The PlayStation Portable (officially abbreviated PSP) is a Handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment Development of the console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2003 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.
The PlayStation Portable is the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage medium. Other distinguishing features of the console include its large viewing screen, robust multi-media capabilities and connectivity with the PlayStation 3, other PSPs, and the Internet.
sales of the PSP have (with cyclical exceptions) lagged behind its main competitor, the Nintendo DS. Nevertheless, the console is "the most successful non-Nintendo handheld game system ever sold After the release of a remodeled, slimmer, and lighter version of the PlayStation Portable, titled Slim & Lite, in early September 2007, sales quadrupled in the United Kingdom the following week and increased by nearly 200% in North America for the month of October. The Slim & Lite had a minor redesign including a new screen and inbuilt microphone, and has since been followed by the PSP Go.
Sony first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2003. 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 Ken Kutaragi 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
The first concept images of the PlayStation Portable appeared in November 2000 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 handhel Several PSP game demos, such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure were also shown at the conference.
Main article: PlayStation Portable launchOn October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP would launch in Japan on December 12, 2004 at a price of ¥19,800 (about US$181 in 2004) for the base model and ¥24,800 (about US$226 in 2004) for the Value System. The console's launch was a success with over 200,000 units sold the first day. They also sell different color variations 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, 2005 in one configuration for a MSRP of US$249/CA$299 Some expressed concern over the high price, which was almost US$20 higher than the system's price in Japan and more than $100 higher than the recently launched Nintendo DS. Despite the concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success, although reports two weeks later indicated that the system was not selling as well as expected despite Sony's claim that 500,000 units had been sold in the first two days.
The PSP was originally to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch, 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. A month later, on April 25, 2005, Sony announced that the PSP would launch in the PAL region on September 1, 2005 for €249/£179. Sony defended the high price, which was nearly US$100 higher than in North America, by pointing out that North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the GST was higher in the UK than the US. Despite the high price, the console's PAL region launch was a resounding success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK alone, selling out of all stock nation wide in the UK within 3 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 and nearly one million units sold across Europe in the first week.
Media Engine Co-Processor:
Integrated or Support Chips:
- Note: flash2 and flash3 are likely used during game-save & photo transfers as well as during POPS PS1 emulation.
|Series||Image||Connection||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||32MB, 32MB System Software||MIPS R4000 at 1~333Mhz||4.3" 16:9 Color TFT at 480 x 272||December 12, 2004 (Japan)||1.00||5v DC 1800mAh, Upgradeable to 2200mAh||No|
|PSP-2000||||USB 2.0, UMD, Video Out and Mic Port, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo||802.11b Wi-Fi||64MB, 64MB System Software||September, 2007||3.60||5v DC 1200mAh, Upgradeable to 2200mAh||No|
|PSP-3000||||USB 2.0, UMD, Video Out, Microphone, Headphone Jack, Memory Stick PRO Duo||October, 2007||4.20||Yes|
|PSP Go||||All in One Port, Headphone Jack, Mic, Memory Stick Micro||802.11b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR||64MB, 16GB User and System Software Shared||3.8" 16:9 Color TFT at 480 x 272 Sliding Screen||October, 2009||5.70||5v DC Non Removable Battery||Yes|
|Country||Release price||Release date|
|Australia||AU$349.95||September 1, 2005|
|Europe||€199,99||September 1, 2005|
|India||INR19,990||September 1, 2005|
|United Kingdom||£179.99||September 1, 2005|
|Canada||CA$229.99||March 22, 2006|
|United States||US$199.99||March 22, 2006|
|Chile||CLP$169,990||April 4, 2008|
The PSP is sold in two main configurations that differ in which accessories are included. The basic unit package or Base Pack (called the Core Pack in North America) contains the console, a battery, and an AC adapter. This version was available at launch in Japan and was later released in North America and Europe. The Core Pack currently retails for CA$/US$169.99, ¥19,800, HK$1,280 or $1,360 (depending on the color), S$280, AU$279.95, NZ$299.95, €169.99, and £129.99.
The Value Pack includes everything in the Base Pack as well as a 32 MB Memory Stick Pro Duo, headphones with remote control, a carrying pouch, and a wrist strap. Some regions have modified versions of this pack that include different accessories. The Value Pack retails for US$199.99, ¥23,800, HK$1660, AU$399.99, and NZ$449.95.
At E3 2007, Sony released information about a slimmer and lighter version of the PlayStation Portable. The new PSP is 33% lighter and 19% slimmer than the original PSP system. The model numbers have changed to PSP-2000, following the previous region-based numbering scheme (cf. the PSP-1000 numbering scheme of the "old" PSP model).
It was released on August 30, 2007 in Hong Kong, on September 5, 2007 in Europe, on September 6, 2007 in North America, September 7, 2007 in South Korea and September 12, 2007 in Australia. On January 8, 2008 built-in Skype Wi-Fi Internet phone service was added via firmware updates. PSP-3000 In comparison to the PSP-2000, the PSP-3000 (marketed in PAL areas as "PSP Slim & Lite (with enhanced screen + built in microphone)" and still marketed as PSP in North America and Japan) has an improved LCD screen with an increased color range, five times the contrast ratio, half the pixel response time to reduce ghosting and blurring effects, a new sub-pixel structure, a microphone, a new disc tray design, new button designs and logos, and anti-reflective technology to improve outdoor playability. It can also output all games by component or composite using the video out cable.
The PSP Slim & Lite system is 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the original PSP system (reduced from 23 mm to 18.6 mm and from 280 grams [9.87 ounces] to 189 grams [6.66 ounces]). Internal changes to achieve this include the removal of a metal chassis (used to reduce damage in the event of sudden trauma to the system resulting from the user dropping the system on a hard surface). However, users have complained about generally poor hardware assembly like misaligned faceplates and loose/creaky battery covers.
Other changes include improved WLAN modules and Micro-controller, and a thinner and much brighter LCD. To target the original PSP generation's poor load times for UMD games, the internal memory (RAM and Flash ROM) was doubled from 32 MB to 64 MB, which also improved the web browser's performance.
PSP Slim Memory Stick PRO Duo SlotTo make the PSP slimmer, the capacity of the battery was reduced by 1/3. However, due to more efficient power usage, the run time of the PSP is still the same as the previous model. Older model batteries will still work which extends the amount of playing time. However, the battery cover on the newer model does not fit over the older battery due to its bulkier size. The batteries take about one and a half hours to charge and last roughly 4.5–7 hours depending on factors such as screen brightness settings, wlan and volume levels.
In mid-December 2007, Sony released the PSP Extended Life Battery Kit, which includes a 2200 MAh battery with a battery cover that fits over the bulkier battery included; initially only available in North America. The kit comes with two new battery covers, one black and one silver. In March 2008 the Extended Battery Kit was released in Japan. However, unlike North America the batteries are sold individually with one specific cover. There are three separate kits, one with the black cover, one with the silver cover and one with the white cover. This means that North American Star Wars PSP owners, whose PSPs were in black and silver colors, can now get the Extended Battery Kit with color matching cover by importing the White Extended battery kit over the Internet. This would also resolve some users discontent with the Darth Vader silk screen, since the Japanese white kit comes with a plain white cover.
External appearance, inputs and outputsEdit
The PSP Slim & Lite has a new gloss finish. The serial port was also modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (while rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). In PSP-2000, PSP games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode, so televisions incapable of supporting progressive scan will not display PSP games. Non-game video outputs fine in either progressive or interlaced mode. USB charging was made possible (the PSP Slim will only charge while it is in "USB mode". It cannot be charged via USB when playing a game). However, there are unofficial USB charge plug-in downloads for charging the PSP with a USB without the need for being in USB mode. The D-Pad was raised in response to complaints of poor performance, while buttons offer improved responsiveness, confirmed in the GameSpot "hands-on" review: "several GameSpot editors have noticed that the d-pad and buttons on the new PSP provide a little more tactile feedback for a better overall feel.".
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 has been relocated and redesigned. The speakers were repositioned on the front of the PSP near the top of its screen. The infra-red port was also removed because it offered no use to the original PSP generation other than in homebrew applications. Its analog stick was also 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.
TV output and accessory portEdit
Sony added TV output to the PSP Slim through Firmware 3.60. It can output in a conventional aspect ratio (4:3) or widescreen (16:9), and offers a screensaver if the PSP is inactive for a set amount of time. It is able to output games, videos, and other media. To achieve TV output on the Slim model, Composite, S-Video, Component and D-Terminal cables are sold separately by Sony. PSP format games are output as a progressive scan signal, which can be carried only by the component video and D-Terminal cables, and displayed on televisions which support progressive scan. While connected to an external display, "PSP" format games and software does not output a full-screen image, instead displaying in a smaller window. However, the PSP system software, music player and video playback are displayed full screen. As of firmware update 5.00, PlayStation (PSone) format software purchased from the PlayStation store is output in full-screen mode and optionally in interlaced format for non-progressive displays. Although the user needs Component cables and a TV that supports 480p (mainly found in HDTVs) to play PSP format software, a homebrew plugin called "FuSa" allows anyone with a Slim PSP to view their games on any SDTV or HDTV using Composite or Component cables. It's also advantageous to those with TVs that do support 480p because it allows a full screen (1:1 ratio) viewing of games. The maximum resolution through TV output is 720x480 pixels, and composite video uses NTSC color encoding (no PAL composite signal is available, although it works on a NTSC compatible TV in Europe). The old Playstation Portable (PSP-1000) is not capable of this feature due to a slightly different port. As a result, original PSP accessories (using the connector) will not work with the Slim and the Slim's accessories will not work with the original PSP. Sony has released a new version of the remote control accessory designed for the Slim as a result. The PSP Slim can still use 3.5 mm headphones, like the old PlayStation Portable.
Sony confirmed their GPS Accessory for the United States at Sony CES 2008. The GPS is to be retailed for the new Slim PSP models. It will feature maps on a UMD, and offer driving directions and city guide.
Releases and Limited Edition ModelsEdit
Releases and Limited Edition Models began in Japan on September 12, 2007; North America on September 5, 2007; Australia on September 12, 2007; UK on October 26, 2007 and Europe on September 5, 2007, the PSP-2000 was made available in Piano Black, Ceramic White, Ice Silver, Mint Green, Felicia Blue, Lavender Purple, Deep Red, Matte Bronze, Metallic Blue and Rose Pink as standard colors (not all colors were available in all countries), and had several special edition colored and finished consoles for games including,
In Australia and New Zealand: The Simpsons (bright yellow with white UMD drawer)
In Europe: Spider-Man (Red gloss/matte black)
The PSP 3000, released on October 14, 2008 in North America, in Europe on October 17, 2008, on October 16, 2008 in Japan and in Australia on October 23, 2008, is currently available in Piano Black, Pearl White, Mystic Silver, Radiant Red, Vibrant Blue, Spirited Green, Blossom Pink, Turquoise Green and Lilac Purple. There's also an upcoming limited edition Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PSP bundle, featuring a Spirited Green PSP system for North America and a camouflage PSP for Japan.
The homebrew community were initially unable to hack the later PSP-2000s and the PSP-3000 because it had a new CPU (motherboards revealed to be TA-088v3 (for PSP Slim) and TA-090v2 (for PSP-3000)) which does not support the PRE IPL Exploit used in hacking the previous versions. This is due to the Motherboard having its own PRE IPL where it checks the firmware thoroughly, if passed the PRE IPL is cut off entirely to prevent unwanted modifications to the system.
In November 2008, Datel announced a "Lite Blue Tool" battery which allows the PSP-3000 to boot into service mode. This battery is not able to start homebrew as the new PRE-IPL has yet to be cracked. The Lite Blue Tool was deterred from distribution due to legal action by Sony. Some time later, Datel changed the name from Lite Blue Tool to Max Power Digital and changed the description.
MaTiAz, a known hacker in the PSP hacking community found an exploit which is done with a US copy Gripshift and a HEN save game exploit. However, this was only temporary. After the release of this initial hack, a sizable increase in sales of the game was experienced. Many eBay sellers inflated their prices to cash in on the sudden demand. A revised version of the PSP firmware (v5.03) was released shortly after to patch the exploit. Malloxis found a TIFF crash which is proven to work on 5.02 and 5.03 firmwares for PSP-3000; further crafted and engineered by MaTiAz, the TIFF crash became a TIFF exploit capable of loading an h.bin from the root memorystick. However, Davee, further engineered this exploit with a privilege escalation exploit and created a Homebrew Enabler (HEN pun-named "ChickHEN") which would allow the execution of unsigned code by users. In the Sony Official firmware 5.50, the TIFF vulnerability was removed, preventing any further firmwares being affected by the exploit. The HEN for the TIFF exploit, which was called "ChickHEN", was released on May 5, 2009.
On June 5, 2009, Custom Firmware 5.03GEN-A for HEN was released, which is compatible with both PSP-2000 v3 and PSP-3000. It allows users to play game backups (ISO/CSO), PS1 games, and includes access to PSN, VSH, and recovery mode. This marked a major step forward in ending Sony's PSP-3000 piracy protection. Two days later, on June 7, 2009, a duo of hackers Xenogears and Becus25 released custom firmware support software based on a modified works of the released 5.03GEN-A for the formerly unhackable handheld called "Custom Firmware Enabler 3.01" in which PSP-3000 users can install custom firmware and load those firmware's files onto the PSP's RAM with the direct usage of "ChickHEN".
On release, an issue with interlacing was noticed on the PSP-3000 screen when objects were in motion. Gaming Bits (among others) did an in-depth review
of the differences between the two versions, noting the interlacing issues, and about a week later Sony announced that they would not be releasing a software update to address the issue:
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 GoMain article: PSP GoThe PSP Go was revealed on May 30, 2009 in the June episode of the PlayStation Network online magazine Qore and was later officially announced on June 2, 2009 at E3 2009. The PSP Go features Bluetooth functionality, a smaller 3.8 inch screen and weighs 43% less than the original PSP. Instead of the UMD drive as found on previous models, the PSP Go has 16 GB of internal flash memory and Memory Stick Micro port that accepts cards up to 16 GB as opposed to Memory Stick Duo. Currently the PSP Go has a max memory of 32 GB but the M2 memory can be increased in firmware updates. Games must be downloaded from PlayStation Store. The sliding mechanism on the screen hides the main face buttons and the analogue nub when not in use. With the release of the PSP Go, all future PSP games will also receive a PlayStation Store release, whereas only a handful of games were available before.
|Region||Units sold||First available|
|Japan||13.38 million (as of December 28, 2009)||December 12, 2004|
|United States||17 million (as of March 14, 2010)||March 24, 2005|
|Europe||12 million (as of May 6, 2008)||September 1, 2005|
|United Kingdom||3.2 million (as of January 3, 2009)||September 1, 2005|
|Worldwide||60 million (as of March 14, 2010)|
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. In Europe, the PSP sold 4 million units in 2006 and 3.1 million in 2007 according to estimates by Electronic Arts. In 2007, the PSP sold 3.82 million units in the US according to the NPD Group and 3,022,659 in Japan according to Enterbrain. In 2008, the PSP sold 3,543,171 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.
In the United States, the PSP has sold 10.47 million units as of January 1, 2008, according to the NPD Group. 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, which was the best-selling game in that week, according to Media Create. As of December 28, 2008, the PSP has sold 11,078,484 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain. In Europe, the PSP has sold 12 million units as of May 6, 2008, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. In the United Kingdom, the PSP has sold 3.2 million units as of January 3, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.
Main article: PlayStation Portable hardwareA ceramic white 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 x 7.3 x 2.2 cm (6.7 x 2.9 x 0.9 in), and weighs 280 grams (9.88 ounces). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 11 cm (4.3 in) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 x 272 pixel video playback with 16.77 million colors. Also on the front are the four PlayStation face buttons (, , , ), 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 (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.
The PSP uses two 333 MHz MIPS32 R4000-based CPUs, a GPU with 2 MB onboard VRAM running at 166 MHz, and includes 32 MB main RAM and 4 MB embedded DRAM in total. The hardware was originally forced to run more slowly than it was capable of and most games ran at 222 MHz. 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.
The PSP includes an 1800 mAh battery that will provide about 4–6 hours of gameplay, 4–5 hours of video playback, or 8–11 hours of audio playback. Official accessories for the console include the 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.
Main article: PlayStation Portable system softwareMain article: XrossMediaBar - PlayStation Portable XMBSee the PlayStation Support Site for the latest official System Software Information: http://www.us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/psp
Sony has included the ability for the operating system, referred to as the System Software, to be updated. The updates can be downloaded directly from the Internet using the [System Update] feature under [Settings] in the XMB, or they can be downloaded from the official PlayStation website to a computer, transferred to a Memory Stick Duo on following directory: PSP -> GAME -> UPDATE -> EBOOT.PBP, and subsequently installed on the system. Updates can also be installed from UMD game discs that require the update to run the game. The Japanese version of the PS3 allows the System Software to be updated by downloading the System Software onto the Hard Drive then to the PSP. Sony has prevented users from Downgrading the PSP to an earlier version of the System Software that is currently installed.
While system software updates can be used with consoles from any region, Sony recommends only downloading system software updates released for the region corresponding to the system's place of purchase. System software updates have added various features including a web browser, Adobe Flash support, additional codecs for images, audio, and video, PlayStation 3 connectivity, as well as patches against several security exploits, vulnerabilities, and execution of homebrew programs. The most current version is v6.20.
Version 2.70 of the PSP's system software introduced basic Flash capabilities to the browser. However, the player runs Flash version 6, four iterations behind the current desktop version 10, making some websites difficult to view.
There are 3 different rendering modes: "Normal", "Just-Fit", and "Smart-Fit". "Normal" will display the page with no changes, "Just-Fit" will attempt to shrink some elements to make the whole page fit on the screen and preserve layout (although this makes some pages extremely difficult to read), and "Smart-Fit" will display content in the order it appears in the HTML, and with no size adjustments; instead it will drop an element down below the preceding element if it starts to go off the screen.
Parents can limit content by enabling Browser Start Up Control which blocks all access to the web browser and creating a 4-digit PIN under [Settings] in [Security]. Additionally, the browser can be configured to run under a Proxy and can be protected by the security PIN to enable the use of web filtering or monitoring software through a network. Recently, TrendMicro for PSP was added as a feature that can be enabled via a subscription to filter or monitor content on the PSP.
The PSP browser is slower compared to modern browsers and often runs out of memory due to limitation put in place by Sony. Alternatively, Homebrew has allowed a custom version of the browser to be released that utilizes all 32/64 MB of the PSP's RAM, which allows the browser to load pages faster and have more memory for larger pages. Opera Mini can also be used on PSP through PSPKVM, a homebrew application which is a Sun Java Virtual Machine. It was claimed to provide much faster loading time than the default browser and provides better web page capability.
The PlayStation Store for PS3 displayed on a PSP via Remote Play.Main article: Remote PlayRemote 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. Features that can be used with Remote Play include viewing photos and slideshows, listening to music, watching videos stored on the PS3's HDD, and several other features. 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. Although most of the PS3's capabilities are accessible with Remote Play, playback of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and PlayStation 2 games, most PlayStation 3 games, and copy-protected files stored on the PS3's hard drive are not supported.
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 restraints, it is not possible to use the VoIP service on PSP-1000. The service allows Skype calls to be made over the 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.Main article: Room for PlayStation PortableAnnounced at TGS 2009, a similar service to PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, is being developed for the PSP. Named "Room" (officially spelled as R∞M with capital letters and the infinity symbol in place of the "oo"), it is currently being beta tested in Japan. It will be added to the PSP in an upcoming update in Q4 2009 or Q1 2010 and can be launched directly from the PlayStation Network section of the XMB. Just like in Home, PSP owners will be able to invite other PSP owners into their rooms to "enjoy real time communication." A closed beta test began in Q4 2009 in Japan.
Digital Comics ReaderEdit
Sony has partnered with publishers such as 2000AD, Disney, IDW Publishing, Insomnia, iVerse, Marvel and Titan to release digitized comics on the PlayStation Store. This new application requires PSP firmware 6.20 for it adds a new XMB category called "Extra". The Digital Comics Reader application can be downloaded on the PlayStation Comics official website.
The PlayStation Store's "Comic" section will launch in the United States and English speaking PAL regions (United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) on December 16, 2009, though the first issue 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. The service will premiere in Japan on December 10, licensed publishers are Ascii Mediaworks, Enterbrain, Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Square-Enix, Softbank Creative (HQ Comics), Hakusensha, Bandai Visual, Fujimishobo, Futabasha and Bunkasha. In early 2010 the application will expand to German, French, Spanish and Italian languages with Digital Comics available in the respective European countries.
Main article: List of PlayStation Portable gamesSee also: PlayStation Store, List of PlayStation Network games, List of movies and television shows released on UMD, and List of PlayStation Portable game demosIn 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 three official ways to access this feature are through the PlayStation Network service for PlayStation 3, PSP, or a PC.
Demos for commercial PSP games can be downloaded and booted directly from a Memory Stick. Demos are also sometimes issued in UMD format and mailed out or given to customers at various retail outlets as promotional content.
During E3 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that the Greatest Hits range of budget titles were to be extended to the PSP system. On July 25, 2006, Sony CEA released the first batch of Greatest Hits titles. The PSP Greatest Hits lineup consist of games that have sold 250,000 copies or more and have been out for nine months. PSP games in this lineup retail for $19.99 each.
Sony has said downloadable games will still be limited to 1.8 GB, most likely to guarantee a potential UMD release.
Main article: PlayStation Portable homebrewOn June 15, 2005, hackers disassembled the code of the PSP and distributed it online. Initially the modified PSP allowed users to run custom code and a limited amount of protected software. Sony responded to this by repeatedly upgrading the software. Over time curious parties 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.
The PSP received generally favorable 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. Engadget applauded the console's design, stating that "it is definitely one well-designed, slick little handheld". 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. 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. The PSP Go received mixed reviews to date. IGN gave the product a 7.2 stating that with the absence of the UMD slot, the PSP Go is difficult to consider for purchase.
Controversial advertising campaignsEdit
- 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, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The mayor of Philadelphia has filed a cease and desist order and may file a criminal complaint. According to Sony, it is paying businesses and building owners for the right to spraypaint their walls.
- In 2006, 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.
- In July 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." Some found this to be racially charged due to the portrayal of a white woman subjugating a black woman. 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. These ads were never released in the rest of the world, and were pulled from the Netherlands after the controversy was raised. Despite having been released only in the Netherlands, the advertisement gathered international press coverage. Engadget notes that Sony may have hoped to "capitalize on a PR firestorm".
- 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.