PlayStation Portable
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PlayStation Portable

PlayStation Portable
PSP Logo.svg
Original Model PSP (PSP-1000)
Original model (PSP-1000) and logo 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 16,777,216  colors, 30:17 widescreen TFT LCD
PSP Go: 97 mm (3.8 in)
other models: 110 mm (4.3 in)
SoundStereo speakers, Mono speaker (PSP-E1000), microphone (PSP-3000, PSP Go), 3.5 mm headphone jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11b) (except PSP-E1000),[4]IrDA (PSP-1000), USB, Bluetooth (PSP Go)
Online servicesPlayStation Network
DimensionsPSP1000:
74 mm (2.9 in) (h)
170 mm (6.7 in) (w)
23 mm (0.91 in) (d)
PSP2000/3000:
71 mm (2.8 in) (h)
169 mm (6.7 in) (w)
19 mm (0.75 in) (d)
PSP Go:
69 mm (2.7 in) (h)
128 mm (5.0 in) (w)
16.5 mm (0.65 in) (d)
PSP E1000:
73 mm (2.9 in) (h)
172 mm (6.8 in) (w)
21.5 mm (0.85 in) (d)
WeightPSP1000:
280 grams (9.9 oz)
PSP2000/3000:
189 grams (6.7 oz)
PSP Go:
158 grams (5.6 oz)
PSP E1000:
223 grams (7.9 oz)
Best-selling gameGrand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (7.6 million) (as of Oct 2015)[5]
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 , 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004. The system was released in Japan on , 2004, in North America on , 2005, and in the PAL region on , 2005.

The PlayStation Portable became 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 during its lifespan. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan, and in February 2012 worldwide. The PlayStation 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 direct access to the PlayStation Store via PSP on March 31, 2016. Hardware ended worldwide throughout 2014, with the PSP having sold 80 million units in its 10-year lifetime. Production of software UMDs ended with the closure of the last Japanese factory in late 2016.

History

Sony Computer Entertainment first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2003.[6] Although mock-ups of the system were not presented,[6] Sony did release extensive technical details regarding the new system.[7] CEO Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st century" in a reference to the console's multimedia capabilities.[8] Several gaming websites were impressed by the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to its potential as a gaming platform.[9][6][10]

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.[11] In January 1999, Sony had released the briefly successful PocketStation in Japan as its first foray into the handheld gaming market.[12] The SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage also failed to cut into Nintendo's share.[13] The PSP was called the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market" by an IDC analyst in 2004.[14]

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.[15] Although some expressed concern over the lack of an analog stick,[16] these fears were allayed when the PSP was officially unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004.[17][18] Sony released a list of 99 developer companies that pledged support for the new handheld.[19] Several game demos, such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure, were also shown at the conference.[20]

Launch

On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP base model would launch in Japan on for [¥19,800 (about US$181 in 2004) while the Value System would launch for ¥24,800 (about US$226).[21] The launch was a success with over 200,000 units sold the first day.[22] 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 , in one configuration for an MSRP of US$249/CA$299.[23] Some expressed concern over the high price,[24] which was almost US$20 higher than the Japanese model and more than $100 higher than the Nintendo DS.[25] Despite the concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success.[26][27] Sony claimed that 500,000 units had been sold in the first two days,[28] though it was also reported that this was below expectations.[29]

The PSP was originally to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch,[18] but on , 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America.[30] The next month it announced that the PSP would launch in the PAL region on , for EUR249/£179.[31] 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.[32] 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[33] and nearly one million units sold across Europe in the first week.[34]

Models

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 [35] 4.3 in (110 mm) 16:9 TFT at 480 × 272, 16.77 million colors October 2011 6.50 Discontinued
(2014)

Region Codes

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

The PSP is primarily distinguished by the series code (PSP-1000, PSP-2000, etc.). There are sub-codes within this numbering system 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.[36]

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[37]) contains the console, a battery and an AC adapter.[38] This version was available at launch in Japan[21] and was later released in North America and Europe.[39] Many limited editions of the PSP that are bundled with accessories, games, or movies have also been released.[40][41]

Redesigns

PSP-2000

PSP-2000

The PSP-2000 (marketed in PAL areas as "PSP Slim & Lite")[42] is the first redesign of the PlayStation Portable.

At E3 2007, Sony released information about a slimmer and lighter version of the PlayStation Portable.[43] It was released on August 30 in Hong Kong, in Europe, in North America, in South Korea and in Australia. On , 2008, built-in Skype Wi-Fi Internet phone service was added via a firmware update.[44]

The PSP 2000 system is 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the original PSP -- reduced from 23 mm to 18.6 mm and from 280 grams (9.87 oz) to 189 grams (6.66 oz).[43][45] 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 (while rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On PSP-2000, games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode, so televisions incapable of supporting progressive scan will not display them. (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,[46][47] while buttons offer improved responsiveness. [48]

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 PSP. To address many consumer complaints about the Memory Stick door breaking off the old PSP, the Memory Stick door was relocated and redesigned. The speakers were repositioned on the front of the PSP near the top of its screen. The infra-red port was removed because it offered no use to the original PSP generation other than in homebrew applications. Its 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[49] and much brighter LCD. To cater for the original PSP generation's poor load times of UMD games,[50] 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, which also improved the web browser's performance.[51]

PSP-3000

In comparison to the PSP-2000, the PSP-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 to reduce ghosting and blurring effects, new sub-pixel structure, and anti-reflective technology to reduce outdoor glare. The disc tray, logos, and buttons have all been 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.[52] Some outlets called this "a minor upgrade".[53]

The PSP-3000 was released on October 14, 2008, in North America, in Japan, October 17 in Europe [54][55], in Australia8[56] In its first four days on sale in Japan , the PSP-3000 sold 141,270 units, according to Famitsu.[57] It sold 267,000 units throughout October.[58] Soon after its release, there were some issues with PSP-3000's horizontal scan lines.[59]

PSP Go (N1000)

Logo for PSP Go

The PSP Go (model PSP-N1000)[60][61][62] was released on October 1, 2009, in North American and European territories,[63] and on November 1 in Japan. It was revealed prior to E3 2009 through Sony's Qore VOD service.[64] Its design is significantly different from other PSPs.[61]

Unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go lacks a UMD drive, but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory to store games, video, pictures, and other media.[62] This can be extended by up to 32 GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2). Also unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go's rechargeable battery is not intended to be removable by the user.[65] The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000,[61] and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000.[66] It has a 3.8" 480 × 272 LCD screen[67] (compared to the larger 4.3" 480 × 272 pixel LCD on previous PSP models).[68] 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.[69]

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 port. A compatible cable that connects to others device's 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 an optional cradle (PSP-N340[70]) for charging, video out and USB data transfer on the PSP Go, similar to previous offerings. The PSP Go adds support for Bluetooth connectivity, enabling the use of compatible Bluetooth headsets and tethering with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. This also enables users to connect and play games using a Sixaxis or DualShock 3 PlayStation 3 controller or Bluetooth Headset. The use of the cradle PSP-N340 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 PSP-N340[70] cradle.

Because the PSP Go does not feature a UMD drive, games must be downloaded from the PlayStation Store. The PSP Go has the demo version of Patapon 2 loaded onto the system. The removal of the UMD drive effectively region locks the unit due to the way in which a PSP 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 Media Go software on Windows-based computers.

All downloadable PSP and PlayStation games available for older PSP models are compatible with the PSP Go. Sony confirmed at the time that almost all UMD-based PSP games released after October 1, 2009, would be available for download,[71][72] and a majority of older UMD-only games would also be downloadable at that time.[73]

Reviews of the PSP Go have been mixed. It was mainly criticized for its initial pricing, with Ars Technica calling it "way too expensive" and The Guardian stating that cost is the "biggest issue" facing the machine.[74][75]Engadget points out that the Go costs only $50 less than the PlayStation 3, which comes equipped with a Blu-ray player.[76]Wired points out that the older PSP 3000 model is cheaper, while supporting UMDs and IGN states that the price increase makes it a "hard sell".[77][78] The lack of support for UMDs and the inability to transfer games bought on UMD onto the Go and the placement of the analog stick next to the D-pad has also been criticized.[74][78][79] Reviewers also commented on how the change from a mini-USB port to a proprietary port means that hardware and cables bought for previous incarnations of the PSP are not compatible.[76][80] The Go's screen has been positively received with Ars Technica calling the image "brilliant, sharp and clear", T3 state that "pictures and videos look great".[74][81] The controls have received mixed reviews with The Times describing them as "instantly familiar" whereas CNET and Stuff call the position of the analog stick "awkward".[80][82][83] 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.[74][84]

In February 2010, it was suggested that Sony may re-launch the PSP Go due to the lack of consumer interest and poor sales.[85][86] Sony began selling the PSP 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.[87][88][89][90][91] Sony announced a price drop for the PSP Go in October 2010.[92][93][94]

On April 20, 2011, the manufacturer announced that the PSP Go would be discontinued so that it could concentrate on the PlayStation Vita.[95][96][97] Sony later said that only the European and Japanese versions were being cut, and that the console would still be available in the North American market until the time of its discontinuation of PSP and its production.[98]

PSP Street (E1000)

PSP-E1000

Announced at Gamescom 2011, the PSP-E1000 is a budget-focused model of the PSP which became available across the PAL region on October 26.[99] Unlike previous PSP models, the E1000 does not feature Wi-Fi capabilities and has a matte charcoal black finish similar to the slim PlayStation 3.[99] Also, it only features a mono speaker instead of the previous models' stereo speakers and does not feature a microphone.[100] An 'Ice White' version was later released across PAL territories on July 20, 2012.[101]

Battery

Two different battery size standards

To make the PSP 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 usage, 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.[102]

In March 2008 Sony released the PSP Extended Life Battery Kit in Japan, which includes a 2200 mAh battery with a battery cover that fits over the bulkier battery. In Japan the kit was sold with a specific cover color matching the many PSP variations available;[103] the North American kit released in December 2008 came with two new battery covers, one black and one silver.[104]

Colors and limited editions

Limited-edition models began being released in Japan on , 2007;[105] North America and Europe on ;[106] Australia on , and the UK on . The PSP-2000 was made available in Piano Black,[107] Ceramic White,[107] Ice Silver,[108] Mint Green, Felicia Blue,[109] Lavender Purple,[109] Deep Red, Matte Bronze,[109] 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,[110]Star Wars (Darth Vader silkscreened)[111] and God of War: Chains of Olympus (Kratos silkscreened) in North America, The Simpsons (bright yellow with white buttons, analog and UMD drawer)[109] PSP in Australia and New Zealand, 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 saw the release of a camouflage PSP while the God of War: Ghost of Sparta bundle pack included a black and red two-toned PSP.[112] March 3, 2011, saw the release of Dissidia 012 Duodecim Cosmos & Chaos PSP-3000 Limited Edition which has an Amano artwork as the PSP's face plate.[113]

Peripherals

TV tuner

A "1seg" TV tuner (model PSP-S310) peripheral, designed specifically for the PSP Slim & Lite model, was released in Japan on , 2007.[114]

Accessory port

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

Sony confirmed a GPS Accessory for the United States at Sony CES 2008. The GPS was retailed for the new Slim PSP models. It features maps on a UMD, and offer driving directions and city guide.[115]

In the years following the discontinuation of PSP, the Chinese electronics company Lenkeng released a PSP to HDMI converter called the LKV-8000.[116][117] The device is compatible with the PSP-2000, PSP-3000 and PSP Go, but the AV cable packaged with it requires an adapter to plug into the PSP Go's port.[118] Lenkeng also released a variant of the LKV-8000 with a button allowing the user to toggle between 720p and 1080p.[119] 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.[120] 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.[121][122]

Hardware

A black 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, measures approximately 17 × 7.3 × 2.2 cm (6.7 × 2.9 × 0.9 in), and weighs 280 g (9.88 oz). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 11 cm (4.3 in) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, notably outperforming the Nintendo DS. lso 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 series), 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.[123]

Parts of the PSP-1000 and PSP-2000 at the Tokyo Game Show, 2009

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.[123] The hardware was originally forced to run more slowly than it was capable of and most games ran at 222 MHz.[124] 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.[125]

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.[17][126] 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.[127]

PSP-3000 issues

On release, an issue with interlacing was noticed on the PSP-3000 screen when objects were in motion.[128] Sony announced that it would not be releasing a software update to address the issue:[129]

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.

Software

System Software

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 Memory Stick or UMD. name="SYSupdate">"PSP Update History | System Updates | Support - PlayStation.com". Sony Computer Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved 2010.</ref> However, the version cannot be downgraded.

While System Software updates can be used with consoles from any region,[130][131] Sony recommends only downloading updates released for the region corresponding to the system's place of purchase.[132] System Software updates have added various features including a web browser;[132]Adobe Flash support;[132] additional codecs for images, audio and video;[132]PlayStation 3 connectivity;[132] and patches against several security exploits, vulnerabilities and execution of homebrew programs.[132] The most recent version is 6.61, released on January 15, 2015.

Web browser

Web browser on a PSP-1000

The PSP Internet Browser is a version of the NetFront browser made by Access Co. Ltd. and came with the system via an update.[133] The browser supports most common web technologies, such as HTTP cookies, forms, CSS, as well as basic JavaScript capabilities.[134]

The browser also has limited tabbed browsing, with a maximum of three tabs. When a website tries to open a link in a new window, the browser opens it in a new tab.[135]

Remote Play

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.[136] Features that can be used with Remote Play include viewing photos and slideshows, listening to music, watching videos stored on the PS3's HDD or on connected USB devices, and several other features.[137] Additionally, Remote Play allows the PS3 to be turned on and off remotely and allows the PSP to control audio playback from the PS3 to a home theater system without having to use a television.[138][139] 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 PS3's hard drive are not supported.[137]

VoIP access

Starting with system software version 3.90, PSP-2000, PSP-3000 and PSP-N1000 can use the Skype VoIP service. The PSP-2000 requires a headset for this feature while the microphone is built into the PSP-3000 and PSP-N1000. Due to hardware constraints, it is not possible to use the VoIP service on PSP-1000.[44] The service allows Skype calls to be made over Wi-Fi and on the PSP Go over the Bluetooth Modem feature. Users must purchase Skype credit in order to make calls to non-Skype devices such as a landline or mobile phone.

Room for PlayStation Portable

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.[140] 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".[141][142] Development of Room halted on , 2010, due to feedback from the community.[143]

Digital Comics Reader

Sony partnered with publishers such as Rebellion Developments, Disney, IDW Publishing, Insomnia, iVerse, Marvel and Titan to release digitized comics on the PlayStation Store.[144][145] This application required PSP firmware 6.20. The Digital Comics Reader application was available on the PlayStation Comics official website.[146]

The PlayStation Store's "Comic" section launched in the United States and English speaking PAL regions (United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) on , 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 through limited-time PlayStation Network redeem codes.[147] The service premiered in Japan on , 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.[148] In early 2010 the application expanded to German, French, Spanish and Italian languages with Digital Comics available in the respective European countries.[149]

The choice of regional Comic Reader software is dictated by the PSP's firmware region, and cannot be chosen. The Japanese Comic Reader will not display comics purchased from the European store, and vice versa. So although a Japanese PSP can log into the European PlayStation Store and purchase and display videos and games bought there, any comics purchased cannot be displayed.

In September 2012 Sony shut down the Digital Comics service, making the app no longer available for download.[150]

Games

Demos for commercial PSP games can be downloaded and booted directly from a Memory Stick.[151] Demos are also sometimes issued in UMD format and mailed out or given to customers at various retail outlets as promotional content.[152]

In addition to playing PSP games, several older PlayStation games have been rereleased and can be downloaded and 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.[153]

A section of the PlayStation Store is available to all PS3 and PSP owners. A variety of developers contribute to the creation of "Minis". These games are smaller, cheaper and are available as download only. These games are available in the "minis" section of the PlayStation Store.

During E3 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that the Greatest Hits range of budget titles were to be extended to the PSP system.[154] On , 2006, Sony CEA released the first batch of Greatest Hits titles.[155] The PSP Greatest Hits lineup consist of games that have sold 250,000 copies or more and have been out for nine months.[156] PSP games in this lineup retail for $19.99 each.[155]

Sony has said downloadable games will still be limited to 1.8 GB, most likely to guarantee a potential UMD release.[157]

Emulation of the PSP is well-developed. PPSSPP, which is currently the fastest and most compatible PSP emulator. TKJ 2 Vulkan support has been added to this existing emulator that makes possible to run PSP games at their native framerate. All major games are supported with PPSSPP.[158] JPCSP was one of the earliest PlayStation Portable emulators; it ran on Java but had a few issues.[159]

Homebrew development and custom firmware

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 more protected 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

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 screen guard or a guard 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 Nintendo DS started to pull ahead of PlayStation Portable early on due to more third-party developers coming over to the DS than to PSP.[169] The DS sold better in part due to elements like a touchscreen, a second display and wireless elements which the PSP didn't have at launch.[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 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 -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 , 2008, the PSP has sold 11,078,484 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.[182][184] In Europe, the PSP has sold units as of , 2008, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.[171] In the United Kingdom, the PSP has sold units as of , 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.[172]

From 2006 through the third quarter of 2010, PSPs have 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 different audiences,[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 less units than the Nintendo DS.[193]

Controversial advertising campaigns

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 other similar advertisements also 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. The stated purpose of the advertisements was to contrast the white and black versions of its game console available for sale, but it was interpreted as racially charged. These ads were never released in the rest of the world, and were pulled from the Netherlands after the controversy was raised.[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 hoping to go viral, for the console, with advertisers masquerading as young bloggers who desperately wanted a PSP. The site was registered to and created by the St. Louis, Missouri, advertising firm Zipatoni on behalf of Sony before it was taken down.[198]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In Japanese: Pureisut?shon P?taburu ()

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