Strengths and Weaknesses of PSP Models

Evolution of the Handheld Gaming System From Sony

PSP-2000 Piano Black - front view
PSP-2000 Piano Black - front view. Sony

There are several models of the popular mobile gaming system Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable). A few features are consistent across all models, such as a slot for Memory Sticks (though the PSPGo uses the Memory Stick Micro), and a headphone jack. The physical appearance of each model is also similar, though again the PSPGo departed somewhat from other models. 

Sony has since discontinued the PSP line, replacing it with the PlayStation Vita in 2011 and 2012.

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of the different PSP models to help you differentiate between them, and help you choose the PSP model that is best for you

PSP-1000

The original Sony PSP model, it was released in Japan in 2004. Compared to its successors, the PSP-1000 is chunkier and heavier. It has been discontinued, so you will only be able to find these secondhand.

Strengths

  • Best model for running all homebrew programming
  • Replaceable battery
  • Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive

Weaknesses

  • Larger and heavier
  • Slightly slower than later models
  • Discontinued, so Sony support is limited or nonexistent
  • Screen not as bright when compared to PSP-3000
  • No internal memory for storage
  • No video out
  • Does not run Skype

PSP-2000

Introduced in 2007, this model has been referred to as the "PSP Slim" because of its thinner and lighter size when compared to its predecessor, the PSP-1000. The screen was slightly improved over the previous model, and the PSP-2000 comes with double the system memory at 64 MB (but not usable by player).

Strengths

  • Can run most homebrew
  • Replaceable battery
  • Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive
  • Smaller and lighter than PSP-1000
  • Video out
  • Runs Skype
  • No scan lines on screen (some gamers complained of seeing scan lines on the screen of the PSP-3000)

Weaknesses

  • Better screen, but not as bright as PSP-3000
  • Still physically bulkier than later models
  • No internal memory for storage

PSP-3000

The PSP-3000 was released in 2008, following closely after the PSP-2000. It brought a brighter screen, earning it the nickname "PSP Brite," and a slightly better battery. It is generally considered the best of the PSP models overall, though if you're looking for homebrew capability, the PSP-1000 is still superior.

Strengths

  • Can run some homebrew
  • Replaceable battery
  • Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive
  • Smaller and lighter than PSP-1000
  • Video out
  • Runs Skype
  • Brighter screen than PSP-1000 and PSP-2000

Weaknesses

  • Still physically bulkier than later models
  • No internal memory for storage
  • Some users reporting scan lines visible on screen

PSPgo

A lighter and thinner model compared to its predecessors, the PSPgo sports physical differences but internally it is not very different from the PSP-3000, though it introduced internal memory usable by the gamer. One of the biggest differences is its lack of a UMD drive; all games are downloaded from the online PlayStation Store. The PSPGo also has a smaller screen.

Strengths

  • 16 MB of internal memory for storage
  • Smaller size

Weaknesses

  • Can't run homebrew
  • Battery not easily replaceable by the user
  • No Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive
  • Not compatible with accessories from previous models
  • Higher price

PSP E-1000

This is a somewhat stripped-down version of the previous PSP models in order to make it a more affordable option. Gone are the previously standard WiFi connectivity and stereo speakers (E-1000 has a single speaker), but returned is the UMD drive. PlayStation Store downloadable games can be played on the E-1000, but it requires that you first download them onto a PC and then install them onto the PSP via a USB cable and Sony's MediaGo software.

Strengths

  • More affordable
  • Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive
  • Smaller size than previous models (but larger than the PSPGo)

Weaknesses

  • No WiFi connection
  • No internal memory for storage
  • No Skype