Move over iPod and Nintendo DS. There's a new "must-have" in the super gadget race, and yes - it has a Hemi.
It really is hard to decide what to do with Sony's slick new portable
entertainment unit - the PSP (short for PlayStation Portable) - when you have the shiny black device in your hands. Catch a movie in your own personal movie theater? Download and listen to your collection of MP3 music files? View photos from your digital album? Or fire up one of the gorgeous game titles available at launch?
About the size of a TV remote, the PSP is truly a groundbreaking gadget that really pushes the boundaries of multitasking handheld devices. (You have to wonder if a phone and/or camera could also have been built into the PSP, similar to what the Nokia folks
have done with the N-Gage.)
Out of the box, the PSP glistens like a highly polished street rod and
screams "pick me up!" as it sits on the desktop. Sporting nearly 17 million colors, the high-resolution TFT screen is very sharp and bright - many people in my office thought it was of high-definition monitor quality.
When I first read that the screen would be a mere 4.3 inches wide, I thought it might not be large enough. But after logging many game hours and viewing Spider-Man 2 (included with the value pack bundle as well as a sampler disc that contains music videos and movie previews), I found the screen size more than adequate for personal use. Nonetheless, do expect strangers to rub shoulders with you - straining to get a peek at what's playing on the screen.
The picture is truly amazing and is showcased on games like Ridge
Racer with its speed-induced vehicle blurring and gorgeous backgrounds.
As expected, the external speakers are a bit weak, but put on some
headphones and - bam! - the games and visuals spring to life in
high-fidelity stereo. I'd recommend plugging in your favorite aftermarket headphones because the in-ear headset that comes with the unit just doesn't fit everyone, and if it is loose, the sound really suffers.
The unit comes with a soft case for transport and a soft cloth to clean the screen and the unit (you'll be doing a lot of this because it shows
fingerprints very easily). I'd also invest in a screen protector because
surface scratching would be readily apparent on the mirrorlike glass face.
Ergonomically, the PSP is quite comfortable to hold. I would advise using the included wrist strap to avoid an accidental drop.
Bottom line: Should you shell out the $249 on yet another gaming system? I would answer with an emphatic "Yes!" The PSP is like nothing else on the market. With its many functions besides gaming and a slew of fantastic looking titles (most of which feature levels unique to the PSP) to pick from at launch, the PSP is a best buy. But I m not giving up my iPod just yet.