PSP reviewed

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Playstation Portable System Review

I can still vividly remember buying my own PlayStation One - the original back in 1996....However I can also remember buying my own PSP as well in 2004.
There have been many challengers to come along like the Nintendo DS and DSI, precursors like the Game Gear and Gameboy Advance, but the PSP in my opinion is the best one for value for money (I have not had the pleasure of using a PSP Vita as yet! - bear that in mind...)
After 10+ years of taking this great portable game station with me to Australia, US and the far reaches of the world on numerous holidays, business trips and air journeys and boat travels, it still holds up today. No cracks or scratches on the screen (without the protector on it!). However this could be due to the fact that I bought a case for it and have always looked after it! But it shows that you take care with it, it can last a long time.
The PSP is a triumph of design, it looks incredible even before you switch it on. Finished in gloss black (standard - mine own is the white version which looks even better!), with silver highlights, the PSPS does for gaming what the iPod did for portable music players. The fascia of the PSP is dominated by the 4.3in TFT screen and its really HD quality. The screen has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, making it ideal for watching movies as well as playing games, with a resolution of 480 x 272 and a full 24bit colour depth.
To the left of the screen you'll find a digital gamepad, while below this is an analogue stick. The latter is a master stroke, and means that the PSP offers its users more accurate control. To the right of the screen is the familiar PlayStation button array, just like a PlayStation controller. There are right and left shoulder buttons, again mirroring the console controller. There are a further seven buttons below the screen, most recognisable are the start and select buttons. There's also a music button, brightness and volume + and -. Home button takes you back to main menu.
The power switch is spring loaded, push it forward and it will power the unit on, and return to its original position. Push it forward again and it will power off. If you push it backwards, it will click in place and lock all the buttons on the unit.
If there is one problem with PSP design, its the fact that its a magnet for fingerprints. Although a quick wipe and its as good as new.
One the left is another switch - this is the WIFI switch. Sony has equipped the PSP with 802.11b wireless networking. It allows for multi player games and wireless networking and connecting to the internet via a browser, also for firmware upgrades.
Next to the WIFI switch is a hatch that allows for a memory stick duo port - great for storing files or save games.
Its not surprising that the battery life is limited when you consider the size of the screen and the fact that there are two MIPS R4000 processors inside, both running at 333Mhz. The PSP was the most powerful hand-held gaming built at the time.
One downside of the PSP is the worry of damaging it by a fall for example. Value Packs come with padded carrying pouches to protect the unit and I have to advise that everyone should have one. Third party screen protectors when put on properly are advised also. Price - for a new PSP Vita - check eBay - but you can get one for around £120 buy it now.

For a second hand PSP original - you can get them from £20 upwards to £50 depending on the condition, bundle etc.

In my opinion the PSP is  far better than the Nintendo DS and DSI in terms of value for money, game selection, movie playable function, music/sound/screen quality and the design. A great addition for any gamer.

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