What is PlayStation Portable – PSP
The PlayStation Portable (officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console made by Sony. Development of the console was 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 on September 1, 2005. The PlayStation Portable is the only handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage medium. Other distinguishing features of the console include its large viewing screen, robust multi-media capabilities, and connectivity with the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, other PSPs and the Internet.
Sony first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2003. 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.
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.
On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP would launch in Japan on December 12, 2004, at a price of ¥19,800 (about US$181 in 2004) for the base model and ¥24,800 (about US$226 in 2004) for the Value System. The console’s launch was a success with over 200,000 units sold the first day. Different color variations were also sold in bundle packs, which cost more than usual, around $200. Sony announced on February 3, 2005, that the PSP would go on sale in North America on March 24, 2005, in one configuration for a MSRP of US$249/CA$299. Some expressed concern over the high price, which was almost US$20 higher than the system’s price in Japan and more than $100 higher than the recently launched Nintendo DS. Despite the concerns, the PSP’s North American launch was a success, although reports two weeks later indicated that the system was not selling as well as expected despite Sony’s claim that 500,000 units had been sold in the first two days.
The PSP was originally to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch, but on March 15, 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America. A month later, on April 25, 2005, Sony announced that the PSP would launch in the PAL region on September 1, 2005, for €249/£179. Sony defended the high price, which was nearly US$100 higher than in North America, by pointing out that North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the VAT (sales tax) was higher in the UK than the US. Despite the high price, the console’s PAL region launch was a resounding success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK alone, selling out of all stock nationwide in the UK within three hours of launch, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record of 87,000 units set by the Nintendo DS. The system also enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region with more than 25,000 units preordered in Australia and nearly one million units sold across Europe in the first week.