I reviewed the Sony PSP handheld console a couple of years ago when it launched, pointing out its obvious hardware flaws, but being amazed by its video capabilities, and after ignoring it for 18+ months in favor of the Nintendo DS, I recently picked it back up after we bought tht new God of War PSP Entertainment Pack edition.
The first reaction is that the game God of War totally rocks since I never played it on earlier platforms. I'm a mythology dork, so the entire story premise works, but it's also good to see a truly M rated game, with all of the violence and some of the sex, in addition to great writing. It's a clear port of the popular PS2 game, but they actually made it work on the PSP, minimizing the load times, and playing up the console-like sound and video of the console. After 6 months of cartoon-like graphics on the DS, I forgot that you could have a pretty true console-experience on a handheld console with a game like God of War.
Since I travel a lot, I even watched the Superbad movie UMD they packaged with the console - the movie sucks, but you have to appreciate what a beautiful movie it is on the PSP screen and how the sound just pops for a user, in addition to a reasonable battery life. As always, Sony has created a rocking piece of hardware yet forgotten about what will make it successful. The UMD movie/game playback format is a loser, the required Memory Stick Pro recordable format is 75% more expensive than competing formats for no reason, and the software/games has been mostly forgettable until God of War, from my point of view.
The good news is that the PSP is finally outselling the Nintendo DS in Japan, generally due to Japan-specific games or some strange Japan-only reason. The bad news is that I had written off the device until I saw the cool new software for it, since there was no recent reason for anyone to buy the PSP console, but now there appears to be no advertising campaign for the console, which is too bad.
So the end of the story is that the Sony PSP rocks as a handheld console - the games used to suck, but with the God of War and a new array of games, it's worth considering the device, unlike in recent times. The proprietary storage/memory format focus is incredibly dumb, but the rest of the device design truly shows off the device, and for those who are tired of DS mini-games, the newer PSP games are a lot of fun, especially since I'm playing them now...