announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, and in the PAL region onSeptember 1, 2005. It primarily competed with the Nintendo DS, as part of the seventh generation of video games.
The PlayStation Portable became the most powerful portable system when launched, just after the Nintendo DS in 2004. It was the first real competitor to Nintendo's handheld domination, where many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocketand Nokia's N-Gage, failed. Its GPU encompassed high-end graphics on a handheld, while its 4.3 inch viewing screen and multi-media capabilities, such as its video player and TV tuner, made the PlayStation Portable a major mobile entertainment device at the time. It also features connectivity with the PlayStation 3, other PSPs and theInternet. It is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage medium.
The original PSP model (PSP-1000) was replaced by a slimmer model with design changes (PSP-2000/"Slim & Lite") in 2007. Another remodeling followed in 2008, PSP-3000, which included a new screen and an inbuilt microphone. A complete redesign, PSP Go, came in 2009, followed by a budget model, PSP-E1000, in 2011. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan, and in February 2012 worldwide. The PlayStation Vita features backward compatibility with many PlayStation Portable games digitally released on the PlayStation Network, via PlayStation Store. Shipments of the PlayStation Portable ended throughout 2014 worldwide, having sold 80 million units in its 10-year lifetime.
Sony first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2004. Although mock-ups of the system were not present at the press conference or E3, Sony did release extensive technical details regarding the new system. Then-CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st Century" in a reference to the console's multimedia capabilities. Several gaming websites were impressed by the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to the system's potential as a gaming platform.
Nintendo had been dominating the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, with the only close competitor being Sega's Game Gear (1990-1997), as well as Bandai's WonderSwan (1999-2003) in Japan. Later offerings from both SNK and Nokia also failed to cut into Nintendo's share. The PSP was called the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld market" by an IDC analyst in 2004.
The first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2002 at the Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting and showed a PSP with flat buttons and no analog stick. Although some expressed concern over the lack of an analog joystick,these fears were allayed when the PSP was officially unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. In addition to announcing more details about the system and its accessories, Sony also released a list of 99 developer companies that had pledged support for the new handheld. Several PSP game demos, such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure were also shown at the conference.
Technical specifications Edit
The following Technical Specifications apply to all PSPs unless noted for a specific PSP series:
The PSP is widely known by the series code (PSP-1000, PSP-2000, etc.). There are sub-codes within this numbering system however which designate the region coding. PSP game discs are region-free, however, most movie discs have region encoding, and so will only work on the appropriate master unit.
The PSP is sold in four main configurations that differ in which accessories are included. The basic unit package or Base Pack (called the Core Pack in North America) contains the console, a battery, and an AC adapter. This version was available at launch in Japan and was later released in North America and Europe. The Core Pack currently retails for CA$/US$169.99, ¥19,800,HK$1,280 or $1,360 (depending on the color), S$280, A$279.95, NZ$299.95, €169.99, and £129.99.
The Value Pack includes everything in the Base Pack as well as a 32 MB Memory Stick Pro Duo, headphones with remote control, a carrying pouch, and a wrist strap. Some regions have modified versions of this pack that include different accessories. The Value Pack retails for US$199.99, ¥23,800, HK$1660, A$399.99,INR6990  and NZ$449.95.
Many limited edition versions of the PSP that include various accessories, games, or movies have also been released.