PSP Review

This post is more than 2 years old.

So, my birthday isn't until the 8th, but my wife surprised me this weekend by giving me my gift early - the new PSP. (She probably wanted to stop me from talking about it so much. ;)

Let me just say - this thing is beautiful. I mean, seriously. Comparing the PSP to the GBA is like comparing the Super Nintendo to the PS2. Speaking of the PS2 - while the PSP is not the same level of quality as the PS2, it is darn close. I've heard others compare it to the Dreamcast, and I'd say that is probably pretty close.

The video quality is quite good. The audio quality is shocking, especially with headphones. Movie quality is excellent. (My wife got the package with Spiderman 2 included.) The networking works great. (I have to say - any device I can plug in an IP address to is just plain cool.)

How are the games? My wife picked me up Dynasty Warriors. This is not a game I would have picked, but I'm glad she did as it is quite cool, although the manual is one of the worst written manuals I've seen in my life. (Little side story - I got my degree in English, but the main focus was in Technical Writing.)

That same day I went pick up Wipeout Pure. I've heard about the UI design of this series before, but to see it in action is something else. The game is fun and has an awesome soundtrack.

You may hear folks talk about the load times. Yes, these games have load times. However, the most I've seen so far on my two games is about 5 seconds. Considering the level of detail you get, 5 seconds doesn't seem like long at all.

One small negative note - the PSP is covered in buttons. Unlike the GBA, you have to spend a second or two positioning your hands, or at least I do, but I have huge hands, and I'm clumsy, so I tend to be a bit anal about making sure I'm holding it right. (Drop one digital camera in your lifetime and you will be careful as well.)

There are already a few cool PSP hacking sites out there: PSP Hacks, PSP-Vault.

So in summary - I gotta say - I think this thing has legs. We may finally have a competitor to the GameBoy. Now I just have to pick up a one gig memory card so I can copy Star Wars to it. ;)

Edited: When I compared the PSP and the GBA above, I meant to say that the GBA was like the SNES, and the PSP was closer to the PS2. Sorry about that!

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Kevin posted on 3/28/2005 at 11:49 PM

"Comparing the PSP to the GBA is like comparing the Super Nintendo to the PS2."

So is the PSP like the Super Nintendo or the PS2 in that comparison? :-)

Comment 2 by Anthony posted on 3/28/2005 at 11:49 PM

Just was writing the same thing in my <a href="">blog</a>! (just finished setting up the latest version of your blog software) One thing I've been doing to get around the load time is just turn the power off while still in the game. It starts back up right where you left off.

Comment 3 by Ray Camden posted on 3/29/2005 at 1:12 AM

Oops. Good point. ;) I'll edit the post to make it obvious.

Comment 4 by tonyoftheweegclan posted on 3/29/2005 at 2:28 AM

happy 32nd btw!

(Soon to be half of a 64 bit architecture as well!)

Comment 5 by Rob Cameron posted on 4/1/2005 at 12:16 AM

Agreed, this this is monumentally beautiful. Even people who couldn't care less about video games see this thing and are blown away. Have you tried the web browser "hidden" in Wipeout? Gonna go home and try it tonight!

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/1/2005 at 12:23 AM

Rob: Not yet. I think it is cool as heck... but I just don't feel the need to "prove" to myself that it works. I believe it does. If I want to surf, I'll use my laptop. ;) Now - I can see setting it up right before I go on a trip as it would be a handy way to read the news.