A Guide to the Sony PSP (Playstation Portable)

The PSP is a game system and an entertainment device

The Sony PSP, which is short for PlayStation Portable, was a handheld game and multimedia entertainment console. It was released in Japan in 2004 and in the U.S. in March of 2005. It featured a 4.3-inch TFT LCD screen with a 480 x 272 resolution, built-in speakers and controls, Wi-Fi connectivity, and impressive graphics processing power for a handheld device of the time, edging out its competitor, the Nintendo DS, in this area.

PSP-1000 hardware


The PSP was not as powerful as its full-size console cousins, the PlayStation 2 or the PlayStation 3. Still, it surpassed the original Sony PlayStation in computing power.

PSP's Evolution

The PSP went through several generations during its 10-year run. Subsequent models reduced its footprint, becoming thinner and lighter, improved the display, and added a microphone. A larger redesign came in 2009 with the PSPgo, and the budget-conscious PSP-E1000 was released in 2011 with a lower price point.



Shipments of the PSP ended in 2014, and the Sony PlayStation Vita took its place.

PSP Gaming

All models of the PSP could play games from UMD discs except the PSP Go, which didn't include a UMD disc player. Games could also be purchased online and downloaded to the PSP from Sony's online PlayStation Store. The store was the primary method for buying new games on the PSP Go.

Dads and Grads PSP Limited Edition Entertainment Pack

Some older PlayStation games were re-released for the PSP and were available through the PlayStation Store.

The original PSP launched with 25 game titles, such as Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, FIFA Soccer 2005, and Metal Gear Acid. These represented a range of game types, from sports to racing to adventure and roleplaying. 

PSP as a Multimedia Entertainment Device

As with the full-size PlayStation consoles, the PSP could do more than run video games. The PS2, PS3, and PS4 can play discs such as DVDs and audio CDs. Eventually, with the PS4 Blu-ray discs, the PSP played discs in the Universal Media Disc (UMD) format, which was also used for some movies and other content.

PSP Mini Gear Pouch

The PSP also featured a port for the Sony Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Pro Duo media, allowing it to play audio, video, and still image content from these as well.

With an upgrade to firmware, the PSP-2000 model added TV output via Composite, S-Video, Component, or D-Terminal cables from Sony that were purchased separately. TV output was in both standard 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratios

PSP Connectivity

The PSP included a USB 2.0 port and a serial port. Unlike the PlayStation or PlayStation2, the PSP came equipped with Wi-Fi to connect with other players wirelessly and, if the firmware is version 2.00 or higher, to the internet for web browsing. It also included IrDA (infrared data association), but the average consumer didn't use it.

The later PSP Go model brought Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity to the game system.

PSP Models and Technical Specifications

  • Where can you buy a PlayStation Portable?

    Since Sony discontinued the PSP in 2014, your best chance of finding one is in the used and refurbished markets. Try third-party sellers like eBay, Best Buy, Amazon, or GameStop.

  • What is the latest PlayStation Portable?

    The PSP Street (E1000), a budget version of the handheld gaming console, was the last one Sony released before discontinuing the line. It launched in 2011.

  • How can you play PlayStation games portable?

    If you own a PlayStation 3 or a PlayStation Vita, you can still buy and play PSP games via those stores, but you can't make in-app purchases. If you don't own one of those consoles, you can use an emulator to play PSP games on platforms like Android and PC.

  • How do you download PSP games?

    If you purchase a PSP game on the PlayStation Store, you can download and play it on a PS3 or Vita console like any other downloadable game. If you want to download and play homebrew games on the PSP, you need a memory stick, PSP firmware version 6.61, custom firmware that lets you run the games, and a homebrew games source that has PSP ISOs.

  • How do you connect a PSP to Wi-Fi?

    First, make sure the WLAN switch is toggled on and your PSP has at least firmware version 2.0. Then, go to Settings > Network Settings > Infrastructure Mode > New Connection > Scan and choose your network from the list of options that appears. Enter your password. set the Address Settings to Easy, and save all of your choices when it all looks correct.

Was this page helpful?