This archived article was written by: Stuart Lake
I have had a chance to test and play with the new handheld device from Sony, the PlayStation Portable, or PSP. I have been using the PSP since last week, and have found it to be a solidly built device.
The first thing that I noticed when I held the PSP is the huge screen. It has a 4.3 inch, 16:9 wide screen TFT LCD that has 480 x 272 pixel, with 16.77 million colors. What this all translates into is a really big, wide screen with an amazing color display. I was blown away with what I was seeing. It is the best screen for any handheld device ever.
The PSP is a little big for a pocket, but not too heavy. It has many different functions that can be navigated from the start-up menu, and the first is its game playing abilities. The games have near PlayStation 2 graphics, and run well. Some loading times are long, but not too long. The controls are comfortable and the nub-like analog stick functions well, but for long-game play, your thumb may get a little sore.
There are many games available for the PSP. They come on Universal Media Disks, or UMDs. They are like small CDs. The PSP has your choice of sports, action, puzzle and RPG titles with many more on the way. Sony has always made sure that there are plenty of games for its equipment. Also the PSP has built in Wi-Fi that allows PSP’s to connect to each other for game play, or to connect to wireless networks for play, and to download updates.
One of the other functions of the PSP is the ability to watch movies on either a UMD, or through its Memory Stick Duo Slot. I watched Spiderman 2 on the PSP, and it was just like it was on the big screen with amazing color, and stereo sound through the PSP’s built in speakers, or the headphone jack. Sony owns its own movie studio, so many movies will be coming to the PSP in the next few months.
Two of the other features are listing to music and viewing digital pictures. Downloading your music or pictures onto a memory stick can do both these functions. The pictures look good on the big screen, and the music sounds good. The only problem is space. Memory sticks are still a bit pricey for the larger ones, so you will not be able to hold a ton of music and photos, unless you want to brake the bank for a 1 gig memory stick. There are many factors that will control the battery life of the PSP. You can control the screen brightness (brighter = less battery life), also if your playing with the Wi-Fi enabled, you will drain your batteries faster, but on average you will have about five hours of game play on one charge, and about 2.5 hours if you are watching a movie because the UMD has to keep spinning.
But the battery life is good, and car adaptors are not very expensive. Looking at everything if you are a gamer then the PSP is a must, or if you just want to have something small and light to watch movies on then this is a must have.