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North American PSP Arrives at PSX Extreme

Today, PSX Extreme is one of the first wave of Sony
outlets to receive their North American PSP, complete with half of Sony's launch
title's including: NBA, Twisted Metal: Head On, WipeOut Pure, World Tour Soccer
and Gretzky NHL. In addition to Sony hooking it up, I personally couldn't wait
for my copy of Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix to arrive from Activision, so I
ran out and picked that up as well. Lo and behold, it was when I returned from
my trip to the local EB that I was greeted by my neighbor who told me that FedEx
left a box with him. Unsuspecting, I had absolutely no idea what it could be;
but I was praying that it was a PSP — as long of a shot as I thought it was.
Indeed it was, and here she is, spending quality time with her Japanese
counterpart; a match made in heaven, indeed.

So what'd we do with it so far? Well, the first
thing was me calling up my cousin and telling him to go buy a copy of THUG 2
Remix. As soon as he did that, he stopped by and we had a wi-fi session.
Connecting was absolutely effortless, go to the wi-fi option, someone hosts
games, the server appears and all you have to do is join it. THUG 2 Remix
provided to be a lot of fun, and really rekindled the days when the two of us
would play the original Tony Hawk until our eyes bled and when we set up Tony
Hawk 3 online way before the network adaptor was even released. What's a little quirky is that the US PSP felt
somewhat lighter than the Japanese unit, and the both of us noticed this. It's
not very apparent, but a difference seems to be there, regardless.

Between the Japanese and North American units, the
screens are absolutely identical. Illumination, color, brightness, etc. was on
par to the original production Japanese PSP; so fear not, downgrades have no
been made. In fact, it seems as if the PSP has been somewhat upgraded for the US
release. Lightweight build aside, the shell itself feels sturdier and far more
resistant to twisting, where as the Japanese units would creak a little when
twisted. But perhaps more importantly is that the square button feels just right
and feels like all of the other buttons on the PSP; not like it was really
anything terrible to begin with, but hey Sony still decided to clean it up.

Our PSP box came with everything Sony promised. The
Spider-Man 2 UMD is absolutely gorgeous to look at, and the details are well on
par with an actual DVD. Despite being in a fully wide-screen format (as opposed
to black bars), the movie looks fantastic and ridiculously crisp. The sampler
disc contains 11 videos (nothing playable, unfortunately) of games, including
Sony's 1st party stuff, Ridge Racers, Lumines, Untold Legends and others. It
should be noted that the earphones with the remote control sound pretty darn
good for a pack-in item. Of course, the little 32MB Pro Duo card will do the job
when it comes down to saving games, but you're going to want to invest into
something larger for MP3s and MPEG4 videos; a 512MB SanDisk duo will run you a
respectable $80-90. Though I'm not entirely thrilled with the pouch for the
unit. It's bulky, and I don't like the way the PSP slides into it; it's just not
something I'd use when on the go — I recommend looking into a sleeker 3rd party
case to replace the pouch. And lastly, there is a cloth for the screen and wrist
belt to carry the PSP

In the end, what else is there that can be said
about the PSP that hasn't been said before? It can do practically everything.
MP3s, picture display, MPEG4 videos, UMD movies, videogames, wi-fi capability,
and hell, it probably cooks and you don't even know about it yet.

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