PlayStation Portable

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PlayStation Portable
PSP Logo.svg
Original Model PSP (PSP-1000)
Logo and original model of the PSP
DeveloperSony Computer Entertainment
ManufacturerSony
Product familyPlayStation
TypeHandheld game console
GenerationSeventh generation
Release date
  • JP: December 12, 2004
  • NA: March 24, 2005
  • BR: March 24, 2005
  • INA: March 24, 2005
  • EU: September 1, 2005
  • AS: September 1, 2005
  • AF: September 1, 2005
  • AU: September 1, 2005
Discontinued
  • NA: January 2014
  • JP: June 2014
  • PAL: December 2014
Units soldWorldwide: ~ 82 million (as of Nov 2013)[1][2][3]
MediaUMD, digital distribution
Operating systemPlayStation Portable system software
CPU333 MHz MIPS R4000
Memory32 MB (PSP-1000); 64 MB (2000, 3000, Go, E1000)
StorageMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
PSP Go: Memory Stick Micro (M2) and 16 GB flash memory
Display480 × 272 pixels with 24-bit color, 30:17 widescreen TFT LCD
PSP Go: 3.8 in (97 mm)
other models: 4.3 in (110 mm)
SoundStereo speakers, mono speaker (PSP-E1000), microphone (PSP-3000, PSP Go), 3.5 mm headphone jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11b) (except PSP-E1000), IrDA (PSP-1000), USB, Bluetooth (PSP Go)
Online servicesPlayStation Network
DimensionsPSP-1000:
2.9 in (74 mm) (h)
6.7 in (170 mm) (w)
0.91 in (23 mm) (d)
PSP2000/3000:
2.8 in (71 mm) (h)
169 mm (6.7 in) (w)
0.75 in (19 mm) (d)
PSP Go:
2.7 in (69 mm) (h)
5.0 in (128 mm) (w)
0.65 in (16.5 mm) (d)
PSP E1000:
2.9 in (73 mm) (h)
6.8 in (172 mm) (w)
0.85 in (21.5 mm) (d)
WeightPSP1000:
9.9 ounces (280 g)
PSP2000/3000:
6.7 ounces (189 g)
PSP Go:
5.6 ounces (158 g)
PSP E1000:
7.9 ounces (223 g)
Best-selling gameGrand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (7.6 million) (as of Oct 2015)[4]
Backward
compatibility
PS one (download only)
SuccessorPlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Portable[a] (PSP) is a handheld game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It primarily competed with the Nintendo DS, as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. Development of the handheld was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, and in the PAL region on September 1, 2005.

The PlayStation Portable was the most powerful portable system when launched, just after the Nintendo DS. It was the first real competitor to Nintendo's handheld domination, where many challengers, like SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its high-end graphics, 4.3-inch (110 mm) viewing screen, and multi-media capabilities made the PlayStation Portable a major mobile entertainment device. It also features connectivity with the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Windows, Mac, other PSPs and the Internet. It is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage medium.

Several different models were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan, and in February 2012 worldwide. The Vita features backward compatibility with many PlayStation Portable games digitally released on the PlayStation Network, via the PlayStation Store. This is the primary method to purchase PlayStation Portable games digitally after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store via PSP on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide throughout 2014, with the PSP having sold 80 million units in its 10-year lifetime. Production of UMDs ended with the closure of the last Japanese factory in late 2016.

History[edit]

Sony Computer Entertainment first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2003.[5] Although mock-ups were not presented,[5] Sony did release extensive technical details.[6] CEO Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st century" in a reference to the console's multimedia capabilities.[7] Several gaming websites were impressed by the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to its potential as a gaming platform.[8][5][9]

Nintendo had been dominating the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, with only close competition from Sega's Game Gear (1990–1997), and Bandai's WonderSwan (1999–2003) in Japan.[10] In January 1999, Sony had released the briefly successful PocketStation in Japan as its first foray into the handheld gaming market.[11] The SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage also failed to cut into Nintendo's share.[12] The PSP was called the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market" by an IDC analyst in 2004.[13]

The first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2003 at the Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting and showed it with flat buttons and no analog joystick.[14] Although some expressed concern over the lack of an analog stick,[15] these fears were allayed when the PSP was officially unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004.[16][17] Sony released a list of 99 developer companies that pledged support for the new handheld.[18] Several game demos, such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure, were also shown at the conference.[19]

Launch[edit]

On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP base model would launch in Japan on December 12 for ¥19,800 (about US$181 in 2004) while the Value System would launch for ¥24,800 (about US$226).[20] The launch was a success with over 200,000 units sold the first day.[21] Color variations were sold in bundle packs which cost more than usual, around $200. Sony announced on February 3, 2005, that the PSP would go on sale in North America on March 24, in one configuration for an MSRP of US$249/CA$299.[22] Some expressed concern over the high price,[23] which was almost US$20 higher than the Japanese model and more than $100 higher than the Nintendo DS.[24] Despite the concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success.[25][26] Sony claimed that 500,000 units had been sold in the first two days,[27] though it was also reported that this was below expectations.[28]

The PSP was originally to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch,[17] but on March 15, 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America.[29] The next month it announced that the PSP would launch in the PAL region on September 1, for €249/£179.[30] Sony defended the high price by pointing out that North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the VAT (sales tax) was higher in the UK than the US.[31] Despite the high price, the console's PAL region launch was a resounding success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK. The PSP sold out of all stock nationwide in the UK within three hours of launch, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record of 87,000 units set by the Nintendo DS. The system also enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region, with more than 25,000 units preordered in Australia[32] and nearly one million units sold across Europe in the first week.[33]

Models[edit]

Model Image Connectivity/storage Wireless connectivity RAM and internal storage CPU Display Original release date Original system software Battery In production
PSP-1000 Piano Black PSP-1000 USB 2.0, UMD, Serial Port, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo 802.11b Wi-Fi, IRDA 32 MB, 32 MB System Software MIPS R4000 at 1~333 MHz 4.3 in (110 mm) 16:9 TFT at 480 × 272, 16.77 million colors December 12, 2004 (Japan) 1.00 3.6 V DC 1800 mAh, Upgradeable to 2200 mAh Discontinued
PSP-2000 Piano Black PSP-2000 USB 2.0, UMD, Video Out, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo 802.11b Wi-Fi 64 MB, 64 MB System Software September 2007 3.60 3.6 V DC 1200 mAh, Upgradeable to 2200 mAh Discontinued
PSP-3000 Silver PSP-3000 USB 2.0, UMD, Video Out, Microphone, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo October 2008 4.20 Discontinued
(2012)
PSP Go (PSP-N1000) Piano Black PSPGo All in One Port, Headphone Jack, Mic, Memory Stick Micro (M2) 802.11b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR 64 MB, 16 GB User and System Software Shared 3.8 in (97 mm) 16:9 TFT at 480 × 272, 16.77 million colors, sliding screen October 2009 5.70 3.6 V DC Non Removable Battery Discontinued
(2011/2013)
PSP Street (PSP-E1000) PSP-E1000 USB 2.0, UMD, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo No 64 MB, 64 MB System Software [34] 4.3 in (110 mm) 16:9 TFT at 480 × 272, 16.77 million colors October 2011 6.50 Discontinued
(2014)

Region codes[edit]

PSP region codes
Codes Country
PSP-x000 Japan
PSP-x001 North America
PSP-x002 Australia / New Zealand
PSP-x003 United Kingdom
PSP-x004 Europe / India
PSP-x005 Korea
PSP-x006 Hong Kong / Singapore / Malaysia
PSP-x007 Taiwan
PSP-x008 CIS
PSP-x009 Mainland China
PSP-x010 Central / South America

In addition to series code (PSP-1000, PSP-2000, etc.), models are distinguished by sub-codes which designate the region. PSP game discs are region-free, but most movie discs have region encoding and so will only work on the appropriate model.[35]

Redesigns[edit]

PSP-2000[edit]

PSP-2000

The PSP-2000 (marketed in PAL areas as "PSP Slim & Lite")[36] is the first redesign of the PlayStation Portable.

At E3 2007, Sony released information about a slimmer and lighter version.[37] It was released on August 30 in Hong Kong, September 5 in Europe, September 6 in North America, September 7 in South Korea and September 12 in Australia.

The PSP-2000 system is 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the original PSP—reduced from 0.91 to 0.73 inches (23 to 18.6 mm) and from 9.87 to 6.66 ounces (280 to 189 g).[37][38] Internal changes to achieve this include the removal of a metal chassis which protected against fall damage.

The serial port was modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On the PSP-2000, games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode. (Non-game video outputs work in either progressive or interlaced mode.) USB charging was made possible, and the D-Pad was raised in response to complaints of poor performance,[39][40] while buttons offer improved responsiveness.[41]

A new simpler and more compact UMD loading tray design was developed, in which the tray swivels out instead of opening up completely, while the Wi-Fi switch was moved to the top of the device. To address many consumer complaints about the Memory Stick door breaking off the old PSP, it was relocated and redesigned. The speakers were repositioned on the front of the PSP near the top of the screen. The infra-red port was removed because it offered no use to the original PSP generation other than in homebrew applications. The analog stick was redesigned to be more flexible and is not removable without opening the PSP. The air vent at the top of the original was also removed.

Other changes include improved WLAN modules and micro-controller, and a thinner[42] and much brighter LCD. To improve the original PSP's poor load times of UMD games,[43] the internal memory (RAM and Flash ROM) was doubled from 32 MB to 64 MB, with a part of it now acting as a cache, also improving the web browser's performance.[44]

PSP-3000[edit]

In comparison to the PSP-2000, the 3000 (marketed in PAL areas as "PSP Slim & Lite" or "PSP Brite") has an improved LCD screen featuring an increased color range, five times the contrast ratio, half the pixel response time, new sub-pixel structure, and anti-reflective technology to reduce outdoor glare. The disc tray, logos and buttons were all redesigned and the system now has a microphone. In addition, all games may now be output by component or composite using the video-out cable.[45] Some outlets called this "a minor upgrade".[46]

The PSP-3000 was released on October 14, 2008, in North America, October 16 in Japan, October 17 in Europe,[47][48] October 23 in Australia.[49] In its first four days on sale in Japan, the PSP-3000 sold 141,270 units, according to Famitsu.[50] It sold 267,000 units throughout October.[51]

On release, an issue with interlacing was noticed on the PSP-3000 screen when objects were in motion.[52] Sony announced that it would not be fixed:[53]

On some occasions, scan lines may appear on scenes where brightness changes drastically, due to the hardware features of the new LCD device on PSP-3000. Installed with this new LCD device, PSP-3000 offers more natural and vibrant colors on its screen, but the scan lines have come out to be more visible as a result of improving response time to alleviate the afterimages on PSP-3000. Since this is due to hardware specification, there are no plans for a system software update concerning this issue.

PSP Go (N1000)[edit]

Logo for PSP Go

The PSP Go (model PSP-N1000)[54][55][56] was released on October 1, 2009, in North American and European territories,[57] and on November 1 in Japan. It was revealed prior to E3 2009 through Sony's Qore VOD service.[58] Its design is significantly different from other PSPs.[55]

The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000,[55] and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000.[59] Its rechargeable battery is not intended to be removable by the user.[60] It has a 3.8-inch (97 mm) 480 × 272 pixel LCD screen[61][62] The screen slides up to reveal the main controls. The overall shape and sliding mechanism are similar to that of Sony's mylo COM-2 Internet device.[63]

Front view of a closed PSP Go

The PSP Go features 802.11b Wi-Fi like its predecessors, but replaced its USB port with a proprietary connector. A compatible cable that connects to other devices' USB ports is included with the unit. The new multi-use connector allows for video and sound output with the same connector (using an optional composite or component AV cable). Sony also offers a cradle (PSP-N340)[54] for charging, video out and USB data transfer on the PSP Go, similar to previous offerings. The PSP Go adds support for Bluetooth connectivity, which enables playing games using a Sixaxis or DualShock 3 PlayStation 3 controller. The use of the cradle along with the controller allow players to use the PSP Go as a portable device and as a console, although the output is not upscaled. PlayStation 1 games can be played in full screen using the AV/component cable or [54] cradle.

The PSP Go lacks a UMD drive, but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory.[56] (This can be extended by up to 32 GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2).) Games must be downloaded from the PlayStation Store; a demo version of Patapon 2 comes loaded onto the system. The removal of the UMD drive effectively region-locks the unit due because it must be linked to a single region-locked PlayStation Network account. The PSP Go can directly download to itself, or users can also download then transfer games from a PlayStation 3 or the Windows-based Media Go software.

All downloadable PSP and PlayStation games available for older PSP models are compatible with the PSP Go. Sony confirmed that almost all UMD-based PSP games released after October 1, 2009, would be available for download,[64][65] and that a majority of older UMD-only games would also be downloadable.[66]

Reviews of the PSP Go were mixed. It was mainly criticized for its initial pricing, with Ars Technica calling it "way too expensive" and The Guardian stating that cost was the "biggest issue" facing the machine.[67][68] Engadget pointed out that the Go cost only $50 less than the PlayStation 3, which has a Blu-ray player.[69] Wired pointed out that the older PSP-3000 model was cheaper, while supporting UMDs, and IGN stated that the price increase made it a "hard sell".[70][71] The placement of the analog stick next to the D-pad has also been criticized.[67][71][72] Reviewers also commented on the change from a mini-USB port to a proprietary port, making hardware and cables bought for previous models incompatible.[69][73] The Go's screen was positively received by Ars Technica calling the image "brilliant, sharp and clear"; T3 stated that "pictures and videos look great".[67][74] The controls received mixed reviews, with The Times describing them as "instantly familiar" whereas CNET and Stuff called the position of the analog stick "awkward".[73][75][76] The ability to use a PS3 controller was praised by The New Zealand Herald, but Ars Technica criticized the need to connect the controller and Go to a PS3 for initial setup.[67][77]

In February 2010, it was reported that Sony might re-launch the PSP Go due to the lack of consumer interest and poor sales.[78][79] Sony began bundling it with 10 free downloadable games in June 2010; the same offer was made available in Australia in July. Three free games were offered for the PSP Go in America.[80][81][82][83][84] Sony announced a price drop for the PSP Go in October 2010.[85][86][87]

On April 20, 2011, the manufacturer announced that the PSP Go would be discontinued outside of North America so that it could concentrate on the PlayStation Vita.[88][89][90][91]

PSP Street (E1000)[edit]

PSP-E1000

Announced at Gamescom 2011, the PSP-E1000 is a budget-focused model released across the PAL region on October 26 of that year.[92] The E1000 does not feature Wi-Fi capability and has a matte charcoal black finish similar to the slim PlayStation 3.[92] Also, it only features a mono speaker instead of the previous models' stereo speakers and lacks a microphone.[93] An ice white version was released in PAL territories on July 20, 2012.[94]

Battery[edit]

Two different battery size standards

To make the unit slimmer, the capacity of the battery was reduced from 1800 mAh to 1200 mAh in the PSP-2000 and 3000 models. However, due to more efficient power use, the expected play time is the same. The old high-capacity batteries work on the newer models, for increased playing time, though the battery cover will not fit. The batteries take about 1.5 hours to charge and last roughly 4.5–7 hours depending on factors such as screen brightness settings, WLAN and volume levels.[95]

In March 2008 Sony released the Extended Life Battery Kit in Japan, which includes a bulkier 2200 mAh battery with a fitting cover. In Japan the kit was sold with a specific cover color matching the many PSP variations available;[96] the North American kit released in December 2008 came with two new covers, one black and one silver.[97]

Bundles and colors[edit]

The PSP was sold in four main configurations[clarification needed] that differed in which accessories are included. The Base Pack (called the Core Pack in North America[98]) contained the console, a battery and an AC adapter.[99] This version was available at launch in Japan[20] and released later in North America and Europe.[100]

Many limited editions of the PSP were bundled with accessories, games, or movies.[101][102] Limited-edition models began being released in Japan on September 12, 2007;[103] North America and Europe on September 5;[104] Australia on September 12, and the UK on October 26. The PSP-2000 was made available in piano back, ceramic white,[105] ice silver,[106] mint green, felicia blue, lavender purple, deep red, matte bronze,[107] metallic blue and rose pink as standard colors, and had several special-edition-colored and finished consoles for games including Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (ice silver engraved), Star Ocean: First Departure (felicia blue engraved), Gundam (red gloss/matte black), and Monster Hunter Freedom (gold silkscreened) in Japan,[108] Star Wars (Darth Vader silkscreened)[109] and God of War: Chains of Olympus (Kratos silkscreened) in North America, The Simpsons (bright yellow with white buttons, analog and disc tray) in Australia and New Zealand,[107] and Spider-Man (red gloss/matte black) in Europe.

The PSP-3000 was made available in piano black, pearl white, mystic silver, radiant red, vibrant blue, spirited green, blossom pink, turquoise green and lilac purple. The limited edition "Big Boss Pack" of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker came in a camouflage pattern while the God of War: Ghost of Sparta bundle pack included a black-and-red two-toned PSP.[110] The Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Cosmos & Chaos edition, released March 3, 2011, has an Amano artwork as the PSP's face plate.[111]

Peripherals[edit]

Official accessories for the console include an AC adapter, car adapter, headset, headphones with remote control, extended-life 2200 mAh battery, battery charger, carrying case, accessories pouch and cleaning cloth, and system pouch and wrist strap.[112]

A 1seg TV tuner peripheral (model PSP-S310), designed specifically for the PSP-2000, was released in Japan on September 20, 2007.[113]

Component cable, which allows PSP-2000 and 3000 models to output analog stereo audio and analog component (YPBPR) video

Sony sold a GPS Accessory for the PSP-2000, which was released first in Japan and announced for the United States in 2008. It features maps on a UMD, and offers driving directions and city guides.[114]

In the years following[when?] the discontinuation of PSP, the Chinese electronics company Lenkeng released a PSP to HDMI converter called the LKV-8000.[115][116] The device is compatible with the PSP-2000, PSP-3000 and PSP Go (with adapter).[117] To overcome the problems of PSP games being displayed in a small window surrounded by a black border, the LKV-8000 featured a zoom button on the connector itself. A few other Chinese companies have released clones of this upscaler under different names, like the Pyle PSPHD42.[118] The LKV-8000 and its variants have become popular among players and reviewers as the only means of playing and recording PSP gameplay in full screen.[119][120]

Hardware[edit]

A PSP-1000: the shoulder buttons are on top, the directional pad on the left with the analog "nub" directly below it, the PlayStation face buttons on the right and a row of secondary buttons below the screen.

The PlayStation Portable uses the common "slab" or "candybar" form factor. The original measures approximately 6.7 by 2.9 by 0.9 inches (170 by 74 by 23 mm), and weighs 9.9 ounces (280 g). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 4.3-inch (110 mm) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, notably outperforming the Nintendo DS. Also on the front are the four PlayStation face buttons (Triangle, Circle, X, Square), the directional pad, the analog "nub", and several other buttons. In addition, the system includes two shoulder buttons and a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console and a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom. The back of the PSP features a read-only UMD drive for movies and games, and a reader compatible with Sony's Memory Stick Duo flash cards is located on the left of the system. Other features include an IrDA-compatible infrared port and a two-pin docking connector (discontinued in PSP-2000 and later), built-in stereo speakers and headphone port, and IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi for access to the Internet, ad-hoc multiplayer gaming, and data transfer.[121]

The PSP uses one 333 MHz MIPS32 R4000-based CPU, a GPU with 2 MB onboard VRAM running at 166 MHz, and includes 32 MB main RAM and 4 MB embedded DRAM in total.[121] The hardware was originally forced to run more slowly than it was capable of and most games ran at 222 MHz.[122] However, with firmware update 3.50 on May 31, 2007, Sony removed this limit and allowed new games to run at a full 333 MHz.[123]

The PSP is powered by an 1800 mAh battery (1200 mAh on the 2000 and 3000 models) that will provide about 4–6 hours of gameplay, 4–5 hours of video playback, or 8–11 hours of audio playback.[16][124]

Software[edit]

System Software[edit]

The PSP runs a custom operating system referred to as the System Software, which can be updated over the Internet or by loading an update from a Memory Stick or UMD.[125] The software cannot be downgraded.

While System Software updates can be used with consoles from any region,[126][127] Sony recommends only downloading updates released for the model's region. System Software updates have added features including a web browser; Adobe Flash support; additional codecs for images, audio and video; PlayStation 3 connectivity; and patches against security exploits, vulnerabilities and execution of homebrew programs.[125] The most recent version is 6.61, released on January 15, 2015.

Web browser[edit]

Web browser on a PSP-1000

The PSP Internet Browser is a version of the NetFront browser and came with the system via an update.[128] The browser supports most common web technologies, such as HTTP cookies, forms, CSS and basic JavaScript.[129] It features limited tabbed browsing, with a maximum of three tabs.[130]

Remote Play[edit]

Remote Play allows the PSP to access many features of a PlayStation 3 console from a remote location using the PS3's WLAN capabilities, a home network, or the Internet.[131] Features that can be used with Remote Play include viewing photos, listening to music and watching videos stored on the PS3 or connected USB devices.[132] Additionally, Remote Play allows the PS3 to be turned on and off remotely and lets PSP to control audio playback from the PS3 to a home theater system.[133][134] Although most of the PS3's capabilities are accessible with Remote Play, playback of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, PlayStation 2 games, most PlayStation 3 games and copy-protected files stored on the hard drive are not supported.[132]

VoIP access[edit]

Starting with system software version 3.90, the PSP-2000, 3000 and Go can use the Skype VoIP service. Due to hardware constraints it is not possible to use the service on the PSP-1000. The service allows Skype calls to be made over Wi-Fi and, on the Go, over the Bluetooth modem. Users must purchase Skype credit in order to make telephone calls.[135]

Room for PlayStation Portable[edit]

A screenshot of Room

It was announced at Tokyo Game Show 2009 that a similar service to PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, was being developed for the PSP.[136] Named "Room" (stylized R∞M), it was being beta tested in Japan from October 2009 to April 2010. It was able to be launched directly from the PlayStation Network section of the XMB. Just like in Home, PSP owners would have been able to invite other PSP owners into their rooms to "enjoy real time communication".[137][138] Development of Room halted on April 15, 2010, due to feedback from the community.[139]

Digital Comics Reader[edit]

Sony partnered with publishers such as Rebellion Developments, Disney, IDW Publishing, Insomnia, iVerse, Marvel and Titan to release digitized comics on the PlayStation Store.[140][141] The Digital Comics Reader application required PSP firmware 6.20.[142]

The PlayStation Store's "Comic" section premiered in Japan on December 10, 2009, with licensed publishers ASCII Media Works, Enterbrain, Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Square-Enix, Softbank Creative (HQ Comics), Hakusensha, Bandai Visual, Fujimishobo, Futabasha and Bunkasha.[143] It launched in the United States and English-speaking PAL countries on December 16, 2009, though the first issues of Aleister Arcane, Astro Boy: Movie Adaptation, Star Trek: Enterprise Experiment and Transformers: All Hail Megatron were made available as early as November 20 through limited-time PlayStation Network redeem codes.[144] In early 2010 the application expanded to the German, French, Spanish and Italian languages.[145] The choice of regional Comic Reader software is dictated by the PSP's firmware region, thus the Japanese Comic Reader will not display comics purchased from the European store, and vice versa.

Sony shut down the Digital Comics service in September 2012.[146]

Games[edit]

Demos for commercial PSP games could be downloaded and booted directly from a Memory Stick.[147] Demos were also sometimes issued in UMD format and mailed out or given to customers at retail outlets.[148]

In addition, several older PlayStation games were rereleased and can be played on the PSP via emulation. Currently, the only official ways to access this feature are through the PlayStation Network service for PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation Vita (or PlayStation TV), or a PC.[149]

A section of the PlayStation Store is dedicated to "Minis": smaller, cheaper games available as download only.

During E3 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that the Greatest Hits range of budget titles were to be extended to the PSP system.[150] On July 25, 2006, Sony CEA released the first batch of Greatest Hits titles.[151] The PSP Greatest Hits lineup consist of games that have sold 250,000 copies or more and have been out for nine months.[152] PSP games in this lineup retail for $19.99 each.[151]

Downloadable games were limited to 1.8 GB, most likely to guarantee a potential UMD release.[153]

Emulation of the PSP is well-developed. PPSSPP is currently the fastest and most compatible PSP emulator; it supports all major games.[154] JPCSP was one of the earliest PSP emulators, it ran on Java.[155]

There were 1370 games released for the PSP over its 11 year life span. The best selling PSP game is Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, which sold 7.6 million copies as of Oct 2015.[156] Other top selling PSP games include Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories,[157] Monster Hunter Portable 3rd,[158]Gran Turismo,[159] and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.[158] Retro City Rampage DX, which was released in July 2016, was the final PSP game that was released.

Homebrew development and custom firmware[edit]

PSP-Homebrew

On June 15, 2005, hackers disassembled the code of the PSP and distributed it online.[160] Initially the modified PSP allowed users to run custom code and a limited amount of protected software. These included custom-made PSP applications such as a calculator or file manager.[161] Sony responded to this by repeatedly upgrading the software.

Over time people were able to unlock the firmware and allow users to run more custom content and DRM-restricted software. One of the ways hackers were able to run protected software on the PSP was through the creation of ISO loaders which could load copies of UMD games from the memory stick.[162] Custom firmware is also commonly seen in the PSP systems; the most famous ones[clarification needed] include the M33 Custom Firmware, Minimum Edition (ME/LME) CFW and the PRO CFWl.[163]

Reception and sales[edit]

PSP and DS

The PSP received generally positive reviews soon after launch and most reviewers cited similar strengths and weaknesses. CNET awarded the system an 8.5 out of 10 and praised the console's powerful hardware and its multimedia capabilities while lamenting the lack of a a guard over the screen or over the reading surface of UMD cartridges.[164] Engadget applauded the console's design, stating that "it is definitely one well-designed, slick little handheld".[165] PC World commended Sony's decision to include built-in Wi-Fi capability, but criticized the lack of a web browser at launch and the glare and smudges that resulted from the console's shiny exterior.[166] Most reviewers also praised the console's large and bright viewing screen and its audio and video playback capabilities. In 2008, Time listed the PSP as a "gotta have travel gadget", citing the console's movie selection, telecommunications capability and upcoming GPS functionality.[167]

The PlayStation Portable was initially seen as superior to the Nintendo DS when they first were revealed in early 2004, due to the designers' emphasis on the technical feats of the system. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fil-Aime however focused on the experience aspect of the Nintendo DS.[168] The DS started to pull ahead of the PSP early on due to drawing more third-party developers. The DS sold better in part due the touchscreen, second display and wireless elements.[169]

Region Units sold First available
Japan 19 million (as of April 28, 2013) December 12, 2004
United States 17 million (as of March 14, 2010)[170] March 24, 2005
Europe 12 million (as of May 6, 2008)[171] September 1, 2005
United Kingdom 3.2 million (as of January 3, 2009)[172] September 1, 2005
Worldwide 76.3 million (as of March 31, 2012)[173][174]

By March 31, 2007, the PlayStation Portable had shipped 25.39 million units worldwide with 6.92 million in Asia, 9.58 million in North America, and 8.89 million Europe.[175] In Europe, the PSP sold 4 million units in 2006 and 3.1 million in 2007 according to estimates by Electronic Arts.[176][177] In 2007, the PSP sold 3.82 million units in the US according to the NPD Group[178][179] and 3,022,659 in Japan according to Enterbrain.[180][181][182] In 2008, the PSP sold 3,543,171 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.[183][184]

In the United States, the PSP has sold 10.47 million units as of January 1, 2008, according to the NPD Group.[170][185][186] In Japan, during the week of March 24–30, 2008, the PSP nearly outsold all the other game consoles combined—with 129,986 units sold, some of which were bundled with Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G,[187] which was the bestselling game in that week, according to Media Create.[188] As of December 28, 2008, the PSP has sold 11,078,484 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.[182][184] In Europe, the PSP has sold 12 million units as of May 6, 2008, according to SCE Europe.[171] In the United Kingdom, the PSP has sold 3.2 million units as of January 3, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.[172]

From 2006 through the third quarter of 2010, PSPs sold a total of 53 million units.[189] In a 2009 interview, Peter Dillon, the senior vice president of marketing at Sony, said that piracy of videogames was leading to lower sales than hoped.[190]

Despite being aimed at a different audience,[191] the PSP competed directly with the Nintendo DS. Over the last few years of its life cycle, sales for the PSPs started to decrease.[192] The PSP sold 80 million fewer units than the Nintendo DS.[193]

Controversial advertising campaigns[edit]

Sony admitted in late 2005 to hiring graffiti artists to spray paint advertisements for the PSP in seven major U.S. cities including New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Francisco. According to Sony, it was paying businesses and building owners for the right to spraypaint their walls.[194]

A year later, Sony ran a poster campaign in England. One of the poster designs with the slogan "Take a running jump here" was removed from a Manchester Piccadilly station tram platform due to concerns that it might encourage suicide.[195]

Later in 2006, news spread of a billboard advertisement released in the Netherlands which depicted a white woman holding a black woman by the jaw, saying "PlayStation Portable White is coming." Two similar advertisements existed, one had the two women facing each other on equal footing in fighting stances, while the other had the black woman in a dominant position on top of the white woman. Sony's stated purpose was to contrast the white and black versions of the PSP, but the ads were interpreted as racially charged. These ads were never released in the rest of the world, and were pulled from the Netherlands after the controversy.[196] The advertisement gathered international press coverage. Engadget noted that Sony may have hoped to "capitalize on a PR firestorm".[197]

Sony came under scrutiny online in December 2006 for a guerrilla marketing campaign, with advertisers masquerading as young bloggers who desperately wanted a PSP. The site was created by advertising firm Zipatoni.[198]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: Pureisutēshon Pōtaburu (プレイステーション・ポータブル)

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