Sony PSP - August 2006 UK guide

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The Sony PlayStation Portable is a portable multimedia device, released in 2005, that can play games, movies, music, images, and access the internet. So, what's it all about?

UMD

UMD stands for Universal Media Disc, a type of disc that, at the time of writing, only the PSP can play and nothing can make (except for the factories). You can get UMD Games, Movies, and Music. Be cautious when buying the latter two, as they can only be played on the PSP, and there are other ways of viewing movies and music on your PSP, although when purchased in UMD format, the movies may come with special features. Movies and Music cost between £5 and £20, and Games cost around £30

Memory Stick

Memory Stick is a Flash-based memory card created by Sony, for use in a wide range of Sony products. However, very few other brands use Memory Stick in their products. The PSP is the first PlayStation to use the Memory Stick. The PSP uses a smaller type of Memory Stick, called Memory Stick Duo, a smaller type which can be plugged into an adaptor for use on standard Memory Stick ports. The PSP uses the Memory Stick for a wide range of things, including game saves, PSP updates, movies, music and images. Remember this, as some Memory Sitcks purchased on eBay may already have content on them, which may be unsuitable for young children. To "format" is to erase all the data stored, so remember this when looking at product descriptions.

Wireless

The PSP uses a range of wireless features - or Wi-Fi, as it is known as. It can include surfing the internet, connecting to other PSPs, downloading updates and other things. To connect to the internet you will need a broadband connection and a wireless router or a computer with Wi-Fi technology. Without a keyboard, however, the Internet can be hard to use, and keyboards especially designed for the PSP are on their way, although they are not required.

Hardware

The PSP has a powerful set of hardware inside it, capable of graphics the same quality you can find in a PlayStation 2 game. The PSP is also the first handheld games console to have an analogue stick, a bonus in games. The PSP has a massive 4.3" widescreen, another bonus. However, battery life is one of it's most criticized points, with 3 to 6 hours of gameplay time, so you may want to consider a second battery for long journeys etc...

Games: What to get?

Driving? Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast works much better as a portable game.

Platform? LocoRoco is set to be this year's big PSP game, with colourful characters and simple yet challenging gameplay.

RPG? Unreleased, but Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII looks to be yet another hit Final Fantasy game.

Football? Your choice. FIFA, Pro Evo, World Tour...you decide.

Shooting? Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is violent, but the PSP's biggest selling game so far.

Puzzle? Mercury or Lumines are both fine choices.

Something else? Talkman is not a game, but a translator which can be used abroad with the microphone, and your personal language teacher.

PSP Packs?

You have 3 packs: Base Pack, Value Pack, and Giga Pack.

Base Pack includes:

PSP Console, Battery Pack, AC Adaptor, Demo Disc

Value Pack includes the above and:

32MB Memory Stick Duo, pouch, Headphones with remote control, wrist strap, screen cloth

Giga Pack includes the above (except for the 32MB Memory Stick Duo):

USB Cable, 1GB Memory Stick Duo.

Future...

Connectivity with PlayStation 3, EyeToy functionality, Voice communication...there's more to come...

 
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