Please allow me to use a quote from the podcast: “The PSP is like a BMW”. I couldn’t agree with it more. When I look and feel and play on my [i]PSP[/i], I feel like I have been sitting and driving in a luxury car, straight from Germany, with expensive clothes made by…ok, you get the idea, right? Right.

The [i]Playstaion Portable[/i] ([i]PSP[/i] from now on), is the multifunctional hand held made by Sony. Multifunctional you say? Well, what are these things?

The ability to play music. You can convert your music files to the format of the [i]PSP[/i], and you can listen to your music on your handheld gaming device! Too bad that the memory stick the [i]PSP[/i] Value Pack is only 32 MB, and is useless for this.

Play movies! Yes, the [i]PSP[/i] is able to play movies. You can play them via the UMD discs (same discs that the [i]PSP[/i] games are on), which you can buy, but some people might be turned off by buying the discs at a higher price than DVDs, and owning them again. But let me tell you guys a secret: you can convert files of movies or whatnot onto the [i]PSP[/i]! But the problem stands as with the music: the basic memory stick is useless.

Look at pictures in amazing quality. The [i]PSP[/i] allows you to put pictures on it, and while looking at them, you will notice that the quality is much better than on most digital cameras, or even TVs. With the 2.00 software, you can put the pictures in the background of your screen (gotta love my Jessica Alba one). There are numerous sites which make backgrounds specifically for the [i]PSP[/i].

You can surf the web with the machine. Amazing isn’t it? Not many people would have thought after, say, the GBA was released that one day you will be surfing the web on a handheld. Well, you can do it and it’s great. All you need is wireless internet, and the 2.00 firmware. You can also play online with online enabled games, and with games such as [i]Socom[/i]: Fireteam Bravo, it is highly recommended.

The [i]PSP[/i] allows you (with certain softwares and low firmware) to play old ROMs and various homebrew applications. The downside of this is, later firmwares disallow this, and these pieces of software can wreck your machine by essentially turning it into a brick (meaning frozen forever).

Now, these were only the “accessories” to the [i]PSP[/i]. But a “Playstation” wouldn’t be called that without playing games.

The graphics are mind-blowing. Imagine playing a PS1, with slightly better graphics in your hand. Yes my friends, the graphics are that amazing, and I am very sure that many people would not have thought of handheld graphics EVER becoming so great. Cutscenes during games and playing movies look sharper than most TV screens.

Forget the outdated sound that we began to get used to on the GBA and its predecessors. The sound there felt like on systems decades old, and it was really time to move on. The [i]PSP[/i] boasts excellent sound, whether in game (with voice acting and real music in the games), or when watching a movie or listening to it.

At launch, the [i]PSP[/i] was criticized due to the lack of (quality) games. Fear not, a year after the launch, the good games are finally pouring in. [i]Metal Gear Acid[/i] (and its upcoming sequel), [i]Splinter Cell[/i], [i]GTA: Liberty City Stories[/i], [i]Socom[/i], [i]Daxter[/i], [i]Syphon Filter[/i], [i]Tekken[/i], [i]Devil May Cry[/i] and many Japanese RPGs as well as tons of other hot titles too. The [i]PSP[/i] is getting a freaking awesome library of games in the very near future.

I don’t have that many complaints about the system, except the low battery life, price, and the size of the memory stick. Let’s look at all of these in order.

When the battery is charged 100%, it will only last you about 5-6 hours. When playing on the highest light screen, and a fast paced game (Ridge Racer, or Burnout), the battery life will be drained even more. I find this rather unacceptable, as the point of a handheld is the ability for hours upon hours, such as when you’re on long car trips. No matter, as later on the battery life will (hopefully) be improved.

250 United States dollars is a lot of money for some people, and they might not be willing to spend that much money on a handheld. If you can afford it, then it will be a really valuable purchase, and if you don’t feel like playing a game, you can listen to music and watch videos and pictures, as well as surf the web on the machine. In my not-so-humble opinion, that 250 bucks is well worth it.

While it was really generous of Sony to include a 32 MB memory stick, it is utterly useless if you want to do anything other things than play games (which most people will want to do). So, other than spending the 250 dollars, you might as well pick up a 1 GB stick (or the [i]PSP[/i] Giga Pack, that includes the 1 GB stick, which is cheaper than buying them separately). The last I heard, a 5 GB one is on the way (which will cost a heck load too, as expected). But if you just want to game, then don’t spend more for a stick, as the 32 MB will be sufficient.

The [i]PSP[/i] is an excellent little machine, despite the above mentioned problems. You can do so many things on it that you could never do, or couldn’t even imagine to do on a handheld, I say the [i]PSP[/i] is a must buy for anyone. If you don’t feel like gaming, then there are tons of features with the system, so you will never be bored. Trust me, it will be a $250 well spent.

I recently jumped onto the wireless bandwagon. I’ve started getting everything, from wireless keyboards and mice to the famed Nintendo Wavebird. So I figured why not bring my Xbox into the group, and began searching for a worthy wireless controller. Since I was so pleased with Logitech’s Cordless Action Controller for the PS2, it seemed only natural that Logitech’s Cordless Precision Controller for the Xbox would be the best choice, and while it has some design flaws, it is probably one of the best, if not the best cordless controller for the Xbox. The Precision Controller shares most of the qualities put into Logitech’s Playstation 2 controller. It has a 2.4 GHz frequency, which holds up flawlessly up to 30 feet, and only requires two batteries (which are included). Also like the Action Controller, the Precision controller is Logitech’s second-generation wireless Xbox controller, which is also much smaller and comfortable than the previous model. One thing the Precision Controller doesn’t share with the PS2 Action Controller is the receiver, which we’ll cover in a bit, but before that we’ll look at the structure of the controller.

The Precision Controller recreates the feel of the Xbox’s own Controller S, although some things are noticeably different. For starters, it looks slightly thinner than the Controller S in the mid-section, and the most notable change is that the memory card and Xbox Live ports are missing from the top of the controller (we’ll find those in a bit though, don’t worry). Other than that, it is just about the same size as the Controller S and has all the buttons placed correctly. The back of the controller is molded to fit the human hand, so it’s fairly comfortable to use. One thing I really like about the controller’s looks is the clear green analog bases and the green ring around the Logitech symbol, they really make the controller stand out from just another all-out black controller.

Like mentioned earlier, button placement is dead-on with the original Controller S. There is a new button near the left-most analog stick that turns the vibration function on and off, and the trigger buttons have a slightly different feel to them, although they pose no problem. Other than that, there isn’t really any change to the original structure layout of the Controller S. You might remember me commenting on how the D-pad felt a little cheap in the Action Controller review, and sadly, this is a quality the Precision Controller shares with the PS2 Action Controller. Actually, if anything, the D-pad on the Precision controller feels even cheaper, and almost feels like it would be fairly easy to pull out from the base, although it has yet to happen.

Now onto the memory card/Xbox Live port absence from the controller. Now, they have them included in with the controller, however, they are located on the receiver, which is roughly ten times bigger than the Action Controller’s receiver. The receiver plugs into the console through a very short cord, and resembles one of those real old receivers you would find in with say, the old SNES Super Scope, although the design is sleeker. This is understandable of course, seeing as how they have to put the ports somewhere, but them being on the receiver actually defeats the purpose of having a wireless controller if you are using your Xbox Live headset, since you will have to sit right next to the console to use the headset.

The Cordless Precision Controller is probably the best you will find on the Xbox. While the clunky feeling D-pad can be annoying, it is easily overlooked, especially since most games use the analog sticks (even if you happen to be playing say, a 2-D fighter, the D-pad still works fine). If you are using the controller for everyday gaming, then you can’t do much better, but with the Xbox Live port being next to the console, you might want to break out that corded Controller S, lest you enjoy sitting right next to the television screen with a wireless controller. As a wireless controller though, the Precision Controller is a great piece of hardware.

Ever since I bought the Playstation 2, I’ve had the standard controller that came with the system itself. Countless times, the distance between the furniture would prove for an uncomfortable gaming experience of either leaning forward, sitting on the rather hard flooring, or leaning back in fear of the plug popping out. When time came to purchase a new controller, it seemed only natural to go wireless. The problem is that there are so many different wireless controllers out on the market, most of them being third party, and unreliable. I then came across the Logitech Cordless Action Controller for the PS2. Being officially licensed by Sony (as indicated by the sticker in the package), this seemed like the best bet, but the question is, does this stand out in the crowd, or fail like many of the other third party counterparts.

The Action Controller is the second-generation wireless controller for the PS2 that’s made by Logitech. It is much lighter, smaller, and comfortable, all while packing in a 30 foot 2.4 GHz frequency. Two AA batteries power the controller, and the battery life can last for hours of gaming. In addition to working with the Playstation 2, the Action Controller also works on the PSOne as well as the original Playstation model, so gamers can play their favorite classics on the older systems with newer, more comfortable wireless technology.

Logitech did a nice job on recreating the feel of the official Playstation controller. Like mentioned earlier, the design is smaller than the original Logitech wireless PS2 controller, but it has also been remolded into a more comfortable feeling controller as well. The back of the controller is molded to better fit the structure of the human hand, while the front has some indentations, although they accommodate the look more than the feel department. The controller is small, but not too small, and it’s about the size of the original Playstation controller. It fits very comfortably in the hands, although the placement of the L and R buttons feels a little strange.

The button placement mimics the official Playstation controller. All the action buttons are in place, as well as the L and R buttons, start and select buttons, and D-pad. The mode button sits on the upper left of the controller, while directly across to the right is a vibration button that turns the vibration feature on and off. Like mentioned in the last paragraph, the L and R buttons feel a little awkward. It’s not so much that the placement is off but more that the buttons no longer sit atop their humps like they do with the official Playstation controller. It feels strange at first, but once you get used to it, it isn’t so much a problem. All the other buttons, and analog sticks are fine, but the D-pad feels very fragile. When you first touch it, it feels sort of cheap and easily breakable. It has held up very well through excessive gaming, but it still has that feeling that it may one day break.

All in all, I had a very good experience with the Logitech Cordless Action Controller. It is very well made, possibly the best third party wireless controller available for the entire Playstation family. It resembles the original Playstation controller in both size and build, so people should have no problems picking it and automatically becoming accustomed to it. The frequency never fails, and the miniature receiver plugs into the controller slot, allowing to keep in at all times while the user simply stores the controller away with no need of wrapping any cords up. If you’re looking for a wireless controller for the PS2, or even the PSOne, you can’t do much better than the Logitech Cordless Action Controller.

Better late then never I say! I owned a few original (and used) Gameboy Advances over the years, but I never really owned a new GBA, or GBA SP. Finally, November 2005, one year after the DS has been released, I got a brand new and awesome crimson GBA Sp. How is it?

The SP is the first full redesign of the GBA. I never really liked how the original looked and it didn’t have a backlight (I know, I am spoiled) so I decided not to get a new one, just used. Years passed and BAM! The new clam shell GBA was out with *gasp* a backlight screen. It was amazing, and it still is.

The top half is the screen, and on the bottom are the A and buttons, as well as the D-pad, start and select buttons. If you want to, you can turn your light on and off. On the shoulder of the clam, is the L and R buttons. But wait, how can I play a game without two analog stick, X, Y, C, D, E and all the other buttons in the alphabet buttons? Well, dear reader, the answer is simple. You won’t need sixty eight different buttons to play a game, these 4 buttons plus D-pads will give you just as much satisfaction and fun gaming as with a bunch of other buttons.

The graphics are old-school, don’t expect anything near the PSP or even the DS. But in my humble opinion, they are just fine. The games don’t require the amazing graphics, since they are about the game play, not about wow! There are sixty polygons in that dude, yo! People can get nostalgic, since the graphics are NES/SNES like, hence the insane amount of ports and rehashes (what a politically incorrect term to use).

The GBA has a lot of excellent titles on it. [i]Pokemon[/i], [i]Final Fantasy[/i], [i]Zelda[/i], [i]Mario[/i] and so on. The games are fairly cheap so you can afford it. Hell, nowadays you could get a brand new system and a game for the price of the Gameboy Micro.

This brings me to my next point: the GBA SP is a much better purchase than the Micro. Why? A) The SP is cheaper (about 30 bucks). B) The Micro is way small, and a lot of people will find it uncomfortable. C) The SP is bigger (but still fits in your pocket no problem), and you won’t lose it as easily and D) the SP’s screen is really hard to scratch, thanks to the clam shell. If you want to play a Nintendo handheld, you are on a budget or just don’t feel like getting a $100+ handheld system, then the GBA SP is the way to go.

Oh Nintendo, why must you continue to make more and more ways for me to enjoy my old pastimes? Portable ways at that! The newest baby to enter our console family is the Nintendo Game Boy Micro. He is by far the favorite handheld, (don’t tell the others) beating out my old favorite, the Nintendo DS. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, it is just a handheld device.

The newest Game Boy is a much sleeker, sexier version of its predecessors. More elongated in length makes handling it much easier; especially handy when playing things like Dr. Mario for hours on end. The whole thing just looks nicer too. Black and silver, bright screen, cool buttons that light up. What’s not to love? Too dull for your personal style? Nintendo thought about that too. The Micro has interchangeable face plates. Our version is what they call the Silver Micro. Mostly silver with a black faceplate, it comes with two additional plates. Not your style still? Try the Black Micro. It comes with a whole different set of face plates. Not good enough you say? Try the retro styled one. This whole changing faceplates thing is a bit gimmicky for me, but hey, there are probably a hundred thousand others out there who love the customization aspects.

Now that is just part of the buzz on the Micro. What I would consider its biggest asset is the better, brighter screen. The resolution…beautiful. It’s like night and day between it and the old GBA. It even kicks the DS to the curb. This new screen technology is supposed to be the one that gets used on all new Game Boy releases including the soon to come redesigned DS. I don’t know how to say this in any other way. Just take my word on it. The screen makes the thing worth the purchase.

The sheer smallness of the Micro makes it easier than ever to take your favorite Game Boy games on the road with you. Put it in your pocket, it’s no worse than that wallet that you haven’t cleaned out in years. I’d be willing to bet if you stuck them side by side, the Micro would be smaller. Not that I am trying to say that all guys never clean out their wallets, some of you have wives and girlfriends that tell you to and I suppose that some of you do it on your own… all I am trying to say here is this; it’s small.

Take it with you wherever you go; renewing your driver’s license, flying to visit grandma, waiting in line at the bank, on your lunch break at work. The possibilities are endless. Don’t want to play alone? Use your wireless adapter to play with a friend.

You can check out all of this at Nintendo’s website or the special Micro site. I think that if you have ever hesitated to buy a Game Boy for any reason, if there was ever a time to buy one, this one should be it. d For under a hundred dollars this little guy packs a lot of bang into the buck. If you see me in line anywhere I’ll be the one with the best little handheld on the block.