Sony PSP: Frustratingly Beautiful

The Web In Your Pocket

Even if Sony doesn't officially say that its console will be capable of browsing the Web, they've gone to the trouble of developing a browser. And a clever user has succeeded in setting up a system for accessing traditional navigation. To do this, he's set up a dedicated site that replaces the download page for the game Wipeout. To access it, all you have to do is specify a DNS address in the network configuration. Then, in Wipeout, when you select download, the console will point directly to a Web page that will give you access to shortcuts such as Google. You can enter your own addresses, of course; however, Flash components aren't managed.

It's fairly impressive, but entering text is bothersome. You can even access Webmail, but here again you'll be hampered by the system you have to use to enter text on the PSP. At least when you're in a text field the PSP automatically goes into entry mode.

Just Like The Movies

No, we won't start with games, but with movies - that's how impressed we were with the quality of movie playback on the PSP. In the US Value Pack, the console comes with the movie Spider-Man 2, and right from the opening shots, the quality of the screen takes your breath away. While the display has normal resolution for its size (480x272), the sharpness and detail of the image are incredible. The colors are faithful, the blacks are deep, and remanence was very low! This is the first portable player with a good enough picture to let you watch a 90-minute film comfortably.

The display was developed by Sharp. It has variable brightness, with a maximum of 180 nits with the batteries and 200 nits when the console is plugged in. The only drawback is that in order to achieve such a bright image, the screen is very susceptible to reflections, and using it outdoors is questionable. Even the sound of the built-in speakers is acceptable, given the limitations of speakers of that size - and as soon as you put on the earphones, you're in heaven. But we'll get back to the musical aspects later.

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