PlayStation Portable

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PlayStation Portable
PSP Logo.svg
Original Model PSP (PSP-1000)
Logo and original model of the PSP
Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
Manufacturer Sony
Product family PlayStation
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh 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
AUS: September 1, 2005
Discontinued NA: January 2014
JP: June 2014
PAL: December 2014
Units sold Worldwide: ~ 82 million (as of Nov 2013)
Media UMD, digital distribution
Operating system PlayStation Portable system software
CPU 333 MHz MIPS R4000
Memory 32 MB (PSP-1000); 64 MB (2000, 3000, Go, E1000)
Storage Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
PSP Go: Memory Stick Micro (M2) and 16 GB flash memory
Display 480 × 272 pixels with 24-bit color, 30:17 widescreen TFT LCD
PSP Go: 3.8 in (97 mm)
other models: 4.3 in (110 mm)
Sound Stereo speakers, mono speaker (PSP-E1000), microphone (PSP-3000, PSP Go), 3.5 mm headphone jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11b) (except PSP-E1000), IrDA (PSP-1000), USB, Bluetooth (PSP Go)
Online services PlayStation Network
Dimensions PSP-1000:
2.9 in (74 mm) (h)
6.7 in (170 mm) (w)
0.91 in (23 mm) (d)
2.8 in (71 mm) (h)
169 mm (6.7 in) (w)
0.75 in (19 mm) (d)
2.7 in (69 mm) (h)
5.0 in (128 mm) (w)
0.65 in (16.5 mm) (d)
PSP E1000:
2.9 in (73 mm) (h)
6.8 in (172 mm) (w)
0.85 in (21.5 mm) (d)
Mass PSP1000:
9.9 ounces (280 g)
6.7 ounces (189 g)
5.6 ounces (158 g)
PSP E1000:
7.9 ounces (223 g)
Best-selling game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (7.6 million) (as of Oct 2015)
PS one (download only)
Successor PlayStation Vita


The PlayStation Portable (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 May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3. 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 was the most powerful portable console when launched. 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 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. The PlayStation Portable was met with positive reception by most video game critics. The PlayStation Portable sold 76 million units as of 2012.

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



A 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. The original measures approximately 6.7 by 2.9 by 0.9 inches (170 by 74 by 23 mm), and weighs 9.9 ounces (280 g). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 4.3-inch (110 mm) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, notably outperforming the Nintendo DS. Also 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), 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 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. 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 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.


System Software[edit]

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 a Memory Stick or UMD. The software cannot be downgraded.

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



The PSP-2000 (marketed in PAL areas as "PSP Slim & Lite") is the first redesign of the PlayStation Portable. At E3 2007, Sony released information about a slimmer and lighter version. It was released on August 30 in Hong Kong, September 5 in Europe, September 6 in North America, September 7 in South Korea and September 12 in Australia.

The PSP-2000 system is slimmer and lighter than the original PSP—reduced from 0.91 to 0.73 inches (23 to 18.6 mm) and from 9.87 to 6.66 ounces (280 to 189 g).

The serial port was modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On the PSP-2000, games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode. (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, while buttons offer improved responsiveness.

Other changes include improved WLAN modules and micro-controller, and a thinner and much brighter LCD. To improve the original PSP's poor load times of UMD games, 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, also improving the web browser's performance.


In comparison to the PSP-2000, the 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, new sub-pixel structure, and anti-reflective technology to reduce outdoor glare. The disc tray, logos and buttons were all 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. Some outlets called this "a minor upgrade".

The PSP-3000 was released on October 14, 2008, in North America, October 16 in Japan, October 17 in Europe, October 23 in Australia. In its first four days on sale in Japan, the PSP-3000 sold 141,270 units, according to Famitsu. It sold 267,000 units throughout October.

On release, an issue with interlacing was noticed on the PSP-3000 screen when objects were in motion. Sony announced that it would not be fixed.

PSP Go (N1000)[edit]

Logo for PSP Go

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

The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000, and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000. Its rechargeable battery is not intended to be removable by the user. It has a 3.8-inch (97 mm) 480 × 272 pixel LCD screen 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.

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 connector. A compatible cable that connects to other devices' 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 a cradle (PSP-N340) for charging, video out and USB data transfer on the PSP Go, similar to previous offerings. The PSP Go adds support for Bluetooth connectivity, which enables playing games using a Sixaxis or DualShock 3 PlayStation 3 controller. The use of the cradle 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 cradle.

The PSP Go lacks a UMD drive, but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory. (This can be extended by up to 32 GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2).) Games must be downloaded from the PlayStation Store; a demo version of Patapon 2 comes loaded onto the system. The removal of the UMD drive effectively region-locks the unit due because it 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 Windows-based Media Go software.

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

In February 2010, it was reported that Sony might re-launch the PSP Go due to the lack of consumer interest and poor sales. Sony began bundling it 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. Sony announced a price drop for the PSP Go in October 2010.

On April 20, 2011, the manufacturer announced that the PSP Go would be discontinued outside of North America so that it could concentrate on the PlayStation Vita.

PSP Street (E1000)[edit]

Announced at Gamescom 2011, the PSP-E1000 is a budget-focused model released across the PAL region on October 26 of that year. The E1000 does not feature Wi-Fi capability and has a matte charcoal black finish similar to the slim PlayStation 3. It features a mono speaker instead of the previous models' stereo speakers and lacks a microphone. An ice white version was released in PAL territories on July 20, 2012.


Two different battery size standards

To make the unit 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 use, 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.

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

Bundles and colors[edit]

The PSP was sold in four main configurations. The Base Pack (called the Core Pack in North America) contained the console, a battery and an AC adapter. This version was available at launch in Japan and released later in North America and Europe.

Many limited editions of the PSP were bundled with accessories, games, or movies. Limited-edition models began being released in Japan on September 12, 2007; North America and Europe on September 5; Australia on September 12, and the UK on October 26. The PSP-2000 was made available in piano back, ceramic white, ice silver, mint green, felicia blue, lavender purple, deep red, matte bronze, 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, Star Wars (Darth Vader silkscreened) and God of War: Chains of Olympus (Kratos silkscreened) in North America, The Simpsons (bright yellow with white buttons, analog and disc tray) 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 came in a camouflage pattern while the God of War: Ghost of Sparta bundle pack included a black-and-red two-toned PSP. The Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Cosmos & Chaos edition, released March 3, 2011, has an Amano artwork as the PSP's face plate.


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.

A 1seg TV tuner peripheral (model PSP-S310), designed specifically for the PSP-2000, was released in Japan on September 20, 2007.

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

Sony sold a GPS Accessory for the PSP-2000, which was released first in Japan and announced for the United States in 2008. It features maps on a UMD, and offers driving directions and city guides.

After the discontinuation of PSP, the Chinese electronics company Lenkeng released a PSP to HDMI converter called the LKV-8000. The device is compatible with the PSP-2000, PSP-3000 and PSP Go. 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. The LKV-8000 and its variants have become popular among players and reviewers as the only means of playing and recording PSP gameplay on a large screen.

Web browser[edit]

Web browser on a PSP-1000

The PSP Internet Browser is a version of the NetFront browser and came with the system via an update. The browser supports most common web technologies, such as HTTP cookies, forms, CSS and basic JavaScript. It features limited tabbed browsing, with a maximum of three tabs.

Remote Play[edit]

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. Features that can be used with Remote Play include viewing photos, listening to music and watching videos stored on the PS3 or connected USB devices. Additionally, Remote Play allows the PS3 to be turned on and off remotely and lets PSP to control audio playback from the PS3 to a home theater system. 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 hard drive are not supported.

VoIP access[edit]

Starting with system software version 3.90, the PSP-2000, 3000 and Go can use the Skype VoIP service. Due to hardware constraints it is not possible to use the service on the PSP-1000. The service allows Skype calls to be made over Wi-Fi and, on the Go, over the Bluetooth modem. Users must purchase Skype credit in order to make telephone calls.

Room for PlayStation Portable[edit]

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. Named "Room" (stylized R8M), 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". Development of Room halted on April 15, 2010, due to feedback from the community.

Digital Comics Reader[edit]

Sony partnered with publishers such as Rebellion Developments, Disney, IDW Publishing, Insomnia, iVerse, Marvel and Titan to release digitized comics on the PlayStation Store. The Digital Comics Reader application required PSP firmware 6.20.

The PlayStation Store's "Comic" section premiered in Japan on December 10, 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. It launched in the United States and English-speaking PAL countries on December 16, 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 November 20 through limited-time PlayStation Network redeem codes. In early 2010 the application expanded to the German, French, Spanish and Italian languages. The choice of regional Comic Reader software is dictated by the PSP's firmware region, thus the Japanese Comic Reader will not display comics purchased from the European store, and vice versa.

Sony shut down the Digital Comics service in September 2012.

Software Modification[edit]

Homebrew development and custom firmware[edit]


On 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. These included custom-made PSP applications such as a calculator or file manager. 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 DRM-restricted 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. Custom firmware including the M33 Custom Firmware, Minimum Edition (ME/LME) CFW and the PRO CFWl are also commonly seen in the PSP systems.