Handheld gaming mini-reviews.


Over the past year, I’ve accumulated a couple different ancient handheld gaming consoles.

I am now going to review them as quick as I can, but with some detail for the techy in all of us:

The Sony PSP 1000:

This is the first of my devices to review. I got this system this summer for a cool $20 plus shipping two different wireless USB dongles.  Its the first of the Sony PSP line, and it’s got plenty of good things going for it. First: it’s relatively easy to get it able to run Homebrew and custom firmware. It has WiFi (Granted Wireless B which means it won’t work at home, due to my N\G only setup). It has a nice big screen, and it has decent buttons.

The downsides: UMDs and the cost of large MemoryStick ProDUO cards. I bought a 2GB card for $20 and it’s been pretty good. Homebrew plugins allow me and my sibling to share the PSP and have individual gaming profiles. No need to swap memory cards to swap save files. The 2GB card holds about 3 to 4 games, but since each game is decently long, it’s not a complaint. The cost of a used UMD isn’t too bad, but it makes you think twice about buying one if you know it’s available on the internet. I personally will download the game first to see if it’s worth buying, and will end up buying it if it’s available in my area. Other than that, it’s a decent system. Battery is okay and I can charge it in about 2 to 3 hours via a single USB port (Don’t have the OEM charger)

 

The contender: Nintendo DS First Gen

I got the first gen DS from my girlfriend this summer. It had a cracked screen, which was easily replaced. Total cost: $7 plus waiting for it to arrive from DealExtreme in china.

The plus: Good battery life, compatible with all my GameBoy Advanced games (All 4 of them), touch screen, large game libaray, Homebrew capable (Via R4 card)

The minus: No backwards compatibility beyond Gameboy Advanced. (No worries. I have my GBA SP to handle that.) No free Homebrew solution. (But an R4 card is $1.40 from China) Resolution isn’t great, and it’s a resistive touchscreen. It’s also kinda chunky and it looks just like the one that my roommate has. (slim choice in coloring)

The review: I don’t mind it, it’s decent, and my R4 allows me to try out all 1824 Nintendo DS clean ROMs that I’ve had the pleasure of obtaining. If I like them I may just be enticed to buy them. (Especially the PokeMon one that uses IR to talk to a pedometer. That would be cool) It’s a great piece of entertainment that I can keep in my backpack and play for a few mintues while I’m waiting for a class\someone\something to happen. It’s faster than the PSP and more geared towards quick jots of game, but can also be used for longer gaming stints. Even if you already own the games you throw on teh R4, I’d still recommend one just for the sake of having all your games on a single cartridge.

I will warn you, be sure you’re getting the right R4. Some are fake clones. as a shameless plug, you can get verified R4 cards from ShopTemp.com, and you can find out what cards support Wood Firmwares (the good 99.999% ROM compability firmware) on gbatemp.com (As a second shameless plug, you can get them from the store I did, r4shops.com, and get a 2GB MicroSD card (The largest that a classic R4 can handle) for just under $8 shipped. It’ll take 2 weeks, but it’s worth every second.)

I enjoy both systems, but as I said, I keep the DS in my backpack. It’s good enough for quick gaming stints. Plus it supports sleep better than teh PSP does.

 

The other contender: DS Lite

As above, but without the chunky thing. I got it for $7 from a coworker as a bag of parts. I then procedded to assemble it, to find that the top screen was ruined and the bottom digitizer was trash. I ordered replacements from DealExtreme and that set me back another $12. After I got all that working, I used a wrong screw and blew an onboard fuse. Another $20 to a mail-order repair service (plus $5 shipping) and it’s working great. It’s a one-of-a-kind DS with a custom color scheme, but it works well. One thing it has over the classic DS is light control. You can pick how bright it is.

Beyond that, it’s a great system.

 

That’s all for now.

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About Author
Someone who feels the need to help others using the information that I have discovered. If someone else finds it useful, I'm more than happy to have helped.

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