PlayStation Portable

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
PlayStation Portable

Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Handheld console
generation seventh generation of consoles
JapanJapan December 12, 2004
United StatesUnited States March 24, 2005
EuropeEurope September 1, 2005
Main processor 32-bit RISC processor with 10 to 333 or 433 MHz for the PSP N-1000 in USB mode (original firmware: 222 MHz)
Graphics processor 166 MHz
Storage media UMDs , Memory Stick PRO Duo , Memory Stick Micro
Online service PlayStation Network (support ended March 31, 2016)
Units sold approx. 81 million
(as of October 2019)
Most successful game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories with 7.67 million units
(as of October 2015)
successor PlayStation Vita
info Official European website

The PlayStation Portable (official abbreviation : PSP ; in German about portable PlayStation ) is the first handheld console of the PlayStation brand from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (now Sony Interactive Entertainment, SIE for short). With the PlayStation Portable it is possible to play video games, view photos and films, listen to music or surf the Internet. Games are usually stored on Universal Media Discs (UMD) or are made available digitally in the PlayStation Store . As a gaming device, the PSP is in direct competition with the Nintendo DS and the iOS devices from Apple . The PSP is similar in structure to a DualShock controller , but it is equipped with a screen. Current versions are the PSP-3000 and the newer PSP Go, which does not require a UMD drive . Its successor, the PlayStation Vita , was announced on January 27, 2011 at a Sony press event . It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in Europe and America on February 22, 2012. The delivery of the PSP was stopped in the USA in early 2014, and in Japan in June 2014. Since the end of 2014 it was no longer available in Europe and production was completely stopped. Since March 2016, PSP owners can no longer access the PlayStation Store, although games can still be downloaded via detours.


The model designation in the last digit differs depending on the country of publication. The following numbers are used:

xx = region Japan North America Australia Great Britain Europe / Middle East South Korea Asia Taiwan Russia China Mexico Debugging Debugging
number 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12


PSP-1000 with the Wikipedia page open in the PSP's web browser

This handheld was released in Japan on December 12, 2004 at an introductory price of 20,000  yen (approx. 162  euros ) for the standard pack and 25,000 yen (approx. 200 euros) for the value pack. The Value Pack contains only the actual PSP other accessories: a bag, a Memory Stick (32  MB ), a carrying strap and a lanyard for pre-order, headphones with remote control, a demo UMD ( Universal Media Disc ) and a cleaning cloth. The handheld was sold in the USA from March 24, 2005 , but only in a value pack for 249  US dollars (approx. 210 euros, price without taxes).

The device has been available in Europe since September 1, 2005, in Germany at an introductory price of approx. 249 euros for the Value Pack. When the device was registered on the official European PSP website, the movie Spider-Man 2 was initially received on UMD as a free gift . However, a UMD bag (for five UMDs) and sometimes a lanyard was delivered instead of Spider-Man 2.

PSP-2000 (PSP Slim & Lite)

PSP Slim & Lite

At E3 2007 Sony showed a redesigned PlayStation Portable. It was released on September 7, 2007 under the name PlayStation Portable Slim & Lite .

Technical changes compared to the PSP-1000:

  • flattened by 19 percent
  • 91 g or 33 percent lighter
  • UMD cache
  • improved UMD drive
  • the possibility of charging the PSP via USB cable
  • 64 MB main memory , compared to the PSP-1000 this has been doubled. Among other things, this enables shorter loading times in games and faster loading of videos and large websites.
  • New video output for viewing photos or videos on the TV set; with a TV set with progressive scan and a special cable, the screen content can also be output on the TV set while playing.

PSP-3000 (PSP Slim & Lite)


At the Leipzig Games Convention in August 2008, Sony announced that it would bring a revised version of the PSP Slim & Lite onto the market by the end of 2008. The external dimensions and appearance have remained unchanged except for the design of three buttons and the thinner silver metal ring on the back of the PSP. The PSP-3000 was released on October 15, 2008. Shortly after it was released, there were reports that the now horizontal lines of images appeared on the new display during fast game scenes.

Technical changes compared to the PSP-2000:

  • A display with improved contrast, speed and the number of reproducible colors with a light anti-reflective coating, which is darker and may leave streaks with fast games.
  • The extension of the video signal output by a composite signal so that it is now also possible to display games on NTSC TV sets without progressive scan .
  • Integrated microphone
  • The charger only supplies 1500 mA (PSP-2000: 2000 mA).
  • Updated protective measures against the installation of alternative operating systems.
  • Longer battery life

PSP-N1000 (PSP Go)

Logo of the PSP Go
PSP Go with slid-open controls

On May 30, 2009, due to a bug in the PlayStation Store, the first pictures and a first video for the PSP Go came to the public, which should not be published until E3 2009. The PSP Go was released on October 1, 2009 and cost 249.95 euros. Externally, this model differs significantly from its predecessors.

Technical changes compared to the PSP-3000:

  • The screen is now a slide screen with which the operating elements can be covered.
  • The position of the controls has been changed.
  • The UMD drive has been removed.
  • An internal, 16 GB flash memory has been added, on which data such as PlayStation downloads, videos, music, photos or games can be saved.
  • The LCD has been made a little smaller and measures only 3.78 instead of 4.3 inches on the diagonal.
  • The device has an integrated rechargeable battery, replacement by the user is not intended and voids the guarantee. If the battery is defective, the device must be opened by a specialist.
  • Bluetooth is supported.
  • Instead of a Memory Stick (Pro) Duo, a Memory Stick Micro is now used for memory expansion.
  • The PSP Go weighs only 159 g.

Games are only available online (via the PlayStation Store). Since top-up cards for the PS Store appeared on October 1, 2009, it is also possible to use the shop without a credit card.

In April 2011 the production of the PSP Go for Europe and Japan was stopped. That only happened later for the North American market.

PSP-E1000 (PSP Street)

At the gamescom trade fair in August 2011, Sony presented the PSP Street, an affordable version for the European market. This should, after the postponed release date of the successor console Playstation Vita , compete with the Nintendo handheld 3DS , which had recently been discounted, in the 2011 Christmas season. The main difference to other models is the lack of a WLAN module and thus a restriction to single player modes against the computer, as well as no access to e-mails or chat; Game downloads can only be loaded onto the console using the Media Go software via a PC. The PSP Street has a matt black housing, but is also available in other colors. It weighs 223 g, which is a plus of 64 g. At 172.4 mm × 73.4 mm × 21.6 mm, the dimensions are slightly larger than the previous PSP (169.4 mm × 71.4 mm × 18.6 mm). The sound is output through a mono speaker. Hackers already managed to create a video at the gamescom trade fair in which they ran a homebrew on the new PSP in front of the camera . After the video appeared on the YouTube video host , Sony removed all PSP-E1000 devices from the Cologne trade fair.

Limited editions

Every version of the PlayStation Portable, with the exception of the PSP Go, had a large number of limited editions in addition to the standard editions. These were mostly delivered in a bundle with the corresponding game, but also individually and had a unique look due to alternative colors or even changed hardware. They were often only available in selected regions and in some cases could only be obtained by participating in raffles.

There were different designs, for example Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid as a theme, with the former only given thematically appropriate prints. The Snake fans, on the other hand, were able to enjoy either a camouflage PSP or one in metallic green, which, in addition to the title-giving game on UMD , also included a memory stick and a matching carrier bag.

The limited edition of the PSP-3000, which was released for the Monster Hunter Portable 3rd game and is only available in Japan, had a larger battery pack (2200 mAh ), an adapted XMB and a special, inwardly curved analog stick in addition to the special color scheme  . In addition, it had a noble-looking case, thanks to its golden frame and matt black shell. On the back, the more voluminous covers on the left and right were particularly eye-catching, which were due to the larger battery, but had the positive side effect that the PSP was easier to hold. In conjunction with the concave analog stick, this led to a generally higher level of ergonomics than the standard versions.

Technical specifications


  • Processor: 32-bit dual CPU ( MIPS 32R2, system clock frequency 10–333 MHz (433 MHz, PSP GO in USB mode), 128-bit bus), 2.6 gigaflops performance.
  • Graphics processor: 166 MHz, manufactured in 90 nm technology

random access memory

  • Main memory: 32 MiB  DRAM , from PSP-2000 64 MiB DRAM, 2.6 GB / second data throughput
  • Graphics memory: 4 MiB eDRAM with 512  bit  bus width


  • 16: 9 widescreen LCD
  • 480 × 272 pixels (16,777,216 colors)
  • Max. Brightness 200 cd / m² (with brightness control)
  • 850: 1 contrast


  • Stereo speakers (position varies) up to PSP Go; PSP Street has mono speakers



20 buttons or control elements, which are similar to the input scheme of a PlayStation controller:

  • four directional buttons (up / down / left / right) and an analog mini stick
  • four input keys (triangle, circle, cross, square)
  • One L and R shoulder button each
  • START, SELECT, HOME (or PS button from PSP-3000), power on / hold / standby / off switch, brightness control, sound mode, volume +/-, wireless LAN on / off switch

Connections, readers, interfaces

  • IrDA interface: this is not officially supported and has been abolished as of the PSP-2000, but it can be used with homebrew such as B. IRShell can be used to operate a television
  • Serial connection: serves as a connection for the remote control of the integrated media player or (only from PSP-2000) as a connection for a TV cable
  • Headphone connection
  • Mini USB 2.0 port
  • Memory Stick (Pro) Duo (up to PSP-3000 and PSP-E1000) or Memory Stick Micro (M2) (PSP-N1000): serves as a storage medium for WMA / MP3 / ATRAC3 / 3GP files, games downloaded from PlayStation Network , Images, MPEG-4 or H.264 videos and scores. 32 MB to 32 GB available.
  • Drive: UMD (read only) (missing on PSP Go)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR) (PSP-N1000)

Power supply

  • The power supply is provided by an exchangeable (up to PSP-3000) lithium-ion battery with 3.6 V, which is permanently installed in the two later models. The battery of the first model has a capacity of 1800 mAh , the two Slim & Lite models 1200 mAh and the PSP Street and the Go around 900 mAh. There is also an AC adapter (100 V to 240 V input and 5 V, 2 A or 1.5 A output from the 3000 series) to charge the battery.
  • Furthermore, a larger battery pack with a capacity of 2200 mAh was also available, which had the same larger external dimensions as the 1800 mAh battery of the PSP-1000, which is why an alternative battery cover was included for use in the PSP-2000 and PSP-3000 which created the necessary space.


  • Instead of a UMD drive, PSP Go has a 16 GB internal flash memory for games, films, pictures and music, which can be obtained from PSN, among others
  • Access control: regional code and child safety via PIN
  • Place of manufacture: People's Republic of China or South Korea (varies depending on the battery)

Supported file formats

(maximum 480 × 272 pixels, maximum bit rate of the video track is limited to 1500 Kbit / s and that of the audio track to 128 Kbit / s)

  • music
    • ATRAC (.oma .msa .aa3)
    • AAC (.mp4)
    • MP3 (.mp3)
    • WAV (.wav)
    • WMA (.wma) (After free activation)
  • Image files
    • JPG
    • GIF - Gifs are only shown animated in the Internet browser
    • PNG
    • TIFF No longer from firmware 5.50 (The reason is a loophole in the system software.)
    • BMP


model PSP-1000 PSP-2000 PSP-3000 PSP-E1000 (PSP Street) PSP-N1000 (PSP Go)
random access memory 32  MB 64  MB
Display (inch) 4.3 ″ 3.8 ″
UMD drive Yes No
removable battery Yes No
Storage medium Memory Stick (Pro) Duo Memory Stick M2
microphone No Yes
Internal memory No 16 GB
Bluetooth No Yes
Infrared Yes No
Video output No Stereo audio + S-video + YPbPr + composite Stereo audio + S-video + YPbPr + composite No Stereo audio + YPbPr + composite (no S-video)

Universal Media Disc

Underside of a UMD

The Universal Media Disc (UMD), which is similar to a scaled-down version of the MiniDisc, was specially developed for the PSP. Just as with the MiniDisc, the actual UMD is surrounded by a plastic housing, which is supposed to protect the disc blank from damage and is only interrupted by a saving for the laser. However, due to its DVD-like structure, the UMD has a significantly higher storage capacity of up to 1.8 GB compared to the MiniDisc. Sony is trying to establish UMD as the new and secure video standard for mobile media, but so far Sony's PSP is the only device with a UMD drive. In addition, large film companies such as Warner Bros. announced after some time that they mostly wanted to get out of the UMD business. The reason is the weak sales figures for the data carriers. However, in July 2009 Warner published a collection box of the Harry Potter films on UMD.

UMD torches and blanks are not currently available. UMD content can be copied, but only with a homebrew program and thus only with a PSP with firmware 1.5 or custom firmware .

Furthermore, it is not even possible for game producers to produce UMDs themselves. With the SDK, they receive a special burner that creates a master DVD, which is handed over to Sony and then brought to UMD exclusively by Sony.

The PSP Go no longer has a UMD drive.



The firmware provides the basic functions of the PlayStation Portable. At the moment these include system configuration, viewing photos, listening to music, watching videos, managing the save statuses, browsing using the web browser , reading RSS feeds, listening to Internet radio via WiFi, reading digital comics and shopping for games from the PlayStation store. No UMD or other program is required for these functions.

The current firmware is currently version 6.61, which is available for all PSP models. The PSP 1000, 2000 and 3000 all have the same firmware updates, whereas the PSP Go has its own firmware updates.

Sony provides regular firmware updates with new functions, which can either be downloaded from the Internet or installed from a UMD. One reason for the frequent firmware updates is unofficially the homebrew community. It is constantly trying to find new ways to run programs it has written. Sony tries to prevent this, as these security holes also make it possible to run copied games in the form of a memory image.

Custom firmware

Custom firmwares ( adapted firmware , CFW) are very popular among homebrew users, as they offer the functions of the original firmwares, but in contrast to these, they also run unsigned software and game copies (in the form of ISO images ). If the PSP is already homebrew-capable, CFW can be installed like a normal system update, or you can proceed as with a downgrade. A generally executable custom firmware is the 6.20 / 6.35 / 6.60 PRO-C1fix3 or 6.39 PRO-C1fix4 from Coldbird and Virtuous Flame. It is compatible with all Sony PSPs, but only the 6.20 version can be permanently installed, the 6.35 / 6.39 / 6.60 versions cannot. As soon as the PSP is restarted with the 6.35 / 6.39 / 6.60 variant, the official firmware is reloaded. The 6.60 ME-2.3 is even newer and better (also available for 6.61). It is compatible with the 1000 and 2000 models up to and including data code 8B and is considered to be permanently installable, although there are also sockets for the 3000 / E1000 and Go models that cannot be permanently installed. Since February 13, 2013 it has been possible to equip the 3000 and Go models with the latest firmware with permanent custom firmware. This is possible thanks to the so-called Infinity hack from Davee, which exploits a hole in the kernel of firmware 6.31 in order to achieve code execution during the cold start. A modified firmware 6.61 is then loaded. The E1000 models do not support this hack as they are unable to load firmware 6.31.

As an alternative to the CFWs, there are homebrew enablers (HEN, literally homebrew enablers ), which only make the necessary changes to the firmware in the main memory and do not access the internal flash memory of the PSP. This has the advantage that no files have to be written to the Flash0 of the PSP, so that the operating system cannot be destroyed. However, the modifications made by the HEN are volatile; it must be carried out again each time the PSP is started, unless the PSP is flashed with custom firmware. The 6.61 HEN from Neur0n is currently the newest HEN that can run on any PSP and uses a kernel mode exploit so that homebrews and backups can be played back.

The installation of a CFW in the flash memory is no longer possible on the PSP-3000 and on newer PSP-2000s that have a data code of 8C or higher (and thus a new mainboard ) because the IPL in the main processor has been changed and the start the custom firmware refused.

As an alternative to this, however, by modifying and simulating the signature of a real file, you can force the autostart of a temporary CFW so that it looks like a fixed CFW. This method is called permanent patch and works on all PSP models as long as they have version 6.20 installed.


While the PSP firmware is updated during an update process, a downgrade has the opposite effect - the aim here is usually to install a modified firmware version from which it is possible to run any homebrew program and thus any firmware to the Play PSP. Because downgrade will directly access the internal flash memory, the PSP can on error bricken (from the English brick , brick ').

  • A semi-brick. In the case of a semi-brick, individual files in the flash memory are damaged, which means that the XMB - a main menu, so to speak - of the PSP can no longer be started. With a PSP with official firmware, this would be just as serious as a fullbrick, but can be remedied relatively easily with custom firmware using the "Recovery menu".
  • A full brick. In this case, the flash memory of the PSP is so damaged that you can no longer call up the “recovery menu” - which is not available on a PSP with official firmware anyway. So you have to try to fix the full brick with the so-called "Pandora battery". This usually works in exactly the same way as a downgrade process.

To enable a downgrade, you need a method to access the PSP's memory. Mostly the so-called Pandora battery is used for this, a rechargeable battery which puts the PSP into service mode and thus enables the execution of unlicensed software, whereby the system does not load from the internal memory but accesses the memory stick. Either a commercially available Pandora battery is used, or a working PSP that allows homebrew to be created. It is also possible to make such a battery yourself by disconnecting a contact on a chip in the battery or by cutting a special conductor path on the circuit board of the battery of the PSP-2000. The software can be an original firmware, but also a program that enables the installation of a custom firmware. However, this no longer works with the newer PSP 2000 (manufactured from the third quarter of 2008, DATE CODE 8c), PSP 3000, PSP Go and PSP E1000. Alternatively, a downgrade can also be carried out using a homebrew downgrader up to a maximum of firmware 6.20. Even older firmware versions can also be downgraded using software. There was also the option of downgrading games through security holes. However, these methods are now out of date, as there are hardly any PSPs that have installed these old firmware versions. A downgrade from firmware 6.61 (and lower) and thus the execution of permanent custom firmware is also possible under certain circumstances. Hackers succeeded in dumping the kernel memory for the first time on August 10, 2011. A few days later, a downgrader was released that can be used to downgrade the current firmware version. The creator of the downgrade, “some1”, used an exploit by the hacker “davee”, the developer of the 5.03 Homebrew Enabler (HEN), for the downgrade.

Homebrew and Copyright Infringement

" Hello World " on the PSP-1000

After a short time, developers managed to execute their own code on the Japanese PSP, as there were no limitations with firmware 1.00 and some security gaps with 1.50. This made it possible to develop self-written (homebrew) and ported software (especially emulators). There are, for example, emulators for GameBoy , GameBoy Advance , NES , SNES , Amiga , Atari VCS (Atari 2600) , Sega MegaDrive , N64 and other game consoles as well as a PSone emulator developed independently by Sony from firmware 3.00 . There is also a porting of the Bochs PC emulator , on which Windows can be run.

The possibility of executing your own code may be interesting for hobby developers, but for Sony this is a sensitive issue, as it is also possible to load illegal copies of UMD originals from a memory stick with an ISO loader. With the measure that a new game can only be played from a certain firmware version onwards, Sony continues to try to close security gaps and curb the number of black copies . However, programmers in the scene have found a security hole in almost every version so far that made it possible to execute their own code. In the meantime, the original ISO loaders have been replaced by modified firmwares. These are based on the original firmware from Sony (and therefore also offer all the features), but enable backups to be started directly from the PSP menu without the use of additional software. Since version 3.03 OE-A, it is even possible to start any PSX ISO with the integrated emulator, while the original firmware only allows games to be started from the PSN store. However, until the end of 2009 / beginning of 2010 no CFW developer had succeeded in giving the user access to the PlaystationStore. Furthermore, it was not possible to play games online as long as they were using the online service of the PlaystationStore. Only with the CFW plug-in PSNabler and its indirect successor PSNFucker (now PSNLover) has it been possible to access the PSN store with a CFW since the beginning of 2010 and play games via the online service. However, registration in the PSN is still necessary. In addition, EA and THQ introduced online authorization (online pass), which makes playing via the PSN only possible with an original game with the code provided. Thanks to newer custom firmwares, it is no longer necessary to use the PSNLover, as a better and permanent option has been integrated so that PSN access is possible even with the latest firmware.

In principle, replacing the original operating system of a PSP does not violate copyright law. However, modifications to the original code are illegal as they violate the right to rework. There are no legal reservations against homebrew software, but there are against the use of modified original firmware. The use of backup copies of UMDs (also in the form of ISO files) is permitted under copyright law as long as the user is in possession of the original data carrier. However, if the original is passed on (sale, exchange, etc.), the right to such a backup expires. The use of backups or homebrew software can therefore be permissible under copyright law, but generally presupposes that the original software has been modified, which in any case violates the copyright.

System design of the PSP

A modified XMB

See also: XrossMediaBar the PlayStation Portable

The XrossMediaBar (XMB) ( Cross Media Bar , literally cross media bar ) forms the core of the system design. In contrast to conventional consoles, it is possible for the user to personalize his PSP, but only with a higher firmware version. Up to version 3.52 it was only possible to set the background image, from firmware version 3.70 the PSP user can also change the appearance of the XMB using PSP themes. These can either be downloaded directly from Sony or created with a program published by Sony called Custom Theme Maker . The installation of PSP themes is relatively easy and therefore possible for most users.

The predefined links to the individual functions of the user interface can also be changed. These adaptations can be achieved with custom firmwares by changing system files in the flash memory of the PSP. Alternatively, the CFW plug-in CXMB can also be used, which simulates changed files in the flash memory for the PSP in order to use custom themes in the form of a .ctf without changes in the flash memory. The arrangement of the individual elements and the key tones of the PSP can also be changed in this way. Almost every aspect of the menu is interchangeable or customizable, allowing the user to personalize their PSP as much as possible.

Remote play

The remote play function of the Sony PlayStation Portable enabled a wireless data connection to the stationary PlayStation 3 from January 2007. Primarily, it can be used to access the menu of the PlayStation 3, including music, video and image files. The connection can be established in the classic way via wireless LAN as well as online, so that PS3 content can also be accessed on the go. It is also possible to play a limited number of PlayStation 3 software and all PlayStation 1 titles on the PSP. The Gran Turismo game enables game data to be exchanged between the PS3 and PSP versions. It was also considered to be able to use the Playstation Portable display as a car rearview mirror in the racing game Ridge Racer on the PS3.

Additional hardware

Sony PSP Go! Cam (PSP-3000)

There is various additional hardware for the different PSP systems. In addition to the original PSP batteries, there are also batteries from third-party suppliers. These differ in the variants, as they are available in both external and internal forms. The external batteries are attached to the back of the PSP and charge the original battery in the PSP via a cable. A microphone can be connected by means of a remote control (wired remote control), which enables conversation with other players on the PSP-1000 and PSP-2000 in some games. Furthermore, Skype can be used on the PSP-3000 through a microphone. The PSP camera has also been available in Germany for some time and costs around € 45. The camera can be used to take not only photos, but also videos. The camera is attached to the USB port on the upper side. The games Invizimal and EyePet come with a newer version (PSP GO! Cam 450 x), which has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels.

With the GPS receiver , the PSP is expanded to include the functions of a navigation device. It was presented at the Games Convention 2007 and has been supplied in Germany since April 2008 under the name Go! Explore with map data for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Go! Explore can be used by both motorists and pedestrians. In the PSN Store you can download maps from other countries for a fee.


Sony has already been heavily criticized from both the developer and user communities. Manufacturers like EA have criticized Sony for believing that not enough is being done for developers, closing doors to new opportunities. Developers like to cite UMD as an example.

The community's main criticism is that Sony does not always meet the release dates. For example, the GPS receiver was announced for the end of 2006 in Europe. However, this did not go on sale in Germany until the end of April 2008. It is also criticized that Sony does not allow homebrew to be carried out on the PSP and that it does not give so many amateur programmers the opportunity to develop programs or mini-games for the PSP. This is one of the main reasons for the widespread use of custom firmwares.

Furthermore, it remains to be mentioned as negative that downloads are user-specific and not (as known from the PlayStation 3) also from e.g. B. allows content loaded in the American store without losing your existing activations.


Web links

Commons : PlayStation Portable  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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