Welp, It was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s been around for 10 years and sold 76 million units, but Sony is saying goodbye to the PSP.
Sony announced today that they were stopping shipments of the PSP by the end of 2014. The last shipment was sent out to North America at the end of January, so once they are gone….they are gone. Japan’s last shipment will be sent at the end of this month and Europe’s will end in the next few months.
The PSP was released back in 2004, and was one of the first handheld devices that could play games, movies and music. 2004 doesn’t seem that long ago until you think that the first iPhone was released 3 years later. Sony set the standard for handheld devices that’s for sure.
If you still want to get a Sony handheld device you can always look into the Playstation Vita, which isn’t selling by leaps and bounds either. But you can still get the PSP. They are still available, so get one while you can and show your kids someday. I wonder if kids in the future will laugh at it like the kids of today laugh at the Atari console?
If you’re a Pokémon fan, you probably are familiar with the Magikarp – or as is known in many circles, the Magicrap. Despite being arguably the most useless Pokémon, the orange fish is still one of the most popular characters in the series. So what better way to show your allegiance to the splashy Magikarp but to carry around your handheld gaming system inside of one.
Flea Circus Designs‘ interpretation of the Magikarp is definitely a bit more rectangular than we’re used to seeing, but they had to make it that way so it could stand a chance at holding onto a game system. It’s made from fleece and felt, and is big enough to hold onto a Nintendo DS, DS Lite, 3DS or a Sony PSP. It’ll also gobble up most cell phones and small digicams. Magikarp’s mouth is also lined with Velcro to make sure that it doesn’t accidentally spit your gadget out.
Cast your rod and reel in the Magikarp case over on Etsy for $25(USD).
If you feel the current design of the PlayStation Store leaves a lot to be desired, then you'll probably be glad to hear it's being totally revamped. A new UI should do a better job of pushing fresh content at you, and its appearance will be consistent regardless of whether you're outputting in standard or high def. Searching has been improved to handle abbreviations and misspellings, and a dynamic list of suggestions will try to work out what you're looking for as you type. Also, Vita and PSP content will be separated, new filters will be available and content hubs will offer everything linked to a certain title, à la the Xbox 360 Marketplace. Sound good? Well, there's not long to wait - it'll be launching in PAL regions (Europe, Asia, Australia and others) on October 17th, while North Americans will receive it almost a week later, on October 23rd.
PSP Comic Store, we hardly knew ye. No really, we hardly knew ye -- which is probably why Sony is warning PSP owners that its comic book portal is shutting down after October 30th. Come Hallowe'en, we'll lose the option to download the necessary app or buy additional titles. Any currently owned comics will be available to download again until mid-January, but readers will be on their own to preserve existing libraries after that. Outside of Japan, that creates significant problems for literary PlayStation fans: while PS Vita owners in Sony's home country will get a Manga store and reader in October, there's no equivalent crutch for other countries (or any PSP owners) at this stage. The console maker is non-committal and says there's nothing it can discuss "at the moment," which to us is a hint that we shouldn't plan our reading hours around a PSP or PS Vita in the near future.
Sony made much ado of the PSP's position as one of the first online gaming consoles, but unless your idea of online play involves Skype calls, there hasn't been a lot to go on since 2004. Team PRO is addressing that deficit through Prometheus, a completely community-driven rival to PSN. The hack lets PSP games with support for ad hoc WiFi play go online by wrapping the normal local-only multiplayer in an emulator library that broadcasts to other Prometheus players. It requires a second-generation or newer PSP as well as a wireless router that can expose the PSP in DMZ mode, but there's a live who's-playing board and even an in-game chat mode to coordinate that round of Fat Princess as it happens. Of course, using a wholly separate gaming network outside of Sony's rubric involves a whole lot of warranty-voiding risk; if you're willing to live on the edge, though, Internet games of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker or Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 will let you put off that possible PlayStation Vita purchase for a little longer.
The latest figures from Japan's Media Create are in, showing that last year's trend has been fully reversed. Now the consumers are hungry for Nintendo's 3DS, given that it shipped 121,921 units in the week ending April 1st. That put it comfortably ahead of the PlayStation 3 (23,771), PSP (18,356) and PS Vita's (12,105) sales combined. The stats reveal that the 3DS is now accounting for 65 percent of all hardware sales in the country, a marked turnaround from when the console's future looked gloomy. Meanwhile, the biggest selling game was Kingdom Hearts 3D for Nintendo's newest handheld, which managed to shift over 200,000 units in just seven days.