Sony PSP

SONY PlayStation Portable

If you’ve ever taken a stroll at the mall or merely looked around the bus during your daily commute to work or school, chances are you already know what a PSP console looks like, because you have probably seen lots of people either playing PSP games on them, or watching movies, or even just listening to music.

Barring their version of a semi-portable PlayStation with a built in LCD screen, the PSP was Sony’s first foray into the handheld gaming device market, and while it may have encountered low sales in the beginning and some criticisms, it eventually found a way to bounce back and is now the second best selling handheld gaming console for its generation.

Currently, the SONY PSP is the most technologically advanced handheld gaming console in the market, with enough power to run games that are direct ports of PlayStation 2 titles. During the early stages of the PSP’s development, this technological advancement became a double edged sword, since all the complex graphics and engines it has to pump through takes its toll on the batteries, resulting in uptime that would pale in comparison against its main competitor. This resulted in some game developers “crippling” the PSP by only using its 333 MHz processor in power saving mode that only runs at 233 mhz. This wasn’t noticeable at all since the games they came out with were still graphically years ahead of its competitors and the problem with the “crippled” processor wouldn’t have been known if the information wasn’t leaked to the public. With improvements in the battery itself, developers are now releasing games that take full advantage of the Sony PSP’s powerful CPU.

It is true that the problems with Sony PSP’s battery were eventually fixed and were not really much of a deal-breaker with enthusiasts who carry a spare battery, or one of the bundled Sony PSP car charger. The next set of problems that cropped up, were more serious – lack of available games. When it was first released, the PSP’s library of games were less than expected, and majority of them were just direct ports of games from the PS2, which were already played by majority of Sony’s fanbase. This was criticized heavily since a gaming console is said to be only as good as its games, and while the PSP can also play music and movies, the truth is that people already have separate devices for those two functions. A big share of their interest in buying a psp is reserved for playing the games itself. Luckily, PSP games have been released since then and the PSP’s library of titles is now capable of holding its own against the competitors.

At the end of the day, the Sony PSP has improved greatly since its initial launch back in 2004 (2005 in North America), and perfectly justifies its relatively higher price tag even if you don’t plan on using its other media capabilities and just want to play games. With the release of the PSP slim, the original thick version has gone down in price, so the price cons are effectively ruled out as well.