Sony PSP: Frustratingly Beautiful


The unit feels good in your hand and its weight doesn't tire you while playing. The buttons on the right and the pad have exemplary ergonomics. They fit perfectly under your fingers and they handle precisely. The pad, made up of four contiguous buttons, lets you move in all eight compass directions without making mistakes.

The trigger buttons on the upper edge are a little less perfect. They're angular in design and too soft, making them not very enjoyable to use.

But the most remarkable point with respect to ergonomics is the analog stick on the left. It's in the form of a round button with a striated coating, and moves progressively in all four directions. It works very well considering the constraints involved in putting such a device on a portable console. On the other hand, it's not well placed; since it's under the directional pad, it makes you over-flex your thumb, which quickly gets tiring. But it's still better than nothing. Overall, the ergonomics earn a mark of satisfactory.

A lot has been said about the square button, which reportedly led to a lot of returns in Japan. In fact, its contact point has been shifted to leave room for the screen. But we didn't notice any problems with our US model, except that you sometimes get the impression that there's a slight latency - nothing to get upset about though.

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