Reviews for Gamers by Gamers…

PSP Go Review

Filed under: Playstation Portable Consoles — Tags: , , , , — Mike Cieply @ 22:45 January 24, 2010

“Sony’s new handheld successfully eliminates many of the older models’ faults, while creating a few of its own.”



PSP GO Screenshot - 1Pros

Design is very appealing; Downloading games is more convenient than leaving the house; Can play music, watch video, save photos; PlayStation Store has an enormous library; Stunning graphics near the PS2 level; Fantastic audio; Free, built-in Wi-Fi web browser; PS one games can be shared with the PS3 console; Faster loading times than other PSP models; Can be synced with a PS3 controller; Fast, smooth online multiplayer

Cons

Cost is way too expensive; Terribly short battery life, even in sleep mode; No method to transfer UMD games to the system

Summary

Sony releases a complete redesign for its veteran handheld, and hopes to bring the gaming community into a completely digital world.

Introduction

The PlayStation Portable has been out on the market for five years now. It has gone through two redesigns, which have enlarged screens and are overall smaller, among other things. The PSP has not done poorly by any means; it has just been completely overshadowed by the might of the Nintendo DS. Hoping to decrease the amount of defeat, Sony releases the innovative PSP Go, an innovative and totally redesigned platform that will fight the DS alongside the other PSP models.

PSP GO Screenshot - 3Features and Design

The most noticeable difference is obviously the appearance of the system. The Go has said good riddance to the flat, brick-like structure of previous models and has adapted a slide function. When closed, only the top portion is visible. This is where the speakers and the PS button are located, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi indicators. On the top of the console are the two shoulder buttons (which are very smooth and easy to use), a backlight button that can be pressed at any time, volume buttons, and a mute button. On the bottom are the headphone jack and the USB port (which only accepts a proprietary cable) for charging and connecting to a computer or PS3. On the left side are the M2 memory stick slot and the wireless switch for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Finally, the power slide is on the right side of the system. So far, the buttons are all extremely useful, and are positioned perfectly. When the Go is on, but has been closed, a clock will appear on the screen, and can be switched out to a calendar. When pushed up, the system’s true control panel is revealed. As before, the directional pad is on the far-left and the four action buttons on the far-right. In between these, from left to right, are the analog nub and the select and start buttons, respectfully. I’ve found that the select/start buttons are somewhat difficult to press, namely due to them being so close together, small, and barely elevated from the surface. In the direct center is the microphone. Overall, the design of the console receives the highest ratings, and is definitely an improvement from the PSP-3000, disregarding the smaller screen.

After you turn the PSP Go on and put in your information, the menu, the media bar, is revealed. This is where everything can be accessed. The PlayStation Store can be found on the far right, and then as you go left, many more options are displayed, such as the web browser, remote play, Skype, your music, video, and photo folders, and overall settings.

I’ll try to discuss these piece by piece. You can save a large amount of music, pictures, and videos to your Go with the 16GB it comes with, and store even more by purchasing a memory card. The photos can be saved from the internet, to be viewed at any time. They can also be downloaded for free from the Store. Any picture can be set as a background. Additionally, the Go can be connected directly to a digital camera for a quick transfer. The music is also great, but it is impossible to create a playlist of any kind without using the Media Go software packaged with the system. Although free, it is quite hard to manage. You can listen to music at the menu, but not during gameplay or while online.

PSP GO Screenshot - 2The amount of things the PSP Go can do is simply staggering. Any potential buyer of one must know all these before purchasing. In fact, everyone should. With its Wi-Fi, it can browse the internet with fairly quick speed. While online, one can save bookmarks, and images to their hard drive. Surprisingly, you can have three tabs up at the same time, for optimum browsing. Furthermore, the PSP Go can do a handful of neat things when connected to a PlayStation 3. For example, connecting any PS3 controller and PSP Go to the PS3 system will allow the PS3 controller to function with any PSP game. While amazing, this has its drawbacks. The right analog cannot be used, due to the PSP’s one analog nub; the fact that this process must be redone every time the controller is synced back to the PS3; and the very requirement of the PS3 itself. Also, the PSP Go can be used to “play” the PS3. When connected to the PS3, the Go can perform Remote Play, which allows the PS3 to be accessed, in a sense, on the Go. While you can’t play games, you can take advantage of nearly every other offering that’s on the PS3.

The PlayStation Store offers an enormous library of content that will certainly satisfy everyone. Besides games, one can choose from downloadable content, demos, themes, wallpapers, game videos, trailers, and even some game music. A majority of this is free and relatively small in size, making it perfect for a quick download.

But of course, the games are truly the most important item, the Go has plenty. One can purchase the majority of PSP games from the pre-Go era, along with every game released after October 1, 2009. Most of the games are priced fairly, with a lot of them matching or even beating the prices at retail. Full PSP games can take anywhere from one to two hours to download, which quickly becomes bothersome. Although this is necessary and more convenient, it can make one long for the UMD instead. Perhaps my favorite feature, however, is the “PS one Classics.” This library offers some of the original PlayStation’s greatest games, a great feeling of nostalgia, and it is constantly growing. On top of all that, the games are extremely low-priced, for only a fraction of the price they would be on eBay. Impressively, the games, once purchased, can be downloaded to the PSP Go along with the PS3. This option is extremely beneficial to owners of both consoles, due to the possibility of save data transfer. Coupled with fully customizable controls and screen size, these games add so much to the system. Depending on size, they can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour to fully download. Besides the full games and the Classics are the Minis and the PSN Exclusives. The Exclusives are relatively smaller games that were developed for the PSP, or occasionally the PSP and PS3. They are also relatively low-priced. The Minis are Sony’s answer to the sensation of the iPhone and iPod Touch games and apps that have been downloaded billions of times. These are extremely small games that cost next to nothing (except for Tetris, which has received the highest pricing due to its extreme popularity and ability to sell). These will hardly take up any space on the PSP’s memory, and take only a short time to download. While the PSP itself does not have nearly as many amazing games than other consoles, the PSP Go offers the majority of them and will forever be obtaining more and more titles.

The console comes with 16GB of memory built into it. For the avid, core gamer that purchases games frequently, this may not be enough. Fortunately, it can be doubled by purchasing Sony’s own M2 card. However, the PSP offers so few core titles that many will definitely not come across this problem. Though it has existed for five years, the PSP offers the smallest library of games than any other current-generation platform. Furthermore, there are really only a handful of critically-acclaimed titles. While many more great games will be released, the lack of good content is unnerving. On the other hand, this information is only based on sales figures and reviews aggregators, and what constitutes a “good” game is a trait that relies solely in the consumer. While it cannot be denied that the Go has a smaller library than others, the selection really should not hinder anyone from purchasing the system.

PSP GO Screenshot - 4In short, the PSP Go is a brilliant entertainment device. With the ability to store music, games, movies, photos, and much more, it is a tremendously useful system. Some may think that the gaming community is not yet ready for the digital download stage, but I agree with Sony. By abandoning the disc and the cartridge, Sony has brought the world into a whole new era. The ways of the PSP Go are the ways of the future, no one can deny that. While slow sales and lukewarm response will thwart some of its success, everyone can appreciate Sony’s efforts in giving video games an evolution.

Technical Specifications

Size:

128 mm (W) x 69 mm (H) x 16.5 mm (D)

Weight:

158g

CPU:

PSP® CPU (System clock frequency 1 – 333MHz)

Memory:

64MB main memory

Flash Memory:

16GB

Display:

3.8 inch, 16:9 full transparent type

TFT drive:

480 x 272 pixels, approximately 16,770,000 million colors displayed

Sound:

Built-in stereo speakers

Main Input / Output:

Wi-Fi (802.11b), Bluetooth, USB2.0, Memory Stick Micro M2, Microphone

Bluetooth:

Bluetooth 2.0

Main Connectors:

Multi-functional connector, headset jack (stereo mini jack)

Key/Switches:

Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left), Analog Stick, Enter keys (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), START button, SELECT button, PS button, POWER/HOLD switch, WLAN switch, Display button, Sound button, Volume +/- buttons x 1

Power Sources:

Internal rechargeable battery

Supported Profile:

PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Game, Video

Access Control:

Region Code, Parental Control

Wireless Communication:

Infrastructure mode, Ad hoc mode (connects up to 16 consoles)

Supplied Accessories:

AC adaptor, USB Cable

Supported Video Codec:

Memory Stick Video Format: MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC LC), H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (AAC LC); MP4 Format: MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC LC), H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile – CABAC only – (AAC LC) / Baseline Profile (AAC LC); AVI: Motion JPEG (Linear PCM or µ-Lau)

Supported Music Codec:

Memory Stick Audio Format: ATRAC3™, ATRAC3plus™, MP3, MP3 (MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer3), MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC), WAVE (Linear PCM), WMA (Windows Media Audio 9 Standard Only)

Supported Photo Codec:

JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG

Ratings

Graphics – 10/10

Audio – 10/10

Variety of Games – 8/10

Accessories – 10/10

Price – 5/10

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 8.9/10 (12 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)

The PlayStation Powerhouse – PS3 Review

Filed under: Playstation 3 Consoles — Tags: , , , , , , , — Adon Garuda @ 18:41 January 3, 2010



Pros

Integrated Blu-ray Player, Multimedia Power, Rechargeable Joypads, Free Online Gaming, Sleek Design

Cons

High Price Tag, Online lag is a problem; Choice of games does not match Xbox 360’s

Summary

For an ultimate experience in gaming and a complete media centre, you cannot go wrong with this system. Designed to sleek, sophisticated and powerful, it certainly lives up to expectations and then sum…

Sony Playstation 3

Sony Playstation 3

Introduction

The PlayStation 3 is the current next generation console from Sony and certainly looks like one… It boasts the most power from all the currently available machines proving that Sony are keeping one eye on the future.

Features and Design

The PS3 is powered by the “Cell Processor”, a chip which is said to be 35 times more powerful than the previous one. The graphics are powered by Nvidia, the RSX, the Reality Synthesizer Chip, which is clocked at 550MHZ and contains over 300 million transistors. A lot of comparisons will be made with the Xbox 360. From a graphical standpoint, our tests concluded that the PS3 displayed renderings with more sharpness. The console supports full high definition and has an integrated Blu-Ray player. This is what separates it from the Xbox 360.

Looking to the future seems to be Sony’s reason in choosing Blu-ray over other formats. Blu-ray games can have 50G worth of game information, compared to the regular Xbox 360 game discs. Potentially, Sony is better positioned for future releases as games are getting bigger every year. It may be the case that Microsoft will have to release the 720 well before the Sony Playstation 4 comes out.

It also boasts built-in wireless connector or you can use the ethernet cable option allowing you to easily connect to the internet. Up to 7 players can play at any one time and PSP owners can connect their gadget to a Wi-Fi port as either a controller or an additional screen. You can also manipulate media that is on the PS3 through the PSP giving endless options.

The console is available with different options such as colour and hard drive size. An interesting feature that has been removed from the new slim line version is the ability to turn your PS3 into a Linux computer. This allows emulators to work on the system meaning a back catalogue of games up until the PlayStation 1 can be played.

Deciding whether to purchase this console or an Xbox 360, the following two factors need to be considered:

  • Do you need/want Blu-Ray?
  • Which consoles’ exclusive list of games do you prefer?

Technical Specifications

CPU:

Cell Processor

  • PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz
  • 1 VMX vector unit per core
  • 512KB L2 cache
  • 7 x SPE @3.2GHz
  • 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
  • 7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
  • * 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS

GPU:

RSX @550MHz

  • 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
  • Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
  • Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

Sound:

Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-base processing)

Memory:

  • 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
  • 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz

System Bandwidth:

  • Main RAM: 25.6GB/s
  • VRAM: 22.4GB/s
  • RSX: 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
  • SB: 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

System Floating Point Performance:

2 TFLOPS

Storage:

  • HDD
  • Detachable 2.5” HDD slot x 1

I/O:

  • USB: Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
  • Memory Stick: standard/Duo, PRO x 1
  • SD: standard/mini x 1
  • CompactFlash: (Type I, II) x 1

Communication:

Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x3 (input x 1 + output x 2)

Wi-Fi:

IEEE 802.11 b/g

Bluetooth:

Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

Controller:

  • Bluetooth (up to 7)
  • USB2.0 (wired)
  • Wi-Fi (PSP®)
  • Network (over IP)

AV Output:

  • Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • HDMI: HDMI out x 2
  • Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
  • Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

CD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation CD-ROM
  • PlayStation 2 CD-ROM
  • CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW
  • SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD
  • DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side)

DVD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM
  • PLAYSTATION 3 DVD-ROM
  • DVD-Video: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW

Blu-ray Disc media (read only):

  • PLAYSTATION 3 BD-ROM
  • BD-Video: BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE

Ratings

Graphics 9/10
Audio 10/10
Variety of Games 9/10
Accessories 10/10
Price 8/10

Buy The Sony Playstation 3 From Amazon.com

Buy The Sony PlayStation 3 From Amazon.co.uk

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

Nintendo DS Lite – One Step Closer to Perfectness…

Filed under: Nintendo DS Consoles — Tags: , , , , , , — Mike Cieply @ 16:46 December 22, 2009

Pros

Display panels clearly larger than original model; Overall size smaller; Several more screen brightness settings; Design exceptionally dazzling; Extended battery life; Colors brighter, more pronounced, and more noticeable; Weighs less; Buttons easier to press; Start button relocated to prevent accidental shutdown; Massive selection of colors; Affordable

Cons

May be too small for some hands; More likely to break than original model; Game Boy Advance game paks protrude from bottom by about a centimeter

Summary

Two years after mild success with the platform, Nintendo releases a stunning upgrade that improves the console in almost every way.

Nintendo DS LiteIntroduction

The Nintendo DS was once considered a failure. The system had been out on the market for two years, lagging behind Sony’s PlayStation Portable in sales, and there was an obvious lack of quality games developed for it. Coupling these reasons with its unattractive, awkward design and low-quality display panels, it’s no wonder why the DS hadn’t take off like previous consoles. However, in 2006, Nintendo thrilled the world with the DS Lite, a redesigned model of the platform. The gorgeous new system, together with a few AAA games, launched the DS to a new success. The DS Lite continues to sell now more than ever, even three years after its initial release. Nintendo has reclaimed the throne yet again.

Features and Design

Gamers will first see the difference as soon as they open the box. When closed, the DS Lite is considerably smaller than the original. Furthermore, the top half no longer has that strange, curved shape to it; it has been replaced with a smooth, flat shell. In fact, the entire shape is very straight and rectangular, but with its smooth and rounded edges, fits into your hands comfortably.


However, one does not witness the true change until they open up the DS Lite. Both screens are a great deal bigger than last model’s, and the presentation is far better. The colors are all displayed much more smoothly and clearly, and the graphics grab your attention this time around and will appear crisp and striking. With four different brightness settings, the DS Lite can be used in all situations, indoors, and outdoors. The original DS’s poor backlight quality has been totally fixed, and then some.

Nintendo DS Lite ButtonsAdditionally, the buttons and switches on the bottom half have been moved and reorganized which makes everything much more convenient. Rather than the two rectangular Start and Select buttons above the A-B-X-Y group, they have been relocated to the bottom right and now take the shape of smaller circles. Perhaps the most appreciated change was the movement of the Power button. Originally located right above the directional-pad (which was the source of many accidental shutdowns), it is now seen on the right side of the system. Furthermore, one needs to slide the switch up, rather than pressing it, which completely erases this old problem. All buttons are noticeably easier to press down, and are very soft and enjoyable to touch. Revisions such as these are a blessing to gamers, and we should all thank Nintendo for their efforts.

A further evident modification is the extended battery life. The original DS’s 850 mAh battery would only allow the console to last for roughly ten to twelve hours, after a full four-hour charge. However, the DS Lite, on only a three-hour charge, can survive from fifteen to even nineteen hours of gameplay on its 1000 mAh battery. Hours such as these are simply astounding, and this is definitely one of the greatest changes to the DS.

Besides the substantial improvements, there are several minor ones. For instance, the volume switch protrudes from the system, making it easier to adjust the audio level. Another improvement is stylus. The stylus is now longer, and thicker than the original one, making it much easier to hold on to and use. Furthermore, it is held in the right side of the DS, as opposed to the top, which makes it incredibly effortless to remove and put away. Also, the mic has been repositioned to the direct center of the console, for natural usage.

In the midst of all the positives, there are of course a few negatives. While the DS Lite comes close to perfectness, one notices a few bothersome details; the largest of them being the protuberance of the Game Boy Advance game pak. When inserted into the bottom of the console, the top of the cartridge will stick out by about a centimeter, ruining the system’s smooth, sleek, rectangular shape. Though this may look unappealing, it does not affect gameplay whatsoever, and your hands will never touch the protruding portion. Another negative aspect is that for those of you who were used to holding the original DS will have a difficult transition to the DS Lite. Rather than supporting the entire DS with your palm and all your fingers, one only needs to use the very tips of the fingers to balance the device, due to its feathery weight. In the end, the DS Lite will be more comfortable to hold than the original, but the transition may take some time. The only other downside to the product is that it is less secure. The single hinge is much more likely to crack and break that the previous multiple-hinged DS. All of these negatives, however, really are not that significant, and should not sway you from purchasing this remarkable platform.Nintendo DS Lite GameBoy Advance Game

The DS Lite is exactly what an upgrade should be. It took everything wrong with the design of the original system and improved it tenfold. With improved visuals, lengthy battery life, glossy and sleek figure, bigger screens, and improved button interface, the DS Lite becomes one of Nintendo’s greatest consoles created. Everyone who owns an original or even thought about owning one should without a doubt purchase this upgrade. Everyone should understand the power and majesty that is the Nintendo DS Lite, the savior of the Nintendo handheld console.

Technical Specifications

Size (closed):

5.2″ (133 mm) wide / 2.9″ (21.5 mm) long / 0.85″ (73.9 mm) tall

Weight:

218 g / 7.69 oz

Upper Screen:

Backlit, 3-inch, transparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch

Touch Screen:

Backlit, 3-inch, transparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch with transparent analog touch screen

Brightness:

Four settings

Color:

Capable of displaying 260,000 colors

Memory:

RAM – 4 MB; VRAM – 656 KB

Wireless Communication:

IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo’s proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet; multiple players can play multiplayer games using just one DS game card

Controls:

Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A/B/X/Y face buttons, plus control pad, L/R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons

Input/Output:

Ports for both Nintendo DS game cards and Game Boy Advance Game Paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone

Other Features:

Embedded Pictochat software that allows up to 16 users to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration

CPUs:

Main CPU – ARM 9, 67 MHz; Secondary CPU – ARM 7, 33 MHz

Sound:

Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software

Battery:

Lithium ion battery delivering five to nineteen hours of play on a three-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter

Languages:

English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian

Color:

Dozens of combinations of colors, and many limited edition colors

Ratings

Graphics 9/10
Audio 8/10
Variety of Games 10/10
Accessories 10/10
Price 10/10

Buy the Nintendo DS Lite From Amazon.com

Buy the Nintendo DS Lite From Amazon.co.uk

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
Older Posts »