Review by poncho_poo

Reviewed: 06/03/05

Watch Your Back Nintendo.

After weeks of nagging and constant probing of my mum I managed to buy Sony’s new handheld to rival the Nintendo DS, the PSP.

When I first laid eyes on this mysterious black beauty, the first thing I noticed was the screen. The size of it was just incredible and I felt like I was holding a small plasma screen in my hand. In terms of size it is the perfect side of weighty and is about the same size as the DS. My major gripe with the machine is how much dust and fingerprints it attracts. Unless you have gloves and using the PSP in a air tight vacuum, then you will get dust and finger prints. However, I managed to combat this problem by buying a screen protector so it doesn’t become such an issue. Nevertheless it still should not be that way.

I bought the Value Pack which comes with a carry case hand strap, 32mb memory stick, Headphones and a remote for a little extra. I suggest you get this pack as it does come with a memory stick, albeit a small one it’s still better than not having one for a couple of weeks while you save up for a larger stick.


In terms of aesthetics, nothing comes remotely close. All the pictures you see do not do this machine justice. It is an absolute sight to behold and thankfully its looks are also backed up by a brilliantly working machine.


After the initial trouble of getting this right, once you get music onto your PSP, you will be pleasantly surprised. On loudspeaker, the sound quality is decent enough although it can sound a little bit, ‘grainy.’ But with the headphones, the sound is very clear and at times even rivals that ‘other’ music player.

Overall, music is a great alternative to when you are not playing any games.


Before you can watch a video, you must first convert the file to MPEG4, which is extremely easy once you download PSP Video9. You can also change the file size to fit onto your memory stick by changing the video and sound quality. What impresses me most is how clear the screen is even on low quality. You really can’t not be impressed by the clarity of the screen. For example, I managed to compress an episode of Happy Tree Friends from 60mb to just 3mb and the crispness of it was just as good, if not better than the episodes you can find on the internet.

Ultimately, video is a great option to have, but if you really want to take advantage of this feature, be prepared to spend a couple of quid on a larger memory stick.


Ok I know there have been a lot of complaints (Mainly from Nintendo Whores who haven’t even played with system so therefore have no valid opinion) that the battery life is extremely poor. Well to clarify things, it is good enough. In fact for me, more than enough time to play a game or watch a video. Playing Ridge Racer on full volume with the brightest light on, I managed to get about 4-5 hours of game time. So unless, you intend to play for 6+ hours at a time don’t expect to have any problems. Furthermore, for listening to music, I would say you could easily get about 10-12 hours of music which again is more than enough time. Lastly, with video, watching a full length movie will probably leave your PSP with about 2% of life left.


Storing photos is incredibly easy and they only take up about 19kb so you could store hundreds on the 32mb memory stick provided. The pictures are also very clear and easy to flick through.


Just to put it in three words, all I can say is ‘money well spent.’ People may complain about the price, but as the saying goes, you really do get what you pay for. And I’m exaggerating by saying this, the PSP is my greatest possession I have every owned and I wouldn’t trade it in for 5 DS’s.


- Beautiful, sleek design.

- Very comfortable to hold

- Wonderfully clear screen

- Play Music

- Plays Video

- Fully 3d graphics on a handheld that rival even some ps2 titles.

- Lovely Sound


- Prone to dust and fingerprints

- Chance of dead pixels (I have one but couldn’t find it even if I tried)

- Square button feels slightly different to the rest.

- Memory stick Compartment isn’t as secure as it could be

- Quite delicate

- Umd opener feels quite unstable

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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