When I was picking up the Assassin’s Creed Ezio Trilogy s few days ago, I saw this sign on the PSP Rack:
It was a good run.
While on the one hand yes, the PSP was probably the most hacked console ever, it held it own against two generations of Nintendo Handhelds: The Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS/DSi. Let’s be honest: The PSP helped Nintendo make a better handheld. When the PSP came out in 2000, it offered online play right off the bat and a variety of built-in multimedia options including UMD-format full-length movies and TV Shows. Not gonna lie, I bought my first PSP specifically so I could watch Kung Fu Hustle (pictured above) on the go.
Unfortunately, the homebrew community went out of its way to render the PSP unprofitable. About two years after the PSP launched, I started seeing pictures like this floating around the internet:
…Easiest way to piss off both Sony AND Nintendo, yes?
Now, I don’t have a problem with the Emulation Community. I strongly believe now more than ever the Industry needs to embrace the good it brings. However, just because you CAN emulate NES, SNES and N64 Games on the PSP doesn’t mean you have to rub it in Sony and Nintendo’s faces. I’ve seen hundreds of people Emulate console games on their Android phones yet they don’t show it off to everyone they meet. They know not to bring unncessary attention to themselves.
Facing pressure from Nintendo, Sony was quick to address the issue. First they released a firmware update that closed the holes that allowed folks to run Emulators on a PSP. Then they updated the coding so that UMD games released after the update would not work with the older firmware. Then Sony decided to just release the PSP-2000 halfway through the last decade, which shipped with the most recent firmware and couldn’t be downgraded. I know what the “magic number” to run Emulators on a PSP is but I won’t say what it is here. I have too much respect for the PSP to do that. Anywho, this triggered a frenzy om the internet as modders bought the older PSP for modding purposes.
When the PS3 was announced, Sony introduced The Playstation Network. They also released the PSP Go, which unlike the other models does not use UMDs. In order to add games, you needed a PS3/PS4 or a PC and the Sync Cable to add games, movies/tv shows and music to the system. It comes with a 20GB Hard Drive of which you got 16GB to work with. More than enough to fit 12-15 PSP games on it. That addressed the demand for folks looking to just have a digital copy of a video game. Like the 3DS however, the entire PSP library is not available for digital download. In some cases, games have even been taken down. Even so, the Playstation Network and the PSP Go are handy. I’m even looking into getting another one: They’re great for watching movies and have a pretty impressive battery life!
Knowing Gamestop will no longer buy and sell PSP games means after Setember 1, you’ll need to use the internet to find PSP games. Wii and DS games can be played on the Wii U and 3DS so you should still see the games at Gamestop for another year or two despite the Nintendo Wifi Connection shutting down a few months back. Speaking of which: You can still access the internet on a PSP no matter how old it is. It uses the same kind of system as the Vita, PS3 and PS4.