big N since the original Game Boy was released way back in 1989. Well, the PSP is here. In fact it's been almost a year since it's release as I write this article (12-30-05). I've had quite a bit of experience with it and my honest opinion is this: It is simply not worth the money. Many people will disagree with me on this saying things like, "But the graphics are amazing!", etc, etc. I will admit that it does have excellent graphics and sound, easily the best on any handheld system to date. In my opinion the reason the PSP fails is because it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. This is because Sony is trying to sell and market it as an entertainment system, loading it with extra features, rather than focusing on the gaming aspect. I already have an iPod, why do I need a portable system to play MP3's? I already have a laptop, why do I need a portable system to have on the go internet? I already have a DVD player, both a full size one hooked up to my TV and a portable one, why do I need a portable system to play movies? And lastly, I already have a PS2 so why would I want a system with so many PS2 ports? Sony tried to do too much at once and failed. It's no wonder the PSP is still lagging in sales behind the DS, Nintendo's latest handheld. I'll divide the rest of my review into different sections - One for the UMD Movies, one for Games, one for graphics/sound and then finally my overview.

UMD Movies 3/10 -
The movies for the PSP are quite possibly one of the biggest ripoffs in modern electronics. Take the recent release of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" as an example. You could buy it on DVD for $19.99 most places while the PSP version will cost you $29.99! $10 dollar more for a movie which will ONLY viewable on a single portable system! But to me what's even worse than the over pricing issues is the extremely limited movie selection that plauges the PSP. The chance of seeing a classic James Bond film, Star Wars film or anything but a flavor of the month mindless big budget action film released for the PSP is slim to none. The only reason the DVD player worked for the PS2 is because at that time DVD players were still rather expensive. But right now they aren't and even portable DVD players are becoming more and more affordable making the UMD movie format even more unappealing.

Game Library 6/10 -
Of all the games released thus far for the PSP the only one I've really enjoyed and would call a must play and /or excellent game is Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. That's it. Sadly, the PSP has a huge amount of PS2 ports. New games like Star Wars Battle Front II and X-Men Legends 2: The Rise of Apocalypse*, while excellent games, suffer on the PSP for a few reasons. One is that they are rather large games. Face it, most people don't own handheld systems to play 20+ hour epics, they play them for quick gaming sessions on the go. For every GTA: LCS there are 10 PS2 ports. If Sony can start getting more good, and most importantly original games, tha will help this system.

*Yes, I know the PSP version of X-Men Legends 2 had an exclusive character. But is one more character really a reason to get a game?

Graphics/Sound 9.5/10 -
This is one area where I can't say anything bad about the PSP. The graphics are absolutely stunning. Beyond a doubt they are the best graphics we have seen on a handheld EVER. Though slightly less than the PS2 in power since it's a handheld I rate the graphics 10/10. The sound is also excellent, but not up to par with the modern next generation consoles. I'd rate the sound overall 9/10.

Overview -
There is one thing I'd like to say positive about the PSP that didn't really fit into my other categories: The systems looks. I have to admit it does look good which is fairly surprising since the PSX was just an ugly gray box and the PS2 was just a black brick. I really wanted to like the PSP. I really hope they do better on their next handheld (if they decide to make one). Sony, next time try focusing on GAMES.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 01/05/06

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