You know how this site is aimed at handheld gaming, right? It started out as chatting about Nintendo games and some mobile games on iOS or Android, and soon Vita games where added into the mix too. Little did I know that Vita games would soon take up most of my gaming time. What a great and mostly underestimated little device! Sony however isn’t very good at making their games backwards compatible, so when I got the chance to buy a used PSP I went for it. There are some games I was itching to play on it! Plus, it felt good to add “that other handheld” to my collection.
Having been a Nintendo gamer from the start the PSP went totally unnoticed by me. I didn’t even know that the system isn’t that old yet, it was first released in 2005 in Europe and America. Not long after the Nintendo DS was first released (2004), causing a revolution in handheld gaming. Again, like it is now for the Vita, the PSP was superior in technical abilities to the DS. You could even play videos and audio files, and look at photo’s. If you’ll recall, that functionality reached the DS when they released the DSi version in 2009 (America and Europe).
Expectations were that Nintendo would soon be all but invisible on the handheld gaming market. PSP would soon take over where the GBA left off. This was Sony’s chance to go for it and take over. We all know it happened a little different. The DS proved to be the best selling handheld device ever, not even the 3DS has come close yet. So why didn’t the PSP sell at least as well as the DS, giving it’s technical prowess?
If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know I’m a firm believer of the power of the casual gaming audience. I can only tell you what I’ve observed as a mom: the games on the PSP weren’t really fun games for younger kids, nor are there many games that appeal to the casual gamer. Nintendo has Mario and Peach…like them or not, but they are a huge attraction to a lot of kids and parents alike. The PSP hardly had any sim games, again a draw for casual gamers that chose the DS instead.
Plus the DS was pretty sturdy, though sometimes even that one wasn’t sturdy enough (remember the broken hinges?) The PSP didn’t have the clamshell and would scratch easily, so a lot of parents went for the DS instead. Aside from that I read somewhere that the PSP was a min-version of the Playstation, and in that way the system cannibalized on Sony’s own market share. Whereas the Wii and the DS were hardly ever the same in available games. If you loved gaming on your Wii, it might tempt people to go and see what games the DS offered. And vice versa.
There are probably more reasons why the DS won out over the PSP. I guess opinions will differ though. When you research the internet you will find heated discussions from the fans about which device is best.
But back to my title for this article: I bought myself a used PSP 2004 Ice Silver and I was pretty happy about that. Even when I found that I had to buy a Sony type dual memory stick to be able to use it.
I love the graphical quality of the screen, the way it still has video and audio in its menu. I chose the Tasty Treat theme, making my buttons on screen into little cookies. And you know what I love best? Something people weren’t so happy with years ago: the UMD.At first I was a bit puzzled: did I have to take out the little disc from the plastic container? Luckily I didn’t try, i just gave it a try as is, and it fit entirely into the machine. It seems it was one of the things gamers didn’t like back then, and it’s true, you do hear it loading and spinning. But it just seemed so quaint to me!
What do you think, did you have a PSP from the beginning? What are your thoughts as to why the device didn’t get to be the success story Sony expected?
Any tips on must buy games from back then? I’m curious to hear!
Funny you posted this, because just today I found some good second hand 3DS and I’m trying to buy one of them~
I do feel like the PSP was underrated, mostly because Sony didn’t give the push it should’ve. Just like they didn’t give the push Vita should’ve had.
I guess since Sony said they won’t do another portable, that Nintendo is where it is at for investing in the future~
I prefer the UMD and sticks/cards than naked DVD/Bluray like stationary consoles do, those get dirty and scratched so easily ORZ
What a coincedence eh? Where you a Sony gamer originally then? I’m pretty happy with my collection, though I do realize it’s a luxury to have them all. But then, a girl’s gotta have a hobby eh?
I was originally a Sega gamer. Dreamcast owned my soul :Q
Indeed, we need hobbies (≧∇≦)/
Nowadays I just go with the cheaper/most available, and then try to work from there, but it’s hard (^_^;)
No, I decided not to get a PSP once I had my Vita – simply because nearly all the PSP games of interest to me (and there is an astounding library of classic RPGs for PSP!) are compatible with the Vita. However, I do need a US account in order to be able to access many of the titles as they often weren’t released for the EU or AUS/NZ market.
How about Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (2 games)?
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
The original Invizimals (if you like monster collecting and battling)
The early Persona games
Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite!
FF Tactics and Tactics Ogre
Ys I & II Chronicles
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Breath of Fire
Valkyria Chronicles 2
Phantom Brave (if you love Disgaea)
Disgaea 2 and 3 (if you love Disgaea!)
Crimson Gem Saga
Wild Arms XF
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands & 2 others
Some Oddworld games
several Harvest Moon versions
If you ever feel like playing Castlevania, The Dracula X Chronicles is a really neat and spruced up version.
There are probably also a few games available as disc-only … I just went by what I got off PSN.
I know that KH: Birth by Sleep is available only on disc – this is a Must Play if you haven’t got a big PS console.
Just some of the games I bought and have enjoyed.
Oh wow, I’m gonna save your list, so many good games! For now I bought Trails in the Skye and Popolocrois, the one on PSP. Pity Ni no Kuni isn’t on PSP too.
Btw, I checked into an American PSN account, but it seems I would need two memory cards and I’d have to exchange them all the time. Not worth it for me. Unless you have another solution?
Nice article! I’ve never had a PSP (and even now, I only have a PS TV and not an actual Vita), but I respect the games that came out from it. I would one day love to be able to go back and play all of the Japanese story-heavy RPG and visual novel-like games. Nintendo DS had a lot of those kinds of games as well, and even brought a resurgence of point-and-click adventure games due to its touchscreen. But I definitely missed a lot of exclusives by not having a PSP.
I never owned a PSP, but I have played some of its games via the Vita. Persona 3 Portable and Valkyria Chronicles 2 are good fun.
Yeah, the DS could be a little sturdier. Mine broke years ago when it fell off my bedside table.
Well, no electronic device can take a lot of crashing of course. But I’ve heard people saying the won’t take their vita out of the house for fear of scratching it!
Congrats on your new/ old PSP! 😉 I have loved the PSP since it came out. I bought one for my husband first for Christmas, then he bought me one for my birthday! 🙂 I am a fan of the UMD disc as well, even though it is a little loud. My favorite game for the PSP is Loco Roco. It is quirky and very charming- you may enjoy it! I also liked its sequel, Loco Roco 2. Some of my other favorites are Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars and Space Invaders Extreme. I also played the heck out of Rock Band Unplugged, though it would hurt my hands if I played it for too long! I’m sure you will find many games you will enjoy 🙂
A little loud indeed! I bought a used Popolocrois and at first I thought the disc was faulty as it scratches a bit. I guess that can’t be helped, as there’s no way to clean the UMD either.
The PSP gave you great memories then! I checked out Loco Roco, it sure looks happy!
Haha yes, I’ve done the same thing! Sometimes the disc is so loud I feel like it will stop working! That’s never been an issue thankfully. Yep, I love my PSP! Glad you checked out Loco Roco! It is such a fun, happy game! It does get pretty challenging but never to the point where you want to give up. 🙂