Playstation Portable - What You May Have Never Known


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~ See a quick list of our most recommended multi-player games to try out!

~ Sony’s Playstation Portable verses the Nintendo DS: See the differences!

~ See the top 5 signature Playstation Portable Games!

~ How to tweak your PSP: Things you can do without modifying your system!

~ See 3 of the most unique cooperative play experiences you can get on the PSP!

~ What you need when you travel with your PSP!

~ Here are the things we will miss when the Next Generation Portable arrives: the PSP’s successor !

~ And much more!

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Playstation Portable - What You May Have Never Known

  1. 1. Playstation Portable - What You May Not KnowSee the top 3 gaming headsets reviewed on this page... Customer reviews revealabout everything you need to know! Get the best gaming headset at the best price!http://www.bestgamingheadsetps3.orgThe Playstation Network Goes PortableSony’s Playstation Network is considered by many to be superior to its only competitor,Xbox Live. The free service, availability of plenty of content and the sheer fact that ittranscends the base console (the Playstation 3) are all major reasons to support it.Speaking of transcending, the PSN is accessible to the PS3 as well as through regularweb browsers and of course, the Playstation Portable.At this point, a little clarification is needed. Since the introduction of the PSP’s webbrowser (starting with version 2.0 of the PSP firmware), there has already been access forthe PSP on Sony’s official network. This was launched in 2005. The service known as thePlaystation Network would be launched a full year later –at which point, going to theSony official page through the PSP would link directly to the PSN. By 2008, the 5.00firmware update would provide PSP owners with a new PSN XMB icon which allowedthem to get online on the network instantly. This same update also allowed users toregister Playstation accounts for the device itself.For the most part, most of PSN’s regular services are available for the PSP. This includesobtaining the latest news from the official Playstation blog, being able to check the latesttrailers and gameplay videos for upcoming games, get new themes and wallpapers for thePSP and of course, access downloadable content such as PSP Minis, full PS games andadd-ons for existing titles.The big thing missing from the PSP’s PSN network is the ability to keep track of trophies–which is more due to the fact that PSP games do not come with trophies (it has beenconfirmed that the upcoming NGP will have trophy support ), and also, being able totrack PSN friends.Unlike the PS3 version of the PSN, the PSP does not have a feature similar to the PSHome. Originally, a 3D avatar-based software for the PSP was being developed under the 1 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. name of PSP Room (which used the infinity symbol for the double “o”). This project gotpast the initial development stages and reached up to beta testing. However, due to issuesthat Sony has chosen to keep secret, the game was canceled.Recently, Sony has opened up Playstation Plus options for users who want to get a littleextra value from the PSN Store. Subscription based special access privileges are grantedto users who pay an extra monthly fee. These include free content such PSP Minis, PSoneClassics and expansion packs for existing games. Aside from all the free stuff, playersalso get special discounted rates on many items as well as access to exclusive content(media, wallpapers and in some rare cases, Plus-only DLC content for certain first partytitles).For the average PSP gamer, having access to the PSN is a godsend. It provides plenty ofgreat content at no cost, and delivers information and free stuff right at your fingertips;making it the perfect way to catch up with all things Sony, gaming and portable.Gear to Go: A Quick Look at Sony’s Playstation PortableA little over 5 years ago, Sony Computer Entertainment launched the PlaystationPortable. This tiny little machine fitted nicely in a small bag, had a battery that lasted forhours on end and promised to deliver a massive library of games that would fulfill anygamer’s heart. While that last bit of promise took a bit of time, Sony came through forhardcore video game players around the world, and provided us all with ports of some ofthe PS1 and PS2’s best titles and also having a few innovative titles of its own.With this new handheld system, Sony also introduced the Universal Media Disc (UMD),a new form of disc based storage media. Basically, this was a super-mini DVD that camewith its own protective plastic cartridge. The UMD is able to store over a gig and a halfof data and provided game developers with plenty of ROM space for games. The mediawas also used for movies that are meant to be played on the handheld.The Playstation Portable, better known as the PSP, comes in several forms. Its’ very firstincarnation, the PSP-1000 was launched in the US back in 2005 (it was launched at theend of 2004 in Japan). In 2007, the PSP-2000 Slim and Lite version reintroduced thedevice in all markets (Japan, US and UK) with a device that weighed much lighter, had alonger battery life, had a microphone input and video output port (for component cables)as well as better brightness settings. The third version, PSP-3000, arrived just a year laterand introduced a built in microphone and enhanced the performance even more.A fourth device, the PSP Go! deserves a little special mentioning as well. This devicedoes not use UMDs and instead, makes use of the built in storage for games. It is smallerthan the regular PSP and packs mostly similar specs to the PSP-3000. Mostly shied away 2 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. from by the hardcore market (due to its download-only nature), the device served more ofa purpose as a portable media device than a gaming machine.The PSP is considered to be one of the most versatile devices of its time. Featuring itsown operating system and user interface, the PSP is able to handle a wide variety ofmedia for people on the go. The built in image, music and movie player allowed users toview JPG, BMP and PNG files, play MP3s and AAC audio content, and also supportedUMD movies and MP4 videos as well (it should be noted that while UMD games are notregion locked, the UMD movies are restricted by a region code similar to conventionalmovie DVDs).The built in WLAN and web browser keeps the device online and also allows players toaccess the Playstation Network Store –logging in using the PSP will automatically takeusers to the portable portal of the site. For storing game saves, media files and DLCcontent, the PSP makes us of Sony’s Memory Stick Duo. And when connected to acomputer, the device can also serve as a basic USB storage alternative.Gaming fans will want to have this system in their arsenal –whether they are on the go ornot. The gaming library hosts a wide range of must play titles for a wide range of gamegenres (featuring exclusives such as Monster Hunter Portable, Metal Gear Solid: PeaceWalker, Patapon, Loco Roco and many more). For those who are simply looking for agood media player with web capabilities, the PSP Go or the PSP-3000 is mostrecommended as they are the smallest and lightest of the group.Portable Packing: What You Need When You Bring Your PSPThe point of having a portable handheld gaming machine is so that you can move aroundwith it. Bring it out during those long hours of waiting, and be able to send it back to yourbag instantly without having to worry. This also means being able to bring your favoritegames with you without having to carry a bag full of boxes, in this and many otherconcerns, the PSP is a great system to have. And here is a quick list of things you willwant to have when you travel.First off, a protective casing; manufacturer Capdase has a large library of solid and softcases for the PSP’s many variants. The best ones come with their own carry cases as well.Look for a carry case that suits your style (for those with special colored PSP units, atransparent case works best), and ensures that the screen is well protected.Speaking of screens, invest in a good screen protector. These days, this is as easy asbuying a screen protector for an iPhone 4 or an iPad, simply reduce the size with a cutterand a ruler so that it fits your PSP screen. The best thing about these screen protectors isthat they are meant for touch screen devices which mean that they are fingerprint 3 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. resistant. Since this goes directly on top of your screen, it works as a permanentprotective layer.A good microfiber cloth is always recommended. These are small and easy to store sohaving them around will not be an issue. Best of all, you can easily wipe the screenwithout worrying about making the typical scratches that from rough cloth and otherfabrics.Speakers are a definite must have, especially if you will be out in noisy locations. Theofficial PSP speakers are simple comfortable earphones with excellent sound quality sothere is no need to buy a new one if you are short on budget. But if you really want to getgeared up, try some Sennheiser or Audio Technica branded ones for impressive audioquality. For those who want to go for style, Skullcandy has a host of impressive looks tochoose from. Sony also has earphone -attached control dock for music fans which is amust-have for those who will be using the PSP as a music player (it also serves as a miniextension cable as well).For those who spend a lot of time outside (or play games that are heavy battery users), asecond battery is definitely recommended. The default PSP battery is small andlightweight to having a second one in your bag should not be a hassle. For those whoreally spend a lot of time away from home, bring along your charger as well. It should benoted that owners of the PSP-2000 and later models have the option of charging througha mini-USB cable too. There is an official car charger that is available for gamers withaccess to a vehicle.Gamers will definitely want to bring their games and thankfully, UMDs are designed tobe carried around. Thanks to the non-removable casing, there is very little risk ofscratching UMDs; just be sure to avoid touching the exposed area of the disc. Those withplenty of downloaded PSN games (or lots of media) will want to invest in a secondmemory stick to help make file management a lot easier.Lastly, bring a small bag! Lugging around the PSP openly could potentially damage thedevice’s screen if it gets bumped around a lot. A small secure bag with protectivepadding should do well for handling your PSP and any accessories and games you decideto bring along.Sony’s PSP Bringing New Life to Cooperative GamingWe all know the fact that the Monster Hunter series is making waves all over the worldthanks to the fact that the PSP has got some pretty sweet WiFi Ad hoc gaming 4 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. capabilities. But does the multiplayer adventure really stop there? After all, with thedeluge of the 3D hack and slash adventure genre, it seems pretty hard to fathom that othertypes of games would also be available –but they are. And here are three of the mostunique cooperative play experiences you can get on the PSP.Patapon 2Patapon has made plenty of waves with its unique beat system controls. Now, the super-cute army simulation game takes you and a friend in control of special, customizedheroes that will dish out attacks that matches that of a full squad. As a team, players canlink up with up to four friends as they march towards various goals in order to hatch anegg. Succeed and the egg hatches into a special item awarded to the host player –with afew side items awarded to everyone. In order to encourage more cooperative play,players will take turns changing the designated hosts.It may sound simple, but between lugging around a giant egg and facing off massivelygigantic creatures, you and your team will have your work cut out for you. This gamerewards timing and cooperation: do not hesitate to call out what needs to be done (attack,dodge, charge, etc) and keep your rhythm up to reach your hero’s fever induced supermode.Ace Combat X2: Joint AssaultWhile the single player for ACX2 has been a bit of a letdown for many hard core fans ofthe incredibly popular dogfight simulation series, the cooperative move is undoubtedlyone of the most innovative ever made for a game. Up to a total of four human players canlink up for this game and depending on each player’s choices and performance, many ofthe stage events can change.On a regular mission, players all fly together in a single map in order to reach a certaingoal (reach a location, destroy certain targets, etc). On special missions, players aredivided into two teams, each with their own map and specific goal. By doing this, playerscan affect what happens in the adjacent missions. Something similar to stopping enemiesfrom lifting off –effectively prevents what would have been a third wave orreinforcements for the other players.Of course, there are also competitive missions that you and your friends can play –butwith the game’s offering of a full campaign cooperative play, why pass up on such anexperience?Lego Star WarsThere is more than one to choose from and all of the Lego SW games are known for theirimpressive multiplayer gameplay experience. In this series, two players can link up to 5 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. control various characters in the famous science fiction storyline. While most of theevents follow what is considered to be Star Wars canon, the delivery has been changed tosuit the Lego universe a lot better. Most noticeable is the less serious atmosphere and themany humorous scenes that have been inserted in the game. And yes, it is eternallyamusing to watch Darth Vader using the force to combine a bunch of Lego bricks to forma bridge.The gameplay follows your typical 3D action platformer –with an added twist: you areusing Lego! Combining the power of the force and the fact that the entire universe ismade of bricks, players can switch in and out various characters, build objects, and evenbreak apart obstacles much like you with the actual toys. Each character is designatedwith one of several ‘classes’ (with a few abilities transgressing each) that helps playersget past the many obstacles in the game. Fun, easy to learn and even better when it isplayed with a friend, Lego Star Wars has become one of our most cherished multiplayergames of all time.Tweaking Your PSP: Stuff You Can Do Without Modifying YourSystemThe PSP is a great portable gaming device, and considering its large library of impressivegames, there is plenty of reason to have fun with it. However, there are times when a littletweaking is needed to make your gaming life a little easier, and here are a few things youcan do with your device without voiding your warranty.Make use of the quick hibernate functionInstead of turning off your system fully, just quickly slide up the power tab to set it tointo quick hibernate. This is perfect when you are playing a game that does not allow youto pause during a certain sequence or event and you have to really put the device down(you either have to stand up from the waiting lobby and meet your appointment or simplyneed to check the computer for the latest FAQs about the game you are playing). Thisalso lets you continue your game progress without worrying about the battery life somuch –speaking of which, when you see the battery light blinking and you might notmake it to the power outlet and charger in time, going into hibernate can buy you thatextra amount of time.Switch out the memory stick for single-auto-save gamesThe great thing about games that the real world does not have: save points -whichbasically allow you to redo any wrong decision or action you take. But what about games 6 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. that have auto-save functions? This is where having a second memory stick comes in.Simply copy your original save file into a new stick, and then switch back and forthdepending on your needs. Of course, you will need a computer and to carefully back upand rewrite the save files. Keeping tabs of your save backups will also help a lot here.For classic PSP-1000 owners, watch the batteryWhile not exactly a trick and more of a maintenance issue, those using the older PSP-1000 models might notice that their batteries may no longer be charging when using WiFidespite being plugged in. This is due to the old battery not being able to keep up with thedevice needs. Sadly, the only way to solve this is to buy a new one.Speaking of the battery, set the PSP to save consumptionIf you are out on the road and you want to maximize your battery, here are few thingsyou can do. First off, lower the brightness settings. Those little buttons to the left of“select” allow you to tweak audio and screen brightness settings. Even on lowest, the PSPscreen is still easy to see so do not hesitate to lower this. As for audio, strap on earphones(they use less power than headphones and the PSP speakers) and set the volume to amanageable level. Lastly, if you are using your PSP as a music device as opposed togaming, be sure to set the screen settings to shut off after a few minutes.Lastly, use the lock!A lot of PSP owners are not aware that there is a key lock function on the device. Simplyslide down the power tab and the PSP will not accept input commands. This is actuallygreat if you are watching a cut scene and do not want to accidentally skip it by pressing abutton and for those on MP3 mode.Aside from swapping out the memory stick, most of these tips are in some ways, semi-documented on the PSP’s manual. All you need to do is to read carefully and you mighteven find out more useful and practical ways to use the various features of this powerfulSony handheld gaming console.Portable Gaming Redefined: The Top 5 Signature PSP GamesThe Playstation Portable is a truly impressive system, with hardware that easily matchesthat of the PS2 (which was one of the top ranking systems during the time of the PSP’s 7 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. launch), many hardcore gamers feel that its extensive library of games are a must havefor any real gaming collector. Of course, the PSP has had its share of critics and one ofthe most often raised points against the system is that it relies on ports of major consoletitles. We beg to differ. In fact, here are several exclusive made for PSP-only titles thatgames should look out for.PataponVisually deceptive, this cutesy looking title is actually one of the most original gamesever to be developed. By combining music-beats with adventure and RPG elements,Sony’s army drumming game has introduced an all original way to play.In Patapon, players take on the role of the Mighty One, a powerful deity that commandsthe Patapon army across forests, marshes and deserts. To do this, players must use fourdrum beats to command their armies to charge, attack, block and retreat. Special drumbeats will also allow one to access special deity powers such as manipulating the weather.In between stages, players are able to micro manage their armies by defining the jobspecialties of the various “-Pon” units and what equipments they will use.The story is simple, yet intriguing, placing players on top of a bizarre mythos worshippedby oddly amusing eyeball creatures. As players advance through the game, they learnmore of the history of the Patapons, their journey to the ‘Promised Land’ and the manyobstacles they face.Metal Gear Solid: Peace WalkerGaming legend Hideo Kojima brings the epic saga of Metal Gear Solid to the PlaystationPortable in this amazing prequel story to the first Metal Gear game. Following Big Boss’trail after the events of Snake Eater and Portable Ops, the legendary soldier finally finds aplace to call his own and provides a home to soldiers from all backgrounds.However, earning a base comes with its own strings. In exchange for the high techfacilities, Snake takes on the needs of small war-torn country and their plight from whatseems to be an invasion. As the story unfolds, players learn that the invasion is merely afront and that a new Metal Gear project is underway. With nuclear threat on the horizon,the Boss gears up once again to bring down his foes. And this time, it will no longer be asolo mission.Players now get a chance to link up with friends (thanks to the PSP’s built in WiFi ad-hoccapabilities) and in-game allies to take on this new chapter in MGS. Also, managing thehome base will require players to set aside soldiers to manage research, medicine andeven prepare some hearty dishes in the mess hall. 8 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. EchochromePuzzle games are a dime a dozen and very few games in this genre could ever stand out –let alone be defining for a gaming system. But such is the legacy of Echochrome. Storywise, there really isn’t anything here. You control a doll like figure (similar to the ones byartists for posing references) through a series of platforms, stairs and holes as you movefrom point of origin to the goal.This is made challenging by the fact that many holes lead to bottomless drops, and thestairs and passageways lead to either open air or dead ends. To get by these players mustmanipulate the game’s camera to change the way they view the stage. By altering theangle of view, the scene changes; stairs are given an illusion of being connected to anopen ended path. And this illusion is more than enough to the game to consider as reality,players are able to walk safely across. The puzzles are original and the solutions areapplaud-able, Echochrome and its many challenges certainly deserve all the praise it gets.The game’s simple black and white 3D graphics allows players to concentrate on thegame’s puzzle aspects and the soundtrack is often quiet and thought provoking. With itsimpressive gameplay, excellent delivery and hundreds of stages, expect to this game pickat your brain for many enjoyable hours on end.Final Fantasy VII: Crisis CoreSquare Enix is taking a new approach to the FF7 franchise by re-introducing the real EX-SOLDIER, Zack. This legendary side character played a bit part in the original series byserving as lead character Cloud’s ideal (he was delusional to the point of claiming Zack’sactions as his own) and through the in-game narrative, we learned that it was Zack whorescued Cloud from the Shinra Mansion at Nibelheim.But what really happened? Crisis Core answers this question and so much more. Othermajor FF7 characters are given notice and appear in game as well such as Sephiroth,Yuffie, Aeris and Tifa. Side characters such as Tseng, Rufus, Reno and Rude also makevarying appearance and Cid Highwind also gets mentioned in game. For fans of theoriginal game, this is massively nostalgia-inducing game to play.There is more to Crisis Core than relying on the fandom of the first game however. Thegame makes use of a unique active combat system that blurs the lines between a hack-and-slash and menu driven RPGs. Players get full, real time control of Zack in combat,and is able to access his entire array of physical attacks and materia skills. As one would 9 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. expect, SE has provided this game with some of the most amazing graphics seen on thePSP, smoothly combining real-time models with pre-rendered content.Loco RocoAs much as we love hardcore titles, there are some truly innovative casual games thatmanage to charm our hearts to unimaginable degrees. Such is Loco Roco. The game issimple, use the L and R shoulder buttons to shake, shift, and tilt the world as your LocoRocos roll, slide and bounce their way to the goal. As much as we would like to expandmore, that is really all there is to this game, and yet it manages to be so good to play.Aside from its impressive simple yet addictive gameplay, the game features some of thebest music to be featured in a game with styles varying from lounge to rock to pop. Thestylized graphics provides players with a visual delight as the oohs and aahs of the LocoRoco further endear them to players.As we said, this is a casual game, but it is still something that hardcore players should notpass up. After all, it is in the innovative titles such as these that the groundwork for evengreater games is based.Wrapping UpOf course, there are plenty more games for the PSP that are truly amazing to play:Radiant Mythology, GTA: Liberty City Stories, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Jeanne d Arc andso much more. The three games above are merely a sampling of the many great choicesplayers have with Sony’s powerful handheld gaming system and the only real way youcan know how great these games are is by trying them on your own.Ad Hoc Party: Multiplayer Adventures With Your PSP!There are plenty of reasons to love the Playstation Portable, and one of these is the factthat the device has its own built in WLAN feature. Just flip up the WiFi switch and youare ready to go online or connect with other players. While Sony has opted to not allowgames to have multiplayer options via the PSN, the PSP does support ad-hoc connectivity–giving players all the more reason to meet up with their friends and play together. If youhave been itching for some solid cooperative multiplayer gaming fun, here’s a quick listof our most recommended games to try out.Phantasy Star PortableWithout a doubt, Sega’s Phantasy Star series is one of the most famous multiplayergames of all time. Even with its initial incarnations on the Dreamcast, the game has 10 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. already been placing its multi-player feature on the forefront. On the PSP, players get tocontinue the story of the Phantasy Star universe after the events of the first couple ofgames, bringing a completely new cast of characters and locations.The game’s menu driven navigation lets you get around the usual array of shops andmission lists in a flash, with the system waiting only for the host player to confirm thecommencement of a mission. Once started, players get to explore the mission maps in afull third person action mode. The ingame combat is easy to grasp and the lock on systemfeels very intuitive. Overall, this game makes for a perfect starter’s run on multiplayer.For those looking for a deeper gameplay, you might want to check out the next entry.Monster Hunter PortableOriginating from the PS2, this strange dinosaur-monster hunting game has taken theworld by surprise. Capcom has come up with a really good formula: a main town wherethe player has plenty to do such as cooking, mining, fishing and crafting items. Then topit off with specialized missions that place the player out in search of massive creaturesthrough deserts, forests, ice capped mountains and more.The hunting theme is quite evident in game, from the concept of having to track down atarget monster in a large map to the visual details of the town and character models. Inmultiplayer, the large variety of weapons and items allows players to join andcompliment each other’s fighting styles. Currently considered as one of the most famousmultiplayer games on the PSP, this is one game you cannot afford to pass up.Metal Gear Solid: Peace WalkerUnlike our previous two series entries, Peace Walker is a standalone game. This epicprequel story to Metal Gear (and sequel to Snake Eater) brings back more of the stealthbased action and cinematic storytelling that MGS is known for. But new to Peace Walkeris the ability to link and team up with your friends to accomplish missions.While it is possible to complete story mode alone, the game is best played with a friendor three. As a team, players can utilize varying squad formations, make joint attacks andaccomplish missions faster and more efficiently. As a bonus, creator Hideo Kojima hasteamed up with Capcom to put in a few special Monster Hunter stages as well –placingBig Boss (and friends) up against some of the meanest enemies on the MH bestiary.Godz Eater BurstIt may seem like an odd title, but this Namco Bandai game is currently the bestcooperative game out there yet. The controls and combat are often cited to be very 11 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. simplified and we certainly agree –but remember this is not necessarily a bad thing. Withmultiplayer games, it is quite often that you have to mind a lot of things in theintermission areas. While there is also some inventory management and crafting to bedone in GE Burst, these functions are made simple to accomplish and understand.The result is a game that lets you focus on the fun part: hunting giant monsters. Thesemonsters, or Aragami, are some of the most epic creature we have yet seen in acooperative game (and we have seen the whole lot that MH has to offer). You, with ateam of three will have to work together and take down these nasty beasts. Did we saybeasts? Because we meant to, after all, there are plenty of missions in the game whereyou and your team will also have to face a squad of these titanic monsters. More oftenthan not, players will have to split up and strategize properly to succeed.There is no doubt that there are plenty more amazing multiplayer genres available on thePSP, some allow for competitive gaming, and others are also cooperative. But there is acertain charm to the third person action hunting genre that makes it hard to resist. Be itthe in depth character customization, or the many things you can do in game, or the factthat you can take on some of the most epic monster battles ever made in a game. Eitherway, you can expect to see of these types of games to appear in the future, and morereasons to stay connected with your friends.Gaming Health: Taking Care of Your PSPThe PSP is a great handheld device; it has lots of games, great controls and can do a lot ofother things (browse the web, play music and videos, etc). But as with many electronicdevices, the PSP has its own share of problems. And for those who want to be able totake care of their Sony gaming device, here are a few good tips on how to ensure that thePlaystation Portable runs without any issues.First off, use a screen protector! This may seem like a small thing, but it helps a lot. In theevent that the external screen gets scratched, players have the option of purchasing a newPSP face plate, but this is expensive and requires you to take apart the device. A screenprotector saves players from this trouble and also makes the screen a lot easier to clean.For those with plenty of dust inside the screen, it is possible to take out the faceplate.This is done by turning off the device, and removing the battery. From the back, playerscan access the screws that hold the front plate in place. Be sure to also clean the areasunder the buttons and contact points as well. Be careful when placing the plate back as 12 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. the positions of the control buttons and analog nub must be aligned with the contactpoints on the device (to ensure that the controls will stay responsive).In order to make sure that the software runs properly, it is important that players useofficial Magic Gate Memory Stick Pro Duos for the PSP. To check this, simply highlightthe “memory stick” icon from the XMB and press triangle. This will bring out a menuthat allows you to check the memory stick’s properties, check here if the Magic Gatesettings show verified (as opposed to unknown). To ensure that the stick is original, it isbest to purchase directly from an official Sony retail store.Speaking of the memory stick, players should often back up player data. This is quiteeasy as the PSP itself can be hooked up directly to a computer (thanks to the mini-USBport on top of the device). To enable the connection, go to the last menu on the left of theXMB and select USB connectivity. The “PSP/SAVEDATA/” folder is where all thegame saves are stored so it is crucial that players back this up frequently. Use yourcomputer’s safely remove USB device command prior to disabling USB connectivityfrom the PSP. Also, it is recommended to set the power button on lock status whiletransferring files.Overall, the PSP is hardly prone to any software issues. Sony provides constant firmwareupdates for the PSP to provide users with new features, better security and to remove anyexisting bugs in the system. When updating your firmware, be sure that your battery is atleast 75% full and it is most recommended to update while connected to a wall outlet (toensure that the system does not lose power during this critical process). So far, theupdates do not seem to be region locked (using a US update on a Japanese unit does notinterfere with performance), but it is still recommended that players use a firmwareupdate designed specifically for the region of their device.PSP Countdown: Things We will Miss When the NGP ArrivesThere is plenty of talk about the Next Generation Portable –basically, the PSP’ssuccessor. As much as we all would want to call it the PSP2, Sony’s official name for thenew device is the NGP. And so far, most of the hardware features are proving to be quiteimpressive and promising. Despite all things optimistic, it is hard to deny that there willbe a lot of changes, and most certainly, a lot of features will be missed. Here’s a quick listof some of the things we would wish were present for the NGP.The UMDThe universal media disc has its fair share of detractors, limitations and issues. But thebottom line here is that disc based media has always been a key element for the PSP. 13 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  14. 14. While modern flash based storage can easily match discs in terms of storage size, there isa certain charm to the UMD that will be lost. Also, there are plenty of reports that theNGP will be hosting save files on the new game media itself. The only good thing here isthat Sony will still be selling physical games –as opposed to the PSP Go style of havingonly download content.The XMBSony’s Cross Media Bar has been lauded to be an award winning user interface design –and after using it, we can clearly see why. Used in the PSP, the PSX and many Braviamodels, the XMB provides users with an easy to use interface for accessing a widevariety of features and controls for Sony systems. Now, a new UI has been introduced forthe NGP and it will be making the most of the touch screen input. While impressive, itcertainly looks a lot more cluttered and less composed when compared to the moredignified approach of the XMB.For PSP owners, the XMB has been a major factor for making the device easy to use.Since it is based on the control pad’s directions (up, down, left and right), moving acrossone set of options to another takes only one tap of a button. Viewing media, managingsave files, changing settings have all been made easy with the XMB. Also, a large choiceof PSP themes allows players to change the look of the XMB icons and background.Without a doubt, this UI will certainly be missed.Removable BatteryIt may not seem like a big deal for many users, but a removable battery is a greatconvenience for those us who love to travel. Playing with your favorite games while onthe road is a treat that many gamers cannot do without. But sadly, as impressive as anybattery capacity may be, games that use plenty of processing power and WiFiconnectivity will certainly take a serious drain on your charge. When you are in alocation without a decent wall outlet or access to car charger, the only hope you have forgaming is to pack along a second fully charged battery or two. Those of you who love toplay ad hoc games will certainly be familiar with how much value a removable batterygives.In the end, despite all the little drawbacks on the side, there is no doubt that the NGP willstill be much looked forward to. After all, with such powerful hardware and a promise ofgreat launch titles, who would not be excited? But the PSP is far from obsolete. Withmost of the PSP’s major titles just being released, we can expect to see more enjoyablehardcore gaming on this classic Sony handheld before it finally waves goodbye. 14 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Sony’s Playstation Portable Takes on the Nintendo DSFor the most part, the handheld console market has been heavily divided between theSony PSP and the Nintendo DS. Together, these two devices literally controlled theindustry, and despite the advent of app gaming for smart phones, game developers knowthat if they wanted to produce big games, it would be on either one of these two.Of course, there is a distinct difference between the two devices and while the ideal is tohave both (and have access to both gaming libraries), one simply cannot help butcompare. So here it is: the PSP vs DS showdown.Model to ModelOne of the biggest arguments that DS owners make is that the later versions of the DSmatches that of the PSP. However, on a side by side comparison, the only DS to get a legup is the DS XL –which offers a larger screen (there is no PSP version with a screenlarger or smaller than the original). However, even this is not that big a deal, the PSP’sscreen size is still packing a higher resolution. Other features such as the DSi’s browser,media player and camera have all been available since the first PSP device –though thecamera is an external attachment that hooks up on top of the PSP. To match the DS’smicrophone, the PSP introduced a mic jack for the PSP-2000 model and a built in mic forthe PSP-3000.Input ControlsSony’s PSP brings to players a directional pad, an analog nub, four buttons and twoshoulder buttons. The Nintendo DS makes use of a resistive touch screen instead of anub. While the DS has an advantage of a second screen, the fact is that most gameshardly utilize the secondary screen for any worthwhile purpose (nothing that a pop-outmenu on a single screen layout could not change). And even titles that seemed reliant onthe touch screen (GTA: Chinatown Wars, Knights in the Nightmare), eventually wereported to the PSP without any control issues.The big drawback for the DS is that they did not make use of a capacitive touch screen(in fairness, the technology was not common back then). Since players would need tohold a stylus with one hand, supporting the entire device with the other hand becameslightly difficult. This was especially the case for the first edition of the NDS which wasparticularly heavy for just one hand. 15 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved
  16. 16. PortabilityRight off the bat, the PSP’s better with its’ quick hibernate mode and simple controls. Aswith any device that makes use of a stylus, DS players have to be mindful of where theyplace their sticks. The quick hibernate mode gets a special mention since you never knowat what point in the game you will be when your train reaches your stop. While placingdown the lid of the DS sets the game into sleep mode, the battery drain is strong. The PSPallows players to quickly press up the power button and send the entire device intohibernation. This lets you head off the train, get to work/class and return to your game atthe exact point where you left off later in the evening. With the DS, you’ll be praying thewhole time that the battery does not run out.Hardcore GamesThere is no lack of casual gaming titles for both devices. But with established hardcoretitles, the PSP has a much larger library. So far, Nintendo has been doing great with manyof its big-name first party developed games such as the Pokemon series, Metroid andinnumerable Zelda and Mario games. With third party developers however, Sony hasmore to offer. Capcom’s Monster Hunter series pushes the PSP’s connectivity features tothe forefront by emphasizing multiplayer gaming (other such games include NamcoBandai’s Ace Combat X2 and Godz Eater Burst, Sega’s Phantasy Star Portable series,Square Enix’ Lord of Arcana, and Konami’s MGS: Peace Walker). Other majorfranchises such as the “City Stories” for Grand Theft Auto also appear on the PSP as fullgames as opposed to the sprite based mini-games that appear on the NDS.While this may seem one-sided, the NDS is not without its good points. But for the mostpart, there is very little that the Nintendo device has to offer for the hardcore gamingmarket. As we mentioned above, a gamer’s true ideal still lies in being able to get bothsystems and play all the great games available!See the top 3 gaming headsets reviewed on this page... Customer reviews revealabout everything you need to know! Get the best gaming headset at the best price! 16 Review the best gaming headsets © All Rights Reserved