(March 24, 2005-2012)
There is so much power in my pants!
For several years there have been many great portable units from big companies like SNK, Sega, Tiger and more. In the end though Nintendo brutally beat them all into submission with their mega popular Gameboy and Nintendo DS systems. Nintendo may have been dominant in the portable gaming wars in the past but now they are facing their toughest challenge yet thanks to Sony finally entering the ring. Here is their powerful Playstation Portable (or PSP for short) and see why everyone is talking about this system.
Now before you make a mad rush to the store to buy your PSP there are a few things you should know first. First off the bloody little thing is 300 bucks Canadian (that's 250 US for those in the states and about 845 bucks for you unlucky Europeans)! When you get your wife or husband to cosign all the papers and you finally manage to make your first down payment on the PSP you're ready to see what's inside. The system comes with a huge and clear 4 inch wide screen (huge for portable screen anyway) a cross pad, four action buttons, two side buttons, and it own Analog stick too. The package comes with an 32 Meg Memory Stick (which surprisingly doesn't hold as much as it sounds), a battery charger, a protective case, a waist strap, a cloth to wipe off the screen, and head phones. Not a bad list of goodies plus like the Gameboy SP and the Nintendo DS the PSP comes with its own AC Adapter which recharges the system's battery which would be great if it wasn't for one big problem. Although the system works fine with the AC Adapter attached, the battery life for the PSP can be very limited on the go to say the least. Even with the system fully charged the thing will only last a mere 2 to 5 hours depending what you are doing on it. Not very long when you compare the 10 plus hours of battery on the DS. At least you can buy a upgrade for the long trip but it's going to cost ya.
So what does the PSP do you ask? You can basically play games (called UMD's) that are nearly as powerful as Playstation2 titles themselves. Easily making them some of the best looking portable titles currently on the market. Just take a look at games like Metal Gear Portable Ops, Spiderman 2, and Ridge Racers, they look way superior to any title found the rival DS system and many games support the system's Wi-Fi so you can play multi-player titles over a wireless connection. Because the system uses tiny GameCube-like discs there is a lot more memory storage compared to the standard carts as well. The new loading times are a bit annoying but you get use to it. What is hard to get use to is the system's rather tiny Analog stick. Don't get me wrong, I love that the PSP comes with both an Digital pad and Analog stick especially after playing all those crappy 3D DS games on a flat crosspad but the thing is so small that it really doesn't make too much of an impact. For example; games like Ape Escape that were fun on the Playstation and PS2 are almost unplayable here on the PSP.
The games aren't not the only cool thing about the PSP, the system can also be used to surf the Internet believe it or not. Unfortunately Sony has upgraded the PSP so won't recognize special web sites that deal with hacking and emulation (which was a real shame because it was so cool to play old school games from the NES or Neo Geo for example right on the system). If that wasn't enough the PSP can even play its own custom made movies. If you see a new release on DVD then there is a good chance it is going to be a PSP movie as well and many popular movies from the past like Ghostbusters, Napoleon Dynamite and Team America: World Police are also available.
The PSP can do all that and more. OK, the PSP may cost more then the DS and Gameboy Micro and that battery life isn't very long either but since the system is just loaded with with so many special features it's very hard to walk pass it, eh? The system has superior graphics and higher quality music then the Nintendo DS, plus it even has various ports and upgrades so the system can do much more then play just games. Once you see what this little sucker can do and you discover addictive games like Lumines I and II or Burnout Legends the price difference really doesn't matter. If you got enough money be sure to give this unique and powerful portable system a look.
PSP Overall Rating: 73/100
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