Sony PSP Guide
Sony is entering the handheld market in a big way, and we get a preview of what the system is all about here.
In 1995, Sony Computer Entertainment of America began their dominance of the video game market by releasing the Sony PlayStation, a system that ushered in next-generation visuals using polygons and disc-reading hardware. In 2000, they again took great strides in pushing forward the industry, introducing the PlayStation 2 to the market. The system brought much more interest in the gaming market than ever before, thanks to its glossy visuals and expansive delivery of gameplay.
Now, Sony looks to take control of the handheld market that Nintendo's held for quite some time with their release of the Sony PlayStation Portable, also known as the PSP. Released this past December in Japan and coming to the US and Europe this year, the handheld looks very promising.
Who is the Sony PSP for?
The PlayStation Portable is bound to attract all sorts of gamers. Old-school PlayStation fans will clamor to the forthcoming return of many licenses, including Wipeout, Twisted Metal, and Syphon Filter, while newcomers will grow to appreciate fresh titles on the machine, including Ridge Racers and Untold Legends. Its slick design and limitless appeal are bound to find an audience with ease.
Did You Know?
Technically, this is the first all-together handheld console made by Sony for the gaming market. But it's not the first time they've focused on gaming on the go. A few years back, the company released a redesigned PlayStation called the PSone, and bundled it with a 5 inch LCD monitor for in-car and on-the-road gaming, at the meager price of $149.99. The item is now considered one for the collectors.
The PSP sold in Japan for the down-low price of $185, which shocked many who thought it would go for much higher. Of course, due to short supplies and a rabid holiday season, prices reached as high as $1000 for an import system in December 2004. The US version will arrive on March 24, and will be budgeted for the price of $249.99. This will be sold as a value pack, and will include a 32 MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones with remote control, an AC adapter, a soft case, a cleaning cloth, and a UMD disc with non-interactive demos. Sony has also confirmed that the first one million buyers of the system will also snag a bonus disc with the film Spider-man 2 for free, a nice little bonus. Games are slated to run roughly $39.99 apiece.
Five Recommended Titles for the Sony PSP
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade (Sony Online Entertainment) - This wholly original role-playing adventure from the creators of the Everquest series will blow away those expecting just another typical action game. You can go the journey alone or take some friends on the journey using wireless play, taking on new challenges and choosing from a number of inventive and helpful characters. The environments and enemies change with each play, providing a fresh experience each time.
Ridge Racers (Namco) - The Ridge Racer series continues to roll on without a hint of wear on its tires. Ridge Racers packs many elements from past Ridge Racer games (including the original PlayStation game Rage Racer) and packs them into a blazing new package, filled with lush visuals, tight gameplay (complete with power drift!), and numerous challenges. Unlock new cars and track areas with ease, and then take on a friend in multiplayer mode via the Wi-Fi play. Ridge Racers will have you spinning your wheels in no time!
Metal Gear Acid (Konami) - The Solid Snake saga continues, this time on the Sony PSP. This time around, however, there's a new twist that puts a refreshing perspective on the popular series. Snake proceeds to take on a whole new enemy, this time using strategy as his main weapon. Draw cards for different abilities and engage with the enemy through turn-based style combat. Proceed with caution and save the day, courtesy of Hideo Kojima's latest masterpiece!
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (Capcom) - Thirsty for handheld brawling action like only the PSP can deliver? You're in luck, because Capcom is bringing their latest Darkstalkers title to the system. Choose from a number of mysterious and powerful characters and then take to the night to battle enemies and fight your way up to the evil boss forces overtaking your land. Use special moves and combos to defeat them and make the night yours. You can also play against another player via the Wi-Fi play, making the game that much more unpredictable. The night is yours!
Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar Games) - The legacy that has sold millions of copies worldwide on the PlayStation 2 now brings its beauty and malice to the PlayStation Portable. Return to Liberty City and take part in an all-new storyline, unfolding with criminal acts around every corner and power just brimming to the surface. Steal cars, jack weapons, take down enemies, and score bonus cash performing different acts around town, like delivering pizzas and doing some taxi driving. Grand Theft Auto is back with a vengeance!
Sony PSP Specs
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.7 in x 2.91 in x 0.91 in
- Weight: 8.36 oz
- Controller: D-pad
- Processor: MIPS R4000
- Processor Clock Speed: 1-333MHz
- Processor (2nd): MIPS R4000
- Processor Clock Speed (2nd): 1-333MHz
- Main Memory: 32MB
- Video Memory: 2MB EDRAM
- Fill Rate (pixels): 664 Mpixels/s
- Fill Rate (triangles): 33 Mtriangles/s
- Display: 4.3" 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD
- Resolution: 480x272
- Colors: 16.77 million colors
- Brightness: 200 cd/m2
- Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers
- I/O Connectors: 1 x audio out, 1 x microphone, 1 x control connector, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Memory Stick Pro Duo, IrDA, IR remote
- Integrated Communications: 802.11b Wi-Fi
- Media Drive: UMD Drive
- The UMD: The small, high-capacity optical medium Universal Media Disc (UMD). Allows for 1.8 GB of space and provides an extremely versatile format for games, music, and video
- Data Transfer: The wireless LAN connections, USB connections, or the use of a Memory Stick PRO Duo
- Power: PSP's battery is a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It's possible to charge the PSP while using the system
- Buttons: Square, Triangle, X, and Circle face buttons, a digital pad, start, select, an analog thumb stick and two shoulder buttons on the top
- Basic Portable Functions: Exterior headphone connector, brightness control and sound mode selectors
- Protection: A robust copyright protection system utilizes a combination of a unique disc ID, a 128-bit AES encryption key for media, and individual ID for each PSP unit