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Sony PSP Review

Today i finally got my hands on the PSP otherwise known as the Playstation Portable which is the first handheld console by Sony. I purchased my PSP Value Pack from Success HK along with the game Ridge Racers, heres my review of the new console.

Whats in the Package

The value pack which is coded PSP-100K has the PSP console, Handstrap, PSP Protective Wallet, Headphones, 32mb Memory Card Duo and the power charger (which in the UK can be plugged into a shaver adapter and runs fine from the power over here or infact anywhere as it supports 100-220v. Seperately there was the game Ridge Racers.

Getting Started

Because this is the Jap version the manual is useless :P, so its just a case of turning it on and hoping for the best. Anyway first off i found the slot where the memory card fitted, the fitting of the memory card concerns me, rather than just pushing it into a slot you have to push a slide that ejects the compartment that fits the memory card in, that compartment is in my opinion a weak point and as long as your not taking the card in and out you should be fine but certainly something to be careful of. Then it was time to insert the game Ridge Racers, opening the game case was the first time i had the chance to see in reality was the new UMD discs that the PSP uses and was surprised that all it look like was a mini-cd in a disc holder combo. The recharger took a couple of hours to charge and its lasted me 3 hours so far and still going strong.

The looks

The first thing that grabs you about the PSP is that it is one sexy looking handheld, it looks like the BMW of the Handheld Console scene, the beautiful gloss black finish oozes sex appeal and makes you want to get your hands on the throbbing beast, getting back to reality its a very nice machine and comes with what you would expect from an handheld console and a few surprises, you have your D pad, and the normal 4 buttons on the front and the 2 buttons on the top also. Theres also a Volume up and down buttons, Start, Select, Home, Off and Speaker off Button. On the side theres a slide that turns the power on. On the top sits a nice USB port too.

The good part

Turning the PSP impresses straight away with the size of the screen and the clearness of the picture and the excellent sound coming from it. The first screen that shot up was choice between English and Japanese, obvious which one i went for. The next screens were asking for time zone, dates etc. The final option and the one i struggled on was the name that is to be used for wireless play, i struggled with getting to grips with the selection so i just pressed any buttons to get past that and into some gaming.

At last it came to an option screen where i could choose Memory stick, Saved Data Utility, Game Sharing or UMD (The Game), on highlighting the UMD option you are presented with video footage of the game runing and the title of the game and more info which is a damn cool option.

Now its time to play, Japanese games do take a bit or working out if you dont know or speak the language so its time for some clued up button pressing to get pass option screens etc but after a few presses you eventually find a way to the game. Remember that nothing like Ridge Racers has ever been released on an Handheld before so its an amazing thing to see such quality graphics from such an early title, the game is fast and theres no slowdown whatsoever, the loading times arent excessive and the UMD disc makes little to no noise when working. When you see the Helicopter and the Plane flying in front of you it will take your breath away, the graphics are that good. One feature that is awesome is the one where you press the off/Power Slide and it turns the console off, well when you turn it on again the game is still there right where you left it. Damn impressive. To actually get back to the menu screen you have to press Home so thats a little different to the norm.

Untested Stuff

I didnt get a chance to test the Wireless capabilities of the PSP so cant say until i find another near me with a PSP.

The Good The Bad and the Ugly

Bad Points

Memory Card Insertion- I really didnt feel happy with the whole process to get the memory card installed.

Battery Life ? - This point has been raised about the battery life but to me its not a bad amount of time and the quick recharge means that after a few beers and a bite to eat and more importantly a rest of the eyes yor back to speed again.

Screen Smears- One to watch in my opinion, fingerprints and smears on the screen will eventually get annoying so hopefully some bright company will come up with a safe wipe or screen cleaner.

Good Points

Read my review ;), the lovely 16x9 widescreen with ultra smart console around it should be enough to convince you that this is one awesome console, then when you boot the game up and see those graphics your jaw will drop, theres also the Wireless mode and new features to come.

The Ugly

Please only buy from respectable online shops with a good name, I can recommend 2 shops that are of the highest standard from whom ive ordered many items from and they are the Hong Kong Supplier Success HK and also Divineo China. Luckily prices are coming down now on a fortnightly basis so thats good news for us consumers.

Again be very careful of auctions that are selling PSP consoles as you could be ripped off and even worse than that are people who post on forums saying if you email me the money ill bring one back with me from Japan, remember to buy safe :).

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