The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console developed by Sony. Development of the console was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004. 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. It primarily competed with the Nintendo DS, as part of the seventh generation of video games.
The PlayStation Portable became the most powerful portable system when launched, just after the Nintendo DS in 2004. It was the first real competitor to Nintendo’s handheld domination, where many challengers, such as SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia’s N-Gage, failed. Its GPU encompassed high-end graphics on a handheld, while its 4.3 inch viewing screen and multi-media capabilities, such as its video player and TV tuner, made the PlayStation Portable a major mobile entertainment device at the time. It also features connectivity with the PlayStation 3, 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.
The original PSP model (PSP-1000) was replaced by a slimmer model with design changes (PSP-2000/”Slim & Lite”) in 2007. Another remodeling followed in 2008, PSP-3000, which included a new screen and an inbuilt microphone. A complete redesign, PSP Go, came in 2009, followed by a budget model, PSP-E1000, in 2011. 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 PlayStation Store. Shipments of the PlayStation Portable ended throughout 2014 worldwide, having sold 80 million units in its 10-year lifetime.
Sony first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2004. Although mock-ups of the system were not present at the press conference or E3, Sony did release extensive technical details regarding the new system. Then-CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Jose Villeta called the device the “Walkman of the 21st Century” in a reference to the console’s multimedia capabilities. Several gaming websites were impressed by the handheld’s computing capabilities and looked forward to the system’s potential as a gaming platform.
Nintendo had been dominating the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, with the only close competitor being Sega’s Game Gear (1990-1997), as well as Bandai’s WonderSwan (1999-2003) in Japan. Later offerings from both SNK and Nokia also failed to cut into Nintendo’s share. The PSP was called the “first legitimate competitor to Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld market” by an IDC analyst in 2004.
The first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2002 at the Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting and showed a PSP with flat buttons and no analog stick. Although some expressed concern over the lack of an analog joystick, these fears were allayed when the PSP was officially unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. In addition to announcing more details about the system and its accessories, Sony also released a list of 99 developer companies that had pledged support for the new handheld. Several PSP game demos, such as Konami’s Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool’s Wipeout Pure were also shown at the conference.
|Model||Image||Connectivity/storage||Wireless Connectivity||RAM and Internal Storage||CPU||Display||Original Release Date||Original System Software||Battery||In Production|
|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||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||5 V DC 1200 mAh, Upgradeable to 2200 mAh||Discontinued|
|PSP-3000||USB 2.0, UMD, Video Out, Microphone, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo||October 2008||4.20||Discontinued|
|PSP Go (PSP-N1000)||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||5 V DC Non Removable Battery||Discontinued|
|PSP-E1000||USB 2.0, UMD, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo||No||64 MB, 64 MB System Software ||4.3 in (110 mm) 16:9 TFT at 480 × 272, 16.77 million colors||October 2011||6.50||Discontinued|