When you ask gamers what their favorite mobile gaming device is, Nintendo is almost always the gaming company that’s brought up the most. The Gameboy and the 3DS practically printed money for them. Those portable gaming devices were not only a massive success in Japan, they sold like hotcakes in the rest of the world as well.
Even with Nintendo dominating the mobile gaming market, Sony managed to put up quite the fight with their own entry into the hand held gaming market. The PlayStation Portable released in Japan on December 12, 2004 and to the rest of the world almost a year later. This impressive little beast impressed gamers with it’s sleek design, comfortable feel, and relatively powerful (for the time) specs that could put out some pretty crisp visuals for how small it was. The PSP sold well, and was received with favorable reviews, with a very long life cycle of give or take 10 years.
It’s just a shame it that it was not as successful as it could be, as the system still has potential within it today. If you can find it for cheap say in a thift store, I highly recommend picking one up.
Why the PSP is a good system for gaming
The PSP’s hard ware has noticeably aged, as it’s specs can be achieved with relative ease by any high end smartphone these days. However, the PSP’s main purpose is to let you play games efficiently, conveniently, and comfortably, and it does one heck of a damn good job at it.
The PlayStation Portable is a very straightforward device. You pop the game disk into the disk reader in it’s back, wait for it to install, and you’re ready to play. While playing games is a simple process, it also maintains the other features of the device, such as a media player (you can watch movies on it) and an internet browser, as the PSP can connect to WiFi. All of these features aren’t confusing at all to access. Perfectly packaged in a neat an easy to understand user interface.
Handheld and portable gaming has in my opinion, felt comfortable and relaxing with the PSP. I could play for hours and hours and my hands wouldn’t feel tired or would cramp. They way they modeled and designed how you hold the device feels very natural and ergonomic. The screen is also a decent size, letting you keep the PSP a good distance away from your face and reduces the strain on your eyes. The buttons are also smartly placed, all within a comfortable distance from each other, allowing for quick access during intense fast paced sections in your game.
Good things come in small packages! It’s impressive how much the PSP can do, given it’s very compact size. They weren’t kidding when they said this thing was portable, because you can take it just about anywhere. The device’s small but not tiny frame let’s you shove it just about anywhere. From suitcases, bags, purses, large clutches, or you could just hold it. I recommend getting a case for it though, as this will minimize any scratches it might endure, and extra protection for your device never hurt.
Quite possibly the biggest and most personal reason for me, the PSP is a fantastic way to experience AAA games on the go. You could say that phones these days are more powerful than the PSP, and you would have a fair point. However, most games on the app or play store are not full fledged experiences. Most of them are just fun, cute little time killers haphazardly riddled with micro-transactions. This is not me bashing the games on mobile or the app stores, I fully acknowledge that there are many games on there worth playing. If you mostly like and only play those types of games, then that is perfectly valid!
The PSP is proof that you don’t have to make your games over the top spectacular with huge open world to be great experiences. Those games are great in their own right, but there’s a certain magic at how straightforward the PSP plays, that you won’t get overwhelmed if you play. In my opinion, the PSP was a perfect way to whet my appetite for gaming, as I played on it when I was younger, and as I matured, my capability to handle the bigger games on the larger consoles matured as well. If you want to get into gaming, the PSP is a fantastic place to start. It has a myriad of games that will appeal to children and adults alike.