PlayStation Portable

It was expected that the GBA SP would be another hit in Nintendo’s stable of handheld successes that no other manufacturer could penetrate. But that wasn’t from a lack of trying. When SCE attempted to take a stab at it, everybody paid attention.

Ken Kutaragi, CEO of SCE and the “Father of the PlayStation,” announced his new “baby” at SCE’s pre-E3 conference on May 13.  Most people in attendance had expected to hear something about the forthcoming PS3. Instead, Kutaragi spoke about the PSP (PlayStation Portable), which he referred to as “The Walkman of the 21st Century.”

The new handheld would feature a 4.5-inch, backlit, LCD widescreen. It would also have built-in stereo speakers and a standard headphone jack. And the device might even double as a cell phone.

Software would be housed on a new medium called the UMD (Universal Media Disc), which was a disc half the size of a DVD, but capable of storing 1.8GB of data. The discs themselves would be housed in caddies to
prevent damage.

Kutaragi did not specify either a price or a release date for the new device. In fact, a prototype wasn’t even shown. But Kutaragi did offer that the PSP would be launched sometime in 2004, in honor of the PlayStation’s tenth anniversary.


Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!


Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (26 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user's manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user's guide to Ralph Baer's Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world's first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4's Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history