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Customer Review

484 of 632 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One year after launch and we're still talking about "potential" ..., April 20, 2006
This review is from: PlayStation Portable Core (PSP 1000) (Video Game)
Well, it's a year later and the PSP still hasn't really taken off. Unless there's some major changes, I could never recommend anyone buy this and it's centered around two MAJOR issues that still haven't been addressed: cost and game library.

The PSP's expensive ... really ... really ... expensive.

1. You'll need between two-hundred (the core pack) to two hundred fifty dollars (the value pack) for the PSP itself. I'd recommend the core system. The only substantial difference between the two bundles is the value pack comes with a 32 MB memory card. Anyone who downloads mp3's will already know, a 32 MB card is small to the point of being virtually worthless.

2. A decent capacity memory card is a must-have. Don't make the mistake of cheaping out and buying a small one, do it once and do it right. All those mp3's, pictures and game-saves add up fast and having them all saved across several smaller cards is a pain (not to mention easy to lose). Give yourself about a hundred bucks and get a big one. I'm thinking 1 Gig kinda big.

3. To pick up a newer game and a movie you're going to have to punk-down another seventy to a hundred dollars.

This is the point where I just talked myself out of the sale. I'm pushing about three hundred seventy dollars, and that's on the conservative side! I can get an X-Box 360 for that kind of money. I can get an awesome iPod for a hundred dollars less and have (potentially) 60 Gigs of space.

It's a year later and the game selection, outside of MAYBE a half-dozen really great games, is awfully average. The UMD movie feature is nice, but the movies seem to average about TEN DOLLARS more in cost then their DVD counterparts, with half of the content (it's usually just the feature, no extras).

As powerful as the system is, and as cool as it could be, it's just too expensive. Knock the price down a hundred bucks, and it immediately becomes a much better buy. At three-hundred fifty dollars, minimum, though, it's just too much to ask ...
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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 10, 2006 12:31:45 AM PDT
C. Kelso says:
I agree with most of your review, especially the futility of the 32mb card that comes with the value pack, the one thing that I do agree with is you saying the PSP is expensive (really, really expensive).

$200 for a near console experience with multimedia capability that fits in the palm of your hand sounds like a pretty decent price to me. Especially compared to Sonys other products (like the $350 mylo that cant play games or function as a cell phone) or the upcoming PSP which will be triple the price.

As far as price goes, the one thing that I think is expensive are the games considering the fact that many of them are priced the same as full fledged console games when they do not have nearly the same amount of content.

I have a Nintendo DS and I love it, but im considering getting the PSP because the idea of having the big world of GTA in the palm of my hands just sounds awesome. And though the PSP's library isnt that big, thats okay, im not wealthy enough to buy more than half a dozen games for the system anyways. 3 or 4 good titles will do the job for me and it definately has that many.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2006 7:53:44 PM PST
Ron Burgandy says:
I should actually ammend my review a bit. The cost overhead for the PSP IS improving. I still don't think it's to the point where'd I'd consider making a purchase, but (especially the aftermarket prices) it's come down considerably.

However, I still feel the same way about the game library and the UMD format for movies has pretty much withered on the vine and died. That's the one (arguably most important) area that the DS really excels in.

Nintendo (with a handful of exceptions)treats the DS as if it's an entirely seperate entity. You almost never see a game come out of both the DS and the GameCube. That's one of the things I think is killing the PSP. With Sony, you see ported games on both sides (ps2 & PSP) all of the time and not normally with any substantial price difference.

People also like to hold up the PSP as a media player, but (screen clarity aside ... which is staggeringly good) it can't hold a candle to anything the an iPod can do.

It's an mp3 player, but the files are a little tough to organize ...

It's a wildly impressive video player, but has no AV output (and a dead UMD format)...

It's small but not small enough to drop in a pocket the way an iPod is ...

And, as stated before, although they're finally coming out with some really creative exclusive games (ex: Loco Roco); to this point, the software library has been AT BEST just average.

It the perfect example of a system that's a jack of all trades, master of none ...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2006 1:16:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2006 1:21:56 AM PST
Tsanche says:
A point of interest, though, many movie studios have actually pulled out of producing for the UMD format because they just don't sell enough, and some movie studios are even losing money because of it. To me, UMD's are expensive anyway. Why pay 30 dollars for a brand new UMD when I can find the brand new DVD for less? Or even by a used DVD?

Also, I think you were dead on about the library, and I still believe that's true even today. Not just because of ports, either. I have both a DS and a PSP, and I have far more games on the DS mainly because its getting more original titles. You probably won't find a DS game ported to the Gamecube or vice-versa however because of the wide array of differences in graphics (the only game, I think, we could actually say came from the Gamecube is Animal Crossing, and even the DS version has several unique differences). Anyway, as I was saying, you've got a lot of games that look good, but aren't particularly great to play. A lot of them are, as you said, ports or re-releases. Look at a couple of recent games. Lego Star Wars II and Family Guy for the PSP are the exact same game on the PS2... so why bother to get it on the PSP? I'm not trying to diss, I'm just saying that the PSP has so much potential... why isn't it living up? You'd think developers would go crazy to develop for the PSP!

The PSP is a great system, but what Sony is doing with it is pretty simple: They're talking about all the gold and glitter except the gold and glitter that everyone wants: The games. I don't care if it plays MP3s, I've got an Ipod, and transfering all that music would be a pain. Not only that, but there's no real way to organize it, I don't think. It plays movies, but again, the UMD portable movie format is not doing so hot, right now. Plus, I got a decent portable DVD player that was far cheaper than the PSP.

When I buy a system I'm really not looking for a home entertainment center that I can carry around. I just want to play games. Most of these things that the PSP can do, I'm already capable of doing without it, so why would I care if it can do it? Since when did the handheld gaming system suddenly become a swiss-army knife?

That's just it. It's a GAMING system. The MP3 player, movie player, etc. are nice extras, but I expect a gaming system to have some great games. is the PSP a great system? Sure it is. But is it worth it to true blue hardcore gamers? That's the question. And right now my answer is no. I like the bells and whistles, but I'm looking at my library and its severely low.

Posted on Nov 24, 2006 12:46:22 PM PST
B. Bowling says:
The value pack comes with a 1GB card, not a 32MB card.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2006 12:11:27 AM PST
Tsanche says:
I thought that was the giga pack?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2006 1:13:31 PM PST
EmulatorB says:
You can buy and XBOX for that $$, and??? Why compare portable to those that can't be carried. Your comparision only valid when you do it right.

Posted on Dec 21, 2006 6:23:46 PM PST
James Howard says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 21, 2006 6:24:47 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 21, 2006 6:25:08 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 26, 2007 12:30:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2007 12:32:17 PM PST
The vast majority of your review is pretty sound, and is still an accurate description of the state of affairs for PSP owners like myself - fairly high buy-in price, incredibly average games (with a few exceptions, as you note), and an imminent need to buy a larger memory stick (though I found myself a 4GB for about $100; I don't see how you'd pay that for 1 GB).

The main point at which I balk is the comparison to the XBox 360. To be a fair comparison to the gear you're prescribing for the PSP, you would need the premium 360 (after all, Core has even more of a storage problem than the one you point out on the PSP... none), which starts us at $400. You also bake a game and a movie into that cost. The average 360 title runs $60. In the name of being fair and reasonable, I won't suggest that "movie" means buying the HD-DVD drive and appropriate media, so let's go the cheapest possible route: download via XBox Live, which will set you back around $5 for even an old film, and you have limited rights to watch it before it disappears.

All told, you get an even less viable movie, most likely an equally mediocre game from a library that's every bit as small, and are out an extra $100... which if we're talking PSP, is two more of those few excellent games. Oh, right, and that 360 certainly is not portable (unless you're well acquainted with Ben Heckendorm and have a few grand laying around), and I'm assuming you already own a suitable TV, preferably HD and widescreen. WiFi, by the way, is going to be yet another added cost, but one I left out above, as I assume it won't break your heart to have one extra cable attached to a system that wasn't portable in the first place.

A relatively minor beef, I know, but especially in the aftermath of the next-gen console hype, comparing apples and oranges really rubs me the wrong way.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2007 1:38:01 PM PST
The psp's library is growing, as slow as it may be, that's beyond the fact. Sure there are some terrible games out for it, but some of those games can be bought for 5 dollars and some good ones for like 20 bucks. A used psp, from a reliable seller, is about 130-140 bucks. It's not too expensive now.
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