Pros Able to watch movies (UMD and by Memory Stick Duo), listen to MP3s, and play games with PS2 Graphics.
Cons Sony should allow open source communities to work with this aswell.
Summary In the beginning I was a bit skeptic when Sony was entering the Portable Gaming Market as I been a loyal Game Boy fan since the beginning. Even when I had a chance to test drive both the DS and PSP side by side at my local gaming store I didn't quite feel the need to own such a device since my Sony Clie could play movies, and MP3s and just using my GBA SP for the games. However this all changed when I actually had a chance to own the PSP and found it as useful as the GBA and my Sony Clie combined.
After having a large amount of Store Credits left from trading in used games, I decided to pick up the PSP rather then the DS because of one factor. There were way too many DSes that were Preowned at the counter waiting to be sold while there were no PSPs at all for Preowned so I felt kind of awkward to pick up the DS with so many already being sold as Preowned. With that as my deciding factor to purchase it (along with Ridge Racer and Wipeout Pure), I was soon to realize how much use I got from this device.
To help break things down quickly, here are some things I discovered on my own that made me proud to own a PSP:
+ Graphics of the games with the Wide Screen are incredable. Also the movies on UMD seems like HD quality.
+ Reading Digital Manga (Manga Scans and E-Books saved as JPEGS) read clear and with excellent quality. With the Analog Nub for scanning was excellent.
+ In addition to reading Manga, I was able to use my PSP to hold Map Quest Maps (Saved as JPEG) and use my PSP as a Navigation Device.
+ With PSP Video 9 and a 1 Gig Memory Stick Duo, I was able to watch all my recorded shows from TV, and DVDs on it on the go. (Also was surprise how fast conversion to PSP Format was as a 30 minute video took less then 10 minutes at high quality)
+ Surfing the Web using the Wipeout Pure Trick was also impressive and mainly used for reading news when at college and near the library that has Wi-Fi.
+ Listening to MP3s when unable to hold the unit such as while biking/walking or too tired and away from home and just need something to listen to.
Though I gave the PSP a 10, it still isn't quite perfect which is not because of the device itself but with the company.
It would be very nice to be able to use some of the Open Source programs made for the PSP. Such as SNES Emulators for example. (Developers were able to make emulators and such for the PSP before Sony released a update that disabled this feature or atleast made it harder for developers to make such applications) If Sony would let Open Source programmers tinker with this device such as a new Web Browser, new Music Player that could support WMA and OGG, and give it third party apps like Calendars and Drawing Tools would make make this an ultimate portable machine.
But until then, this device meets my main criteria and that is a Portable Gaming Device.
Pros Hi-res wide-screen format; multimedia-capable
Cons Multimedia features are difficult to use; games just aren't there yet.
Summary When I bought mine, I was excited to get a portable gaming device that I could also play movies on during road trips. I'm not all that excited, now.
Problem 1: Not enough games.
Oh, sure, there are games out there, but the variety is horrible. Ooh, gee, ANOTHER driving game! Ooh, gee, ANOTHER sports game! Whoopee. C'mon, we can only take so much of a couple genres! Puzzle games? Sure, Lumines is supposedly very good, but I can't help but feel games like that are a waste of the PSP's potential, and therefore a waste of my time and money. In the end, when it comes to the games out there that are not sports or driving games, they pretty much just enhance the Yawn Factor. They are very mediocre games, if not flat out poor. Sure, it's early yet, but the buyer's remorse is definitely high, right now. We don't really have a definitive "killer app," and we need one terribly.
Problem 2: Transferring movies
Could Sony have made this any more of a pain in the arse? Sure, there are free tools out there that get the job done, but they often don't do it as efficiently as they could or should. Sony promised us a program to do it (I believe they promised it would only cost $20, too), but it's long overdue. Why? Gee... can anyone say "UMD movies"? Sony pushing their proprietary format shows that they just want to gouge us, and it was a huge mistake. Anyone who buys movies in this format is wasting their money, IMO. I already own over 200 movies on DVD format; why should I spend money to buy them all over again on UMD?? Will even Sony's own video-transfer software give us the quality it should? Of course it won't, because they won't want your fair-use home-transferred movies to look as good as their UMD movies, because they want you to pay for the quality by buying the UMD instead. What if it's a movie I don't own yet? I'd still much sooner buy it on DVD than on UMD, since I can't play UMD movies on my home theatre system.
Problem 3: Watching movies/playing games in the car
".... .... . ... .. ... . ..... .. .... .. . ..... ... . . . .... . . .. .... . ... . .. .. .. ..." That's what you hear from the PSP's pitiful speakers, even at full volume, even with headphones. External amplified speakers? FM transmitters? Sure, they are out there, but why should we have to go through the expense? Even without road noise, you could be at home on the couch and still have to turn the volume all the way up in order to hear it.
As it stands, if there isn't a great improvement in PSP games and features soon, I'll be making use of the extended/trade-up warranty I got at Best Buy when the next-gen consoles come out (and not necessarily for the PS3).
Still, it's better than the NintendoDS situation. You would not believe how many used DS'es they have for sale at my local GameStop. I have yet to see a used PSP for sale.
Pros Graphics, Games, Fun
Cons Price, UMD, Durability
Summary Ok, I have my PSP and I'm thrilled. I've sold my PS2 because I rarely use it, but now when I travel or do want to play a game I have a very good system.
First and formost people need to remember, the PSP is a gaming system. And it does that extremely well. I know, the games are the same as the PS2, blah, blah, blah. But for me, that's what I want. I want to be able to travel and play games that are very similar to the PS2. So as a gaming system this is is great.
The problem I have is SONY has tried to market it right out of the gate as an Entertainment system. And while it can be ... to do so will cost a bit. So it's not for everyone.
Right now Memory Sticks cost a lot compared to other media storage cards. I know because I'm a photographer and have a pro Canon Digital SLR. So I know how much Compact Flash has come down in price.
But look at it this way. If the PSP gains a lot of popularity, more people will want the Memory Sticks, and that means more production and cost will come down. So yes, right now Memory Sticks are a bit steep, but by the holidays we'll probably see them for a lot cheaper.
My other only real concern is the UMD. It is very similar to the MiniDisc. Now I've owed 3 MiniDisc players ... right from the big black MZ-1 to the one I use now the MZ-707. The thing with these are the drives are very delicate. I can't tell you how mnay times I've had them in for repairs because it refuses to read disks. And it's not like I don't have protective cases and the whole outfit. It's just they are delicate. So my advise, buy extra warrenty. It has saved me so many times. If you don't use it great. But if you do need it ... it pays for itself the very first time. My newest Minidisc player has yet to require fixing and I've had it over a year, but I still have the 5 yera warrenty.
So yes there are a few concerns about the PSP, but overall this thing is great. I want it to play games while I'm on the road, and it delivers big time for that. In the coming years it will probably be a good alerternative for a portable media centre once prices go down (but what right now offers you the choice of games, movies, music, and soon web browsing al in 1? -- just costs a fair penny to enjoy all that right now) But for now it is a great gaming system, and again, first and foremost that is what it's intended for.
Pros Good hardware, nice design, many capabilities, wireless multiplayer
Cons Awful gaming library, horrendus battery life(3.5 hours!), faulty square button, not pocketable, extras like movies require more $$$, need memory stick, uses discs
Summary The PSP does not look good. Good hardware and design, but horrendus titles and battery life. Say you want to take a plane trip. It won't last from the time you sit waiting to board and the whole flight if the plane trip takes 3 hours since the battery has been said to last 3.5 hours. The graphics are good, but the games are terrible(and at $50, bad price). It proves that good graphics doesn't make a good game. The movie player/music player capabilites sound good, but that is just more money to shell out for the memory stick($50 for 128 mb) and movies($20) to go along with it. The Nintendo DS, while it doesn't have amazing graphics, makes up for that with its fun and original first person gaming titles, innovative system capabilites like touch screen and microphone, and decent battery life, with a price that won't break the bank. If you want portable gaming, go with the DS.
Pros The games do, in fact, look very pretty, there might be (at first) more companies making better games, sound, and damn, that screen is nice
Cons battery, UMD, memory stick, analog pad is about as analog as a cheese sandwich and did i mention the battery?
Summary In theory, this thing is great.. but so is communism. Where to start... The prospect of Movies is nice, but I can garuntee you UMD will not catch on, it's pointless, the only upside to it is that it's small. UMD has less than half of the storage capacity of DVDs, and DVDs are a pretty convenient size for in-home viewing, so i cannot see people sacrificing the storage on a DVD for something that's smaller, therefore, UMD will probably be limited to PSP, and possibly some other portables, and i can't see the PSP having a large enough market to carry the UMD movie business. And the memory stick, nice, flash storage, but it's Sony's format, and it is more expensive, but this isn't MUCH of a problem, since SanDisk is making cheaper ones, and the PSP itself works as a card reader. The battery... on games with high-quality graphics, you've got about 2 and a half hours of play-time, which effectively defeats the whole "portable" aspect of it. The PSP is also not going to be successful as a music player, not at all... it is much bigger, and has a much lower capactiy than players that cost $50 more, an Ipod holds 20 gigs for $300, each 1gig memory stick costs $150, so multiply that by twenty, then add the $250 for the PSP itself... it's not gonna happen, not to mention that an Ipod is much smaller and easier to use than the PSP... aahhh yes, the file-transfering interface... have you heard anybody say anything good about it yet? nope, because it's crap... that's the only way to put it, it's crap... The only thing the PSP has over the DS is graphics, and even then, they're not MUCH better. The DS's touchscreen can be used in the future for Palm OS (keeping my fingers crossed), web browsing (ditto), and adds a lot to certain games. The DSs touch screen acts much more like an analog stick then the PSP's "analog" pad, which is only capable of moving in 8 directions... with the Play Yan coming for DS, which is said to have a better interface than the PSP, i can't see how anyone could prefer the PSP, it's going to fail in 5 months, it's a novelty, once the new-ness wears off, it'll be over.... anyone remeber the Sega Game Gear?