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A Brief History of PlayStation Portable and Why You Still Love it

Something interesting about the PSP we’ve noticed is that usually when it comes up in a topic of conversation, most people view it as a failure most times, because its inability to compete with the DS in terms of the units the DS sold and took over the handheld space back in the day. Still, despite these pessimistic reminiscences, the PSP managed to sell more than 80 million units. What’s more, the fact that the PSP is named the third best-selling handheld device, which means it managed to outsell the Game Boy Advance and 3DS. And frankly speaking, lots of handheld console fans think that the PSP was well ahead of its time for what it was trying to do in its time. No wonder, many people now install emulators like PPSSPP and get PPSSPP games download, and start playing PSP retro games on modern devices without any physical console! You can also join the community of retro games and get your favorite titles in the form of ROMs right now.

If you like quality console gaming and are now planning to get some games for the PSP system, you’ll definitely appreciate more information about this legendary device.

How It All Started

The PlayStation Portable was announced in 2003, jumping ahead of Nintendo for their next handheld announcement. Sony seemed to have a clear objective throughout its young history in gaming, which was to take as much market share from Nintendo as possible. The funny part about the situation is that Sony wasn’t even supposed to be part of this gaming market. And their entry dates back to Nintendo backing out of the agreement in 1991 for a CD attachment that would work with the Super Nintendo. But that’s the story for another day.

During the build-up to E3 2003, there were a lot of rumors going around about Sony entering the lucrative handheld market with their offering. At that time, there was no competition or Nintendo’s Game Boy line, and the Game Boy Advance was on cruise control. Sony’s plan was to bring console quality gaming experiences to gamers on the go. And to do this, they needed a system that was powerful enough to accomplish visual fidelity that was thought to only be possible when tethered to a wall.

Finally, when E3 2003 happened, Sony showed up and announced the PlayStation Portable. At this presentation, they also revealed a medium that would be useful for the PSP. It was the UMD, or a universal media disc. That disc, encased in plastic, was capable of holding almost 2 Gigabytes of storage on a dual disc, which is considerably more than its closest rivals like the GameCube, GBA, or even soon to release DS could offer. The new system also offered the ability to move entire movies to the PSP. And since Sony wanted to offer the PSP as a media device, as well as a gaming device, this made perfect sense. Many gamers still remember tons of movies released for the UMD format. However, few really found watching movies on the PSP enjoyable with the size of the screen.

Major Problems with the PSP

The UMD format was certainly not perfect and came with lots of drawbacks users couldn’t but notice. Some of the biggest issues included loading times that were fairly long, as well as the plastic casing around the UMD being known to crack and separate. There was also a big problem with a mechanical drive being required to read the UMD. This left several moving parts that were added to the design of the PSP.

Immediate Success

Still, neither these, nor other problems with the PSP made PS fans fall out of love with the new handheld. The PSP saw immediate sellouts with 200,000 units selling the first day in Japan. And the US saw even greater success with 500,000 copies selling in just the first two days. The PSP fell behind the DS in terms of sales. However, as Sony’s first shot at the handheld market, they held steady throughout the generation with their sales despite missing a killer IP like a Pokémon.

There were also tons of excruciatingly fun and engaging games released for the PSP, which was another reason to fall in love with this handheld and become its longstanding fan. Lumines, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, and Tekken 5, to name a few, are now part of the immortal collection of PS classic games of all time. As we’ve noted, now you can get PSP games download in the form of ROM files, which you can then put in your emulator and play as you normally would with your console.

Undoubtedly, the PSP is a great example of a best-selling console whose success is still resonating across the gaming world. And if you want to go down memory lane and re-experience the happy moment, playing your favorite PSP classics is exactly what you need.

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