Monday, October 13, 2008

PlayStation Portable Impressions

As many of you now know, I've purchased a PSP. Now that I've had it for a little bit, I'll share with you my impressions.

I first purchased my Limited Edition God of War PSP Entertainment Pack on Sunday, September 28th, but I got caught up in a game of Halo 3 that night and didn't even get to open the box. On Monday, September 29th, I finally opened it up, awed over the deep red colour of the unit, and read all the manuals. The PSP's battery does not shipped charged, so I was going to juice it up over night, but first I wanted to remove the protective image of Krato bashing evil ass that was packaged overtop the PSP's LCD screen.

When I carefully removed it, the protective image left nothing but sticky adesive residue in it's wake. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled.

I quickly checked the manual on how to clean the LCD screen, and I was advised to use a soft, dry cloth and rub gently, so that's what I did using the cloth that came with my LCD TV. Well I got the sticky adhesive off, but I also left several fine scratches on the screen. My coworker wasn't kidding when he told me the PSP's screen is the easiest LCD to scratch that he's ever seen.

After this, even though I juiced up the battery anyway, I never turned the unit on and I resolved to take this "defective" PSP back to HMV and exchange it, which I did successfully on Wednesday, October 1st. The HMV staff were cool and put up no arguement, and I opened my replacement in store to make sure all was well.

Finally, I've been able to play my PSP, and thus far I'm liking the little console. I find it overall to be fairly light, and resonably compact given it's elongated size, and God of War: Chains of Olympus simply kicks ass!

The controls handle fairly smoothly, and whoever came up with the PSP's analogue stick is a genius; it allows for such fluid movement. So much so, I'm wondering why Sony didn't provide a second analogue stick, which would have been great for shooters.

The LCD screen is crisp and sharp, and the graphics displayed thus far are quite impressive for a portable unit. The audio is good over the internal speakers, but the PSP actually sounds better via stereo headphones; it seems to balance left and right a little better this way and just has more presence.

I've tinkered with the PlayStation Store and downloaded some content, mainly videos that all play nicely, and I've customized my PSP with a nice God of War: Chains of Olympus Theme.

I also tried to rip a DVD to my PSP using some third party software, but that didn't work stating I didn't have the correct codec, so I'll need to tinker with that a little later.

Overall though, as a portable gaming platform, I'm pretty pleased with my PSP. I'm going to pick up a microfibre soft cloth for future cleaning of the screen this weekend, as it does need a cleaning now, and I don't want to scratch it again. After searching the web, caring for the PSP's screen the same way one cares for prescription glasses is apparently the way to go.

Despite the ridiculously easy to scratch screen, I'm impressed with the hardware's capability thus far, and I think I made a sound purchase here.

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