PSP 1000 Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Guild McCommunist, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    So, my first hardware review. Before I start, just gonna outline my modified standard review outline for hardware reviews...

    Build Quality: Is it built well? This means do buttons work well, is it sturdy, does it have a good physical lifespan, and basically anything else relating to buttons and build.

    Functionality: What can it do? Can it play music, watch movies, make toast, whatever. Also, does it have a good, easy to navigate interface?

    Graphics: While graphics differ from game to game, how is the overall capabilities of the graphics for the system? This is usually in comparison with its current gen brothers.

    Library: How good is the game library? Is it large enough, have enough good games, is it diverse enough, etc.

    Anyway, review!

    [​IMG]

    The PSP 1000 marked Sony's entry into the handheld market. It was their first portable ever, and with every other portable being crushed by Nintendo's monopoly in the market, it was a risky move. However, to this date, it's the most successful non-Nintendo handheld made. And with good reason, as it is a worthy competitor to the best selling handheld and probably eventually the best selling console of all time, the Nintendo DS.

    As you can see from the picture above, the PSP comprises of 8 face buttons, two shoulder buttons, an analog nub, and a bunch of other miscellaneous buttons. The face buttons work well, although I found them not as easily "clickable" as say the DS Phat buttons. The shoulder buttons are also very defined out of the system and thus click more than your standard buttons. However, all the buttons work fine and within a few minutes, you'll find all these minor problems to be exactly that: minor. The big thing with the PSP though is the analog nub, as it implements an analog stick control like on many console controllers on a handheld. However, instead of it jutting out of the controller, they made it flat, no longer making it a "stick". It's a wise move to keep it portable, as an analog stick would look, erm, "awkward" sticking out from your pocket. While the nub may feel a little off at first, you'll get used to it and in the end it's a great move that allows many great games to exist for the handheld. The nub does come with one annoyance I found, which is hand cramps. Most games use both shoulder buttons, and for me, since I put the tip of my thumb on top of the analog nub instead of joint or whatever, I get small cramps now and then. Maybe I just have large hands, who knows. Still, the cramps aren't nearly as severe as ones I get on my DS Phat using both shoulder buttons, so it's not a big issue. The buttons at the bottom of the screen adjust volume, screen brightness, and also have the Start/Select buttons as well as the Home button, which lets you return to the PSP menu from a game instead of having to power off the system. All these buttons make life easier, and having adjustable brightness is one of my favorite features, since its competitor, the DS Phat, lacks it. A minor annoyance though is the lack of being able to mute the system without powering it on and turning the volume off. So, say for example you cranked up the volume on your PSP at home playing Parappa the Rapper (only music-ish game I could think of) and then brought it into school to play in math class. You turn on the system and you'll hear the sound booming out as you desperately mash the sound button. By the time you can bring your system to silence, you've got a pissy math teacher standing over you. Just a small annoyance. The overall build of the system is pretty solid. It's held together with screws and everything inside seems held in place. The system may, in the end, sound like it's filled with small holes build wise, they actually really just boil down once you get a feel for it.

    I'll go ahead and say the PSP is the most feature-filled handheld to date. This thing is like a pseudo Swiss army knife here. It can of course play games, but it can do a lot more. You can play movies, whether it be from a UMD you bought or from your memory stick. You can play music (MP3 and AAC files supported). You can browse the web. Hell, you can even connect a camera to it. It's got a lot of functionality right out of the box, and I love it. Sure, it's not exactly an iPod in terms of functions, but for being a primarily gaming device, it's a nice bit of extras. Of course, the music and videos mostly rely on the memory stick, so odds are you'll need a large one to make good use of it. And as a standard nowadays, the system was Wi-Fi and online capabilities for gaming as well as ad hoc, both of which work well. Not much else I can really say about the matter except that the PSP comes with a lot of great features.

    The PSP is also the most graphically powerful handheld to date. While the DS is comparable, graphics wise, to the N64 although a little higher (not Gamecube, though), the PSP is easily comparable to the PS2. Some games even give PS2 games a run for their money. You get simply gorgeous games like God of War and Assassin's Creed, all on a nice, wide screen. The only problem with the PSP 1000 is the motion blur you get as a trade off. For some games it's really not too noticeable, but for others it's glaring. While the blur won't make you feel drunk or push you to the brink of projectile vomiting, it's still a nuisance. Games are still perfectly playable with it though and after a while you won't really notice it.

    And last but not least, the game library. While the DS is clearly aimed at a broad audience, ranging from kiddies to old farts, the PSP is much more focused on the hardcore gamers. And with the capabilities with the system, you get a lot of games that seem built for a home console, not a handheld. That's a double edged sword. On one hand, you get some great, lengthy, high production games that will satisfy your hardcore gaming needs. On the other hand, you don't get a lot of fun, small, portable games that have pick-up-and-play value. Anyway, Sony has a great library of exclusive titles that make appearances on the PSP, and most of the time with great success. You get God of War: Chains of Olympus, a great game that boasts the best graphics for the system. You get Jak and Daxter in Daxter or The Lost Frontier. You get Ratchet and Clank in Size Matters. You also get newer franchises like Resistance in the form of Resistance: Retribution and Assassin's Creed in Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines. There's also other great, mostly Sony-leaning titles like Metal Gear Solid, whose gone all out on the system with Portable Ops, Acid 1 and 2, and 2 digital novels, as well as the upcoming and very hyped Peace Walker. The system also gets some nice downloadable games on top of its retail games, with Pixeljunk Monsters, Fieldrunners, Tetris, and other Minis, as well as PSOne Classics like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. It also gets a lot of remakes or ports for it, with PSX titles like Valkyrie Profile and Persona headlining. The main issue though is that the library is still relatively small compared to the DS one. And while the DS boasts atrocious amounts of shovelware, it also has a great deal of great games.

    Overall, if a little rushed (I have to go in like a few minutes), the PSP is a great handheld and something not to be missed on.

    I'll add summaries later, here's the scores for now.


    Build Quality: 8/10
    Functionality: 9.8/10
    Graphics:9.5/10
    Library: 8.5/10

    Overall: 9/10
     


  2. iFish

    iFish Slower than a 90s modem

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    w00t!! great job guildy!!!
    i have the PSP-1000... but never gave it the tme of day.. only own 1 game [​IMG] i needa pirate some more of em.


    well great review!!

    ~ifish
     
  3. haflore

    haflore aeternaliter fluxa

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    Yet another great review Guild!! [​IMG]

    The only problem is that it makes me want a PSP even more than I already do [​IMG]
     
  4. ZeWarrior

    ZeWarrior TheWarrior

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    9/10 overall? I'd give the PSP 2000 a 9.5 (only the fully hackable ones), the PSP 3000 a 9/10, and the PSP 1000 a 7/10. The new models improved way too much.
     
  5. DeltaBurnt

    DeltaBurnt I'm bored

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    Good review but I'd also like to note you can have alot more features with homebrew. Such as your mentioning of muting the system while booting up, you can do that with homebrew.

    Oh and you can pull off that analog stick and replace it with other ones with different grips and such (3rd party of course).

    I completely agree with your review Guild, I would use my PSP more than my DS if I had a bigger memory card for it. When I first got homebrew on my PSP I played it non stop for like 2 months until I got a flashcart for my DS. You might also want to mention that the PSP has a ton of emulators (DS, GBA, GB, NDS, SNES, N64, Natively playing ANY PS1 game, and alot more), but you might be trying to base the review without keeping homebrew in mind.

    Awesome review as usual, I honestly would have given the build quality atleast a 9 though (I've had my PSP since 2 months after launch, which was in like 2005, and I have maybe 2 scratches on it...maybe I'm just extra careful with my consoles).
     
  6. Jakob95

    Jakob95 I am the Avatar

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    I wouldn't pull my analog stick if I was you. I did that and then it became very loose so whenever I played racing games the Analog stick always came off. I lost it now =(
     
  7. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Never used/played either, so I can't really compare. Anyway, they basically all have the same features and functionality outside of the additional RAM in the 2000 and 3000 models, but really that only eliminates the motion blur. Or am I talking out of my ass?

    As per homebrew and hackability, while I did hack mine myself, I review as your average consumer who won't hack their PSP or use homebrew. Same goes with doing hardware mods on it.
     
  8. DeltaBurnt

    DeltaBurnt I'm bored

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    The analog stick was designed to pop off, if yours is very loose maybe you didn't put it back on all the way.
     
  9. Leo Cantus

    Leo Cantus So zeta slow!

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    Good review but I would give the Build Quality a 7 because my analog stick fell off pretty quickly, and its a common problem because you can buy repairs from retail stores. Also, I don't think the PSP has the best library of games, so I'd also give it that mabye a 7.5
    Oh and you should start to review PSP games
     
  10. purplesludge

    purplesludge anyone have any ideas for this space

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    2000 and 1000 are similar. The 3000 has a much nicer screen with much better colors and it has a built in mic for use with skype.
     
  11. xist

    xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    The 2000 has a better screen than the 1000, and a much better raised D-Pad. However, the 1000 feels much sturdier in construction.

    Regarding the 3000, arguments rage about that display, it's scanlines and colour saturation.....most people agree that the PSP 2000 is the definitive version because of it. I'd personally rank the 2000 first then the 1000 with the 3000 in last place (mostly due to the motherboard issue though).
     
  12. sepinho

    sepinho GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, this is GBAtemp after all, so I suppose that most people who'll read the review either have their PSP modded or plan on doing it. Really nice review though.
    I'm really looking forward to receiving my PSP S&L, which should arrive in the next few days. And I'm sure as heck gonna mod it.. [​IMG]
     
  13. Overlord Nadrian

    Overlord Nadrian Banned

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    Meh. I'd give it a 7.5/10

    After toying around with it for a couple of weeks now, I found out the PSP doesn't have nearly as many great games as the DS does. The PSP does have really nice graphics, and it's superb for emulation.
     
  14. Leo Cantus

    Leo Cantus So zeta slow!

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    My opinion:

    Functionality: Very good, plays music and videos well, battery is really bad though. Even better if you can hack it.
    Build: Solid, analogue stick falls off quickly, newer models 2000+ are even better.
    Library: Not so good. You have some fantastic games but nowhere as near as much as a DS.
    Overall: 7.6
     
  15. Danny Tanner

    Danny Tanner GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm surprised that most everyone has said the PSP library is small. For my tastes, I'd say the PSP has about twice the amount of games I'd like to play than the DS.

    Guild, when do you get time to play games between all these extensive reviews? [​IMG] Well done as usual. [​IMG]
     
  16. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Lol, I write these reviews in like 15 minutes. I'm a fast typer and there are a few grammar/typos now and then.

    And while the DS has over 4,000 releases, a lot of them aren't really worth playing. The PSP may have a smaller selection of games, but the games worth playing are usually rather extensive.
     
  17. Splych

    Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    ZOMG. MY PSP CAN MAKE TOAST?!

    Good review [​IMG].
    The PSP 1000 was a little bulky for me since I owned a 3000 too x]
    The build comparison and weight is a BIG difference.
     
  18. ZeWarrior

    ZeWarrior TheWarrior

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    The 3000 has a MUCH better screen the the 2000, I occasionally notice scan lines but the contrast and the colors are much more natural, compared side-by-side the PSP 2000 looks like it has a blue-ish tint on the screen.
     
  19. Splych

    Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    If you are a legit gamer and won't mind needing CFW, then you might as well have gotten a PSP 3000!

    My friend has a PSP 2000 and I own a 3000 + 1000. When I put them all beside each other, the PSP 2000 and 3000 have a difference but the screen is better and clearer to both me and my fried on the PSP 3000 screen.
     
  20. Zerousen

    Zerousen 【=◈︿◈=】

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    me too. [​IMG] although,i still will probably get a psp 2000,only problem is,how am I gonna get a hackable one.....

    I kind of wanted to get a psp 3000,because of the better screen and all,but then i found out about the motherboard. can't pirate with a newer motherboard,can ya?