Categorized | PSP

Gear to Go: A Quick Look at Sony’s Playstation Portable

A little over 5 years ago, Sony Computer Entertainment launched the Playstation Portable. This tiny little machine fitted nicely in a small bag, had a battery that lasted for hours on end and promised to deliver a massive library of games that would fulfill any gamer’s heart. While that last bit of promise took a bit of time, Sony came through for hardcore video game players around the world, and provided us all with ports of some of the PS1 and PS2’s best titles and also having a few innovative titles of its own.

With this new handheld system, Sony also introduced the Universal Media Disc (UMD), a new form of disc based storage media. Basically, this was a super-mini DVD that came with its own protective plastic cartridge. The UMD is able to store over a gig and a half of data and provided game developers with plenty of ROM space for games. The media was also used for movies that are meant to be played on the handheld.

The Playstation Portable, better known as the PSP, comes in several forms. Its’ very first incarnation, the PSP-1000 was launched in the US back in 2005 (it was launched at the end of 2004 in Japan). In 2007, the PSP-2000 Slim and Lite version reintroduced the device in all markets (Japan, US and UK) with a device that weighed much lighter, had a longer battery life, had a microphone input and video output port (for component cables) as well as better brightness settings. The third version, PSP-3000, arrived just a year later and introduced a built in microphone and enhanced the performance even more.

A fourth device, the PSP Go! deserves a little special mentioning as well. This device does not use UMDs and instead, makes use of the built in storage for games. It is smaller than the regular PSP and packs mostly similar specs to the PSP-3000. Mostly shied away from by the hardcore market (due to its download-only nature), the device served more of a purpose as a portable media device than a gaming machine.

The PSP is considered to be one of the most versatile devices of its time. Featuring its own operating system and user interface, the PSP is able to handle a wide variety of media for people on the go. The built in image, music and movie player allowed users to view JPG, BMP and PNG files, play MP3s and AAC audio content, and also supported UMD movies and MP4 videos as well (it should be noted that while UMD games are not region locked, the UMD movies are restricted by a region code similar to conventional movie DVDs). The built in WLAN and web browser keeps the device online and also allows players to access the Playstation Network Store –logging in using the PSP will automatically take users to the portable portal of the site. For storing game saves, media files and DLC content, the PSP makes us of Sony’s Memory Stick Duo. And when connected to a computer, the device can also serve as a basic USB storage alternative.

Gaming fans will want to have this system in their arsenal –whether they are on the go or not. The gaming library hosts a wide range of must play titles for a wide range of game genres (featuring exclusives such as Monster Hunter Portable, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Patapon, Loco Roco and many more). For those who are simply looking for a good media player with web capabilities, the PSP Go or the PSP-3000 is most recommended as they are the smallest and lightest of the group.

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