Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Review

 

When the Sony PlayStation Portable (known from here on out as the PSP) was
first announced in May of 2004, gaming enthusiasts began clamoring for
information on this state of the art handheld gaming console. Even though this
device was originally released only in Japan (December 12, 2004), that didn’t
stop people here in the US from importing this highly coveted gadget at crazy
inflated prices to keep from waiting till it would be available state side.
Could you blame them, this thing is hot! Way more exciting than the earlier
launch of the Nintendo DS. Lucky for me, I
had Brando! He went above and beyond
the call of duty to help me get my hands on one of these terrific game machines. Thanks Brando!

As always, let’s start with the specs…

Hardware Specs

CPU: 2 32-bit MIPS processors
Memory:  Main – 32MB / Embedded Dram – 4MB
Display: 4.3in diagonal, 16:9 Widescreen TFT LCD, 480 x 272 pixels, capable of
displaying 16.77 million colors
Communication: 802.11b Wireless
Input / Output: USB 2.0, Infrared, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Game cartridge slot: UMD (Universal Media Disc)
Size: 6.7 x 0.9 x 2.9 in. (170 x 23 x 74mm)
Weight: (with UMD disc installed) 10.2 oz. (290g)
Power: Rechargeable lithium-ion 1800 mAh battery

Package Contents (Japanese Value Pack – may differ from US packaging
when available)

Sony PlayStation Portable
Demo UMD
32mb Memory Stick Duo
Ear buds
Remote
AC Adapter
Hand strap
Slip case
 

On the day I received the PSP from Brando, I was super excited.
Unfortunately, I soon realized that I wasn’t going to be able to actually
play
with my new toy right away. Why? Well, because it didn’t come with
a game disc. It did come with a demo disc, but all it did was just mock me by
showing trailers for several cool games available or soon to be available for
this console. I went searching for sites that had games available and found that
GeekStuff4U could send me 2 titles to
try out. Yay! But I would have to wait a week or so before getting them. Boo!

After the long and painful waiting period, the games arrived and I was ready
put this bad boy through its paces! And what a bad boy it is. Right out of the
box, it is a wonder to behold. Much like a product from Apple, Sony knows how to
make consumer electronics that look gorgeous. People aren’t going to be happy
when I say that the Nintendo DS is a hunk of junk looks-wise when you compare it
to the PSP.

Rectangular with rounded outer edges, this unit is designed to be held
comfortably between your two hands. That said, the PSP has a definite heft to
it. Playing while laying on your back with the device raised above you, may
quickly result in fatigue. Besides being a little heavy, this is a large device.
Like the Nintendo DS, you are not going to carry it around in your pocket.
Transport via backpack or gear bag is fine though.

People have been reporting that the PSP is somewhat fragile feeling. That
twisting the unit while a UMD is inserted can sometimes cause the disc to eject
and fly out. I had to perform the requisite Gadgeteer creak test to see for
myself. First I shook the unit and did notice that the power button rattles a
bit. Otherwise, the unit is solid with respect to rattles. As for the creak
test, no amount of light twisting would cause the UMD in my PSP to eject of its
own accord. I did notice that the door to the UMD cavity was prone to minimal
flexing though due to being made of relatively thin plastic.

In my opinion, the PSP doesn’t seem to be a toy that you would give to a
child. For one thing, it is quite a bit more sophisticated in both hardware
design and games than the Game Boy series. This is an expensive device that
while solidly made, may only be rugged enough to give to an older child that can
truly respect their toys.

Back to the hardware tour…  The front of the PSP looks like it has
been carved out of one piece of solid black Lucite. Like the
Sony
HMP-A1
, the design looks very sexy, but with the slick surface, it very
prone to smears and fingers prints.


This device has more buttons than any handheld gaming device that I’ve ever
seen. There are 4 thumb accessible buttons on each side. The left 4 buttons are
for navigation, while the right 4 buttons are the standard PlayStation menu
interaction buttons. Seven small buttons along the bottom edge of the PSP give
you access to Home, Volume up/down, Display brightness, Sound toggle, Select and
Start. The directional and menu buttons are all good sized and easy to press.
They have enough tactile feedback so that you know when you’ve pressed one. The
directional buttons are angled so that your thumb will not easily slide off when
you’re moving from button to button at a quick pace. The other buttons are
pretty small and a little difficult to press. Especially the tonight volume and
brightness buttons.  There’s another button on the front of the PSP that I
actually missed at first. I thought it was a speaker grill! Yes, I’m blind…
Under the directional buttons is an actual analog joystick. This stick is spring
loaded with a serrated thumb pad to prevent slippage. It works really well in
games like Ridge Racer.

The display on the PSP is large and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. It has to be the largest
handheld gaming console screen to date. At 4.3 inches diagonally, it’s even
bigger than my HP HX4700 iPAQ! Being
able to comfortably see all the action on the screen without having to squint is
great! This is the first gaming device that has actually given me the same
feeling that I get when playing games on a large TV screen. You know the feeling
you get when you’re playing a racing game and you go into a spin and you almost
can feel the spin. I’ve never felt that way with a Game Boy or
other handheld device. I do feel it with the PSP, and I like it!

The colors are vivid, and graphics are crisp. Depending on the game, you do
notice some jaggies here and there though. That said, I didn’t notice any ghost
or other annoying screen behaviors. The screen is evenly lit and the three
brightness settings allow you to adjust the screen to your liking. I always run
mine on the middle setting which is more than bright enough in any environment.
I should also mention that my unit has no dead pixels which is excellent as I
have read that some people have found some on theirs.

Located on the top of PSP are status LEDs for Power / Charging, WiFi and
Memory Stick Duo activity.


On the left side of the device is the WiFi switch, and on the right side is
the Power / Hold switch. The Power switch is spring loaded. You have to slide
and hold it up for a few seconds to toggle power. If you just quickly slide the
Power switch up and let go, it will cause the unit to go into sleep mode so that
you can quickly restart a game at a later time. If you slide the Power switch
down, it will lock into the Hold position.

Along the bottom edge of the PSP, you’ll find the AC adapter connector
(yellow), the headphone / remote connector, and lanyard connection point.
Included with the PSP are a set of earbud and a remote control. These come in
handy when you want to listen to music (MP3s) on your device. More on that in a
minute…

The top edge of the PSP has two clear shoulder buttons, the IR port, mini USB
port and UMD compartment latch. The UMD latch is a slider switch that opens the
disc compartment. Think of it as an eject button. When you open it, the disc
springs out of the compartment just enough so that you can grab the edge and
pull it out. When you insert the disc, you have to press it down into the holder
in the door so that it snaps in place.


The UMDs are small little 1.8GB capacity discs enclosed in a plastic caddy. A square window in
the caddy allows the PSP to read the data from the disc as it spins. The problem
is that this window is always open. It doesn’t have any type of spring loaded cover. Dirt, dust and even
finger prints can easily wreck a UMD if you aren’t really careful while handling
them. This is another reason why the PSP is not a good system for children. The
actual UMD games come in a large plastic DVD like case that won’t be very
convenient to carry around even in a gear bag. I’m sure there will probably be
UMD carrying case accessories out in the near future (I hope).

The UMD is a spinning drive. As such, it makes a noise during disc access.
The noise isn’t loud, but it is noticeable. The sound that the UMD makes while
it is spinning sounds like something shuffling. The PSP doesn’t vibrate during
access, so that’s good.

The back of the PSP has the battery compartment and Memory Stick Duo slot.
Included with the PSP is a 32mb MS Duo card. You can copy music, pictures, video
and games to the memory card and let the PSP play them for you. This expands the
PSP into a media player in addition to just a gaming console. If you don’t have
a card reader that can read the small format Duo, you can just plug in a USB
cable with a mini connector into the PSP and then into your PC. It will mount
the card as removable drive. My PSP didn’t come with a mini USB cable, but I
found one for another gadget and found that it worked just fine. I did discover
that you have to format the Duo before you start copying files from your PC.
Why? Well, if you don’t, the special hierarchy of folders that the PSP looks for
won’t be there and it will not know that you have music or other media available
to it. There is an option in the PSP menu to format the stick. Once you do that,
you’re good to go.


Memory Stick Duo Slot

I should talk a little about battery life as that is one of the major
concerns / complaints about this device so far. According to Sony, the PSP
should be able to play games for 4-5 hrs at a time as long as you’re not using
WiFi. Now, all I can tell you is my own experiences as I haven’t done any
scientific battery tests… I’ve played Ridge Racers 10 mins here and 20 mins
there several times throughout the week on only one battery charge. As for total
play time on one charge, it’s hard to say. Maybe 3 hrs or so? I’ve never been
one to just sit down and play games for hours at a time. I’m more of a pick it
up, play for a bit then sit it back down kind of gamer. That might change if I
had some more engrossing type of games. Right now I just have Ridge Racers and a
golf game that is too difficult to really figure out since I do not understand
Kanji. Now if I had a really cool RPG, I bet I could get sucked into playing a
game for 1-2 hrs at one sitting. So, for right now I am not going to complain
about the battery life. For me it is working out great so far. I can see how it
would not be great for travelers or people away from a power outlet. I should
also mention that battery life will depend on how often the PSP has to access
the UMD for info. It’s easy to understand that the more it has to spin up the
disc, the lower your battery life is going to be. Here’s also hoping that
extended batteries will be an available accessory in the very near future.

Regarding the PSP hardware, it’s just plain lovely. This device is both sexy
to look at and hold. I don’t know how Sony is getting away with only charging
~$250. I mean, their later model CLIÉ PDAs were up to $700 or so! If I had to
change anything about the hardware, I would maybe add a hard drive so that it
could be a REAL media player in addition to gaming device.

The main interface is simple and easy to figure out even without reading a
manual or user guide. Good thing because the manual I received was all in
Japanese. The first time you power on the PSP, you are given the ability to
choose a language.  Japanese, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French,
Italian, Russian, and Portuguese are the available choices.

Basically you have 5 main functions across the screen. The main functions are
Settings, Photo, Music, Video and Game. As you use the left and right
directional buttons to scroll through these functions, sub functions appear
below the main heading.


Main interface screen

The settings function gives you access to all the main settings for video,
photo, music, WiFi etc. This is also the menu that you use to format the Memory
Stick Duo, set the time / date, password protect the device and even implement a
parental lock based on game ratings.

Setting up WiFi was a snap. I basically just allowed it to use all the
defaults. I didn’t even tell it the name of my wireless network (SSID) and it
connected just fine. I couldn’t do a darn thing, but hey, I could connect. 
Oh, I was able to have the PSP check with Sony to see if there was a software
update. It didn’t find one, but it checked ;o) It’s really a shame that a simple
web browser wasn’t included as part of the feature set.

The Photo function allows you to view images that are stored on the Memory
Stick Duo. Sorry, you can only view .JPG files. .GIF, and .BMPs are not
supported. Small thumbnails of the pictures are displayed so that you can easily
scroll through them. When you find one that you want to view full screen, you
select it.

You can also view all the images in a slideshow if desired.

The Music function turns your PSP into a digital audio player capable of
playing Sony’s own ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus files as well as good old MP3s. Yay!

The included ear buds and remote look like they come from the land of iPod.

In Video mode, you can play movies and video clips. Unfortunately, the only
supported format is MPEG4. You have to jump through some hoops in order to
convert regular .mpg files to .mp4, but once you do it’s a lot of fun to watch
movies on this device.  You can even use the wired remote to control video
playback.

Of course the main reason to buy the PSP is to play games right? Well, I have
to say that the games are great! Yeah, I only have one that I really like –
Ridge Racers, but even though I don’t really like the Mini Golf game all that
well, it still looks fantastic.


Ridge Racers


Mini Golf

The only thing I don’t like about using UMDs for games is that you have to
load them into memory. If you’re loading a game from scratch, the PSP screen
will blank (turn completely black) for up to 15 seconds or so. The first time
this happened, I was wondering if it had died on me or something. Kids might get
impatient having to wait for a game to load. Adults probably wont mind as much.
The wait is worth it actually.

Note: another use for the Memory Stick Duo is for saved games.

Ok, so what is the bottom line? Pretty much that I love this thing and
everyone should buy one. No seriously, I do reallllllly like the Sony PSP. I
don’t say that lightly given the fact that I only have 1 game that I’m playing
so far. There’s just something about this device that makes me want to pick it
up every time I walk by it. Yeah it’s pretty, but the games are fun. More fun
than any handheld gaming device I’ve owned so far.  But there are some big
gotchas that go along with my praise. One gotcha is battery life. But maybe the
biggest gotcha is just how viable is the PSP in the current handheld game
console arean? Even though a device is ‘better’ than another device as far as
hardware and features, it always comes down to the games. Will the PSP come out
with some excellent games that make this the device to buy? That’s very hard to
predict. I don’t feel too confident given the fact that I’ve been here before. I
was in love with the Atari Lynx way back when. It was an excellent handheld
gaming console. Better sound, better graphics than the Game Boy… but it failed
because the Game Boy was already very well established with 100’s and 100’s of
games. Will the same thing happen with the PSP? Very possibly. Even probably. I
sure hope not though! I have my fingers crossed that this device will enjoy a
long life. For those of you considering a handheld game console purchase, in a
few months when you go to your electronics store to choose between a Nintendo DS
and a Sony PSP, I sure hope you choose the PSP!
 

Price:$249

Pros:
Gorgeous hardware
Gorgeous screen
Games feel like full size console games
Photo, Video and Music features

Cons:
Short battery life
Not available in the US yet
Fingerprint magnet

 

Product Information

Price:
Manufacturer:Sony
Posted in: Gaming Gear

{ 81 comments… add one }

  • Julie February 1, 2005, 2:21 am

    Post your comments here on the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/sony-psp-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

    1
  • The Doctor February 1, 2005, 3:45 am

    Want one! Want one badly!

    Great review Julie, many thanks!

    2
  • Chantry February 1, 2005, 6:32 am

    That power switch sounds like the one on my Sony TH55.

    Which died after about 9 months of daily use – the power switch, that is. The TH55 is still in fine shape, albeit it is now a paperweight.

    3
  • Julie February 1, 2005, 4:21 pm

    Chantry:

    I don’t like that style of power switch. I hope the one they are using on the PSP is more robust than the one on the TH55!

    4
  • onestar February 1, 2005, 5:28 pm

    The nice thing is that you don’t have to convert your MP3’s to the horrible ATRAC format. Sony has finally realized that they made a mistake with ATRAC…and it’s the main reason why I stopped using my MiniDisc player and switched to the iPod.

    Of course, OGG Vorbis support would be nice, but I ain’t holding my breath. ;)

    5
  • cj3209 February 1, 2005, 6:58 pm

    Julie: I have the PSP (I got it from Japan) and I don’t think you mentioned that you actually need some additional software to convert MP3 and video files so that it will play on the PSP. Maybe I missed that from your review.

    ;)

    6
  • Julie February 1, 2005, 7:56 pm

    cj3209:

    I mentioned that you had to ‘jump through some hoops’ to convert .mpg to .mp4. I didn’t go into any specific details or link to any tutorials. I found out how to do this by just googling on PSP and MPEG4. :)

    So, how are you liking your PSP? Which games do you have? I need some more! ;)

    7
  • cj3209 February 1, 2005, 8:10 pm

    Hi, Julie:

    I really like the PSP; the combination of size, LCD quality, and just overall ‘neato’ factor is just amazing.

    Unfortunately, it came with ‘Ridge Racer’ only which is a decent race game but I’m having a hard time with the Japanese menus. :mad:

    I haven’t tried any other game although they look good.

    I’ve been experimenting with the MP3 and video conversions and they work OK via a Mac software called iPSP. I just didn’t realize how expensive the SONY Duo media was.

    I still can’t believe Sony will be selling this for $200 here in the ‘states. Maybe they will jack up the price for individual games.

    BTW, great review on the PSP.

    :D

    8
  • M@rtin February 1, 2005, 8:31 pm

    Great review as always :)

    I got mine on Monday and have to say that Nintendo should be really worried about this! I’ve also got a DS with Ridge Racer and that looks OK but nothing special, like a playstation 1 game. The PSP playing Ridge Racers looks just like a PS2 in the palm of your hand!

    One thing I didn’t see in the review was about the sound – through headphones it’s really good (try Lumines for an interesting puzzle game with excellent music) but the external speakers are rather tinny, especially compared to the DS. At first glance it looks like the speaker runs along the top of the screen, but the are actually the two small holes along the bottom edge – I think the idea is to use your cupped hands as sound amplifiers when you’re holding the PSP, but the effect isn’t that good.

    Julie, I think the golf game you have is Minna No Golf, aka Hot Shots Golf/Everybody’s Golf depending on your region. There’s a menu translation here at gamefaqs: http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/psp/game/920797.html – it should make things a bit easier to decipher!

    Also, if you fancy exercising your brain a little, there’s a beginner’s guide to Japanese here: http://www.ntsc-uk.com/tech.php?tech=GuideToJapanese – it’s a games site so has translations of the common gaming terms e.g. start, save/load, etc. plus shows you how to do basic translations yourself.

    9
  • Julie February 1, 2005, 9:36 pm

    M@rtin:

    Thank you for the links! Do you find it strange that Ridge Racers is a combination of both English and Japanese? The menus are Japanese, but the voices are all speaking in English.

    10
  • Leo the 3rd February 2, 2005, 12:31 am

    Yeah, I’ll second Lumines. It’s seems to be a simple ‘Tetris-like’ game, but with only 2 colors. And the music is fantastic. It’s from the a small development house run by the creator of Rez on the PS2. If you like puzzle games, then you’ll like this one.

    As far as conversion software, I’m using iPSP on the Mac and it’s great – I’ve used it for TV shows and fansubbed anime. iPSP lets you queue up a bunch of video files for processing overnight. As far as a Windows counterpart, check the folks at either Engadget.com or gaming-age.com (they have an official thread discussing it) forums for video encoding tips.

    11
  • Altema February 2, 2005, 12:41 am

    So Julie, are you gonna’ send it to Judie so she can give us a comparison with the Zod? It would be interesting how a game-oriented full function PDA compares to a pure gaming machine.

    12
  • Judie February 2, 2005, 1:20 am

    Oh, I have played with the PSP… <said quietly very> it blows away the Zod for gaming.</said>

    13
  • trophyofgrace February 2, 2005, 2:16 am

    that’s why Tapwave has quitetly shifted the Zod’s focus away from gaming and re-focused it to all-purpose multimedia. :-D

    14
  • aybara February 2, 2005, 2:35 pm

    The PSP has been on my ‘Maybe List’ for quite some time.

    Now that people are reviewing it and giving favorable reviews, plus Sony is developing games that will appear only on the PSP, it is slowly moving to the ‘Must-Have List’.

    What really sucks is the fact that you can only pre-order in a $400 bundle.

    15
  • Julie February 2, 2005, 4:25 pm

    aybara:

    What is included in the $400 bundle?

    16
  • aybara February 2, 2005, 9:03 pm

    AT EBGames.com the bundle consists of:

    PSP Unit
    3 PSP Launch Titles (no details on which games you can choose from)
    1 Accessory (no details on what accessories you can choose from)

    It is slated to ship on 3/29/05, and they claim that you will be e-mailed when you can pick your titles. They also claim if you want to cancel you must do so prior to 3/19 as all charges will be applied at that time.

    I put my reservation in. I figure if I decide I do not want it, I have a month and a half to cancel. However, if I do want decide I really want it, my reservation is in early and I will probably get in on the first shipment.

    17
  • Julie February 3, 2005, 2:17 am

    3 games and an accessory doesn’t seem like enough to justify the $400 price tag to me.

    18
  • aybara February 3, 2005, 3:22 am

    Depending on the final price point of the unit and the games it may or may not be.

    However, they do have a disclaimer stating that the price is not finalized.

    From their site:

    Dates and prices have not been confirmed and are subject to change. Actual price for this bundle may be higher or lower. If the price is higher, you will be charged the higher price. If the price is lower, you will be charged the lower price.

    You will receive an e-mail confirming dates, prices and the process for choosing your three games once this information is available.

    As it stands (after talking to my local EBGames store):

    PSP – $250 (as listed in their system for a single unit)
    3 Games – $150 (current prices are $49.99 a game)
    Accessory – $10-20 (Unknown what accessories will be selectable)

    Total – $410 to 420.

    So again, I figure this gets my name on a list. If the price of the PSP is $200 or less and the three free games are the $39.99 budget-type titles and it stays at $400, I am out.

    But if it changes in my favor, at least I will have one at launch.

    Maybe I should add my story for the ‘Featured Gadgeteer’. I’m crazy like that. :)

    19
  • sayret February 3, 2005, 11:40 am

    I recently recieved my PSP and have owned a Nintendo DS for a month now. I just feel obligated to say a few things. First of all, I have been reading your site for about 6 months now and love your reviews. So, when I get to saying the negative things, try to realize that I’m still a huge fan of your writing and complete, interesting, and very helpful reviews.

    Moving right along, your Nintendo DS review mentions not seeing Game Boy written anywhere on the system. Of course not! Nintendo has officially stated that the DS is in NO WAY related to the Game Boy line. They will continue making future releases of Game Boys as well as continuations of the DS line, which is a new line they are starting. Also, contrary to rumors passing around, Nintendo will NOT be leaving the console market, as can be read here:
    http://cube.ign.com/articles/383/383515p1.html

    Keep in mind that I’m not the biggetst Nintendo fan around. I own a PS2 and do NOT own a Game Cube. (Heh, I really like capitalizing “not” don’t I?) I do own a GB and GBA, though, and as stated before I own a PSP and DS. In playing those two “next-generation” handhelds, I’m sorry to say but I completely disagree with you. I much prefer the DS, and I’ll tell you why.

    At the moment, the game selection is by far the best. Also, since it is backwards compatible with the GBA, we already have that huge library at our fingertips. I don’t care if I can play the old GB games or not, this isn’t a Game Boy. I’m happy enough with the GBA games, but more importantly, the DS games are amazing. Metroid Hunters is absolutely beautiful, and the touchscreen implementation is excellent. Precision aiming and movement are something I feel they could have only achieved with such a device. On top of that, Feel the Magic is a touchscreen designed game, and pulls off the quirky and intenseivly original games very well.

    I am very near the Vicarious Visions headquarters here in upstate New York, and my University has supplied them with many programmers. A friend and alumni now works for them and is helping to program for the DS. Right now his work on the new Spiderman game has him bouncing around with excitement. The developers love this new system and its innovative ideas. (When developers are having fun with a system, only good things can come from that…) Picture Venom on the lower touchscreen with the ability to grab his tentacles and use them to pick up cars and smash them onto enemies, while simultaneously and intuitively being able to control Spiderman on the upper screen. This may seem gimmicky, but it’s so well implemented and only possible on the DS that I couldn’t have more fun. I highly reccommend picking it up when it is officially released.

    Also, the extra features have been very useful. I have configured it to browse the internet, I can chat across the room with my friends during class with the lectures are getting boring or repetitive. (Don’t worry, I’m maintaing my 3.8 GPA :D ) Also, there is no load time, the cartridges are smaller AND less delicate, and lefties are fully supported (like me!). You can use the four buttons on the right side as a control pad and hold the stylus in the left-hand for stylus portions of games. Also, for long RPG’s, I can play for 8 or more hours without recharging. (Of course, not in one go! Just nice when you have a lot of classes with breaks in the middle that last a few hours, and you’ve finished your work. So, you play your DS without having to go home and recharge. Also, movies can be watched in their entirety.) Also, I’ll say it again, not enough good games for the PSP yet! Although, I am looking forward to Grand Theft Auto. It’s the only open-ened, free choice game I’ve played, and it will be nice to have a good version of that on a handheld. Are there other, less violent games like this? I would like to know…

    One last thing:

    aybara wrote:

    PSP – $250 (as listed in their system for a single unit)
    3 Games – $150 (current prices are $49.99 a game)
    Accessory – $10-20 (Unknown what accessories will be selectable)

    The DS is only $150, so that’s a $100 dollar savings for what I also believe is a better system. Also, I feel it is more durable and will last longer, and the clamshell design protects the screen. That’s a better value.

    Oh well, that’s all just my opinion. Everyone has different tastes, so I don’t mean to say your wrong or anything like that. I’m just wanting people to see the other side of the coin, you know? Once again, excellent site, excellent reviews. I hope my post helped at least a little bit, though. Keep being amazingly wonderful you two (and sometimes three :D)!

    20
  • Julie February 3, 2005, 1:00 pm

    sayret:

    I’m glad you’re liking your DS. However, you failed to say anything about your new PSP? Do you like it at all?

    21
  • aybara February 3, 2005, 1:10 pm

    Don’t get me wrong sayret, I do own a DS and a GBA SP. There are several games for the DS I am eagerly awaiting too. I also own a Cube, and currently Resident Evil 4 is probably one of the best for the system.

    22
  • sayret February 3, 2005, 1:47 pm

    Julie wrote:

    sayret:

    I’m glad you’re liking your DS. However, you failed to say anything about your new PSP? Do you like it at all?

    Sorry, I was just focusing on the DS. I did realize that I hadn’t said much about my PSP, but I figured I had already written quite enough for a forum post :D.

    I haven’t put much playtime into my PSP mostly because I am waiting for some of the games to finally reach their release date, but so far Ridge Racer has kept my attention. I agree that it gives an excellent “in car” feeling, and I’m really liking the little analog controller. I was always hoping they would add one to a handheld, and Sony delivered. The wide screen is sharp, clear, and very sexy, but I’m desperately afraid of scratching it. I wish there was a little slipcase for it or something. I’m sure the 3rd parties will jump at that opportunity soon. So, as I said I’m waiting for better games before I’ll decide whether it’s something I’ll keep (which I most likely will). Also, maybe a better battery? That hasn’t been TOO much trouble yet, though. I wouldn’t take it on a long car trip, but it’s good to keep around the house or take to class.

    I still prefer the DS by leaps and bounds for the moment, though.

    Thanks for your quick response!

    23
  • Julie February 3, 2005, 2:33 pm

    Didn’t yours come with a neoprene slip case? There are some leather cases available already. Brando sells one as does PDAsia. As for screen protectors, Brando tells me that has them ready and I think he is sending me a few to test out.

    24
  • aybara February 3, 2005, 3:58 pm

    The PSP will retail for $250.

    Sony’s official announcement:

    PSP Release Date and Price

    25
  • limetime10 February 5, 2005, 6:44 am

    I won’t say “Not being out in USA” would be a con. And if i was you i would buy the PSP after some time, when the price is low, maybe when they start coming out with bundles.

    IF you buy one right now it would just make you go crazy since there arn’t that many games to play. :eek:

    I would buy one when Metal Gear Solid Ac!d comes out in Australia. :D

    26
  • flamaest February 6, 2005, 8:02 am

    What an incredible piece of hardware indeed. This unit will also blow away the portable media receivers if it shows up at 250 bucks..

    I would love to see a hack where I could play media using the wifi link.. from a pc or such..

    I want one asap..

    F.

    27
  • Altema February 9, 2005, 2:44 am

    sayret wrote:

    I have configured it to browse the internet

    Enlighten us, please! We have a DS, plus 802.11b,g at home, is there more required?

    28
  • Masterchief February 22, 2005, 11:17 pm

    Great review Julie, and nice pics. Personally, I can’t wait for this machine to be released. I have mine pre-ordered with ebgames (store, not online) along with a copy of Ridge Racers. I own the DS also, and the system is good. The games on the other hand don’t interest me. I plan on using the PSP to play games and as an mp3 player.

    29
  • Julie February 23, 2005, 2:07 am

    Masterchief:

    I’m waiting for it to be released here too, if only so that English games might be readily available. I’m getting a little bored of playing Ridge Racers all the time. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a GREAT game!

    30
  • flame978 February 23, 2005, 2:18 am

    hi,

    Noob here,well i have a question does anyone know how to format the memory stick pro duo using the psp as julie mentioned in the review?

    31
  • Julie February 23, 2005, 12:13 pm

    flame978:

    i don’t have my PSP with me at the moment, but from what I remember there is an option in one of the menus to format the stick. If you need exact instructions, I can get them later today.

    32
  • Masterchief February 23, 2005, 9:29 pm

    Julie wrote:

    Masterchief:

    I’m waiting for it to be released here too, if only so that English games might be readily available. I’m getting a little bored of playing Ridge Racers all the time. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a GREAT game!

    I can understand that :bored: . I am looking into the Dynasty Warriors game. Looks interesting plus I like strategy. I believe there is only one RPG coming out for it, Untold Legends. I haven’t read the review for it yet though. :cool:

    33
  • Miles4 March 3, 2005, 5:08 pm

    Man, I really want one of those!!! Want to help? Click on the link in my signiture!!!!

    34
  • Diaboliq20 March 6, 2005, 5:27 pm

    I have just got my hands on a brand new Sony PSP, and to be honest, it is by far THE best handeld I have ever had the fortune to lay my hands on. The graphics are AMAZING, I mean, the reflections in your car in the game Ridge Racers are great for a start! you don’t get reflections in the PS2 version…..
    It’s great as an MP3 player…I just plug it into my car stereo, and boom…..with the help of my 1GB memory stick Duo Pro, I have a 1GB MP3 player through my car amps :wow: !! The movie quality is great – again, with the 1GB memory stick Duo, I can get an entire DVD on there for portable viewing (takes a while to encode tho :wacko: )
    as for battery life – I managed to get 5 hours of non stop gaming action before a recharge was required :blink: . I would give this handheld console an 11/10 rating!!
    If you don’t have one, GET ONE :D

    35
  • Diaboliq20 March 6, 2005, 5:28 pm

    To format the stick all you do is go to the settinggs on the far left of the menus, and select the PSP settings option – in there you will see “format memory stick”

    36
  • Diaboliq20 March 6, 2005, 5:40 pm

    hope this helps guys – it’s the intruction manual for a PSP….in ENGLISH!! :D
    http://image.lik-sang.com/content/psp/PSP_Manual_English.pdf

    37
  • Stuaz March 14, 2005, 12:38 pm

    How do you configue the Nintendo DS to go on the internet??

    38
  • flamaest March 14, 2005, 9:14 pm
    39
  • Masterchief March 17, 2005, 4:33 pm

    Stuaz wrote:

    How do you configue the Nintendo DS to go on the internet??

    Nintendo just announced that they would have the DS online in a couple of months. PSP will be online at launch. :cool:

    40
  • MitchellO March 27, 2005, 6:56 am

    limetime10 wrote:

    I won’t say “Not being out in USA” would be a con. And if i was you i would buy the PSP after some time, when the price is low, maybe when they start coming out with bundles.

    IF you buy one right now it would just make you go crazy since there arn’t that many games to play. :eek:

    I would buy one when Metal Gear Solid Ac!d comes out in Australia. :D

    Hey! I just bought my PSP off ebay (Japanese import, comes with Ridge Racers) for AU$403! and, in about 3 hrs time i am going to place a bid on the Metal Gear Solid Game!!

    41
  • MitchellO March 27, 2005, 7:00 am

    BTW, I didn’t think the DS had interne capability because the wireless is some proprietry format?? I know the PSP contains wifi (would be great if the PSP supports IR/foldup mini usb keyboards) so, when a rom update with a webrowser (which I believe is in the works) will let you use internet. Would be great for surfing the net when you don’t need much text entry!!!! Take some time to setup some favourites and your laughing! Would be great to stream the MP4 videos off a PC too!

    I can’t wait to get mine.

    **And the game I meant (and probably limetime10 too) is Metal Gear Acid.

    42
  • flamaest March 30, 2005, 2:29 am

    I got my PSP.. I love this thing.. 250 what a bargain!!!!

    Fabian..

    43
  • Judie March 30, 2005, 2:55 am

    Fabian, that is a reasonable price…way better than the +/-$500 people were paying a couple months ago… ECK! :wacko:

    44
  • Julie March 30, 2005, 3:09 am

    I need to make a trip to Circuit City tomorrow and see what games are available. I need some English games ;)

    45
  • KrazyDelinquent March 30, 2005, 3:16 am

    You can get it free from the company that is well known for giving away iPods and is a part of the BBB at http://www.FreePSPs.com/?r=16688288

    46
  • MitchellO March 30, 2005, 4:56 am

    Julie wrote:

    I need to make a trip to Circuit City tomorrow and see what games are available. I need some English games ;)

    Here here! I am waiting to get a bit more money together to get myself another game (going to wait for GTA) and a 512Mb MS Duo (sandisk/lexar/sony/whatever) off ebay. Nothing at all available here in Australia. Gotta love ebay!! :) :) :) :) Unfortunately, the total cost once i am done will be about AU$575 on console (w/ Ridge racers), extra game and 512Mb ms duo :(

    47
  • flamaest March 31, 2005, 5:39 am

    Free PSPs..

    Yeah. and you may actually see your free gizmo in a couple of months.. Plus how much work do you have to do to get this stuff.. Drop 250 and stop being a cheap-skate..

    F.

    48
  • flamaest March 31, 2005, 5:41 am

    MitchellO wrote:

    and a 512Mb MS Duo (sandisk/lexar/sony/whatever)

    I suspect MS DUO prices are headed down.. with all these PSPs flooding the market, folks are gonna rush to get memory for their nifty toys..

    I believe the 1 gig MS duo will be selling at near-SD prices very soon.. probubly less than 3 months..

    F.

    49
  • MitchellO March 31, 2005, 6:42 am

    Well, there are three reasons I can’t get a 1Gb MS Duo:

    * Australian prices are always ridiculously high
    * The MS Duo is over $200 for the 1Gb version
    * I can’t wait that long!! :D

    I have two 1Gb SDs for my Mini, one of which is used rarely, and less now because I will prefer to watch movies on trips on the PSP. I may ebay it, and get another 512Mb Duo. ATM, a 1Gb SD sells for just a tad more than a 512Mb MS Duo, the same in a few cases.

    50
  • MitchellO April 2, 2005, 11:21 pm

    Why can I not see the new responses to the thread? I can read the response in the notify email, but when I click the link and come to the thread they aren’t there??

    51
  • Judie April 2, 2005, 11:40 pm

    It depends: If the email you got contained what Julie or I consider to be SPAM, like “Get your Free PSP here, I just did!!!” with a link to their referral number at some site – then it will most likely be gone by the time you click back into the forum. Otherwise, all posts should be here. :0)

    52
  • MitchellO April 3, 2005, 1:14 am

    Yep. Your post shows up. Thanks for explaining it! I have tried refreshing numorous times with no success. Thanks for clearing that up.

    53
  • xer04 April 3, 2005, 8:31 pm

    Great review. I’ve been looking for the PSP after seeing some of the ingame videos of Wipeout and Ridge Racer on Gamespot. It’s always been sold out though :mad: Anyways, I’ve read through the thread and there’s something that’s very odd:

    sayret wrote:

    I have configured it to browse the internet

    The Nintendo DS does use 802.11(b), just like the PSP, however out of the box it does not implement the TCP/IP protocol stack and it’s “proprietary protocol” is not routable over the internet.

    Paraphrased from: http://darkain.com/nintendo_ds/nifi.php

    54
  • MitchellO April 3, 2005, 10:53 pm

    Would be ok for surfing the web with its touchscreen. A bit low res though (lower than PPC). Look forward to hacking my network to surf on my PSP! Or waiting for the new firmware with Web Browser!!

    55
  • MitchellO April 4, 2005, 9:20 am

    Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

    Here is my new PSP with my XDA II Mini!!

    56
  • MitchellO April 10, 2005, 6:58 am
    57
  • Julie April 10, 2005, 2:38 pm

    MitchellO:

    Great pix!

    58
  • ToolkiT April 12, 2005, 7:05 pm

    Does anybody know a good webstore that has the PSP in stock and pref not in a bundle or in a bundle where you choose the games yourself.

    The only stock I’ve seen so far has a bundle with games I’m not after :(

    TIA

    59
  • MitchellO April 12, 2005, 11:50 pm

    I’d suggest ebay. I got mine there, and got Ridge Racer. I have seen many auctions that have the PSP Value bundle plus a game that you can choose.

    60
  • aybara April 13, 2005, 12:25 am

    ToolkiT wrote:

    Does anybody know a good webstore that has the PSP in stock and pref not in a bundle or in a bundle where you choose the games yourself.

    The only stock I’ve seen so far has a bundle with games I’m not after :(

    TIA

    I assume you do not live close to a Brick and Mortar store that may have them? The Best Buy and CompUSA stores in my area have them for sale stand alone and in bundles. They have plenty of each still.

    61
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 12:29 am

    Well I live in Australia, so that might be why.

    62
  • aybara April 13, 2005, 12:40 am

    MitchellO wrote:

    Well I live in Australia, so that might be why.

    Well, yeah, that would do it I think.

    Unfortunately I see them offering bundles for awhile. Although I wonder why EBGames stopped letting you choose the games in the bundle, they were doing that when I pre-ordered originally.

    63
  • Masterchief April 13, 2005, 2:53 am

    ToolkiT wrote:

    Does anybody know a good webstore that has the PSP in stock and pref not in a bundle or in a bundle where you choose the games yourself.

    The only stock I’ve seen so far has a bundle with games I’m not after :(

    TIA

    The only online stores that sell them without a bundle are toys r us and bestbuy.com. I know toys r us is out of stock, not sure about best buy online.

    Also, for anyone looking for a 1 GB MS I suggest you put down an order at ebgames.com (yeah they are on backorder but this will secure yours once it comes in). They seem to be the only place that has actually gotten the 1 gig MS duos in stock (yellow ones. blue ones are sold out everywhere too). I was lucky enough to get mine two days before the psp launch.

    64
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 4:16 am

    PSP Update 7
    PSP Update 6
    PSP Update 5
    PSP Update 4
    PSP Update 3
    PSP Update 2
    PSP Update 1

    Here are some pics of the update process. You need the power plugged in to do it, and a Memory stick (my update from v1.0 to v1.5 Japanese PSP was 14Mb).

    65
  • ToolkiT April 13, 2005, 10:12 am

    Actually I have moved from Australia to the UK… still too close from a B&M store ;)

    I’m looking for a online store so I can pay with my credit card and know it is not a scam.
    A co-worker of mine (from the US) is comming to europe very soon so I want to ask him to bring it for me..

    66
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 11:44 am

    I still suggest ebay. I have seen several auctions for the PSP of eBay UK.

    67
  • ToolkiT April 13, 2005, 1:16 pm

    trouble is you get hit with import duty :(

    68
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 1:17 pm

    I didn’t. No customs, or anything.

    69
  • ToolkiT April 13, 2005, 1:29 pm

    Then you probably got lucky (I’ve been lucky a number of times too) but I allways caculate it in the price just in case..

    I’ll probably ask my friend to go to the shop and pick it up himself.. that way it will arrive in time and we know it is in stock..
    Only trouble is he will have to advance me the money..

    70
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 1:31 pm

    Well he guarenteed no customs so it was good. I have been lucky too. I have ordered several things (nothing this expensive though) and never had to pay customs.

    71
  • MitchellO April 13, 2005, 1:59 pm

    I made myself a screen flip cover while I wait to get a case. What do you think?

    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]
    PSP Flip Cover Pic[/IMG]

    Only prob is it blocks the UMD door, and need to be removed before you can open it. But I only have one UMD, so for me its not really a problem!!

    72
  • maxmiro June 6, 2005, 3:04 am

    I am interested in buying a PSP since its 300$(with no games or anything.. can prolly get a bundle with wayne gretzky game for 340 but i dont really like that game) since i live in Canada i would like to know what are the main pros and cons(yeah i know you are all fans but would like to get accurate cons) like ive heard problems with death pixels, the umd disc ect…
    I would also like more info about the multiplayer option, how does it work… do you need to be with a person that has a PSP or you can plug it on your modem…
    What are the best games?

    anyway i would like to get any useful infos (should i wait for the next generation?)

    Thx!

    73
  • MitchellO June 6, 2005, 6:26 am

    Regarding dead pixels, its the luck of the draw. I have read sony will replace it, but don’t hold me to it. My screen is perfect. Absolutely awesome. MAKE SURE YOU GET A CASE!! ITS SCRATCHES SOOOOO EASILY.

    Haven’t tried multiplayer yet (PSP not available here in Aus, got mine imported :D).

    Cons would be expensive memory (512Mb Sandisk MS Pro Duo cost about the same as 1Gb SD) and easy to scratch screen. Other than that its PERFECT!!

    74
  • maxmiro June 6, 2005, 10:22 pm

    what about the battery… how long can u use it before recharge and is there any recharger coming with the psp?

    75
  • danielg June 24, 2005, 3:46 am

    battery life on average is around 3-4 hours for intense gaming. There are several after market battery add ons that will double or even triple your battery life. So its really not much of a worry.

    76
  • flamaest June 24, 2005, 10:10 pm

    MitchellO wrote:

    Here are some pics of the update process. You need the power plugged in to do it, and a Memory stick (my update from v1.0 to v1.5 Japanese PSP was 14Mb).

    darn, you had one of the RARE Jap 1.0 versions.. you could have used the hacks out on the newsgroups to play the RAW ISO’s! Now you upgraded to 1.5 which is locked from playing the ISO’s from the DUO..

    F.

    77
  • Zandir September 27, 2006, 6:02 pm

    I have had my PSP for a while now and here are my pro’s and con’s on the device.

    PRO’s:
    Wireless
    Awesome Screen
    Nice standard controls
    Fairly nice battery life

    Con’s:
    Needs a harddrive.
    Memory sizes to small to fully utilize the ablities of the device.
    Doesn’t come with conversion software to put video’s on the device. ($19.95 additional charge from Sony or $49.95 for a better version of a media manager.)
    UMD to slow for gameplay.. Spend most of your time waiting for zone’s/areas to load.
    Movies to expensive. (UMD’s can only be used here.. No where else. DVD’s can be used anywhere.)
    Can’t hookup to a TV.

    Personally as a reflect back on my purchase.. I would have much rather spent the money on something else and I’m looking to sell mine off. This device has to many limitation to use this to it’s full potential

    78
  • MitchellO September 27, 2006, 8:41 pm

    Why would you buy conversion software? An excellent free program called PSPVideo9 does and excellent just of converting videos into PSP format.

    79
  • cashmoney January 10, 2009, 7:37 pm

    why haven’t they made an update for the flash player. we can servive without youtube.

    80
  • andy October 30, 2009, 2:01 pm

    ive got two of them psp’s at home and the family are mad over the psp even the new psp go which i dont like much because sony have done away with the psp’s umd so it means you have to download everything. i guess it was sony’s way to tackle the iphone or ipod dominance in the marketplace

    have to admit that the psp is still a favorate and love playing need for speed genre on long journeys, the nintendo ds is a good console but i prefer the accesabilty of a psp.as for the speakers one of your comments well you can purchase the sub woofer for a psp which with a internet connection to the raido stations or winamp player sounds fantastic

    as for the flash update on you tube, what is the whole point, simply use your memory card and save the videos as mp4 and use sites like vix.com

    81

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