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PlayStation Portable first impressions

By James Stevenson     March 18, 2005


Sony's PSP
© Sony

We've just gotten our PlayStation Portable in and after several hours with Sony's titles, some time checking out SPIDER-MAN 2 and just generally showing off this little sexy machine, we're back with some impressions.


Getting the PSP out of the box is almost infuriating as you need to put in and charge the battery for about 2 hours. While I sat around waiting I played with the headphones and remote control, opened my games and thumbed through the instruction books, read through the thick PSP book, and played with the carrying case and the cleaning cloth.


Finally the charging was done and I tossed in the memory stick pro duo and fired up TWISTED METAL: HEAD-ON. The first thing I noticed though was that the handheld had some stuck pixels, five to be exact, across the screen. As Sony specifically warns of this in their manual, I'm imagining they aren't going to do much about this for the typical gamer. Fortunately, they aren't too noticeable, the worst part is I have three in about the area of a quarter, and that is the most noticeable of the stuck parts.


Besides that, the screen is absolutely gorgeous, as is the handheld. You might expect though that the glossy finish is a magnet for finger prints, and you'll find yourself wiping off the handheld frequently. Outside of that though, the unit is sleak and clean.


Control wise, I'm still not convinced I like the analog stick. Other than that, the buttons and unit feels good in the hand. The only other downsides are loading times, which aren't too bad but seem long considering how quick the DS/GBA have always been (obvious based on the media change). The final is the battery life, which is greatly dependant on wireless functionality, how much the disc is spinning, screen brightness and sound issues. We're looking at 3-4 hours during good usage, and that may not be quite enough. Needless to say I've been plugging in the PSP whenever I get in.


Outside of those downsides, the games are excellent and the screen is absolutely gorgeous. There are plenty of buttons and the ability to move video, audio and photos to the memory stick is absolutely awesome.


You put one of these next to a Nintendo DS, and Nintendo will have a hard time selling the DS. The PlayStation Portable isn't really known in the consumer market, but I'm expecting huge successes for Sony's newest addition to the PlayStation family.


Tidbits


NBA Ballers is now a greatest hit title... WORLD OF WARCRAFT has 1.5 million players... Nintendo has already shipped development kits for Nintendo Revolution games...


On Shelves


A whole list of PSP software including goodies like LUMINES, TWISTED METAL: HEAD-ON, NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND: RIVALS, WIPEOUT PURE, and more. Should be around 20 games on shelves, an impressive launch lineup for the PSP. Also out next week is Sony's GOD OF WAR on the PlayStation 2, something owners of the PS2 shouldn't miss, even with the PSP.

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