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PlayStation Portable

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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 Gameboy which used Catridges, the PSP used the UMD which were miniature discs, and could support more graphics (128-bit) and which was on par with PS2's graphics.

The PSP is considered as the sixth generation gaming console as it was released during the generation six timeline.

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."

Playstation Portable Pink

Pink Playstation Portable


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.




Dimensions: Approximately 6.7 in (W) x 2.9 in (H) x .9 in (D)

Weight: Approximately 280g / .62 lbs (including battery)

CPU: PSP CPU (System clock frequency 1 - 333 MHz)

Main Memory: 32MB

Embeded DRAM: 4MB


  • 4.3 inch, 16:9 Wide screen TFT LCD
  • 480 x 272 pixel, 16.77 million colors
  • Maximum luminance 180 / 130 / 80 cd/m2 (when using battery pack)
  • Maximum luminance 200 / 180 / 130 / 80 cd/m2 (when using AC adaptor)

Sound: Built-in stereo speakers

Main Input/ Output

  • IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)
  • USB 2.0 (mini-B)
  • Memory Stick Duo
  • Infrared Port

Disc Drive: UMD Drive (Read only)

Main Connectors:

  • Memory Stick Duo Slot
  • USB connector
  • DC IN 5V connector
  • Headset connector


  • Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
  • Analog Stick
  • Enter keys (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
  • Left, Right shoulder buttons x 1
  • START button, SELECT button, HOME button x 1
  • POWER/HOLD switch x 1
  • Display button, Sound button, Volume +/- buttons x 1
  • Wireless LAN switch (ON/OFF) x 1
  • OPEN latch (UMD) x 1


  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • AC Adaptor


  • PSP Game
  • UMD Audio (profile name TBD)
  • UMD Video (profile name TBD)


  • [Video]: "UMD": H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile Level3
  • [Video]: "Memory Stick": MPEG-4 SP,AAC
  • [Music]: "UMD": linear PCM,ATRAC3plus
  • [Music]: "Memory Stick": ATRAC3plus,MP3(MPEG1/2 Layer3)


  • (Encryption) 128bit AES (Copyright protection technology) MagicGate

Access control

  • Region, Parental Control

Wireless communications IEEE802.11b

  • Infrastructure mode
  • Ad hoc mode (connection up to 16 consoles)


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.



Sony PSP 2000 (Slim PSP)

Sony PSP 200002:09

Sony PSP 2000


Release Date: September 27, 2007

The Sony PSP 2000 (PSP Slim) 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 PlayStation®2, PSP features a 4.3-inch wide screen, high-resolution TFT display. PSP also adopts a newly developed, proprietary compact but high-capacity (1.8GB) optical disc, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its storage medium.

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