Looking into the Portable Playstation

The PSP is best described as a well oiled machine. Sony is perhaps well-respected in the regard of following the belief “if it aint, broke don’t fix It.”, if you had the privilege of playing a Playstation during your childhood, you’ll know doubt sink your teeth in on the game’s interface.  It hit shelves back in 2005 and had been vying for the top spot with Nintendo’s NDS handheld ever since.

The Playstation Portable has all the standard buttons, save for Wi-Fi support and a backpack where you can put a UMD in and tiny slot on the right side for the memory stick. In a lot of ways it’s Sony’s Windows. It’s a high-powered graphic machine with home brewing capabilities (given that you’ve hacked it with Halfbyte or any similar flashing software you might find) which can double as a storage device with media playback. Gaming junkies that like tinkering with software will enjoy this handheld’s capabilities.


When it comes to design, it’s pretty open and shut. You have your standard buttons as well as analog control. It has Wi-Fi capabilities, a memory stick slot and a drive where you can insert Universal Media Disks (UMDs) in although this feature has been removed in later models, favoring memory-sticks or built-in memory to store game and save game data.

There are about four models of the PSP. The first to be released is aptly named PSP-1000 (or the PSP-FAT due to being the heaviest model) followed by PSP-2000 and PSP-3000. The PSP Go also known as the PSP-N1000 perhaps is the lightest model so far is unique to its predecessors since it ditched the UMD backpack and went for a slightly brighter screen with a smaller overall size.

Perhaps one of the notable weaknesses to the initial models was the use of the UMD. Although Sony initially had high hopes for pushing the UMD as, well, a universal media disk; it failed miserably at the end of the opening batches of games that first pushed their way into the handheld. What made it significantly worse was when the homebrew community finally hacked into the handheld’s firmware, enabling certain users to load their data from memory sticks causing the UMD drive to become nothing more than dead weight until Sony scrapped it for a 16 gigabytes of built-in memory.


Although it clearly has the superior graphics over Nintendo’s NDS, the verdict is pretty much still out there. To make it reasonably clear, Sony may have had its golden age during its PS1 and PS2 years but the PSP didn’t have enough games to make it a worthwhile handheld over the Nintendo DS. With only a handful of games like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Persona 4 and Little Big Planet, it didn’t kick into the scene as compared to Nintendo’s line-up for its NDS. The Lyton, Wright and Mario franchises kept its underwhelming but innovative handheld well and above the PSP.

Final Thoughts

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