“The Playstation Portable (PSP) is dead.”
I don’t think you will find too many gamers that disagree with this statement. Sony released the handheld in 2005 to compete with Nintendo’s various handhelds. It was largely seen as a failure even though it sold over 80 million units worldwide.
The PSP and the PSP Go are no longer in production and you won’t find a new bundle in any stores. It’s hard enough to find its successor, the Playstation Vita, on the shelves, but that is another soabox speech for another day.
The PSP may be “dead,” but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. As my title suggests, I’m not talking about its use as a paperweight, frisbee, or doggy chew toy.
The reason my PSP is still sitting on my nightstand is because it holds some of my favorite games of all time: Final Fantasy IV-IX; Parasite Eve; Persona 1-3; Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross; Legend of Dragoon; Suikoden; Resident Evil 1-3; Grandia; and Wild Arms 1 and 2 to name a few.
My PSP is a treasure trove of classic RPGs. Within a few seconds, I can revisit a snow day in January of 1999 when I didn’t take my eyes off the television screen for an entire day. Or the fateful day [SPOILERS] Aeris died in 1997.
And I can do all this with a device that is roughly the size of my Comcast remote control.
A good amount of my PSX collection is on my PSP, and that is absolutely astounding. Especially when you consider that to have disc versions of all the games on my PSP, you would have almost 50 Playstation CDs. Fifty! And all 50 fit comfortably on this “dead” piece of hardware ready to travel at a moment’s notice. It’s a startling reminder of how far technology has come in the last decade.
There are also some amazing RPGs specifically made for the PSP: Valkrie Profile: Lenneth; Tactics Ogre; Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII; Jeanne D’Arc; Lunar: Silver Star Harmony; and Wild Arms XF.
It breaks down like this: a used PSP probably costs around $50. A generic 32 GB memory card is about $20 . The Playstion Store has regular sales on PS1 Classics. Physical copies of PSP games are a fraction of the price they used to be. This formula adds up to literally thousands of hours of RPG goodness.
Are there other ways to have all these classic games? Definitely. The PS Vita could serve the same purpose, but 32 GB of storage on the Vita will run you at least $60 on a good day. It would also be cheaper to pirate each of these games, but buying all of them legitimately allows you to play the games and transfer saves across the Sony ecosystem.
I guess my point in all this is not to convince you to go out and buy your own PSP. Technically, it is “dead.” It occasionally gets a software update, and that’s about it. But maybe next time you pass by a used PSP in a local store, you won’t think of it is as a failed handheld or dead system.
In the right hands, the PSP still has a lot of life left to live.