PlayStation Portable, PSP

The PSP is a handheld game console that is manufactured by Sony and was unveiled on May 11, 2004. It was released on December 12, 2004 in Japan, and March 24, 2005, in North America. In early September 2007 the slimmer and lighter PSP-2000 was released. It was replaced later with the PSP-3000, and then redesigned into the PSP Go, which sold along with the PSP-3000. In 2011 a low priced version was released the PSP-E1000. In December 2011 the PlayStation Vita was released in Japan and February 2012 in North America, Europe, and Australia. This unit is the successor to the PSP.

Over 200,000 PSPs were sold on the first day of release and as of March 31, 2012; 76.3 million units have been sold worldwide.

All models of the PSP have a 4.3 inch LCD screen (PSP Go 3.8 inch) a 333 Mhz CPU, and 64 MB of RAM (32 in PSP-1000). The PSP-1000 has 32 MB internal storage, the PSP-2000, PSP-3000, and PSP E1000 have 64 MB, and the PSP Go has 16 GB. All models have a 2.0 USB port (all in one port on the PSP Go), headphone jack, and a Memory Stick Pro Duo 128 MB memory card. The PSP-1000 has a serial port, the PSP-2000 and PSP-3000 have a video out and mic port. All models are Wi-Fi capable (except the PSP-E1000), and the PSP Go also has Bluetooth.

The battery life of the PSP unit is 4.5 to 7 hours of play time depending on the settings used.

The PSP uses the PlayStation Network for online use. The bestselling game as of May 2011 is Monster Hunter Portable Third, which has sold more than 4.6 million copies.

The PSP unit was sold with a base pack which included the console, a battery, and an AC adapter. A value pack was available that included the base pack plus a 32 MB memory card, headphones with remote control, a carrying pouch, and a wrist strap. Some variations of the value pack included games or movies.

The PSP-2000 can only use external monitors or TVs while in progressive scan mode, so a TV that does not support progressive scanning will not display PSP games.

Since the PSP’s launch there have been many updates that can be downloaded over the internet from the PlayStation website onto the PSP or onto a PC then transferred onto the PSP. These updates are recommended by Sony to be downloaded from the region where the unit was purchased.

The PSP’s browser is a version of NetFront 2.00 in the original PSP; it has since been updated to version 2.70. This browser has parental controls to filter content and limit access by a 4-digit pin.

A remote play feature allows the PSP to access features of the PlayStation 3 console. With this feature the user can view photos, listen to music, watch videos, and other features as well. It can turn the PS3 off and on remotely as well as control audio playback from the PS3 onto a home theater system. Features not supported remotely are DVD playback, Blu-ray disc play, PlayStation games, and copy-protected files on the PS3’s hard drive.

Skype can be used with the PSP-2000 and newer models over the Wi-Fi connection (using Bluetooth in the PSP Go). A service called Room was being tested where the user of the PSP can invite other users of a PSP into their room for real time communication. On April 15, 2010 the development was halted.

On December 16, 2009, the PlayStation Store added a section called “Comic”, where users are able to read digital comics; but as of December 31, 2012, the Digital Comics Server has been taken offline.

Image Caption: A US-released Sony PSP-1000 series handheld video game system. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia