The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is Sony's first handheld gaming system. It was released in North America in 2005 while in Japan, it was released a year before on December 12, 2004. It's release was meant to provide a significant challenge to Nintendo's grasp in the handheld market, which it has dominated since the original Game Boy (and all varying models).
Unlike the Game Boy which used cartridges, the PSP uses UMDs, which are miniature optical discs.
It also features many multimedia capabilities, such as the ability to play MP3s off of its memory card, or play movies released onto UMD disks. Many gamers have created homebrew modifications that allow it to do more than intended, such as run emulators or surf the internet.
The PSP was first announced during E3 2003. It was not until a year later that the system was actually seen. Many considered this announcement to be Nintendo's first real challenge in the handheld market, while Nintendo wrote it off as another doomed competitor compared to the other 9 that have failed since the invention of the Game Boy. Microsoft's reaction to the announcement was one of indifference. They expressed no desire to fight for the handheld market, and were actually pleased that Sony would have to "fight on two fronts."
It launched in Japan on December 12, 2004 to huge sell-out success. However, there were reports of problems with the system, which is normal for most system launches, including dead pixels and UMD game disks ejecting out at high speeds during play. It was released in North America on March 24, 2005 at US $250. The first one million units were sold with the movie Spider-Man 2 on UMD. Additionally, PSP systems sold in Canada had an additional game bundled: Gretzky NHL. A shortage of PSPs occurred, though whether it was artificial or not, is up to debate.
Sound: Built-in stereo speakers
Disc Drive: UMD Drive (Read only)
Wireless communications IEEE802.11b
The PSP's main competition comes in the form of the Nintendo DS, which features a touch screen and a flip-up design.
Key first-party titles
Some of the more noteworthy Sony published titles include:
Major third-party titles
- Spectacular screen -- The screen is the largest seen on a handheld, and also one the brightest one at its time.
- Graphical quality approaching Sixth-Generation console -- It was easily the most powerful handheld in terms of visuals at the time of its release, with graphical capabilities comparable to the PlayStation 2.
- Excels at multimedia function -- The PSP is capable of playing videos, music, and even browse the internet. It is also capable of doing much more with various homebrew programs and modifications.
- Long Load Times --
- Low Battery Life -- One of the earliest criticisms and fears the system faced from the gaming community and press was the allegedly low battery life. Some early reports indicated it may only be two hours long. In reality, the battery life is around 6 hours (Still below the Nintendo DS' 8 hours), depending on the screen brightness, volume, and Wi-Fi.
- Non-symmertrical button layout --
- Too many ports -- Many games at launch were slightly altered ports of hits seen on other systems, like Ridge Racer. Even past its launch, many games like Mega Man Legends are scheduled to be ported to the PSP. This is a common handheld criticism, which even the Game Boy Advance received.
- Clunky controls -- As said above, most games were ports, but was missing two shoulder buttons, an analog stick and two stick buttons compared to the PlayStation 2. Its nub was criticized for being less precise than the PlayStation 2's stick as well as its D-pad for being very difficult to hit diagonal directions with, leading to compromised controls on many titles.
- Manufacturing Defects -- A significant number of complaints were lodged regarding "dead" or "stuck" pixels. Also, due, in part, to a design decision, some systems were shipped with a flaw that made the square button unusable.
PlayStation Portable Slim and Lite
Release Date: September 27, 2007
The PlayStation Portable Slim and Lite is the first truly integrated handheld entertainment system designed to handle multiple applications — music, video, communication, and wireless networking, with games as its primary driver. PSP brings an unparalleled gaming experience to a handheld platform, allowing users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality, full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. With graphics rendering capability comparable to that of the PlayStation 2, the PSP features a 4.3-inch wide screen, high-resolution TFT display. The PSP also adopts a newly developed, proprietary compact but high-capacity (1.8GB) optical disc, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its storage medium.