The PSP is what the Game Boy would have been to Generation Z gamers, but only better. To this date, this handheld console is unarguably the best portable system. Despite being less successful than its rival, the Nintendo DS, the PSP managed to sell 80 million unit throughout its 10-year lifespan. For some gamers, it was the vast library of games with superb 3D graphics that attracted them while for others, it was its multimedia functionality. However, you’d be surprised to know that the PSP could do so much more beyond its native features. Indeed, only dedicated fans are aware of the console’s real potential. Thus, we present you 25 PlayStation Portable Secrets Only True Fans Know.
Whether you were a casual or a hardcore PSP player, this article is for every type of gamers as we’re sure you’ll find some new information. Though Sony stopped supporting the console, the fan community is still alive and serves as a gateway for amateur developers. It definitely occupies a special place in gamers' hearts capturing a new exciting world of portable gaming.
22 Hacked PSPs For The Win!
For the most tech-savvy fans, it is no surprise that the PSP can do so much more than its essential features. However, its biggest turn on is that the console is fully hackable.
However, its most popular hack will undoubtedly remain the “Pandora’s Battery.”
Essentially, this hacking method allows you to convert your PSP battery into a bootable one. Once inserted, the PSP will force itself onto the recovery mode, enabling the device to install custom firmware. From there, players could even download game files from the internet and play them. These modified batteries can either be purchased online or can be created by yourself, given that you do have an extra battery and a friend who can lend you its hacked PSP.
21 It Was Just A Dream...
Looking at the PSP now, I guess its only natural that we consider it as the little brother of the PlayStation family. Its default black color and its signature buttons are reminding us of a cross experiment between a DualShock controller and a PS console.
The handheld device concept featured flat buttons instead of the regular leveled ones.
I’ve always despised these type of dials as I never seem to have the feeling of button-mashing. Furthermore, the analog stick seems to have been tossed out for a thin-lined circular D-Pad. Though petite-handed players would have easily adapted with this configuration, large-handed gamers would have struggled as the annular strip would have been too small for them.
20 Why Have A Camera When You Have A PSP?
Before its successor — The PS Vita, the PSP was the most efficient handheld console in the market, at the time. Whether you wanted to play games, listen to music or watch movies, the PSP had it all covered.
The PSP Camera is an accessory that plugs itself directly onto the USB port of the PSP.
Once screwed to the top, players could then select the “Camera” option under the Photo app to activate the camera. The hardware only came in the US, on 2010, which was four years later than its original Japanese launch. The camera resolution was 0.3 megapixels which would be considered as mediocre in our today’s standards.
19 Nintendo PSP
Yup, you could play your favorite games from the NES all the way to the N64.
To enable the feature, players naturally need to hack your PSP to allow custom firmware. Once done, gamers can download compatible emulators to run the games. Custom apps like NesterJ, GBA4PSP & SNES9x are the most popular apps to run on the NES, Game Boy Advance and SNES, respectively. Players would then need to download ROMs files of their games. The DaedalusX64 is the most ambitious homebrew for the N64 but not every game are entirely compatible with it.
18 Mini-Internet? Check!
Web browsing is now considered as a necessary feature of every mobile device. However, it wasn't the case at the beginning of the 2000s. Many devices even lacked wifi connectivity, as the technology wasn’t prevalent at the time (this is something that young kids would never have to experience). The PlayStation Portable was a vanguard of the modern console partly thanks to its built-in wifi and its ability to surf through the web.
Players were able to access web pages and could even save multimedia files, such as music, videos, and pictures. Before you get any superficial ideas, the handheld’s browser was very limited compared to today’s smartphones. Although users could view web pages, hefty pages proved to load very slowly and could sometimes crash your PSP.
17 Control Your PS3 With Your PSP
In a nutshell, players could stream the PS3 through the PSP and could even play PS1 games directly from the portable. PS3-based games couldn’t be played, but few PSN titles were Remote Play compatible. For instance, players could run the PS3 game Bionic Commander Rearmed via PSP. Also, Remote Play was also an inspiration behind the Cross-Play feature, which allows you to play a game simultaneously in the PS3 & PS Vita. The only hick is that players are not able to use the PS3 from the TV, as the PSP takes the streaming connection to enable the feature. Still, we have to give props to Sony to come up with an idea like this!
16 Not Your Average New PSP Model
The original bulky PSP-1000 & the slimmer PSP-2000 are by far the most preferred models for real PSP fans, thanks to their easiness to hack. Sony would later release upgraded models of the PSP, but its most noticeable one would be the PSP Go.
One of the PSP Go's most robust feature is its design. The console is about 50% lighter than the original PSP and more compact. Also, it comes included with a 16 GB built-in memory and players can insert an additional memory stick to increase it. However, the PSP Go was only compatible with digital games as Sony removed the UMD tray from the console. This proved to be a problem for gamers that already bought physical copies of their games as they couldn’t play it.
15 PS2/PSP Connectivity
The PSP released more than a year before the PS3. Despite that, the portable system had more affinity for the future console than the PlayStation 2.
Unknown to many, both consoles had a limited amount of games that were cross-compatible. Although the library was scarce, it’s still interesting to see how the titles would fare together. For instance, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 2 (PSP) and SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault (PS2) would feature cross-talk objectives that players would need to complete in both games. Succeeding these missions not only unlock items, but it also affects the gameplay of the other title.
Though this feature may be lost in history, we have to credit the PS2-PSP connectivity for bringing innovation in the video game industry.
14 The BoomBox Is Back From The Past
Audio has always been an essential component when playing video games. In a nutshell, players can simply plug the PSP onto the machine’s port to connect the audio through the system. While you may enjoy the tunes of your favorite artist, the Boombox is also equipped with a 3.5 mm cable that allows you to play your favorite games more comfortably. The accessory is also compatible with most of your MP3 devices should you need to play your full collection of digital sound! On another perspective, you can now hear the Ridge Racer announcer more clearly!
13 Put A GPS On It
The fact that the PSP could connect through the web via wifi was definitely a significant achievement from the gaming industry. While casual gamers may think that wifi was the technology peak of the PSP, then you’d best to think again, as you could also flip your portable console to a GPS.
Go!Explore converts your PSP into a high-frequency direction finder. The beauty of it is that you don’t even need an internet connection to activate it. The accessory comes with a receiving panel that connects through the USB port. Users would then need to run the Go!Explore, and that's all; you’ve got another GPS with you. The add-on was not only limited to find your destination as specific titles were compatible with it. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops allowed players with their GPS- converted PSP to recruit each other as a soldier, should they be in the same area.
12 A Bit Of Window/MAC On Your PSP
Thanks to the PSP hacking scene, garage programmers could create their homebrew programs to share with the underground PSP fans. While fans must have been busy running homemade games, amateur developers have been able to program the portable console as a mobile Windows PC or MAC.
Indeed, it was possible to run your favorite operating system onto the PlayStation Portable. Before you get excited and run off dusting your old handheld console, it is important to note that the program only runs a skin of the desired OS. In other words, you will be able to see the display of the operating system and use very few applications on it.
11 Internet Radio On The Go
Though radio broadcasting popularity has steadily declined in the last years, it has still been able to stand through the trials of time.
Since the 3.80 official firmware, music enthusiasts could jam to over 50 different music stations. Players could just connect to the wifi and click on the Internet Radio icon. From there, players have the option of adding one of the three radio players to their memory card. Once done, you can select your downloaded player and choose your preferred style of music. Whether you’re a traditional jazz or an upbeat dance fan, there's definitely a music genre that will satisfy your ear. Of course, gaming may probably be the main reason why you initially buy a console but isn’t it cool that it can do so much more?
10 2 UMDS For 2-Player Multiplayer? I Don't Think So!
One of the PlayStation Portable most prominent features is its multiplayer ability. Games like Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection & Metal Gear: Peace Walker allowed players to download a demo copy of the game from the host to enable multiplayer. Cool, isn't it?
Similar to the PS1 disc-swap trick, players would need to load the game in their system and enable the in-game local multiplayer option. Once the ad-hoc screen shows that it is trying to connect itself, the player would need to eject its UMD and insert it in another PSP. If done correctly, both players will be able to play.
9 Home Of Your Favorite Series' Spin-Off Titles
Though the PSP has a certain appeal for casual gamers, the console was most popular amongst Sony “fanboys” (Pardon, my french). The PlayStation brand has dramatically helped to introduce some of the greatest games in the video game universe.
Games like Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker have been critically-acclaimed and are often considered in many PSP games lists. What’s most interesting is that these games explore multiple unrevealed chapters of their respective stories. Despite not having the same level of fun as in a PS3 (*ahem* lack of right stick *ahem*), most of these prequels do a stable job at maintaining the experience. Too bad the Vita hasn’t been able to match the PSP success, though.
8 Keep The Fun In Your TV
Though the PSP selling point was its portability, gamers could also use the TV, as an external screen, should they have a PSP compatible component AV cable. This functionality is only compatible with the PSP-2000 & PSP-3000 (sorry phat PSP). Also, it is essential to make sure that the PSP has enough charge. First, the composite AV color connectors must be plugged into the TV. Players would then need to connect the other end of the wire to the video out port of the PSP. The video quality is actively better in the portable console, as the image often come very blurred when playing a game, because of the PSP native resolution.
7 Riiiiiiiiiiiidge Raaaceerrrrrrr
During Sony’s 2006 E3 conference, Hirai announced the inclusion of PS1 games to the PSP platform. He then proceeded to shook the crowd by running the original Ridge Racer title onto the portable console. Unfortunately, his enthusiastic attitude seemed to have caught more attention as his “Riiiiiiiidge Racer” line appeared to have sparked a significant amount of internet memes. Even though 12 years have passed since this gaffe, gamers still perfectly remember like it was yesterday. Though Hirai might have been the butt of the gamers joke at the time, it also elevated its status amongst the gamers. Thanks to that event, more people know him!
6 Je Peux Traduire Avec La PSP
Only a handful of people knew that their console could’ve been used as a translating guide.
Talkman is an educational game that allows its user to learn new languages.
It also acts as an instant translator, thanks to the mic included with the software. Like the PSP Camera, players can directly attach the device from the top and screw it. Mostly, players would need to say a sentence on the mic verbally. Once the system acknowledges it, it would translate it to the desired language. At the time, only three languages bundles were available (Japanese, French & Italian) to purchase. So, the next time you want to touch base in Europe, make sure you give Talkman a try.
5 Your Favorite Multi-Disk PS1 Games In A Single File!
Players could purchase these classics directly from the PlayStation Network store. The multidisk titles have been converted in a single file and players could simply use the swap disk option from the pause menu when required. Every PS titles purchase made on the PSP could also be downloaded on the PS3, and vice-versa. However, the lack of titles proved to be a significant problem for the PSP as the favorite classics weren’t available from the start. Even now, the PSN store doesn’t hold the complete PS1 game library. Fortunately, hacked PSP could run any PS1 titles should they find the appropriate game file. It is a major thumbs up for the most niche fans. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have Legend of Legaia (an excellent PS1 RPG) waiting for me.
4 From The Big To The Short Screen
Players would need to connect the PSP with the PS3 via USB cable. From there, players could copy the desired PSP save data onto the console. Should players want to transfer their console progression to the portable system, they’d only need to do as previously and copy the file from the PSP. Ingenious, isn’t it? Of course, this function is mostly helpful for RPG-titles that often take a substantial amount of hours to be completed. The PSP-PS1 transfer was a significant thing that even inspired Sony to implement the Cross-Save ability on selected titles between the PS3/PS4 & Vita.
3 When The PSP Meets The Wii
Manufactured by Datel, the Tilt Fx allowed gamers to play their favorite titles by merely moving your PSP. Players would need to run the installing software on the computer. Once done, players would need to connect their PSP to their PC via USB Cable and install Tilt FX onto their portable device. Once done, players could then plug the sensor onto the audio port of the PSP and enjoy the games. However, not every game are compatible with the device. Furthermore, players could enable some cheats in selected games, such as gravity jump- which makes your character jumps higher than usual- and unlimited items. Though the Tilt FX may not be as sharp as the Wii, it is still an excellent tool for the PlayStation Portable.
2 No More Region-Locking!
In the history of video games, one of the most sensitive topics is region-locking. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is defined as a built-in security that restricts players from playing games other than the console’s native area.
The PSP, however, is the first Sony console to be region-free.
Indeed, it was possible for gamers to play imported UMD without being restricted to region-coding. In other words, you could play the JP exclusive Final Fantasy Agito in your PSP instead of buying the PS4 version (which is a waste of money, in my opinion). However, not every feature was exempted from being region-free as movies were still locked to the PSPs of their designated area.
1 Run The Cheats Like Jewels
CFWCheat is a homebrew that allows its users to activate cheats by importing codes to the console.
Essentially, players would need to be able to run custom firmware onto the PSP. Once installed, players would need to activate the boot menu before running the game. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy the many games bypasses. Want to have infinite lives in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories? Fire away! Do you want to defeat your enemies in a single hit on God of War: Ghost of Sparda? Fire Away!