View Full Version : Hands-On US retail display model PSP!

March 22nd, 2005, 20:07
I got Ridge Racer and Ape Escape today. When I called to see if they were in, the guy at the game store told me they had a demo model PSP in the store!. So we rushed down there to see it for ourselves.

I have held it in my hands and I can't describe it to you. Now there is this emptiness in my world that is exactly the shape of a PSP. I must resolve this.

At first he hands it to us and Spiderman 2 (UMD movie) is in there. It looked Amazing! (sorry, honestly the first word that came to me). Vibrant brilliant color! I mean I knew it was good, but I would expect it to cost a lot more! And the sound (without headphones) was better than I expected. I mean really good! I can't wait to hear it in headphones! So the store must have gotten the value pack, I guess.

I thought it was all we were going to see. My friend says "Man I wish we brought Tony Hawk!". But... We both got Ridge Racer (arrived today) and the guy opened a WipeOut Pure for us to check out.

First off, I was impressed again by the video. And again by the sound. I would look away or look at something else. And when I looked back at it, it was like the initial shock all over again! This thing just looks great!

It feels substantial in your hands. Like you're holding something solid and expensive. I've read someone's post about feeling like it wasn't too well built. I just have to disagree. The US version is a sturdy and elegant looking marvel to behold. It isn't so fancy that you're afraid to touch it. It isn't so shiny that you feel dirty when you leave fingerprints. My friend even tried twisting the display unit just a bit. No more than we figured we might during actual gameplay. The UMD drive did not pop open. The disc was not launched. I did see this happen in a downloaded video of the Japanese PSP. There were no dead pixels. There was no [Square] button issue. No squeak, whine, pop or snap. It looks like they may have these machines figured out by launch day (1 day 9 hours 23 min 9 sec from now).

I do hate it when people touch my PC monitor at work. Like they have to hit it with their grubby fingers when they're pointing something out to me. Those people need their hands amputated. And if you like touching the screen, then get a DS.

Ok. I'll calm down and tell you a few things about my ten minutes of bliss.
The Analogue Nub is not what we're used to. Everyone should know by now that it slides rather than rocking. It's like a hockey puck. It will take getting used to, but I liked it. It was stiff and wanted to return to the center. It provided good resistance. I hope it always wants to center even after a few years of play.

The fingerprint rumors are only half true. It does collect fingerprints. Easily. And a lot of nice sites have taken some impressive photos of them. But they don't stand out like they do in these photos. And once you turn it on, all of that goes away.

I was instantly immersed. Wipeout Pure is an improvement over WipeOut games of yester-console. There are some welcome changes in gameplay. Like when you take damage (just by hitting the side of the race track, as usual) you recharge slowly as long as you don't keep hitting crap. Nice! And there are sections of track you can just drop right off of. Well worth a closer look if you ever liked Wipeout (I liked XL). Once we figured out how to get the camera into the cockpit (select) I had to steady myself. I was instantly immersed. I mean I nearly lost my balance. I wasn't sure I would be with a comparably small screen. (I'm used to playing WipeOut XL on a 52 inch TV). I don't remember what it sounded like, though. So shoot me.

Ridge Racer impressed the crap out of me. It always has. I've got every one since the beginning (save Revolution). It lets you steer with either the Analogue puck, or the D-Pad. I am a D-Pad racer unless the game supports a steering wheel. Then I'm a maniac! That's what we need for our PSP, a force feedback steering wheel! Bwa haw haw... You really will recognize the old original tracks. It's like going back to those days again and turning up the graphics a notch or three. I forgot to see if you can turn off the UMD game music and play your MP3s while racing. I hope you can do this.

One bad thing though. Someone had been a bit rough rough with this one. It looked like it had a very faint bruise on the screen when it was turned off. Like someone had hit it with their elbow pretty hard. There was no damage to the surface. It was very faint like a shadow. However, this was not visible when the unit was on. I haven't heard of this at all. So I hope this is the result of a particularly severe beating. I already planned to be extremely careful with mine. The first thing I'll do is put a screen protector on it and squeeze it into the rubber jacket I got for it.

The shoulder buttons feel a little distant. The photos I've seen don't do them justice. They are solid clear plastic. Very cool.

You can't compare this unit with a PS2. They really are different beasts. I mean I know it's a PlayStation. But, we're all going to have to get used to something new. The Analogue Puck is low on the unit's face, making it feel like you have to hold it differently at first. But In just a few minutes, I wasn't searching for anything. It is easy to get used to where things are. Select and Start will take a while to memorize, but not being part of most gameplay, I'll take that in stride.

Having seen them both now with my own eyes, I can't believe anyone would compare this to a DS. I'm sure Nintendo is backpedaling right now over this. Not wanting the DS to be compared to the PSP. This is what happened to the Sega Saturn. It was a great 2D game system. Sega made it with the intention of being the ultimate. But it was too late. It was compared with it's contemporaries, and it lost. The DreamCast would have had a chance at being the third contender if it had been there instead of the Saturn. But It's too late for Nintendo now, too. The comparison is being made. So No matter what they come up with next, it will be too late. The DS should have been a portable Game Cube. That would have kept their place in the market. But as it stands now, I can think of no reason for me to get a DS.

It's like I just got abducted by aliens and they showed my why it was so fun to dismember cows. I can't describe it. It's just this new hobby of mine. I really want to get another look at this thing! It is hard to describe. You can look at all the photos you want, but it is nothing like actually holding it in your hands. I wanna go back after work and drool. Or jump this poor guy in the parking lot on his way home. Cause there's no way he's leaving it there all night. No way.

I can't wait for mine!

March 22nd, 2005, 20:57
Well said!!

The PSP is radical and the DS is boring.

March 22nd, 2005, 23:26
i just want to say that i totally agree that people who like to touch screens should either get a ds or have their hands amputated - i don't like dirt or fingerprints on my screens.

March 23rd, 2005, 03:39
very very nice review - the analog stick/disc is pretty easy to get used to, i now cannot play Ridge Racers with the D-Pad because ive got used to that so much now. ive still not seen a UMD movie playing on it yet and like u said i bet its just amazing.