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The Sony Playstation Portable is without any doubt in my mind the best handheld console available on the market, even today, several years after its worldwide release in 2005. Despite Nintendo's efforts with the DS, DSi, 3DS etc etc the PSP stands tall amongst the waves of new generation games with touch sensitive options and sometimes better graphics. Why? Because this has history, a backlog of classic games to fall back on, regardless of the new ones being released. The harbingers of the Playstation One, 'Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey', 'Resident Evil', 'Final Fantasy' and 'Crash Bandicoot'. These series of games make a brilliant comeback and, for those that owned them in the late 90's, are better than the current crop of heartless games being released today. Perhaps its the nostalgia talking but thanks to this marvelous little console, players can relive the glory days of an exciting new world of video gaming, back when Demo One featured numerous games and technical demonstrations of dinosaurs and manta rays.
The PSP is just a bit smaller than an original GameBoy, but instead of a square screen on a portrait canvas, its a landscape, high resolution widescreen about the size of an iPhone. The most well known control configuration is still there with the standard cross, square, triangle and circle buttons on the right, with the directional pad on the left accompanied by a single analogue stick. Two bumpers at the top right and lefthand side of the console act as the triggers (R1 & L1), while select and start remain close together near the bottom, below the screen. The additional buttons that make the PSP more than a gaming controller are the buttons for volume, screen brightness, Home (main menu), on/off switch, Wifi/LAN switch and the open disc trey switch. It also sports the 5v charging port via the mains, an audio jack for any ear/headphones, USB port for computer connection and infrared capabilities.
The screen has 3 modes of brightness, increasing battery expenditure the higher you go, but the 'darkest' setting is more than enough during day or night sessions. The battery claims to last 7 hours when 100% charged but after time generally lasts around 4-5 hours of gameplay which isn't too impressive but it does charge pretty quickly and you can get replacement batteries (That and Sony recommend no more than 1 hour gaming sessions;). The sound is fine besides a little limited volume, but as good as any others quality when plugged in with headphones. It is capable of playing videos from UMD's and high speed memory cards ranging from measly 32mb to over 8GB. This excess of space can be used to store other things as well such as photos, which can be used as backgrounds - a pleasant addition, music tracks and games themselves downloaded from the Playstation store.. or other sources.. Personally I have 4 memory cards (SanDisk), one 64mb that came with it, a slightly larger 265mb and a solid 4GB and massive 8GB, with the last two being occupied by big classic games and the others for spare bits and bobs, truth be told an 8GB is more than enough.
A common physical problem with the PSP is the analogue stick. Its the only part the can be easily damaged depending on storage or use - it can come lose or pull in a variety of directions. Luckily it doesn't really play a huge part in many games but it can mess about with camera angles. The idea of physically releasing films on UMD's seems to be a but redundant though, with phones, iPads and other media providing visuals via files or internet connection, sales of films on PSP were abysmal, just go into any second hand game shop and you're bound to see a shelf full of them. Sure they do have a lot of classics available but no one really wants to watch full length movies on a gaming console, let alone something handheld, still the options there if you want it. The final flaw is the possibility of games played off the memory stick freezing. Whether they're official playstation store purchases or otherwise, freezing can occur and you may need to tamper with disc speed and other options by going into safe/boot mode (switch on holding R).
Controlling the PSP itself seems a bit of a mystery at first with several options and settings to mess about with, connecting to wifi being a possible struggle, accessing the memory cards, connecting to friends, but you soon adapt and its only the gameplay that really matters, feeling right at home in your sweaty mitts. To make this little wonder last and be a delight to own, you'll need a case to protect it from dust and general wear and tear, one or two memory cards (SD cards found in cameras or official ones), the charger (of course), a standard pair of headphones and a usb cable to connect it to your computer. Then you've got a playstation with your favourite games, songs, photos and films in your back pocket, handy.
Sony has been leading the market for a number of years now with the Playstation gaming brand and following on from the huge success of the Playstation 2 console a decision was taken by Sony to take on the handheld gaming market which is dominated by Nintendo but does the PSP really bring them in to the market as a viable option?
The PSP comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack which allows for you to get hours of gameplay and movie watching without the need to worry about having to replace your batteries. Charging up your battery is very easy as thankfully you don't need to disconnect the battery pack but instead simply plug your PSP console in to the mains for it to charge up the battery so you are ready for use very quickly.
The PSP uses a brand new form of media as it uses UMD (Universal Media Disc) for both games and also for movies. These discs are very well designed for use out and about as they are housed in protective plastic cases so that they are not going to be scratched up as easily and with each disc containing 1.8GB of storage capacity they have not lost out on any quality through the use of this new media format. I am a big fan of the UMD format as I find the games and movies play smoothly and quickly with no skipping.
The console comes with a high level of processing power thanks to the 333MHz processor allowing for faster gaming than any other handheld console on the market. The 4 MB of fast DRAM and 32 MB of embedded RAM ensure that the console can run even the best of the games out there with high level graphics and manages to give a level of performance in line with the PS2 which makes this a console which will make a this something that will attract more of the gamers out there to play over the likes of the Nintendo DS and was exactly what attracted me to purchasing this.
A high quality LCD screen allows for brilliantly bright graphics to be shown as they should be and thanks to the 4.3 inch size and 16:9 aspect ratio I was very impressed with just how clear the games are and the images can be made out. The resolution is 480 x 272 pixels which allows for great quality gameplay and also for great UMD movie playback that will not strain your eyes even when used for a few hours a day.
Storing your saved games and MP3 files can be done easily thanks to the Sony Memory Stick Duo slot and these are becomming a much cheaper option than they previously were (although not as cheap as SD storage cards). The memory stick allows for quick and easy data transfer whilst not using vast amounts of power as this is designed firstly for use in Sony digital cameras. The fact you can easily change the memory stick and have numerous ones in your library allows for you to have saved games kept for as long as you wish without you needing to worry about having to finish one game before moving along to your next one.
The PSP console comes with in-built Wifi connectivity which allows for you to access the internet when you are in an accessible area so that you can play multi-player games against others from anywhere in the world. The Wifi connection is of a very good level but for me this is not something I have made any real use of so althought I can say it is a good thing to have in your console I can't offer up a real opinion on the quality of multi player gaming.
A great control system thanks the PSP following the same standard layout of controller as the other Playstation controllers out there. The console has a D pad, analog stick, triangle, circle, square and cross buttons and the left and right triggers which allow for maximum control from a handheld console and I was impressed without how simple and quick it was to learn the control layout.
The console has a built in speaker which you can use but if like me you are going to be using this on buses and trains then you will be making use of the headphone socket and this is very well placed and allows for great sound quality to be heard easily and clearly (earphone quality dependant).
A USB 2.0 socket allows for future connectivity and easy data transfer between the console itself and your pc so that you can store only what you want when you want it without needing to lose it for good as you can store the information on your PC hard drive.
The PSP is a rather expensive piece of kit for a handheld option but you are getting what you are paying for as this has more processing power than any other handheld console out there and so your games and movies will be of a much better quality than can be played on the other consoles out there.
The PSP console comes in a high gloss black finish which may look excellent and modern but thanks to this and the screen being designed to be as clear and bright as possible you will find that the console will take no time to have fingerprints all over and they will not be able to be cleaned off once they are on. This led to my console feeling like I had been playing it for weeks after a few hours of gameplay which I did find rather disappointing.
Overall I am a fan of the PSP console and think that the quality of movies and games available on the UMD format makes this a very viable option. The console has a great control setup as it is designed to feel as much like the standard Playstation controller as possible for a handheld to have which allows for you to quickly find your way around this console and play your games with ease which I was very impressed with. The console has a great screen that gives bright and clear gaming or video playback and for me this is one of the best things about the console as it means you can play on this for ages without any eye strain and coming from someone who wears glasses this is a big point that is worth bearing in mind. The console has great storage potential thanks to the Memory Stick Duo port and so you can easily store you saved games, music and photos and have them ready for playback with minimum fuss. A great piece of kit that allows for the true gamer to play quality games on a high end console with a bright and vibrant screen and excellent sound quality from the in-built speaker if you don't wish to use the headphone socket provided.
I bought the PSP years ago and it is a great console that I found very useful to have on a long journeys or holidays.
Design and features:
The PSP is well designed with a big screen and the buttons everyone knows and loves from the Playstation consoles. Newer versions of the PSP have been bought out, but none have enough of a reason for me to upgrade as the original does everything I could possibly want.
The PSP doesn't weigh much and is easy to carry around. It's also comfy to hold as it's just like holding a Playstation controller. It isn't the most durable console though. It can take a few light hits, but it's best to have a case for it. Luckily I have a hard case for mine and even after dropping it from a height the PSP has survived with no damage at all.
The PSP has a number of different features. You can play games, watch films, listen to music and even browse the web. All of these features work really well, although I don't really have much use for the music option as I'd rather use an MP3 player.
I have used the PSP to watch films and the screen size hasn't been a problem at all. You can watch a film on a UMD or using a memory stick.
The software is something that needs to be kept up to date, which can be annoying at times. However, the main software remains the same with an easy to use menu that has different icons for each media. I've had no problems with the software, although it's best to make sure you have a full battery or are charging the console when you update so that it won't turn off during updates as this can cause massive problems.
All games are on UMD. There are many games for the PSP, but some work better than others. I prefer to play puzzle or RPG games as these load faster and just seem easier to play. Action games can sometimes freeze or struggle to play properly and if you are playing a game that requires constantly clicking buttons you may find you're moving the console around a lot which doesn't help.
Racing games and (extreme) sports play alright, but just don't seem as fast-paced and as easy to control as on home consoles.
Audio and Graphics:
The audio is clear and I've never had any problems when playing games or watching films. There's not really much to say on the graphics other than they are great and are just as good usually as on the PS2. Some games look better than others, but none look really bad and even with a screen this size you can see the detail that has gone into games.
The Web Browser:
The web browser isn't something I really thought I'd use, but then my computer had problems and the only thing I could use to get online was my PSP. The PSP is nowhere near as good as a computer, but like with mobiles some sites will automatically go to the mobile version. It's not easy to type using the PSP as you have to use an onscreen keyboard and viewing websites isn't always easy, especially if they have big graphics as it takes ages to scroll past them and often the site layout becomes messed up.
For general web browsing every so often the PSP isn't so bad, but if you want to view sites with graphics or type a lot then you're best off using a computer (or even a mobile phone).
Compared to the DS:
As with every console there is always a console war. In this case it's the PSP vs. the DS. I have both and each has their good and bad points. For being able to watch films and play certain games (such as GTA or Burnout) the PSP is much better as it has a better screen with better graphics, plus the option to watch films. Some games, like Nintendogs, are better on the DS and wouldn't work well on the PSP as without the touch screen feature they'd be a bit boring. Personally I couldn't say which I prefer - I like having both for different reasons.
The PSP is a great console with many games, but when at home I'd much rather use a home console. If you travel a lot then the PSP is worth getting, not just for games but for films and even music.
Well i originally bought a PSP back in 2006, at that time i only owned a few games for it, and never really got into the console, in 2008 i sold it and bought a DS instead. Then back in late 2010 i bought an old PSP-1003 system again for 50 quid.
The power of the system is great, far more powerful than a DS. Apple Ipod's are more powerful however, but they also cost a lot more.
32MB of RAM, in the Phat, 64MB in all other models.
222MHZ processor, can be safely overclocked to 333MHZ if you have Custom Firmware installed.
Screen resolution of 480x272 on a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. 4.3inch screen
Analog stick, the 4 face buttons, a D-pad, 2 shoulder buttons and multimedia buttons along the bottom.
WLAN capable of 802.11b networking.
Infrared port, although is only used by homebrew.
So its got decent power for the price you pay.
Because of this power, a lot of PSP's have the main purpose of running homebrew, that is programs that have been made by hobbyists, usually. Homebrew can be anything from games, to system emulators.
The PSP can successfully emulate consoles such as the SNES and GBA at full speed. The most powerful console to be emulated on the PSP is the N64, emulation isn't perfect, but a good deal of the more popular games are playable at around 50-80% speed. PS1 emulation is built into the PSP and runs at 100% on pretty much every title, although some games may struggle due to the fact that the PSP only has 2 shoulder buttons and 1 analog stick instead of 4 shoulder buttons and 2 analog sticks.
Pretty much every system below the N64 has been emulated on the PSP, Commodore Amiga, SNES, NES, PS1, GBA, GBC, GB, Commodore 64/128, Atari 2600/7800, various SEGA systems. There is even a SNES emulator with Ad-hoc capabilities so you can play wirelessly with another PSP in the vicinity, although the games do seem to go out of sync after a few minutes of playing, it is very smooth.
So if that isn't a good enough reason to buy a PSP-Phat, then you should check out the PSP titles on it.
Now the PSP hasn't been blessed with hundreds of innovative games like the DS has, but it still has a few that take advantage of the PSP's power.
To name a few:
GTA: Liberty City Stories, basically the predecessor to GTAIV, has a good sized map, i would say around 3/4 the size of GTAIV, there are no boats or swimming, but i believe you get helicopters. There is also GTA: VCS and GTA: CTW to check out as well.
Monster Hunter Freedom, never played this but i heard its good.
Burnout Legends, great Burnout game for the PSP, but the multiplayer leaves a bit to be desired.
Fired Up, basically you get a few vehicles, throw them all into an arena with weapons and let them battle it out. That's what the developers thought anyway. It's a good combination, and with game sharing (thats where one PSP sends a demo to other PSP's on a WLAN, known as Download Play on the DS) support, its a great multiplayer title.
MGS, never played MGS on the PSP either, but it's probably one worth checking out.
So theres a few decent PSP games out there as well.
Compared to the DS theres some pros and cons, probably some that will make you want to own both consoles, although after owning a DS for 2 years, it's sort of outlived its purpose. I'm a big user of homebrew and the PSP delivers it far better than the DS can manage.
Advantages for the DS:
- Touch screen
- Microphone, can be used in homebrew to make VOIP calls, and voice chat in certain DS games. Also used for a few games.
- Nintendo is a good game developer, and they have games like Mario, Pokemon and Zelda to bolster their games collection, the DS basically has better games than the PSP, despite the PSP having more capabilities.
Advantages for the PSP:
- Is much more powerful, therefore has more features, such as a music player, a video player, a photo viewer, a built-in internet browser and access to the Playstation Store.
- Again due to its power, homebrew is far better on the PSP, DS can't even perfect SNES emulation, whereas the PSP has millimeter perfect PS1 emulation.
- The screen is about twice the size of the DS screen's, and is displayed at a higher resolution. Is also widescreen. Backlight is also stronger.
- There was even a DS emulator in the works for the PSP which does run some games, but obviously is not perfect and struggles due to lack of a touchscreen and microphone.
So really the DS has better games, such as Mario Kart, Zelda, Pokemon, Advance Wars, Professor Layton, Brain Training and the like. But the PSP is multiple systems rolled into one, perfect if you like playing old retro games for the Amiga or GBC or SNES. It is also a pretty nifty multimedia system.
Worth the £50 i paid for it.
My PSP has a broken UMD drive, and i still get more use of it than a DS, because it can do so much without one. Especially with Custom Firmware installed.
The Sony PSP is Sony's first hand-held gaming console released way back in 2004. It revolutionised hand-held gaming, with true 3D graphics comparable to those inbetween PS1 and PS2.
There have been since several versions of the PSP released, the earliest being version 1000, which is the one that I purchased from Japan very soon after its release date. I would class that as the "classic" PSP and is the one I will base my review on.
The classic Sony PSP was released around the same time as the Nintendo DS and the market became very competitive indeed. Unfortunately for the PSP, it was released with a very weak games collection. That with a higher release price made its sales very slow but steady. However since then, the PSP has come on strong and have very much secured its place in the hand-held market. So what does the PSP offer?
Software - You may notice that the psp has a similar interface to that inherited by the PS3, and for good reason. It's simple, easy to use and offers a lot. There is internet available via wifi, although it is not able to play flash which is annoying, but a nifty feature none the less. There is also a wifi mode in which several PSPs can hook up together to play multiplayer games, even without needing the internet. There are also some games that allow you to play online via a wifi connection. You can upload music, videos, pictures although you will need to purchase an extra memory card as the standard 32mb that comes with it is by no means enough. Game saves are stored onto the memory card, so you perhaps have a smaller one for the game saves and another for any media.
There are also software updates available whether via internet or with new games that require you to install the software before allowing you to play. You can also change the background, visit the PSN, change various settings so there is a lot of customising to be had.
Hardware - The classic psp does not come with an inbuilt camera or microphone although the newer slim and lite versions do. However you can purchase a camera that is specific for the older PSP but I don't see there is much point as the camera is only around 2MP, better to use a digital camera. With the newer PSPs with inbuilt microphones, there is the added skype feature which could be pretty sweet, but perhaps little use if you have a laptop or computer.
The battery life is not too bad, around 2 hrs of gameplay and perhaps up to around 4 hrs of music. Sony do claim its more but I haven't seen it. Technical specs are pretty decent, they can be found online for anyone interested but the main thing to point out is that the newer versions have more RAM and so slightly lower loading times, all other specs remaining the same. I believe the latest PSPgo also has a better screen, but as I do not own it I cannot be sure.
Design - As you can see we have the classic playstation layout with the D pad on the left, square, triangle, X and circle buttons on the right and the analogue stick on the left. It's not the best design for some games, especially 1st person shooters but you can get used to it. There are also 2 shoulder buttons L and R. I have only needed to replace one PSP so far, I think because I hadn't used it in so long, the X button would not longer function but apart from that, very reliable. The classic version is perhaps a little heavy and quite large compared to the newer slim and lite models but overall not too bad. You can adjust brightness, visit you home page when playing a game and alter you music mode ie rock, classic, pop etc.
I would say that if you are interested in a PSP, either go for the old series ie version 1000 or the slim and lite. I don't feel that the latest PSPgo has much to offer in terms of its price and you can get the classic one for cheap online now.
A great console but maybe lacking in a variety of games
The Sony PSP is a very good piece of technology, sporting a wide range of useful features and featuring some good portable titles. Unfortunately, the original PSP is hampered by its large size and lack of games.
The PSP is a very impressive console to look at. With a glossy black finish, the console looks impressive but is prone to attracting dirt all too easily. Likewise, the screen is very large and beautifully bright, with a sharp display which makes playing games on it a pleasure, but does easily attract dust.
The buttons have a very good response, feel sturdy, and seem to have endured years of use very well. Undoubtedly, if you play the device constantly, the control buttons will begin to become less responsive, but this hasn't really been a problem for me. To the rear is a matt black surface, with a brushed metal ring encasing an embossed 'PSP' logo. Around the entire console is a silver trim, a nice touch which, along with the other design features, makes for a very impressive appearance.
Nevertheless, the same cannot be said of its immense size. And it is very large indeed . In inputting a UMD drive and packing more technology than its rival the Nintendo DS, the original PSP is a bulky piece of technology. This not only poses obvious (and ironic) problem of inhibiting portability but also means it is very heavy. Putting this in a trouser pocket physically weighs you down, and can become quite a chore to carry when you're using it solely for music purposes while out and about. On the plus-side, its size does make it slightly easier to play games, fitting quite snugly into your hands.
So, while it impresses in the style department, it is suspiciously large for a supposedly portable device.
The XMB interface, featuring a horizontal line of icons with respective lists with various functions, is a minimalist but sleek interface. It is also easy to use and nice to look at, especially when you input your own background on the console. From the menu you can access all manner of things, software updates, console information and even internet browsing.
And, in truth, this is where the PSP really excels: in the wealth of uses it sports. It can be used to listen to music, look at photos, watch videos, browse the internet or even to view Digital Comics. And this is all in addition to acting as advertised: a portable games console.
As an MP3 player, it works incredibly well, with very good sound quality, visualisation choices to watch while the music plays, a small album image and other useful features such as a hold button and sleep timer. This has been a very useful function to have on the go and a nice option to have after having been beaten by a boss on a game or just tired out by gaming.
Likewise, looking at photos is a breeze, with the ability to enlarge, rotate and even play a slideshow with musical accompaniment. I haven't made much use of the photo browsing mode but for those looking to show off holiday snaps, it does the job perfectly.
Video also plays well, and the PSP offers the chance to divide films up into scenes according to time (i.e. 5/10/15 minute segments etc.) a useful option for those long films you may want to skip through. You can also rewind, fast forward and even play in slow-motion with great ease.
However, as an internet browser, the PSP really is a pleasure to use. If you have a wireless connection in your home or are in a wi-fi zone, the PSP really comes into its own as an internet browser. Particularly with mobile websites (such as BBC mobile) the PSP is a quick and easy device to pick up and use when you don't want to fire up the PC. Connecting is quick (if you follow the instructions of your wireless hub carefully) and you have all the basic options of a PC browser: you can block cookies, delete history and even save bookmarks. In fact, I have been using the internet browser most of all on the PSP and have enjoyed every minute.
It's frankly a shame that the PSP hasn't lived up to its billing on the gaming side of things. Without a doubt, the processing power is impressive and it really is, at times, like having a Playstation 2 in your pocket. The UMD function works rather well, and the discs themselves are portable enough to carry around without a second thought. Sadly, though, the drive does make playing certain games a real chore. It becomes noisy and the loading times are unbearable at times, to the point where you've spent more time loading a game than playing it.
Also, the lack of variety in games has been very disappointing, with only a few stand out titles to date (think Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) and it's no wonder that newer iterations of the console have had to be released to spark enthusiasm for Sony's device once more. Too often, it seems as if the PSP is a background project, and that it has not been taken seriously enough to have enough stand-alone titles that have the breadth of console games. Maybe I'm expecting too much, but after the advertising offensive before launch touting the brilliance of the games to come I can't help but feel rather disappointed.
The PSP is, for all intents and purposes, a very nice piece of technology. To be able to do all that this device offers AND play games on the go is very impressive indeed. For me, the internet browser is the highlight, and where I have navigated most. And that just goes to show that Sony has failed in giving the PSP the support it deserves. The technology is there, but as of yet hasn't been used to its full potential. For those intending to buy one, I would recommend it, though I would suggest getting the Slim and Lite (as it has the UMD drive the PSPgo lacks) and sports other features like Skype. Even still, if you can snap up one of these original ones for a cheap price, there is a lot there to keep you entertained.
Sony in all their creative wisdom decided to take the gaming and electronics world by storm when they announced the release of the Psp, Playstation Portable. Never before had anyone seen Playstation 2 graphics on a handheld device.
The psp holds a host of features:
Wide 6" tft screen
Mp3 and video playback
Memory stick pro for saving games/music/videos/photos to.
Analogue stick/ D-pad
The usual triangle, Square, X and circle buttons.
You get wireless, so connect to the interent or other psp's for multiplayer action.
The psp works with UMD's, Universal media discs, which are basically smaller in size than minidiscs. These can hold a lot of data, and all games and many movies are available on this format.
The screen on this tiny machine is so good that movies and games look amazing. Sony had the screen made specifically for the psp meaning it is picture perfect in everway. ONce you've seen a movie on this thing you will beon ore! Games look just like the ps2 only in your hand. The screen does its job and makes the psp the ultimate winner in a mobile device.
So if you want mobile gaming, music, video, internet, pictures and anything else for that matter then the Sony psp is the wa forward. Loads of games are available as are movies. New programs can see your psp turned into a satnav and even camera.
There is my quick review of the Sony psp. Its an intense games machine that does everything ever!
The best console I have had prior to this was probably the gameboy or the sega handheld, I can't remember what it was called. Having been used to these handheld consoles I was pleasantly suprised when the Sony PSP came along.
The Sony PSP has really improved the handheld gaming that I have always been used to, the graphics, gameplay and games in general have come on leaps and bounds. I take my PSP everywhere with me now, on holiday, trips and even around the home. It's great!
I would compare the PSP to the PS1 it is that good, it's even close to being as good as the PS2. If you have a PS3 online you can also connect this to download further games, some of the further games you can download are the PS1 classics such as Crash Bandicoot and Theme Park.
This is the first PSP that was released and is a little heavy, however it's not that heavy that it would make me not want to purchase it. There are new PSP's that have came out which are lighter but I'm very happy with mine.
If you are buying a PSP for the first time I would recommend going for the lighter option, as that is what I would do. I wouldn't pay in excess of around £30-£40 for this privelege though.
There are thousands of games you can purchase for this handheld console which are really enjoyable, I would also recommend downloading them from your PS3 if possible as you can get a really good game for around £3-£4.
Thank you for reading my review, I hope you find this helpful.
The Sony PSP is in my opinion and probably the opinion of alot of others now the best handheld gaming device around. Since being released in 2005 it has become a fantastic portable games console with a decent range of features and games. The graphics were also something more powerful then most similar devices as they were virtually the same as those on the Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) games console.
The device when first released marked Sony's entry into the portable gaming market which had long been dominated by the Nintendo Gameboy and its siblings such as the Gameboy Advance and more recently the Nintendo Ds.
The device called the PlayStation Portable (PSP) can in addition to playing games of PS2 graphical quality, play music and movies (downloaded or via disc) and can also be used to surf the Web. The PSP also has the capability to take, view and play photo slideshows. It may lack some of the innovation in games that Nintendo has but as an all-in-one device, the Sony PSP is king.
The centerpiece of the PSP is an impressive 4.3-inch wide-screen display (480x272 pixels, 16.77 million colors). Either side of it are the controls that will be immediately recognizable to fans of past PlayStations: the directional keypad is to the left of the screen, and the familiar square, triangle, circle, and X buttons are to the right. There is also an analog "joystick" below the directional keypad. The stick isn't raised like the analog controls on a PS2 but it does have a joystick like feel. There are two shoulder buttons-R and L .
Games and officially licensed movies come on Sony's licensed UMD (Universal Media Disc) media, which are kept in protective cartridges. The UMD drive is at the back of the unit. To load you open the back using a slide button and you load it and snap it shut just as you would a camcorder. The top of the device also has a USB 2.0 port that you can use to link the device to your PC or Mac.
The Sony PSP is a slick portable gaming system with an impressive wide-screen display and PS2 like graphics. It has a wide range of features and also some good games. I have the white version which I got as a present a few years ago and still use it to this day. It is useful when on journeys and can be used for example when you are travelling on trains and maybe shorter plane journeys when you need some entertainment. Can also be used when moving around even at home and doesnt't have the restrictions of a normal games console but does have the graphics.
Overall it is a great device with plans for the future. The new slim and lite versions have been hugely successful and have helped to increase sales for Sony. The latest version of the PSP is the PSP go which has recently been launched and released and maybe something I may look to be getting in future.
Currently available for £74.99 on amazon. Maybe slightly more for the slim and lite versions.
This is a review of the original PSP-1000.
I remember the hype surrounding the PSP when it was released. A portable Playstation approaching PS2 graphics? Yes please! And that wasn't all. It doubled as a music and video player (and photo viewer, although I honestly have no idea how many people actually use that functionality). Videos on the go on a 4.3 inch screen. The revolutionary cross-media bar to make navigating the device easier. The promise of firmware upgrades adding features and fixing bugs in the software. It just sounded too good to be true. And it was. Unluckily for me though, I only found that out after I bit the bullet and ordered one from Japan.
The design of the device is something to be admired. The huge screen is a joy to behold, and produces very clean and crisp images. Playing Wipeout Pure really showed off the colours and intensity that the screen can pull off, not to mention the graphics. It has most of the buttons of a normal PS2 controller, except for the R1 and R2 buttons and the second analog stick. At the back there is the UMD drive, and on the left and right sides of the device are the Memory stick slot and Wifi switch, and power switch, respectively. The problems with the design become apparent upon continued use. The device is too heavy too hold for long periods of time without straining the wrists. Not only that, it is far too big to be considered 'portable'. I would consider it portable if I could slip it into my jeans pocket without it looking like I'm carrying a brick in there. I have found that to be almost impossible because of the thickness of the device, not to mention the fact that it's always in a case for fear of scratching the screen while it's in my pocket. That adds extra bulk. In addition, the position of the analog stick makes it very difficult to use for long periods of time without straining the thumb. I have experienced this many times playing Pro Evolution Soccer. After about an hour the pain starts to get noticeable. And as much as I love playing Pro Evo I'm afraid it's a bit much to expect me to 'play through the pain barrier' like professional footballers often do.
The UMD format has been recognised as a mistake by Sony. If not directly, then by the fact that they will be releasing a new PSP without a UMD drive, and will be making all new titles downloadable from the PS Store from September 2009. Using a spinning disc such as the UMD is an awful idea for a portable system because of three main things:
- it increases loading times, where you should be trying to minimise them;
- it absolutely decimates the battery life, which is pretty essential in a portable device (I've experienced first hand the difference between the same title playing on UMD and downloaded from the PS Store - loading is quicker and battery life is conserved much better);
- it is a nightmare to store and carry the UMDs properly due to their size and propensity to get damaged, where a portable system should make carrying games with you easy. The Nintendo DS' cartridge system takes care of all these things by having a cartridge system. But then, what does Nintendo know about portable gaming eh...
Games are what makes or breaks a games console, and regardless of the PSP's aspirations to be a multimedia centre, this is fundamentally what it was made for. Unfortunately for the millions of PSP owners around the world, the system has always lacked, in my opinion, quality games across different genres. There have been a couple of blockbusters on the platform, no doubt about that, but no system-defining games like Halo on the XBox or even Super Monkey Ball on the iPod Touch (which Sony could learn from if it truly wants to make the PSP a multimedia/gaming system). LocoRoco is as close as it gets but there's nothing to say it couldn't have been done on another platform, the iPod Touch being a great example (Rolando on the App Store is a superb copy of LocoRoco which improves upon the original by using the device's touch and accelerometer functionality). There have been some great games, such as God of War, GTA, Virtua Tennis, but nothing so good that it would make you want to buy a PSP to play that game. Also, only a tiny percentage of games have really used the more promising features like Online Multiplayer and Game Sharing. If the PSP allows for such features why not implement them???!!!
I can't remember having used anything else which promised so much but delivered so little. I was so excited about this device but having spent the best part of £500 on the console (which I imported from Japan a month after it was released there), games and accessories, I can't help but feel let down. Sony didn't come close to unlocking the potential of the PSP. It didn't get enough third-party developers on board. The ones it did have did not make enough quality games. And Sony's games department lost its way in terms of promoting the device as a gaming platform, instead looking to add more and more functionality like the web browser (which works reasonably well apart from running out of memory far too often and making your hands melt from how hot the Wifi receiver gets) and paid add-ons like a camera and GPS, which for the majority of users is not the reason for buying a PSP in the first place. Videos were an absolute nightmare to deal with at first due to the confusing folder structure one was forced into using, but even now it is far from convenient having to convert video files into PSP compatible video.
All of which means that my PSP has been left on a shelf gathering dust for a couple of years now. I remember laughing at my friends who decided to get themselves a Nintendo DS back when I first got my hands on my shiny new PSP, smug with my technologically superior gadget. I guess they got the last laugh. At least some of them still play on their DS.
N.B. Readers may be interested to know that Sony is going to be releasing a redesigned version of the PSP, the PSP Go, which will be smaller, lighter, and no doubt more expensive than the current PSP-3000 model. If you want more information Google is your friend...this is a review not an advert!
Sony PSP (Playstation Portable) is a handheld console created by sony. It is about 5 years old now, but is still holding on quite well. This review is about the PSP 1000 or "Phat".
The PSP 1000 is thicker than the PSP 2000 and 3000, but not rediculously so. It is not uncomfortable to hold when playing games and is not very heavy. The screen is a decent size at about 4.3".
The PSP's operating system is used around the XMB or Cross Media Sidebar. Basically, you scroll across left and right to find a specific section, i.e Music, Videos, Settings. Then go up and down on each specific section to find different options (e.g. in settings there is Connectivity Settings, Video Settings. This is a very good way to navigate around the PSP.
The PSP 1000 has a UMD drive. This is the storage media that the PSP reads. The UMDs store full movies, albums and games that can be used on the PSP. The screen is good quality and watching movies on it does not really strain your eyes. The PSP has Wi-Fi allowing you to connect to the internet. The PSP has a built in browser and the Wi-Fi can also be used to play game online.
There are lots and lots of games available for the PSP for all different gamers. There are some games with famous titles like Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, FIFA, Rock Band and Buzz (quiz game). Also some big games are coming out soon, such as Little Big Planet and Gran Turismo. There are two very useful multiplayer functions available on the PSP too. Firstly you can play against your friends in "Ad-Hoc mode". This allows two or more people to play against each other, without the need of a router (PSP to PSP). Another great multiplayer function is "Game Sharing". Only certain games support this, but this allows you to play a multiplayer game with only one copy of it.
The PSP supports many video, audio, and image formats. The video formats supported MP4, AVI and UMDs. The audio formats supported are MP3, ATRAC, MP4, WAV and WMA. The image formats supported are JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG and BMP.
With one of the newest firmware updates, a new feature is the "Playstation Store". This allows you to download new features including:-
Demos, Playstation 1 emulated games, PSP games, game add-ons
A big issue with the PSP is that there is no internal memory, you need to use Memory Stick Pro Duo memory sticks, which can be quite expensive. (However, I did find a second hand 4gb Memory Stick Pro Duo at Game for 15 quid).
Another issue is that the PSP Go will be released soon. This is the newest version of the PSP and has no UMD drive; all games are downloaded from the internet. This may mean that UMDs will become obsolete very soon.
With the price tag of preowned PSPs at between 50-90 pounds, it is a bargain. I highly recommend this.
Sonys PSP or Playstation Portable is there first entry into the handheld market, can the Playstation brand bring them success once again.
The console itself is quite an impressive looking bit of kit, the handheld is quite large and has a really big LCD screen on it. The unit is finished in a glossy piano black plastic which gives it a high end look especially when compared with systems from Nintendo. It doesnt seem to be designed very ergonomically though as I find it uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.
In the box you will get a PSP console, cleaning cloth to wipe off all those inevitable fingerprints, a battery pack and battery charger and its available in many bundles which include memory sticks and games.
The systems performance when compared to rival handheld the Nintendo DS is superb, the graphical quality of the games surpass anything you will see on the DS and are very comparable with Playstation 2 games, and not just the very early basic ones. The system uses a UMD drive to store its games so it is capable of much bigger games than the DS.
There are now many top games for the PSP, the excellent Final Fantasy Crisis core a prequel to the popular Final Fantasy 7, God of War Chains of Olympus a handheld size of everyones favourite hack and slash, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops expands on the compelling Metal Gear Solid storyline, Daxter which stars our furry friend who finally gets his own game, the list is very extensive.
The handheld also packs in a variety of multimedia features, you can purchase UMD movies which are almost DVD quality movies playable on your PSP and if you have a memory stick you can put your own music and video on there aswell. There is an internet browser available too but I find it to be very basic and slow.
A very good first attempt from Sony, and it can only get better from here.
Sony PSP - Is the best Hand Held games console on the market. I'm not biased, I have a Nintendo DS too, but this is why the PSP is better.
PSP is your all in one Multi Media station for home, abroad & on the move. It has many different functions & they are all ace.
GAMING. The PSP plays UMD video games & has an extensive back catalogue of hundreds of games. There are loads of different genres & types. You can play alone. Some Games allow you to play against opponents with one copy of the game between you. Some also allow for Multi Player over the internet. You can even save games to a memory stick & play them from that instead of the UMD. Games can cost anything from £5 to £30. Also any game that you buy anywhere in the world will work on your PSP. So feel free to buy a game when you're in an airport & worried about a boring flight.
VIDEO. You can watch movies in two different ways on you PSP. Firstly you can buy films on UMD. They range from £5 - £10. Again there is an extensive back catalogue with lots of choice. The second option is better & cheaper though. You can copy you own DVD's onto your PSP. Now I would be the first to admit that this is tricky. It took me quite a while to find software that would copy my copy protected DVD's to the PSP & legally I can't tell you how to do it or this review would be removed. All I can say is that it's possible & I recommend the X-OOM Movies on PSP 3 to convert video. A 2 hour film takes around 1GB of memory & you can buy 8GB cards of Ebay for under £15.00
MUSIC. Again this is very similar to the the Video although you can listen to music in three ways. Firstly, you can copy music onto the memory card. This is very easy & as long as you are capable of enabling wma playback on your PSP by going online, it requires no additional software. Secondly, you can buy music albums on UMD & watch & listen to them on your PSP. There aren't loads available due to the ease at which music can be stored, but there are a few. Thirdly, you can use the Internet Radio that is in the software in some of the latest updates. It doesn't cost anything to add the internet radio player to your PSP all you need is a wireless connnection.
On top of the three functions above it does many other things. You can use the wireless function to connect to & browse the internet. You can buy a GPS system & use your PSP as a SATNAV. If you've got a PSP 3000, you can connect your PSP to a TV & play your games or watch your films on the TV. You can connect a camera to the PSP & use it to make Video Phone calls as long as there is a wireless internet connection you can access. Also, you can connect to your PS3 which is sat in your living room from anywhere in the world (again with a wireless internet connection in range). When doing this, you can access any of the music, films or content stored on your PS3 or even watch TV if you have the PS3 Freeview Tuner. The only thing you can't do is play the PS3 games.
There have been many times, both at home & abroad, where my PSP has kept my entertained for hours. I wouldn't go on a plane or tavel anywhere without one. This really is the best in handheld, portable entertainment you can buy.
Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)
I got the PSP about two months after the realise of the console, At first i did not like it. It had no good games it had very little features, but then as games came out and updates came in, It got better! But i am going to buy the updated version of the console the Sony PlayStation Portable Slime and Lite 3000! Because it is lighter, slimmer and it can connect to your TV Via Component! I recently got a Sony PlayStation 3 and the PSP comes in very useful when you are in bed and you want to play your PS3 even though its downstairs! Because the PSP and the PS3 can connect through Wireless Modem through Remote Play!
Features of the Sony PlayStation Portable...
It has MP3 and WMA playback, You can watch MP4 movie clips on the console, You can Access the Internet, View pictures, Play games, Play UMD movies, Connect to your PlayStation 3 and many more!
Accessories for the Sony PlayStation Portable...
You can buy alot of accessories for the PSP but i will name you the accessories that i have, PSP camera that lets you take photos with your PSP, PSP satnav witch lets you Use your PSP as a road navigation system, Four Gigabit Memory Stick Pro Duo for game saves and Music, Logitech PSP case and PSP speakers for music.
The game play on the PSP is good better than the Ninetendo DS, It is like a PS2 only portable and with a Seven inch screen! It has many good titles of games and movies out for the console, The console takes UMD discs, (Universal Media Disc) So the PSP can play games from all over the world it can Play American Titles too! (Well mine can). It cost's from £120 to £180! It came with a Thirty-two mega bite (32MB) Memory stick pro duo! It is a excellent console and worth every penny that i bought it with!
The PSP is Sony's first foray into the world of handheld gaming. Launched into the European market in 2005 the PSP has become a staple machine for avid gamers around the world. This success has been down to the fact that the PSP is a many trick pony and not just a simple games machine. This is powered by the incredible hardware found in the PSP which has lead to a number of discussions about which is more powerful the PSP or PlayStation 2, which in itself tells a massive story.
The design of the casing for the PSP is very sleek and attractive with a gloss black finish and rounded edges. The high gloss black finish defiantly loom good but attracts finger prints at an alarming rate which can make a mess of the lovely casing. The control layout for the PSP is very good except for the analogue stick. This is annoyingly place right in the bottom corner and whilst it is usable it will lead to hand cramp after extended game play.
Like I said above the PSP is not a one tick pony and can be considered abit of a media power house. Not only does this little unit play games it also plays movies both off umd and the memory stick, plays music, views photos, surfs the night, can receive live tv, make skype calls. The list may continue with such a long list its easy to forget a few.
The core feature of the console, the gaming is extremely good. The graphics are stunning for such a small device, and the controls are the same as for the PlayStation so are easy to pick up. Although the games are easy to pick up some are hampered by the PSP's lack of buttons compared to a PlayStation and the fiddly analogue stick. The games list available is extremely good with hundreds of title available as most new title are now released on the PSP.
The media capabilities of the PSP are also notable. Its can play DVD quality movies purchased on UMD which is great for on the go on places such as the train or car. It can also play movies off a memory stick. These can be put on using the Sony software although most people with abit of computer knowledge wouldn't go for this option as its not the most reliable programme at the best of times. The music player adequate as doesn't provide many features but is a welcome addition.
A notable tip is when looking for a memory card head for a M2 phone card with an adaptor. These are far cheaper tham the pro duo memort sticks the psp uses.
The other main feature of the PSP is its ability to browse the net using WiFi. The PSP is adequate If you want a quick browse but is far too fiddly to provide a long term browsing option. The other features provided such as internet radio and skype capability also work well. The best new addition is the ability to watch live TV. This involves buying the PlayTV add on for your PlayStation 3 which can broadcast the tv content over the net. This would be great if you were on holiday and didn't want to miss your regular dose of Eastenders but other than that is more of a gimmick.
The PSP is an excellent gaming machine with brilliant all round media savvy. Compared to its main rival the Nintendo DS its graphically in a different universe. The gameplay however is far different to the DS with the PSP aiming for the classic console style games. If your looking for stunning graphics and all round media smarts then head for a PSP, but for gimmicky gameplay then the DS has the PSP beat.