*** - Written in 2005/6, now out of date, thanks for those who voted it as useful!
Put quite simply, the PSP is the hottest gadget of 2005. Your kids know everything about it and all want one and there is no escaping that. What does this mean for you? Trawling the shops and Internet being greeted by "Out of Stock" and waiting lists guaranteeing stock just in time for the Second Coming.
Therefore you start looking on Ebay. Ceramic, Giga pack, 1.5 firmware, value pack, standard pack, 1gb memory?
Why can't the kids just play with a cup and ball like the old days?
Basically the PSP is a handheld console that plays games (yes really) and movies. Both come on a special format known as the UMD -
Games vary from £25-£40
UMD movies £13-£20
Now as you look on Ebay you are presented with a greater choice of consoles so here is a quick run through.
PSP value pack - the one you see in the shops, it comes with earphones, a 32 MB memory card and a pouch. Going price £180
PSP Giga pack (Strongly recommended for the avid gamer.) Includes the same accessories but has a 1gb memory card, ideal for storing pictures and movies. In the UK the black version is the only one. For the console package alone expect to pay around £214.99
Ok, now UK stocks are limited so you may be considering buying a Japanese import.
Commonly asked questions
Can these play UK games though? ALL PSP's are "region free" they can play any game from any country.
Movies as well? No no, the Japanese and UK PSP's are "region 2" just like DVD's.
Duh, I can't read Japanese, how do I understand the manual? You can download from Sony the english manual or the seller can email it to you or put it on a disk. I usually email them.
Limited edition consoles
As the Japanese released the console on the 12th December..last year they are ahead with variants that your kids might want, here is a quick rundown.
PSP Ceramic value pack & giga Pack. Same as the UK ones but they are WHITE.
A good ebayer - like (48-tech) will supply consoles with a plug adaptor so no worries there.
1.5 firmware - What's the big fuss?
Basically the software version allows you to play "homebrews" - home made applications - Prices vary due to scarce availability.
Hopefully this has helped clear up the quagmire of buying a PSP, any further questions feel free to email me through Ask seller.