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Sony's PSP: Putting a Dent in Nintendo

For a greater part of two decades the portable gaming industry has been dominated by Nintendo. There have been several attempts by other companies to take a piece of the pie, like Sega with the Game Gear, but success was limited. In 2005, Sony tried its luck in the portable gaming industry with the release of their first portable console; the sony psp. The psp is short for Playstation Portable and it features attractions for more than just the gamer. Not only can the PSP play video games, it can view pictures, play music and movies, and even surf the web. Sony’s new machine definitely packs a punch, and it’s a portable console worth spending some time exploring. As a portable console, the Sony PSP comes packed with a lot of attractive features; physically, the machine carries some definite positives and negatives. With a 4.3 inch widescreen display, Sony’s primer portable console isn’t the most compact machine in its category, but for some, a larger display can be a point of attraction. For those familiar with the Play Station, the PSP button lay-out will be a positive feature since it shares a similar configuration. There are buttons on the PSP that are not found on the Play Station or Play Station 2 controllers of course, like a brightness adjustment button and home button. The PSP uses memory stick duos for storage, so space can easily range anywhere from 32MB-2GB (or the latest duo size), depending on user needs and preference. In terms of media format, what the PSP essentially uses are mini disks, branding them UMD (Universal Media Disk). Finally, the PSP comes equipped with a standard headset jack for the private types – or those who get complaints from their neighbors for blasting away sounds and beats on the machine’s built-in speakers. Having done some research into the PSP to see its capabilities before buying, one feature you may not want to overlook are the games. Like many video game platforms, the PSP offers a wide range of video games to attract people with all sorts of interests. With so many games out on the market for the PSP, it can be difficult to choose. Fortunately, with a huge variety of gamers and a constant flow of new concepts, it’s not too difficult to point out some unique games for prospective gamers and buyers. If you have ever wondered what it may be like to run your own diner, dealing with customer demands and waiting tables, then the PSP has that covered with the increasingly popular Diner Dash series (Diner Dash: Sizzle & Serve). For those who were big fans of the Sims series, there’s a new simulation game coming out that may bring back some memories for those older gamers or introduce some crazy ideas for those younger gamers. This new game isn’t like the typical life simulation game engineered by the Sims series however, it’s more specific dealing with dating and school. So, for those looking for a unique distraction to life’s real dating scene, they can jump right into the virtual dating scene (with Brooktown High). If you haven’t had a hunch already, psp games are pretty broad and unique; for the more conservative, there are plenty of tried and true hits worth consideration. The Sony PSP works out to be a pretty impressive machine and unlike companies before, this one may have caught the attention of Nintendo. For those gamers who are unaware, the PSP basically has the power to play the original PlayStation games. Because of this, Sony has taken the initiative to put some PlayStation hits and transform it for the PSP. Whether looking for some simple fun or a comic relief of a pretty serious sport, gamers and golf enthusiasts alike may get a kick out of the Hot Shots Golf game. The game was a pretty big hit for the Play Station, and the portable version is just as entertaining with its cartoon style and complex play. After spending some hours hitting golf balls, those addicted to virtual mayhem are probably itching to hit something else. The infamous GTA (Grand Theft Auto) series has hit the PSP, and is more than able to accommodate some people’s havoc wreaking personality. For people looking for reasons to get a PSP, games are more than a good reason; with a huge variety of games, ranging from simulation to sport to action, with PSP games, the fun will hardly stop…until you develop blisters. Of course, for many consumers, games just aren’t a point of interest. Fortunately, for Sony, the problem is fixed by adding music and video capabilities. The PSP is a pretty versatile machine. In terms of psp videos, there are plenty of clips to download online. As mentioned earlier, the storage is easily capable of expanding anywhere from 32MB to 2GB. This can probably allow users to cram enough video clips to outlive the battery life of a fully charged machine. Sometimes, video clips aren’t enough, so what’s better than clips than full length movies? Not only are there games produced for the PSP, there is an extensive line of UMD movies – even some with special features. The UMD movies boast DVD quality, and what makes the experience more authentic are some of the standard DVD button features built into the machine (like, skipping scenes, fast forward, or zooming). If movies and video capabilities are not enough, there is also the psp music department. Since the PSP can upgrade to a pretty high capacity, the psp can be used as a giant mp3 player, but carrying a massive black brick on your morning jog or workout routine at the gym may not be the best idea. Has it been mentioned that the PSP can go online? Well, the PSP can go online, and although not the most efficient web browser to date, it gets the job done if you have the patience. Since the PSP can browse the net, you’re probably looking for some psp downloads. There are plenty of downloads and sites available today. For example, you can download videos, pictures, and music for you PSP. You can also download backgrounds and wallpapers to modify the default background to your heats content. But alas, with loads of features, the psp doesn’t come flawless. Consequently, firmware can be downloaded to update your psp to fix minor bugs and improve minor features. With mention of so many PSP features and goodies, it’s hard to imagine how it can all be covered in one small article. To help, the next section will provide some links you may want to consider visiting to get more information (and downloads). There are a lot of sites that contain PSP downloads, anything from games to movies to music. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the right site to get the right content. To provide some aid, here are three sites and what you can expect to find. If you’re looking for a lot of PSP videos, check out; (http://psp.connect.com/) the content is free to download and is loaded with short clips for your portable entertainment. If you’re looking for psp backgrounds, psp cheats, or other psp downloads, check out (http://www.psxextreme.com). The site features lots of backgrounds and wallpapers to download. It also features a section for game cheats, reviews, and previews. Finally, what’s a better source than the official source? The playstaion.com website (in the PSP downloads section: http://www.us.playstation.com/psp/pspdownloads ) offers a bunch of free game demos, videos, and pictures to download. Not only can you download content for your PSP on the site, you can also download the PSP firmware to keep your machine up to date. For Sony’s first kick at the portable gaming industry, the PSP has done a pretty good job, offering a pretty wide variety of games. Not only does the PSP offer appeal to gamers, it offers appeal to just about anyone who gets bored will on the road – the psp can play music and movies. There are some problems with the PSP of course. For some, the machine can be a bit too big, making it harder to transport than many other portable devices which are smaller. For the web browser, when looking at complex sites, there is a long load time. Considering all the features, however, like the various capabilities, the PSP still is a pretty impressive machine. Most importantly, the machine can only get better as the library of available games and movies become available. Basically, whether you are looking to buy a PSP for gaming, movie viewing or music playing, the machine is more than capable of performing each task. With its recent price deduction, who can really resist doing more research on Sony’s portable media machine? After all, this was Sony’s first attempt to enter into a portable gaming arena dominated by Nintendo. And if this machine doesn’t get your eyes looking, it at least has Nintendo’s eyes looking at the one company it has successfully made a dent in their portable gaming monopoly.