Every year, console developers strive to capture the general public with their amazing machines. These amazing machines get displayed at conventions and expos that deal with the gaming industry. The PSP was first announced during E3 in 2003 and later it was officially unveiled on May 11th, 2004 at a Sony press conference before E3 in 2004. It hit store shelves in North America on March 24th, 2005.
The PSP is the first handheld video game system to utilize the UMD, the 'Universal Media Disc'.
The PlayStation Portable comes in six highly stylish and appealing color schemes. They are: black, ceramic white, pink, metallic blue, silver, and champagne gold.
The PSP comes with a built in mini web browser, also known as the PSP microbrowser. It is considered a microbrowser because of its small consumption of memory and system resources. The PSP can support most normal web technologies, such as CSS. There are currently three different rendering modes on the PSP, 'Normal', 'Just-Fit', and 'Smart-Fit'. 'Normal' displays the page with no changes at all, it shows the page in its raw form, like you would see it on your computer monitor, 'Just-Fit' attempts to shrink most elements of the page to make the whole page fit on the screen and attempt to preserve the initial layout, and 'Smart-Fit' will display all of the content in the order that it appears in the HTML, it will drop an element down below the prerequisite element if it starts to go off the screen. This means that it will show the website in a vertical form most of the time.
The PSP is able to playback movies that come on UMD disks. These movies can be bought at most 'big box' retail stores. The PSP supports the following codecs: ATRAC, AAC, MP3, and WMA. You can also choose to view visualizations while the music is playing.
The PlayStation Portable has an image viewer that is capable of displaying the common image types. These image types include: JPEG, Bitmap, and PNG.
The two codecs: MPEG-4 and AVC are the two that the PSP support for video playback other than using the UMD disc. For optimal video viewing it is suggested that the video have a minimum of the following: a resolution of 320 × 240, a video bit rate of 500 Kb per second, and an audio sampling rate of 22050 Hz.
The PSP can connect to a wireless network that is running on 802.11b. This allows for up to 16 players, each with a PlayStation Portable to create a local, ad-hoc network for multiplayer game play, and this also allows any PSP owner to connect to a wireless router, to surf the web and do all that fun stuff.