It was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed.
Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the Play Station 2 (PS2) and Play Station 3 (PS3) games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSP systems and the Internet.
The PSP uses two 333 MHz MIPS32 R4000 R4k-based CPUs, as a main CPU and Media Engine, a GPU running at 166 MHz, and includes 32 MB main RAM (64MB on PSP-2000 and later models), and 4 MB embedded DRAM split between the aforementioned GPU and Media Engine.
The PSP is powered by an 1800 m Ah battery (1200 m Ah on the 20 models) that provides between about three and six hours of gameplay, between four and five hours of video playback, or between eight and eleven hours of audio playback.
The disc tray, logos and buttons were all redesigned, and a microphone was added.
Games could now be outputted in either component or composite video using the video-out cable.
The new multi-use connector allows video and sound output with the same connector using an optional composite or component AV cable.
As with previous models, Sony also offers a cradle (PSP-N340) which enables the playing of games using a Sixaxis or Dual Shock 3 controller.
Play Station 1 games can be played in full screen using the AV/component cable, which can be extended by up to 32 GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2).
The system also enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region; more than 25,000 units were pre-ordered in Australia A PSP-1000: the shoulder buttons are on top, the directional pad on the left with the analog "nub" directly below it, the Play Station face buttons on the right and a row of secondary buttons below the screen.
The Play Station Portable uses the common "bar" form factor.
The serial port was modified to accommodate a new video-out feature, making it incompatible with older PSP remote controls.
On the PSP-2000, games only output to external monitors and televisions in progressive scan mode.