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PlayStation Portable

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PlayStation Portable
Psp-1000.jpg
"Step your game up!"
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: PSP-1000:
JP: December 12, 2004
NA/BRA/IND: March 24, 2005
PAL/AFR: September 1, 2005

PSP-2000:
HK: August 30, 2007
EU: September 5, 2007
NA: September 6, 2007
KOR: September 7, 2007
AUS: September 12, 2007
UK: September 14, 2007
JP: September 20, 2007

PSP-3000:
NA: October 14, 2008
JP: October 16, 2008
EU: October 17, 2008
AUS: October 23, 2008

PSP GO:
WW: October 1, 2009
JP: November 1, 2009

PSP E-1000:
EU: October 26, 2011
Predecessor: PocketStation
Successor: PlayStation Vita
Competitors: Nintendo DS
Gizmondo
Generation: Seventh generation
Discontinued: NA: January 2014
JP: June 2014
PALS: December 2014


The PlayStation Portable (or PSP for short) is a handheld video game console that competed against the Nintendo DS and was released in 2004 in Japan and later in other regions in 2005 and was discontinued in 2014. It was developed by Sony and is part of their line of PlayStation consoles.

The PSP used a MIPS R4000 cadenced at 222 MHz minimum and 333 MHz maximum.

The PlayStation Vita, the successor to the PSP, was released in 2011 in Japan, and 2012 in the other regions.

Why It Rocks

  1. It is the first handheld that offered an actual console experience on the go, as it had ports be very close to their console ports, thus helping in finally getting rid of games having multiple versions of the past and needing to buy a game twice.
  2. It has a huge library of RPGs.
  3. It is the only handheld console to use optical discs. The discs were known as Universal Media Discs (UMDs).
    • The UMDs were also available in movie format, allowing the PSP to play movies. Essentially, this also makes it a portable movie player, kinda like the Game Boy Advance Video format for the Game Boy Advance, only with better video quality and a wider selection of titles. UMD Video (as they were called) discs never sold well outside of Japan, however.
  4. The PSP, in addition to being able to play movies and games, can also play music. You can either use Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity or SensMe channels (both of which need to be downloaded from the internet, as of now, it is impossible to download them), or listen to music from audio files stored on the memory card.
    • In addition to this, it has a headphone jack, so you can plug in your earbuds or headphones and listen to the audio from your games, music or movies, while not disturbing others.
  5. It can connect to the PlayStation 3 (via remote play), the internet, and other PSP consoles.
  6. It has high quality graphics, comparable to the PlayStation 2.
  7. It can play original PlayStation titles via virtualization, and with custom firmware, you can play EBOOTS made with conversion software.
  8. It's compatible with many emulators, such as the SNES, Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, etc. It even has an emulator for the Nintendo DS (it's practically useless though, since many DS games have touch screen features, but it does show how powerful the handheld is). However, to use emulators on your PSP, you need to install custom firmware.
  9. It has a lot of great games such as :
  10. Unlike the Nintendo DS, it has an analog stick, which helps a lot in games, and it would be a feature added in every handheld console afterwards.
  11. The PSP had very little disc-based piracy due to UMDs which are a smart and unique way to prevent piracy.
  12. While not as common as SD cards, Sony used their own Memory Stick Duo format, which could also be used in other compatible devices from the 2000s, for the PSP rather than a proprietary memory card format, which would be used in the PSP's successor, the PS Vita. There were also variants sold by third parties such as SanDisk and Lexar.
  13. Although it failed to beat Nintendo, it became the first handheld device to ever offer Nintendo real competition in the handheld market where most other handhelds like the Game Gear had failed competition against the Game Boy and Nintendo DS.
  14. The PSP-2000 and future models upgraded the PSP's RAM to twice the PSP-1000's, this could enhance some games on the platform.
A Universal Media Disc, used for PSP games and movies only, despite its name.

Bad Qualities

  1. Battery life is shorter compared to the Nintendo DS. Games with more complex 3D graphics tend to drain the battery faster. The use of the optical drive also affects the battery life.
  2. Long load times. While UMDs have higher capacity than a DS game card (about as much as the GameCube's mini DVDs), the transfer speed of the optical drive is slow. This kills a portable system, which is often used in short bursts (i.e., 20 minutes or less) while on the go, fortunately some games let you install data to decrease loading times. If you have custom firmware installed, you can run games from the Memory Stick, which makes loading in-game much faster.
    • The PSPs disc drive is of low quality, as the metal door frame (which allows the PSP to detect when a UMD in the bay) and laser can come loose or break easily. Without either of them, the PSP cannot use UMDs.
    • The UMDs are also poorly designed and can come loose from their cases, which makes them useless because the PSP requires a UMD to be in the case to work (unless the disc hatch on it is removed). Fortunately, third party replacement cases were developed.
  3. While the addition of an analog stick is an awesome feature, some games still have bad controls due to the PSP having only one analog stick, this is very common in multiplatform games.
    • The button and stick placements also make playing games incredibly uncomfortable.
  4. Though it's somewhat of a gimmick, the camera was released as a peripheral, rather than being built into the console like on the DSi/DSi XL.
  5. Although the PSP experienced little to no disc based piracy, it did, however, experience very severe Memory Stick based piracy which made a decline in third party titles throughout its latter years.
  6. The web browser was very slow and unresponsive, though you can use Opera Mini by modding it.
  7. The servers for the PSP version of the PlayStation Network were shutdown in 2014; the only way to get digital PSP games nowadays is to transfer them from the PS3 or PC, with the latter only via piracy.
  8. Higher capacity Memory Stick Duo memory cards, whether new or used, are now rare and expensive, as Sony eventually conceded the memory card format war to Secure Digital, though there are adapters to convert microSD cards into Memory Stick Duo.
  9. While Sony may have reconsidered their decision to shut down the PlayStation store for the PS3 and PS Vita, they still proceeded to shut it down for the PSP in July 2021.

Reception

As mentioned above, the PSP became the first handheld to ever offer Nintendo real competition in the handheld market where most other handhelds paled in comparison to the Game Boy and DS line ups. Over 80-82 million units were sold in the PSP's 10 year cycle, making it the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld console. However, it still fell far below the Nintendo DS' 154.02 million units.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Portable

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