I still use my PSP on a regular basis. After all, the PSP has a rich library of games from many genres, most games look absolutely stunning in its pristine screen and there are lots hidden features that I use a lot. This article focuses on those features most people don’t know about. Maybe you got tired of playing on your PSP, maybe you ran out of games to play in it or maybe you simply moved on to the Vita or the 3DS. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t get rid of your PSP just yet, since the console can be used for more than just playing games.
Listen to Music
Every PSP model reads various audio files, including ATRAC3 Plus, AAC, WMA and more importantly, MP3s. So considering that you can buy a large memory stick for a few bucks, you could use your PSP as a music player. Most people have smartphones, laptops and next generation consoles that can be used to listen to music by now, but the PSP is just another option. Take into account that you can leave the PSP always connected to an iHome, for instance, so that your music is always readily available when you wake up.
Listen to Podcasts
I listen to a lot of podcasts and sometimes keeping up with all of them can be a hassle. So you can use the Media Go software to automatically download all your favorite podcasts and them sync them to your PSP. The process is so simple that you won’t have to worry about downloading individual podcast ever again.
Listen to Internet Radio
This is one of those features that most people don’t know about. Personally, I use my laptop a lot and when I turn it off, I don’t want to turn it on again just to listen to some random internet radios. Luckily, the PSP has this feature built-in, so the only thing you have to do is turn on the console, select internet radio on the menu, find an internet connection and find a radio you like. It also helps that there are hundreds of stations to choose from.
Watching Films, TV Series
Apart from playing audio files, the PSP also lets you watch movies and TV series, as long as they are in MP4. Unfortunately, the PSP reads only a handful of video files, since Sony apparently refused to release a pack of codecs for the portable console, so its use is somehow limited. Downloading unofficial codecs on a homebrew page is still a possibility, but installing them takes some time.
Subscribe to Music Unlimited
Formerly known as Qriosity, Music Unlimited is Sony’s music streaming service. As of this writing, there are over 22 million songs to choose from, so the service seems quite solid. It’s worth mentioning that while Music Unlimited has a free trial, the service requires a monthly subscription.
Run Emulators or Homebrew
Although there are some legal implications when we talk about emulators, not all applications you can find on homebrew websites are illegal. There are programs that let you organize your day, alarm clocks, YouTube applications, improved web browsers and dozens of other utilities that will make your PSP much more than a platform that can play games. Take into account that running these sort of applications requires you to install a new firmware.
This is another built-in application. Although there are better (and faster) ways of using Skype, this is yet another option. Using Skype on the PSP is extremely simple, you need to use the software, connect to a network, download the application, login to Skype and you can start calling friends.
Browse the Web
To be completely honest, the built-in web browser that comes with the PSP isn’t good… at all. It’s slow, it doesn’t support Java or Flash, so forget about loading some of the most demanding website (which at this point should be about 99% of the internet) and even loading less demanding sites is plagued with issues. The web broswer on your phone, Vita or tablet is so much better, but if you won’t have any of the aforementioned devices you could always download an unofficial browser if you use custom firmware. These are faster and better in every way, but installing a CFW (custom firmware) can be a long and convoluted process if you’ve never done it before.
Watch Films and Concerts on UMD
Watching digital video files from a memory stick is better than using UMDs. The UMD format is absolutely dreadful: it’s slow, the discs drain the battery really fast and the quality isn’t that better than watching video files. Apart from that there are many programs (most of them free) that let convert any file to the file so that the PSP can read it. Still, UMDs are really cheap because nobody wants them, so watching Balls of Steel on UMD shouldn’t cost you that much.
Unlike the built-in web-browser, the PlayStation Store on the PSP is actually well made. It looks like Sony put a lot of effort into building PSN for the PSP, so exploring the digital distribution service is usually simple enough. There are many free demos and games to choose from, so if you want to explore some of the PSP games you might have missed back in the day, using PSN right from the PSP is a great option.