Take a fresh look at PSP, as it celebrates its third birthday on eu.playstation.com

PSP-3000After successful releases in Japan and America, PSP was launched across European PAL territories in September, 2005. To mark the event, early adopters who registered their systems were given a free copy of hit movie Spider-Man 2 on UMD.

Along with the hardware there were plenty of software titles ready to take advantage of PlayStation’s new portable format, with Ape Academy, Everybody’s Golf, MediEvil: Resurrection, Ridge Racer and WipEout Pure, spearheading the first wave.

In essence PSP is a powerful, portable gaming device that allows you to enjoy games, music, photos, videos, movies and the Internet on the move. Due to regular System Software updates, this core functionality has expanded greatly, making it possible for you to use PSP your way.

Supporting a range of Wireless functions, PSP lets you share content and play games locally with friends via Ad Hoc Mode or experience online games, access the Internet and RSS feeds, and use Remote Play to connect to your PLAYSTATION 3 wherever you have access to a Wireless hotspot with Infrastructure Mode.

Hand in hand with exceptional connectivity has been the ability to download additional content such as full games, game expansions, music, themes, and videos. Initially this was from a bespoke PSP Download service, which evolved into PLAYSTATION Store. Everything from new and classic games, such as flOw and Bishi Bashi, to videos and music, such as the recent Movement campaign, are available.

In 2007 a new model was launched. Significantly lighter and slimmer than the original but still featuring the stunning 4.3 inch LCD screen,  PSP-2000 incorporates additional features such as a TV out connector socket for viewing games, pictures, videos and UMD movies on a big screen television, and the ability to recharge the system via a USB cable connected to either a PS3 or PC.

2007 also saw the introduction of the Go! range of products for PSP, tools and new functionality designed to enhance your experience on the move. First off was Go!Cam, a system software update that made use of the new camera attachment, which fixes to the top of PSP via the High Speed USB connector. This was followed in 2008 by Go!Messenger and Go!Explore, offering voice chat and video messaging, and GPS navigation respectively.

In three years, as well as enhancements in functionality, there have been some incredible games released for PSP – echochrome, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, LocoRoco, Lumines, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Patapon, Secret Agent Clank and Tekken: Dark Resurrection – to name a few, and the best is yet to come…

With new titles such as Buzz!: Brain Bender and LocoRoco 2 on the horizon, plus PSP-3000 launching in Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand from October 15, 2008, there has never been a better time for PSP.

The new model, in addition to offering all of the key features and ergonomic design of PSP-2000, features improved screen quality, offering crisper colours with more definition when outside in natural light. PSP-3000 also includes a built-in microphone, maximising the communication features of products such as Go!Messenger and Skype.

Around the launch of PSP-3000, eu.playstation.com will be running a series of in-depth articles discussing different aspects of PSP and how to make the most of this powerful device. Check back regularly to learn what you could be missing.