Release Dates:
JPN: December 12, 2004
NA: March 25, 2005
EU: September 1, 2005

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was Sony’s first foray into the handheld market unveiled on May 11, 2004 it was a capable machine, touted as the strongest handheld console to date boasting graphics that were comparable to the PS2 but fit on the palm of your hand and with features such as expandable memory via it’s card slot, its video and music player, photo viewer, web browser and RSS capabilities, the PlayStation Portable made an awesome mobile multimedia device. The unique thing about the console was that it used discs as its physical media but not just any discs, Universal Media Discs or UMD’s.


These babies were able to hold 900 MB of data and up to 1.8 GB on a dual layer disc. Various movies and music albums were also released on the format during the earlier years of the PSP’s lifecycle before dropping support around 2006.
Later updates to the console gave it connectivity with some PS2 and PS3 games and the introduction of the PS Store expanded the library of the PSP to include PSX games and also downloadable versions of retail games which helped to cut down on the need to carry all your discs around with you.

Hardware Revisions:

1000 (Phat):
Dimensions: 74 mm (2.9 in) (h), 170 mm (6.7 in) (w), 23 mm (0.91 in) (d)
Weight: 280 grams (9.9 oz) (including battery)

The Original PSP was a sleek, shiny, powerful machine that was the perfect size for playing games and playing back your various media specially movies on it’s large 4 inch screen. It has an infrared Port that was removed in all later revisions, a mechanical disc tray, Lacks the AV-out of later revisions and is pretty big and bulky by todays standards and also compared to the later revisions. Another tidbit as well is the D-pad.

Still as Sony’s first attempt at a portable it is amazing how much they got right with its design.

2000 (Slim):
Dimensions: 71 mm (2.8 in) (h), 169 mm (6.7 in) (w), 19 mm (0.75 in) (d)
Weight: 189 grams (6.7 oz)

The “slim” PSP reduced the thickness and weight of the console as well as adding in 32 MB more of memory for a whopping 64 MB of memory half of which was mostly used as UMD cache in order to decrease load times and reduce disc reading by offloading more of data into the cache. It also boasted a brighter screen, improved wireless connectivity, a manual pull out disc tray, and the addition of Skype in order to make calls with your PSP but requires an external mic since there isn’t one built in. This was also the first PSP to have AV-out via the official composite or component cables and allowed you to plug the PSP to your TV and enjoy gaming on the big screen!

3000 (Brite)

Dimensions: 71 mm (2.8 in) (h), 169 mm (6.7 in) (w), 19 mm (0.75 in) (d)
Weight: 189 grams (6.7 oz)

The main change between this device and the slim was the inclusion of a brighter screen with an increased color range and better visibility when playing outside and It also has a built in mic that can be used to make calls with skype. The problem with this revision is that the screens suffered from interlaced artifacts that appeared during motion being most noticeable on fast games like racing games:

N1000 (PSP Go):

Dimensions: 69 mm (2.7 in) (h), 128 mm (5.0 in) (w), 16.5 mm (0.65 in) (d)
Weight: 158 grams (5.6 oz)

Unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go lacks a UMD drive, but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory to store games and other media. It also supported M2 cards to expand your memory but they have become very expensive. The Go is a small machine that has a slide out screen that reveals the buttons and allows for great portability especially when compared to its predecessors. A new feature is the ability to pause or “suspend” your games which works much like the PS4’s suspend feature, it allows you to stop playing and do something else, even play another game, and then return to your suspended game and continue where you left off. Being a digital only device it didn’t do very well at release but today is probably the best way to experience the PSP’s library games as well as the PSX classics available due to one important feature, Bluetooth connectivity. This allowed you to sync a PS3 controller to your Go and play not only PSP games but PSX games with a full fledged controller with 2 analog sticks and a set of triggers which the PSP lack. This combined with its AV-out capabilities makes for a great micro-console to enjoy your digital PSX library with full support for 240p via its interlace output.

E1000 (Street):
Dimensions: 73 mm (2.9 in) (h), 172 mm (6.8 in) (w), 21.5 mm (0.85 in) (d)
Weight: 223 grams (7.9 oz)

The European exclusive PSP street was a budget version of the console that took out all wireless connectivity and outputs sound in mono only. An interesting device that isn’t all that useful today due to its predecessors being more fully featured.

What games should I play?
The library is filled with lots of great games both old and new but here are some suggestions to get you started:

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Patapon 2


Ridge Racer


Outrun 2006 Coast to Coast

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

Metal Gear Acid!


God Of War Chain of Olympus

Casltvania Dracula X Chronicles

Rondo of Blood

PSX on my PSP?!
Announced during the now infamous Sony E3 2006 Press Conference, original PlayStation games where coming to the PSP.


Launched in December of 2006, PlayStation Classics are digital re-releases of original PSX games that were released for the PSP but also work on the PS3 and the PS Vita. The games were run using an in-house emulator referred to as POPS. This emulator was continually updated throughout the PSP’s life and it makes the PSP one of the best ways to enjoy some of your favorite PSX games on the go. PlayStation classics can be downloaded from the PS Store. Although you can no longer download them directly from your PSP due to the service no longer being supported, if you have a PS3 you can download and then copy them over to your PSP via USB or if you have a Vita, you can download them directly from the store. Unfortunately, there is no way to download the PS1 Classics to your PC or PS4 for easy transfer to a PSP so if you don’t have a PS3 then you’re forced to download them using alternative methods that require Custom firmware.

PSX games play extremely well on the PSP for the most part. The only downside being that games that rely on heavy use of the R2, L2, R3, and L3 buttons or the second analog stick can be a bit hard to play. The PSP Go comes in handy here with its ability to sync with a PS3 controller which has all the necessary buttons to play any game. The PSP has a couple of options that affect the image such as changing the aspect ratio from the PSP’s native 16:9 which stretches the image or 4:3 which maintains the games original aspect ratio. There is also a 1:1 mode that presents the game in its native resolution which causes letterboxing on all sides.

So what’s all this I hear about homebrew?
On top of having a great library of games the PSP was also hacked and various homebrew projects were created for it including ports of popular emulators. That’s right, from the Atari 2600 to the Commodore 64 to the SNES, this machine has got you covered.
It’s pretty simple to install custom firmware on the PSP nowadays since Sony has dropped support and no longer updates it. Some simple searching can point you in the right direction. Here are some notable emulators that run pretty well on the system:

PSP VIce (Commodore 64)


Nester J (NES)




The PSP has many more emulators just search up your favorite console and changes are that the PSP has an emulator for it.

That’s cool but how do you run the games?
Well since the PSP doesn’t support the various physical media that each of these emulators need it does so by using ROMS. If you’re interested in finding out how you can play your own cartridges on the PSP have a look at the The Ripping Thread that we have here made by the wonderful Seik that will teach you how to make your own ROM dumps for the various emulators the PSP supports.


Let me know if I need to change anything, I hope the images aren’t too big. Also I was wondering if it was ok to talk about the homebrew and hacking scene of the PSP since it’s also a big part of the console. Let me know and I’ll add it to the OT.

Great OT! I loved my PSP, got a lot of use out of it. I remember when I figured out how to rip a DVD and compress it enough to fit on those super overpriced Memory Stick PRO DUOs, it was awesome. I had a long bus ride to and from University, and watching movies on that thing saved my life.

I think everyone thinks of homebrew and hacking when they think about the PSP. We’re totally fine with discussing that here, so feel free to update the OT. That said, please do not post any instructions,how-tos, or any links directly related to piracy.

The original PSP is one of the most uncomfortable portables ever made. It felt like it was always digging into my hand. It had plenty of great games but I didn’t fully enjoy them until I got a Vita, one of the most comfortable portables.

Great OT!

Hacking and Homebrew go hand in hand with the PSP. They are like PB & Jam.

I have every model of PSP including the street and GO. It’s amazing how far ahead the PSP was over other handhelds. Even today it’s a fantastic handheld minus the UMD drive but fortunately that’s easy to get around.

Alright I’ll add a section on hombrew later today. I still use my PSP today because of it’s amazing Homebrew capabilities.

Nice OP!

I bought a 1000 at launch. I was just out of college working a consulting job where I would fly somewhere Monday morning and fly back Friday afternoon. PSP was huge for me! I eventually traveled with a ps2 slim for the hotel room and a PSP for to/from airport, at airport, and on the plane. I impulse bought a MGS camo 2000 model a couple years ago as well.

The 1000 model doesn’t have much going for it so no need to kick it while it’s down, but I might add the d-pad is more recessed into the cover making it rather shit, honestly, for games needing precise diagonal controls (e.g. fighting games). Back in the day, there were some who would open it up and shim it with a D-pad sized cutout of a NES game sleeve. I haven’t tried it and don’t plan to on my 1000.

PSP games I enjoyed in the past/continue to enjoy:

  • Syphon Filter games
  • Crisis Core FFVII
  • Persona 3 Portable
  • Crimson Gem Saga
  • GripShift
  • Metal Gear Ac!d 2 (liked it a lot more than 1)
  • both GTA games
  • DJ Portable Max
  • Star Soldier (tate!)
  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • and of course Initial D Street Stage /avatar quote

I also had a 1000 PSP since I was an early adopter but I just wanted people to know that nowadays there isn’t a reason to get that model, I may have been a bit mean to it though in hindsight. I’ll add the tidbit about the D-pad to the description as well since it is something people would want to know.

Wait it has a tate mode? As in you turn the PSP sideways? Oh man I may have to take a look at that since it sounds awesome! I liked playing Downwell on Vita in tate mode so an actual SHMUP with tate on a portable sounds amazing.

You guys are so good at these OTs. I have two PSPs. One is an original launch model, and the other is the God of War model.

I keep them charged regularly, so hopefully the batteries don’t swell.

So many great games for the PSP.

PSP was, and is, great. Still like the form factor of the 1000 the most and really wish I could find a non scratched up/damaged one around since mine was stolen years ago. I now use the go with a dock and ps3 controller on my tv, but would love to have a 1000 again just for taking places. Use a 2000 for ripping games/mobile play now and probably better off that way, what with the better internals, but I still love the extra weight and feel of the original.

The PSP is a great system and it introduced me to the Legend of Heroes games.

Yes, that’s the default layout. I don’t recall if you can actually change it.

Small picture I found online: (sorry didn’t have time to get mine out last night to grab a pic of it).

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It’s not the only one either. Neo Geo Heroes - Ultimate Shooting has its tate mode too, and I’m not sure whether or not vertical screen games in CAPCOM/Taito compilations provide the same layout as well.

for what it’s worth, both the taito and capcom sets definitely have these options (useful for the speed rumbler and kiki kaikai). the japan-only snk arcade classics 0 also uses this for games like ikari warriors and t.n.k. iii!

(sadly that snk collection isn’t great due to it stopping dead every time it needs to load up a new piece of music, but it has portable psycho soldier!)

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That’s awesome, definitely something I need to check out since I can use my PSPgo to play those games in Tate on my TV using a PS3 controller.

Cool I’ll check those out as well. The PSP is truly the portable that keeps on giving.

Hacked up PSP Go was the king. I played so many of my PSX games on it. Had to buy NTSC versions if some because PAL kind of sucked on it though :confused:

I used to run my ripped DoDonPachi on a 2000 as well, and play in Tate mode haha.

There are no conditions in which PAL PlayStation doesn’t suck. (… Okay, games developed in PAL territories are fine.)

Anyone here crazy enough to rock a 3000, despite the disgusting interlacing effect the display has? I haven’t owned a PSP in a while now but man that screen annoyed me.

Fun fact, I found out - personal opinion - the cheap E1004 Street had the best screen, in the end. I owned pretty much every PSP model - minus the Go - and I had problems with each one’s screen, more or less. 1000’s was good but my god that ghosting, 2000’s was a lottery (I’ve got two with decently lit screens but severe ghosting, one without ghosting but uneven uniformity), and 3000’s had the interlaced effect you mentioned. In spite of being a featureless hunk of plastic, Street’s screen was actually pretty good. Fast, with virtually no ghosting and calibration issues.

I’ll pretty much be playing the PSP for the rest of time. So many RPGs, PSX classics, diamonds in the rough, etc. Battery life/sleep mode is so much better than the N3DS’. And it doesn’t make my hand go numb. Glad my first 3DS got stolen so I finally came around to the PSP!

I’ve owned them all too (even the GO) and honestly I agree with you. The mono speaker really isn’t a deal breaker for me and I don’t use the wireless functionality either. It has a nicer, non glossy finish compared to other units too.

I usually prefer to own a 1000 because I like the form factor as well as the weight but it is no secret that the direction controls and the square button clipping onto the screen and tilting funny are an issue.