Pros Sexy design, amazing screen, Wi-Fi, MP3 playback, video
Cons Proprietary this and proprietary that
Summary When will Sony learn?
I just want to shake some sense into them. Hopefully the new CEO will actually LISTEN to the consumers (hopefully he is reading this).
Sony could have run away with the MP3 market with its inherently strong brand name, unique designed products and comparative advantage in creating innovating, revolutionary user friendly mini devices (think Walkman the product that helped them build an empire).
But now they are squarely in Apple's rear view and will likely stay there for the foreseeable future.
Proprietary software and hardware. Think ATRAC and memory sticks. Think Betamax.
Now add UMD. Why oh why? It comes down to Sony's attempt to milk the golden cow. But it might be laying eggs instead. If you are going to pay through the nose for this machine you should expect a TRUE multimedia product. You should expect a hard drive. You should expect compatibility. You should expect the best.
Will it be a kick-ass gaming machine? Of course it will. Could it have been a kick-ass multimedia iPod killer? Most certainly.
Somewhere in California, the Apple execs are having a good laugh - at least those guys have learned from their own experience with Microsoft. You have to think big and give the customer the freedom to choose. They are the ones who will vote with either their dollars or their feet. Its that simple.Updated
** EDIT and UPDATE **
See, the worst thing that ever happened to Sony was that it got caught up in the 80s expansion and bought Columbia Pictures and Records.
They lost focus. They started worrying about supporting other divisions that they have no business being in. They started falling for buzzwords like "synergies", "vertical integration".
Basically, they started letting these other divisions dictate what they produced on the hardware end. Hence the creation of MiniDisc, ATRAC, (does anyone remember DAT?), and now UMD.
See folks, as much as a runaway hit as PS2 was, it has been losing market share and prices have come way down. In any given year going forward, Sony will make much more money on a runaway movie hit like Spider-Man 2 - and you'll be sure they'll try to milk it in every way possible (CDs, DVDs, VHS, UMD, etc.)
The way I see it, Sony has NO BUSINESS being in the CONTENT BUSINESS. Stick to what made Sony great: great innovative consumer products.
...and Let the consumers choose the and identify the eventual format winners.
Pros Very large screen, knock 'em dead graphics, sexy design
Cons Tinny speakers, poor battery life, overly delicate, expensive
Summary I hate Sony. I just want to say that out of the gate. I've had almost nothing but bad experiences with their products and company. When I saw the PSP for the first time, though, I absolutely had to have one. Overall, I am pleased and excited at the prospect of future games.
The PSP had the best launch I can think of. The only system that was even remotely comparable in quality and quantity of games available at launch was the Dreamcast. These high quality games are also the PSP's first stumbling point. They are all just PS2 games. If you've already played them and if you got a system at launch I assume you to be a relatively hardcore gamer, then the system is effectively worthless. Wipeout Pure is good, and the only other game that is truly ONLY for the PSP, Metal Gear AC!D is really strange and hard to get into. The games are all great, but we've already played them.
And played them for longer as well. The battery life is very, very poor. I played Tony Hawk via wireless and the battery pooped the bed in less than 3 hours. I immediately had flashbacks to the Game Gear where it gobbled up 6 AA batteries in 3 hours. Without any wireless play I was able to play for over 4 hours. I also bought a second battery (Which I recommend everyone do) effectively increasing on-the-road life to 6-8 hours. I pine for the days of 20 hours on my Game Boy Advance.
I also pine for the tank-like structure of my Game Boy Advance. If Nintendo has ever done one thing well it's make systems that take a licking and... well you know. I have an old NES that has been punished for the last 2 decades and continues chugging along. If you can find a single Sony product from 2 decades ago that still works at ALL, I would be impressed. The PSP is no different. I get the overall feeling that the device I hold could spontaneously disintegrate at any moment. The DS, on the other hand, feels indestructible (although I'm sure I could manage). The screen especially feels delicate. It can get scratched with immeasurable ease and sucks up finger oils like an Oxy pad. I found myself cleaning it multiple times per day.
The quality of the screen materials is somewhat lower than I expected. I have noticeable LCD shadow in many applications. This may seem like a small complaint, and to be true, I didn't notice it much playing games. But watching movies it was VERY noticeable. Spider-Man 2, which the unit came with, is a giant blur during the fast action scenes. This severely limits the devices ability as a true, pocket-sized, multimedia hub. This is especially disappointing since Sony has hyped the movie-playing aspect of the PSP to a great extent. Now I discover the screen isn't up to the task. LCD shadow aside, the screen is insanely crisp. Games all look bee-u-tiful.
The screen is also the largest source of complaint from everyone I know. I was lucky. I received a screen with some chips, and a couple scratches, and a little dust, but no dead pixels. I also made the point to buy the extra warranty, so when a fresh batch of fault-free PSP's come in, I can trade mine in for one. Even if you didn't buy the extended warranty, Sony should replace it. Do not take the excuse that "LCD screens are made with highly precise technology, but in some cases black spots may appear... this is not a malfunction." (PSP Manual, P. 118). That is, for lack of a better word, BS. For $250, the screen should work.
Just below the screen lies the other problem; the speakers. They, well, they suck. It's apparent that Sony intends for you to use the headphones, but if you're going to bother putting the speakers on there at all, you should put good ones on. In the end, if you're in a quiet environment, the speakers will get the job done. Anything more than a murmur, though, and you can't hear a thing.
Overall quality and design is good, and I feel I got a $500 toy for half the price. It's incredibly sexy, and sexy is the only word for it. Sony got the aesthetic design down wonderfully. The device feels good in my hand, looks even better, and just screams "I'm a kick ass toy!" with the brushed aluminum circle on the back.
You're going to pay for the "kick ass" factor, I'm afraid. And this is the one reason the PSP's usefulness as a combo device is severely limited. $250 will net you the system. But you NEED the warranty, so that's another $25, and you likewise need game cases, another carrying case, second battery, screen protectors, and better ear-buds. That's $50 right there. If you want to do anything besides play games, you'll need a memory stick. The 32MB stick included sure as hell won't cut the mustard. Music will require 256MB or more, and for video you really need a 1GB stick. The 1GB stick will set you back $150-175. Combined with a high game price of $50, you'll want like 2-3 games to start with, let's say you're broke (From buying everything else) and you only get 1. That's another fifty bucks. 250 + 25 + 50 + 150 + 50 = $525 + 36.75 (at 7% sales tax) = 561.75. That absolute steal at $250 just got a whole lot more expensive. Don't even get me started on buying movies, which range from $20-30 each.
If I had expected more from the movie angle, I might have given this a lower grade. But I went in expecting a game machine, and I'm rating it as a game machine. And as a game machine it's very good. The quality control issues will soon be forgotten, but the poor battery life and high price will not, I feel. Those matters aside, I have had a great time with mine, and expect to continue having a great time. That is why I give it an 8. A wonderful game system, if that's all you expect.
Pros Jag dropping graphics for a handheld, beautiful screen, ITS EASY TO GET MP3s and photos on to the memory sticks IF YOU'RE NOT AN IDIOT, comming game line up looks great, and the power under the hood
Cons current cost of memory sticks, would have like to see sound be capable of going higher, needs higher capacity battery quick!
Summary The people on here saying the system if over hyped clearly don't know how to read the reviews because they note all the shortcommings. Yes THIS SYSTEM ISN'T PERFECT, NO SYSTEM IS. For a handheld gaming system, the PSP brings current generation home console graphics on the go. The fact that the current crop of games out now and to come out this year will only use 222mhz of the 333mhz CPU is simply amazing and provides much room for improvement in game quality, as if they needed to go much further. THERE IS NO COMPETITION TO THE PSP IN THE HANDHELD MARKET, yet. As for the multimedia capabilities, they are really extra bonus features. Yes sony doesn't make it super easy to put movies on the PSP, but it doesn't take that much effort and the programs on the web are free and do a good job. IT'S BEEN A WEEK...wait for the killer apps like GTA and GT4 mobile to be out, as well as EAs whole sports lineup and we'll see how the DS fanboys and PSP haters become so jealous they will scream about the lack of battery life (the really only major negative about the system FOR NOW)... when someone releases a higher capacity battery there will be nothing to complain about.
"It does it all!"on by jcub
Pros Amazing Battery Life, Wonderful Color Screen, Feature Rich
Cons Price, MS-DUO cards cost too much, May or may not be region locked!
Summary I currently have the Japanese model (Value Pack) which I got while I was in Nogoya... and I love it.. the screen is the best i have ever seen at that size.. the controls are tight.. the battery lasts at least 6 hours (right now at least and the games are great! (only have Japanese games at the moment) I find myself using the PSP more then my iPOD lately because it does everything I want it too and is still small enough to take anywhere.
The price is a little more then i expected... but for all that you get I couldn't be happier with the PSP...
I only hope that Sony keeps thier promise and doesnt Region Lock the games... I would hate to buy another one just to play USA games.
Pros Good Graphics, Nice size screen,
Cons HiMD discs are comletely unreliable, poor sound quality, awkward to hold and carry around
Summary Though the presentation is impressive and the comercial with Franz Ferdinand makes us all want to throw caution to the wind and give Sony all our money, in this gamers opinion the PSP comes up sub-par. The big upset is the choice in media. Sony made use of their HiMD technology to create the game discs, take it from someone who owns a HiMD player these dics are completely unreliable. I just bought this thing this morning and got a little dust on my game and now whenever Ape Escape tries to load the thing freezes and eventually goes dead. Apparently I'm not the only one having this problem, I work in customer service at a local Best Buy and have had to tell about 20 people we couldn't replace their $50 game beause the damage was considered abuse. I feel a bit more secure with the NRam of the Nintendo DS. On another note it feels akward. In it's defense the NDS isn't exactly pocket friendly either but I just miss the days when a handheld was made to be small and not a burden to carry around simply for graphical purposes. My last "beef" with this system is the speaker. Though Sony hyped how great the sound was going to be, I was simply playing music on my stereo to escape the sound quality (When My game was working 2hrs. ago that is.) Though I have alot of issues w/ the system I do have to admit that it offers great graphics and though cumbersome, a nice sized screen. My advice is to stick with the pros in the portable gaming buiseness (Nintendo) simply so you don't find yourself paying $50 for a game that works for a couple days, or a few hrs. in my case.Updated
REcently I've been reading some of the other reviews and had some more of my own experiences and found some more upsides and downsides to the product.
Fist the good:
-I've Had Metal gear for a day and it's still working (Knocking on wood).
Then the Bad:
-Returns have been pooring in at the BB w/ a dead pixel problem. Luckily for those customer's who purchased the $40 replacement plan, it was replaced. But anyone w/o it is going to have some trouble.
-Battery Life is pretty mediocre, I'm averaging 3 to 4 hrs. And if you read the booklet sony says you can't play while it's charging???