24/03/2005

PlayStation.com - PSP

PlayStation.com - PSP

I've actually posted something on my personal blog about this too.

I bought a Japan import from Play Asia. It came with Ridge Racers (suprisingly a racing game).

Sony have got a winner here. The graphics are superb. It's widescreen and the display is extremely crisp and sharp. Though 3D isn't real, it's very realistic. The screen is 4.3" wide supporting 480 x 272 pixels and 16.77 million colours.

The system uses Sony's 1.8" UMD optical disk which comes in a protective sheath (like a minidisc). They're small enough so you could easily carry a few around with you (though don't eject them apart from on a flat surface, they tend to fly out and disappear somewhere awkward). Unfortunately size isn't so appealing for the PSP itself, it wont fit into a shirt pocket and probably not into an inside pocket of a jacket or even a coat.

It's also got WiFi built in that can be set-up in AdHoc mode allowing game play with other PSPs, or in Infrastructure mode which goes through an access point. Though there doesn't seem to be any Internet utilities on the device yet (apart from a network update section) it's rumoured that the Opera browser is being ported and there'll be a firmware update for that and Email.

The system looks like a USB memory device when attached to a PC (which basically gives access to the Memory Stick) and you can store audio and video on it. Sensibly Sony support MP3 directly on the PSP, though it will also support ATRACplus encoded music (interestingly, if someone decides to produce UMD music disks, they only support ATRACplus and linear PCM). Video is H.264/MPEG-4 AVC on the UMD and MPEG-4 SP,AAC on the memory stick.

It's possible to set various languages for various bits of the system (i.e. menus, subtitles etc) however the Japanese game that came with the PSP still maintained various settings in Japanses which I unfortunately I can not read or understand.

Sony are on to a real winner with this, and if they add Internet features it could also perform as a very portable media hub.
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