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After nearly ten years, Japan bids farewell to the PSP

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 06:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The last PSPs to be sold in Japan will roll into stores this month, Sony has announced, as the portable approaches its tenth birthday.

psp

According to Dengeki Online and our prodigious powers of auto-translate, SCEJ is throwing a special online Vita transfer campaign from June 3 to coincide with the final shipment this month. The campaign will provide discounts and even trade-in offers, as well as special deals for students., in addition to the existing UMD Passport scheme, which lets you buy PSP games as digital Vita titles at a discount if you own them on disc.

Sony has made no announcements regarding international markets as yet, although given the PSP’s greater popularity in Japan than overseas, it’s hard to imagine other territories will hold on much longer.

The PSP was released in Japan in December 2004, which makes in nine years and six months old. So close to ten years, Sony! Could you not have held out just a little longer?

Those of you who aren’t fans of the older portable may be wondering what all the fuss is about, but the fact is the PSP in its various incarnations has sold 20 million units life to date in Japan, from about 76 million worldwide. Its popularity is driven by co-op action games like Monster Hunter in particular.

When it launched, the PSP had unrivalled graphical capabilities (Sony described it as half way between the PSOne and PS2) for portable, and is now home to a staggering library of games. It also debuted a number of multimedia functions at a time when smartdevices weren’t common – that you could read comics (motion comics, no less!) on it and watch movies and listen to music and play games was something of a revelation.

Let’s talk about how rad the PSP is. Did you know its main encryption processor is called Kirk, and its secondary encryption processor is called Spock? Other specialised units include Tachyon, Baryon and Pommel. The first model had just 32 MB of RAM, which is almost nothing, and yet it can run pretty gorgeous games. There were five hardware versions in all, at least two of which – the UMD-less PSPgo and WiFi-less E1000 – seem frankly mental but are still on the market. None of them had twin analog sticks, leading to the development of “the Monster Hunter claw” by serious gamers.

I have a limited edition silver Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core PSP that I got when I was very sick and had to stay in bed for a year or so. I played the heck out of it – especially Crisis Core, Warriors Orochi, Silent Hill: Revelations, Patapon, LocoRoco, the Badman series and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. What were your favourites?

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12 Comments

  1. cullydk

    A great handheld, that should have gotten more love… ( have two of the 1st gen, models )

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Joe Musashi

    I had a blast with mine. Glad to see it got good support in Japan as that region produced some of my favourite games for the device.

    Say what you like about it, but Sony really some to believe in their ’10 year life cycle’ statements.

    JM

    #2 5 months ago
  3. dazedonthemoon

    God Eater was one of my favorites. And Kingdom Hearts.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. tenthousandgothsonacid

    Burnout Legends was flipping awesome. RIP PSP xxx

    #4 5 months ago
  5. tenthousandgothsonacid

    P.s. 80 million sold according to wikipedia which means it’s tied with the PS3 and 360 sales-wise.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. Goffee

    Putting aside all the big games, my abiding memory of the PSP will be the minis like Velocity and Gravity Crush that now give us corking Vita indies and kind of started that ball rolling thanks to FuturLab and Jaw…

    If only the PSP had trophies, I think people would have warmed to it more, but hey-ho…

    #6 5 months ago
  7. DiodeX

    I still use it as an emulator for the Snes and Megadrive, nice bit of kit for that really.

    #7 5 months ago
  8. CycloneFox

    Imo, maybe the best handheld. Just a big screen, much hardware power, buttons, analog stick, downwards compatible, fast OS with many multi-media capabilities.

    I love it and the Vita is continuing exactly what the PSP started. Because of that both handhelds are really successful with the core gamers.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. fengato

    I still use my GO as (unlike the Phats and Vita) it’s actually small enough to take out and about. It’s my portable SNK arcade cab in my pocket – can’t be beat.

    #9 5 months ago
  10. Brenna Hillier

    Aww bless, so much love.

    #10 5 months ago
  11. Takeshi

    For me it’s the God of War: Chains of Olympus & Ghost of Sparta, Crysis Core. A really small amount of original games for the PSP. I have of course used it a lot to play old PSX classics. Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

    It’s not dead yet however to me. I’ll be playing Type-0 when the fan translation is available in August. :)

    #11 5 months ago
  12. polygem

    psp was a killer. i still remember playing medievil on it and how it wowed me. looked so great. ON A HANDHELD. i was addicted to the system for a long time* :D

    i played it everywhere. there have been countless great games on psp and it´s still one of my favourite sony machines ever. psp and the walkman. in no particular order.

    (* i also recall a very early youtube video of a big, bald, black guy in a white t-shirt who was trying to put his psp down several times but always picked it up again :D i could relate to that so much – wish i could find that video. it´s somehow branded into my brain.)

    #12 5 months ago

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