Ultimate Collector's Guide To Sony's Playstation Portable (PSP)


The PSP (Playstation Portable) was Sony’s first attempt to enter the handheld gaming market back in September 1st 2005 (European market), it was competing back then with the Nintendo DS handheld. It had several re-designed models on later years usually aiming to have a sleeker design than the previous version while trying to retain as much feature from the original as possible. Being that this was not a very popular console back then, (NDS proved to be a very strong competitor) many gamers didn’t get a chance to experience some fine games released for this system. Nowadays this portable console can be found at reasonable prices depending on where you live and its games are usually found at good prices as well. I’m providing this guide to give a brief explanation on the various models that were released as well as some excellent games available for this handheld.



The first version of the PSP usually nicknamed “Phat” or “Fat” (later versions were called “Slim”). When released, Sony aimed to make its handheld different from the competition by offering much better graphics and a beautiful widescreen display that no other portable had in that time. It also offered multimedia capabilities such as a web browser, reproduction of images, videos and music, and other various features. Usually when collecting for this portable, it’s best to go ahead and buy the slimmer models because they had upgrades in RAM and other technical capabilities making this the least powerful of the PSP versions.

This model was mainly used in the homebrew community because of its lack of security features when compared with future versions of the console. Since this is the heaviest of the PSP models it tends to make the other models feel “cheaper” than this one and some people claim that it’s also more comfortable than the later models.

Link: Find PSP-1000 Handheld on eBay



The second version of the PSP, launched in September 5 2007, had an internal redesign that allowed it to be 33% lighter and 19% slimmer. It also had its RAM doubled from 32MB to 64MB, improved WLAN models and a much brighter LCD screen. Exterior design stayed almost the same (making it a little hard to actually tell the difference at first glance from the original PSP).

Link: Find PSP-2000 Handheld on eBay



The next model on the portable console. I personally recommend this version since the LCD screen had increased color range, five times the contrast ratio, half the pixel response time to reduce ghosting and blurring effects, new sub-pixel structure, and anti-reflective technology to improve outdoor playability. There were also slight adjustments in the buttons and printings of the handheld making it easier to spot out from a 2000 or 1000 model. I’ve still got to try play my psp games on TV since this model featured a new video output allowing the use of composite or component cables to connect to a TV.

Link: Find PSP-3000 Handheld on eBay

UMD (Universal Media Disc)


Before moving on to the next model of the PSP it is worth giving a quick mention to the physical format of games sold for models from 1000-3000 and E1000. The next model, the PSP Go, avoided using them to aim for a smaller version of the handheld. This little discs came enclosed on a plastic cover (which can be replaced) giving it a little extra protection when handling the disc. On personal experience I will advise you to be careful when handling these discs, the plastic cover is very fragile and tends to break very easily after months of use.



This model in particular was the one that had the most radical changes when compared against all models, both internally and externally. This version had the UMD tray removed completely, leaving customers with an increased internal memory of 16GB instead. This means of course that only digital copies of PSP games downloaded from the playstation store could be used to play in this model. Among other changes, the screen was reduced a little from its predecessors and button layouts were changed to fit the slide-up body of the portable console. Size was reduced by 35% and weight by 13% when compared against the previous model (3000). I’ve never had the chance to actually hold one of them in my hands but the 3000 feels right at home with its weight and size, so I’m just assuming this model is best suited for smaller hands.

Link: Find PSP Go Handheld on eBay



The last model of the PSP. This was advertised as an economic version of the PSP. Wi-fi capabilities were removed from this version, the speaker was changed to a mono one instead of the original stereo one and the microphone was removed as well. UMD tray was added once again for obvious reasons. Appearance was changed a little bit more on the buttons so distinguishing this console from the rest shouldn’t be a problem.

Link: Find PSP-E1000 Handheld on eBay

Distinguishing the different models

PSP cf

Models 1000-3000 look very alike in my opinion and at first I wasn’t very sure how to know which one’s which. You can know which version you’re looking at by analyzing the sticker with a code bar on the bottom side of the handheld, as illustrated below the PSP “Fat” version has the sticker on the left bottom side of the console while the other two have it on the right bottom side. It’s also easy to spot the difference in the back of the console too, the 2000 and 3000 models were completely flat while the 1000 model featured two bumps where the console rests on your hands.



When it comes to accessories you need to make sure you’re getting a PSP with a memory card included. Models 1000-3000 featured little to basically no internal memory and you’ll need a memory card in order to save your progress on games, make downloads from the Playstation store, etc. All PSP models use a Memory Stick that’s exclusively made by Sony and they are quite more expensive than an SD card.

Composite or component cables can be found sold from third parties online and should allow you to play your powerful handheld on your TV. I’ve still to try one out so leave us any comments if you’ve already tried them out!

Game Recommendations

I will leave here a few recommendations if you’re not familiar with the PSP library. I believe it had some excellent games that you should give a chance and try out. In no particular order I recommend the following games:

The 3rd Birthday (Parasite Eve)

Easily one of my favorite games on the console. It’s got lots of action, a good (though kind of confusing) story line and looks great on your PSP. It has a very unique combat system that relies on the player switching Aya’s soul between the various NPCs on the combat area providing you cover and different angles when battling enemies. The game is a blast and you should definitely try it out if given a chance.

Link: Find The 3rd Birthday (PSP) on eBay

Patapon Series

Original series of games that came out exclusively on the PSP. This is a rhythm game at its core, you need to rhythmically play short drum beats to command a small army of Patapons to battle. Any game’s really good in my opinion, but the one I enjoyed the most was the third one. They added heroes with different abilities and the gameplay feels deeper than the two previous games. Simple and great fun, easy to learn but a little bit difficult to master.

Link: Find Patapon (PSP) on eBay

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Another great game for the console. FFVII was a very iconic game in the FF series and this is the prelude to that game’s story. The combat system is very enjoyable and addictive, graphics looks and sounds great on the PSP and the story is very solid. Another one of my very favorites (I’m even considering replaying it all over after writing this!).

Link: Find Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP) on eBay

Persona 3 Portable

Atlus brought many good games to the PSP and this is one of them. P3P was the first Persona game I ever played and it got me into the franchise immediately. Although the game first came out for the PS3 this is where I played it for the first time and it felt like an excellent adaptation from the home console version. Highly recommended if you enjoy RPG games. Persona 1 and 2 are available for the PSP as well so make sure you check them out too.

Link: Find Person 3 Portable (PSP) on eBay

Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy

There were two FF fighting games for the PSP. Dissidia and Dissidia Duodecim. I played both games and have over 240 collective gameplay hours between both game save files. These were the games I played the most with my PSP. The combat system for this game is very unique and creative, again the game sounds and looks amazing for being a handheld and has loads of replay value. It’s got RPG and fighting elements in its gameplay, a story mode, arcade mode, Ad Hoc multiplayer, galleries and other game modes depending on which Dissidia you play. Duodecim is the second installment in the series and had more characters added to the roster along with a new game mode. It is worth mentioning too that although FF games have usually great stories behind them, these ones had very convoluted and complicated story lines behind them. These are a must for FF fans.

Link: Find Dissidia (PSP) on eBay

Wipeout Pulse

Originally released for the PS2, this adaptation is a great racing option for the PSP. I've still got to beat it but it has been great fast-paced fun. This is one of the few games on the PSP that support online play and when I tried it back in the day it was released, it ran smoothly and without a problem.

Link: Find Wipeout Pulse (PSP) on eBay

Final Notes

Even though the PSP wasn’t as popular as the Nintendo DS, the amount of awesome games  you can find for this system is astonishing. I only covered a very few games I really enjoyed just to recommend a few options to the new PSP collector so if you already know the system and want to leave any recommendations please do so in the comments section below. I hope you find useful this little collecting guide for the console.

Last Updated ( 23 July 2016 )  

Jorge Lievano

Yet another retro enthusiast that has joined the evil corporation known as RetroCollect. You can find Jorge sitting in his multi-tasking chair doing evil stuff - like watching his cats fight to death, attempting to finish his ever growing game collection, pretending to be a writer and graphic design enthusiast, and every now and then actually working like all us boring adults usually do. Given how he just started a family, his son is now learning the way of the pixels, slowly but surely.

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+1 (Link to this comment) Jacobino 2016-07-23 19:13
You can still find these days PSPs in great state for no more than 30€, games are also cheap enough, including Rpgs (I got Valkyrie Profile for 9€ on ebay, Tales of Eternia for 15€ - the non-glitched version, Tactics Ogre for 7.5€, etc). Modding is also a great option if you want to spare the PSPs laser (just backup your save data every 15 days to avoid data corruption of the Mem Card).
I picked up mine after realizing trying to get some PS1 Rpgs would be too costly, so the PSP ports were a way to getting them for a fraction of the cost (you can save 90+€ on some games), and I haven't looked back ever since.

Just don't let the act of buying a Psp from a teenager (which is probably what will happen) embarass you, that way of thinking is outdated and you'll miss a great system. Buy it now before regretting it 5 years from now.
(Link to this comment) iglusega 2017-09-06 16:45
psp is great

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