Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)

PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Sony PSP, more than just a portable gaming platform

Sony's PlayStation Portable or PSP was announced at E3 2004 and finally released to the U.S. on March 24, 24th 2005. The PSP is the most powerful handheld gaming device ever released. It's as beautiful as it is technically amazing, boasting the PSP boasts a huge 4.3- inch LCD transflective display laid out in the widescreen 16:9 format with a 480x272 resolution.

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Unlike its main competitor the Nintendo DS, which flips open, this device is a single wide black block with controls to the left and right of its impressive looking screen. Switching it on, the display's 16.77 million color palette springs to life with a very bright hyper-real look for a portable. The overall design of the box is made to resemble the style of Sony's console's PlayStation and PlayStation2. The controls are similar to the PlayStation2, with familiar four buttons laid out on the right in a diamond, each marked with a definitive shape. The directional pad sits to the left with the large screen in between. The body of the device makes a comfortable and weighty grip; , the PSP feels hefty for its size and well balanced.

The Sony PSP is capable of playing 3Dd games stored on UMD or Universal Media Discs. The UMD is Sony's optical storage for the PSP, 65mm discs that can hold up to 1.8 GB of data. But UMD discs aren't just for games - there are movies and even concerts available on UMD. Sony plans to release a broader selection of media for the PSP, making it a portable optical media player and an alternative to a portable DVD player.

The PSP has some serious processing power to play the most advanced games on any handheld. The UMD versions of many of Sony's popular games aren't just simple knock- offs, these are deep and nuanced game titles capable of a variety of gaming genres to carry along.

Salivate over the specs of the most powerful handheld to date
Hardware Highlights
PSP CPU 1-333 MHz
32MB Ram
4.3 inch 16:9TFT LCD w/ 16.77 million colors
Built in stereo speakers
IEEE 802.11 wi-fi
Memory Stick Duo
Built in USB connector

The Sony PSP is powered up with an adaptor capable of an international range of voltages from 100-240 (5a). Built- in rechargeable lith-io batteries in the PSP can last an average of 3.5 hours. There are variables that will affect the longevity of each charge, such as the brightness of the display and processing power being used by the type of game you're playing. Of course, the PSP is fully wi-fi (802.11) ready, allowing multiplayer gaming over a wireless network.

Overall, PlayStation Portable is a slick gadget that looks every bit the part of the most sophisticated handheld gaming platform going. The flexibility of the new toy is a unique approach from Sony, obviously an effort to attract a mature audience. PSP won't replace the Smartphones and isn't as full featured as a Pocket PC. But it has the media playback capabilities of devices like Apple's iPod photo and Zen Portable Media Center and will certainly perform well as a portable DVD player with a library of UMD available. As a pure gaming device, it blows away anything made yet.