Looking Back On The PSP - Features - www.GameInformer.com
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Looking Back On The PSP

When it was released in 2004, the PSP was a portable with promise. Its large screen displayed near PS2-quality graphics, and gamers imagined a handheld that could bring console experiences on the road. Seven years later, we can look back on the system as neither a smash success or terrible failure. While it did possess more power than any portable in history, its game library was mostly unremarkable and its sales were trounced by the Nintendo DS. Let’s take a look back at some of the more notable talking points about Sony’s first handheld attempt.

A New Format

Sony tried hard to push PSP’s new format, the UMD (Universal Media Disc). These optical discs could hold up to 1.8 gigabytes of data, and could be used for games and movies. With Blu-Ray just around the corner, Sony pushed the idea of combo packs that contained both Blu-Ray and UMD versions of a film. While retailers initially stocked movies on UMD, poor sales led to Universal and Paramount dropping support for the format early on. By 2006, Wal-Mart stopped stocking UMDs. Other retailers followed until it was evident that the concept of UMD movies had completely crashed and burned.



Back To The Drawing Board

As it became more evident that UMD was unpopular and downloadable games were on the rise, Sony began work on a new PSP model. Announced in 2009, the PSPgo featured no disc drive, 16 GB of internal memory, a sliding screen, and a significantly smaller frame than previous versions. It was met with mostly negative reactions, with many gamers complaining about its high cost ($249) and inability to play any PSP games they had previously purchased.

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