5.18.2008

The PSP - My Thoughts

After extensive testing, I find the PSP to be quite a good gaming machine. Although it is, of course, not without its faults, too. So I'd like to present some of my thoughts on my newest acquisition, especially in comparison to the DS.

The Good

  • Downloadable Content - So far, this is perhaps my favorite feature of the PSP. Logging on to the PSN Store and downloading demos, trailers, backgrounds, and themes to my PSP is something I haven't really experienced yet with gaming. I don't have a PS3 or XBox 360, and while the Wii has numerous Virtual Console games available, Nintendo's still exploring. And the DS, well, without any memory, demos are only as good as long as the system stays on.

  • Sexy Design - The PSP is a really beautiful piece of hardware, although the DS caught up a little with the DS Lite redesign. The bright, wide screen in particular is really nice, for both games and videos. And overall, the PSP feels really comfortable in my hands.

  • Great Games, Especially RPGs - Finally, after a few years, I feel like the PSP has enough games that I'm interested. I'm currently deep into Crisis Core, have Patapon waiting, and want to get many more games. The PSP seems to have an especially large number of great RPGs. I can't wait to get a few more.
The Bad

  • Load Times - My DS made me forget how nice it is not to have to wait for games to load. Since they're cartridge-based, load times are practically non-existent. But the PSP, as basically somewhere between a PS1 and a Dreamcast, is disc-based, and therefore features load times of various lengths, depending on the game. Crisis Core features constant loading, although each one is relatively quick. I forgot how annoying that can be.

  • Fingerprints - Man, the PSP is a magnet for fingerprints, both on the case and on the screen itself. Annoying, but not a big deal.

  • Shortest Battery Ever - Depending on the game, I've found I can only get around 5 hours of game time in before the battery needs to be recharged. After the beauty of the DS Lite's 10 hour battery, it seems like I'm constantly having to stop playing a game to charge the PSP. 5 hours is theoretically plenty of time, but it does make me want to get the bigger battery. Although at $50, I'd wait and keep my eye out for a sale.
The Untested

  • Online Play - I've noticed that the PSP allows both ad-hoc and online multiplayer, but I have yet to test these features. This is largely because I have no games that have an online mode.

  • Ease of Traveling - The DS is especially convenient for traveling. It's easy to carry in either my pocket or a bag, and it's been no problem to whip it out on a train ride or when I'm waiting for something. The PSP has thus far been under house arrest. But soon I will probably let it venture outside and make its way in the world.

  • Future Games - Although I bought the PSP because there were at least 5 or 6 "must-buy" games for me, the future looks a little less certain. There are a few RPGs of which I would be interested in a U.S. release (Star Ocean), and the demo of Secret Agent Clank was pretty fun, but there's not a whole lot on the horizon that I'm interested in. Maybe some more games will be announced at E3

So in conclusion, I love the PSP, but it's certainly not without it's flaws. It's certainly amazing that the technology is available to allow me to play games with near-PS2 graphics on a portable system. But that comes at the price of ever-present loading screens, and a battery with an insatiable hunger for loads of electricity. But overall, the system is very much worth a purchase, especially at the current price $170 in the U.S., I think. If you don't have a PSP, now's a great time to get one.

2 comments:

Daniel Primed said...

Hey Korey, my apologies on the lateness of this comment, I have been behind the 8-Ball as of late.

As I'm in a similiar situation myself with the PSP I find myself agreeing with everything you've mentioned.

I too have been considerably concerned about the future of games. Previously I had blogged about how great the line up of PSP games were going to be in 2008 and indeed that has happened and these games have been released. Thing is, we still have another 7 months of the year to go and all of these great games have already been released!

I'm hoping E3 will have some more answers as to what to look forward to in the comming months.

Korey said...

No problem, Daniel. I know how it is. I feel like I'm always catching up on other people's blog posts.

I'm desperately hoping E3 reveals some PSP games that have yet-2-be announced. I don't regret buying the PSP, because there are numerous games I feel are worth adding to my library. But future games I'm interested in can be counted on 1 hand. I guess we'll have to wait and see.