Performancing Metrics

Monday, January 24, 2011

Product Pick: PlayStation Portable

     So, this product pick has been a long time coming, mainly because I've been having a hard time getting my hands on one of these systems for testing.  But finally, I have one.  And to top it off, its a bundle pack with a game from one of my favorite game series.
     Our review is on the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker bundle.  The set includes the PSP 3000, MGS: Peace Walker game, a download voucher for the movie 2012, and a two GB Memory Stick Pro for data storage.
     First things first, this is a review of the PSP system, and it's bundle.  I'll be reviewing the included game, and possibly even the download movie, in a different post.
     Now to get down to business.  Second to the DS Lite, this has been my most anticipated console purchase.  But, where I simply wanted the DS for gaming, the PSP is a full multimedia experience.  It isn't just a gaming outlet.
     But, as of the time of this article, I'm starting to wonder if the PSP is trying to be to many things at once.  There is a lot of functionality that probably won't be used.  The PSP comes pre-installed with a Skype client, an internet radio app, web browser, music services, digital comic reader, photo viewer, video player, and its own download store.  On top of that, you can add an optional web-cam and connect it to your PC to download content from there as well.  And, for icing on the cake, it reads Sony's proprietary UMD format discs, for both movies and video games.  This thing just comes fully stacked.
     Out of all of the features, I was, of course, most concerned with its abilities for gaming.  Out of the two console style handhelds on the market (the DS being the other), the PSP dominates in the graphics department.  If stunning visuals are your thing, this system will win your vote.
     Also, its ability to play back movies and video files with decent volume and high resolutions for a portable device, the PSP also wins in the media department.  And for an added bonus, if you want to shell out the extra twenty or thirty dollars to buy it, you can get a cable that allows you to connect your PSP to a television and watch videos there too.
     For risk of going on and on and making this post too long, I'll cut out the media stuff.  Maybe I'll add to this post later, I don't know.
     As to the contents of the bundle pack, I liked how not only did I get the game and movie, but I got download codes for Metal Gear Solid for additional equipment.  That was a nice touch.
     Over all, I'm overjoyed with this purchase, and I'm pleased with the PSP system as a whole.  For shear overkill in terms of a portable device centered on gaming, I'm happy to award the PSP the first five-fruit rating in one of these product picks.  But this rating is just for the PSP 3000.
     Since this was a bundle pack, I'm going to tack on an additional rating for the bundle.  This one is a little less lustrous.  I had major problem with the bundle.  The movie download from the playstation store was a little large, taking almost five hours to download on my internet connection.  And I had to go out and buy a new memory stick just to handle the download.  The included memory stick was only 2GB, and the movie download was 2.5GB.  I think if they are going to include things like this they need to enable you to download shortly after opening, not after additionally purchasing.  For that, the Metal Gear Solid PSP bundle only gets three fruit of five, because I should be able to use everything the box includes right out of it.  Also, I'm disappointed that the game it came with didn't include a full UMD case, just a cardboard sleeve to go over it.  UMD do have an outer casing, but just like Sony's MDs, this isn't enough, they still need a case.