Sony PSP: Frustratingly Beautiful

Movable Storage

Games in progress are saved on the Memory Stick, which is very practical for moving them to another unit. Games do load slowly, obviously, because of the disk drive. It's not that long, but you do often wait over 30 seconds. On the other hand, dynamic loading is very well managed, and stoppages during games are non-existent. It's possible to play in multiplayer mode using the WiFi connection, but we weren't able to try that out.

Doing What Comes Naturally

After having looked at it from every angle, pushed and prodded all the nubs and buttons, looked at what's inside, and screened video, now let's look at the catalog of games available for the launch of Sony's new console. We've chosen a few of the titles that have gotten the highest ratings, to give you a good idea of what you can do with a PSP.

Don't look for mega hits; the available collection of titles is fairly good, but so far there are none that have achieved cult status on Sony consoles, like Gran Turismo 4 or GTA. There are some good games, but nothing overpoweringly good.

That's to be expected with the launch of a new Sony console, you're saying. Maybe, but what it means is that we'll have to wait for a new generation of titles to really be able to judge what this machine will offer in terms of games. For now, the few titles we've selected were enough to help us either confirm or change our feelings about the unit's ergonomics, especially regarding the position of the analog stick. And we should mention that another little black mark showed up during our tests: load times for games are frequent and relatively long.

What Price Play?

Some thirty game titles are currently available for sale in the United States, but the catalog announced by Sony and the third-party publishers for the coming months includes over 100 games, including some heavy hitters in the lineup: Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, Devil May Cry, GTA, Prince of Persia, ToCA, Need for Speed, and more. The games sell for between $39.99 and $49.99 depending on the publisher and the quality of the title. Depending on the vendor, bundles are available including the PSP and two to five games for $330 and $450, with the PSP alone going for approximately $250.

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