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PSP Secrets

The purpose of this webpage is to provide information (a majority are secret or are hard to find) on the Sony PlayStation Portable. If you think you know all there is to know about the PSP, read the following and you might learn a thing or two that you didn't know before. It is updated as new information is uncovered in the public, so visit often if you wish to keep up to date on the latest secrets. Please link to this webpage rather than copy the contents. And do remember that the ads support this page so visit them if they interest you. If you wish to ask a question or provide input, feel free to leave a post at: PSP Discussion Forum. This page only details information about the original classic PSP, so visit PSP2 for more information about the Next Generation Portable. Note that this page is part of a collection of secrets to various hardware. Feel free to read other technology "SECRETS" by visiting the menu at the top of this page.

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Table of Contents

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Clicking on a link in the Table of Contents takes you to the selected topic, and while there, if you click on the topic title, it will take you back to this Table of Contents.

The Sony PSP contains technology that is fairly advanced. This webpage details all the different PSP models ranging from the original PSP (from now on called PSP Fat), to the later PSP Slim, PSP Brite, and PSP Go.

PSP-10xx Series (PSP Fat)

This is the original PSP released in 2004

PSP-20xx Series (PSP Slim and Light)

This is the "Slim and Light" version of PSP released in September of 2007. It fixed features missing from the "Fat" version; notably, video out, charging via USB (you must enable USB via the XMB for this to work though), and more flash memory and main memory. 720x480p (NTSC) and 720x576p (PAL) progressive TV Output (via the Video Out jack at the bottom left of the Slim PSP) is supported for games and apps by putting a frame around the 480x272 screen. The XMB, however, is able to use the whole screen. Homebrew games and apps can also be programmed to take advantage of the whole screen.

PSP-30xx Series (PSP Brite)

This PSP model was released on October, 2008. It added a built-in microphone and better LCD display for displaying a wider gamut. It also added support for interlaced TV output (in addition to progressive).

PSP-N10xx Series (PSP Go)

This PSP model was released in 2009. It added 16GB internal flash and bluetooth support, but removed the UMD drive. In addition, the Memory Stick Duo slot was changed to support M2 cards.

PSP-40xx Series (PSP Go + UMD)

This PSP model was created to add back UMD game playing to the new sliding shape of the PSP Go (future release).

Main PSP Features

One of the main features of the PSP is being a high tech gaming gear. The gaming engine hardware is as powerful as a full size PS2, but at a quarter of the size. The PSP allows game playing mainly through UMD discs, but you can also load the game via the Memory Stick (or internal Flash in the PSP Go). The /PSP/GAME directory of the Memory Stick can contain any directory having an EBOOT.PBP file (the game executable), which will end up showing in the "GAME->Memory Stick" XMB menu screen. From there, you can select it to run it. Although the gaming functionality is the main selling point of the machine, after using it awhile, you will start appreciating the picture viewer, MP3 player (with speakers) and MPEG4 video player. You can actually squeeze a DVD movie onto a memory stick and play it on the wide-screen LCD display.

PSP Model Differences

Here are the Sony PSP model numbers. The PSP model number can be broken up into a prefix and suffix, of which together they make an official PSP model number. For example, a Japanese launch model PSP would have a serial number of PSP-1000, and the United States launch model would be PSP-1001.




01North America1
02Australia and New Zealand4
03United Kingdom2
04European Union2
05South Korea5
06Hong Kong and Singapore3
10South America

Appended to the end of the model number are characters that may designate special bundles or colors. For example, PSP-1000G1CW would be a Japanese Region Fat PSP of White color and comes with a GigaPack. The following is a listing of the different packs.

KValue Pack
G1Giga Pack

The following is a listing of the different colors (if no color suffix then it is black in color).
BYBright Yellow
CGChampagne Gold
CWCeramic White
DRDeep Red
FBFelicia Blue
ISIce Silver
LPLavender Purple
MBMetallic Blue
MGMint Green
MNMatte Bronze
MSMystic Silver
PBPiano Black
PWPearl White
RPRose Pink
RRRadiant Red
SGSpirited Green
VBVibrant Blue

Special PSP Models

Developers can purchase a DEM-100 PSP model to develop games. It has 64MB of main memory (instead of 32MB in the PSP Fat). Note that the consumer PSP Slim and later models comes standard with 64MB of RAM.

PSP Audio

In directory /PSP/MUSIC/ of the Memory Stick, you can make as many sub-directories as you want and place music files (.mp3, .mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .wav) inside those sub-directories (but only one layer deep). The directory becomes the equivalent to a GROUP inside the PSP and you can turn on the GROUP mode, thus only songs in that GROUP are played. In the XMB navigational menu, a GROUP (directory) looks like a 3D box, and the name of the box is the name of the directory on the Memory Stick. To jump to the next group or previous group, just select the "previous group" and "next group" icons when in playback mode. (Be sure that you pressed the triangle button to get these options).

MP3 Playlists on PSP

The PSP actually supports .m3u playlists. These playlists are nothing more than text files (but with file extension .m3u) with the names of the music files to be played listed top to bottom. Note that playlists must reside in GROUP directories, and not the main /PSP/MUSIC/ directory. Once placed there, the name of the GROUP is not the name of the directory, but the name of the playlist file (without the .m3u extension of course). The playlist must only list files in the directory it resides in, so you can't include songs from other GROUPs. Once a directory has a playlist, only songs from the list show up for the GROUP. You can only have one playlist per GROUP, so if you have more than one of them in the directory, only the first one will be accepted. In addition, the regular "mp3" GROUP logo is replaced with a "m3u" logo. (Unless you happened to have added picture to .mp3 files, as described below).

Adding Pictures to .MP3 audio files

You can add images or pictures inside each .mp3 file, so that the image shows up when playing inside the PSP. If there are multiple pictures, only the first one will be shown. Just obtain a good .mp3 ID3V2 editor that supports the PIC option. Sony's Connect.com even offers a free SonicStage software that allows you to do this. If you are using other software, make sure the description is empty for the PIC (or the PSP won't show you the picture). The picture can be in .BMP, .PNG, or .JPG format but it must not be too big in dimension (something smaller than 431x631 or equivalent in total area). If they don't show up, you need to resize the pic smaller. If you are taking digital pictures using 1 MegaPixel cameras, you need to get a paint program to resize them. Most mobile cellphone digital cameras supporting 300k resolution seem to work fine. You can even search sites selling CD's for the pictures. The picture inside the first file (in alphabetical order) in a GROUP sub-directory will actually be inside the picture of the GROUP 3D box. If you have playlists, on the other hand, the picture from inside the first listed mp3 file will be inside the GROUP's 3D box icon.


The PSP supports Atrac3 and Atrac3Plus music formats (Sony's proprietary audio format) on both the UMD and Memory Stick Duo. For Memory Sticks, Atrac uses MagicGate functionality, so you must use special software to copy over songs to the Memory Stick. Sony's Connect.com has SonicStage that supports this format. To make it work, simply plug in a Memory Stick Duo into the PSP, and connect the PSP to your computer using the USB cable. Enable the USB Connection from PSP, and SonicStage will recognize the attached PSP via USB port. Note that at this moment, only Memory Stick Duo (similar to the one that came with the Value Pack), and not Memory Stick Pro Duo (those supporting high capacities) is supported. You can use SonicStage to convert files to Atrac3 or Atrac3Plus formats by right-clicking on the songs from the "My Library" tab. SonicStage will merge the two files (pre-converted and converted) into one entry in the scroll list after conversion. To remove the pre-converted file, right-click on the entry and select "Properties", then select the "File Info" tab. From there, select the pre-converted format and click on the "Delete File" button. To transfer the ATRAC file to the Memory Stick Duo, right-click on the entry and select "Transfer To->Memory Stick (PSP)" menu option. This menu option will only appear if your PSP with Memory Stick Duo is attached (and USB connection turn on) via the USB port. You have the option to create new groups (like directories or folders) to place your song. Note that for ATRAC3 and ATRAC3PLUS songs, the bitrate can be seen in the playback mode (it substitutes the MP3 icon). In addition, groups (boxes) don't display M3U or MP3 logo for ATRAC songs (assuming the first song in the group has no album image).

Here is a breakdown of the directory structure for ATRAC song files when transferred to the PSP Memory Stick Duo. Bold are directories. Italic are files.

Adding Pictures to ATRAC3 and ATRAC3PLUS song files

You can add pictures to ATRAC songs via the SonicStage (version 3 or higher) software from Connect.com. Simply enter the "My Library" tab and right-click on the song entry and select "Properties". From there, select "Track Info" tab and there is an "Add..." button to add your pictures. You may need to use images that are not too large for it to show up on the PSP (similar to MP3 songs). Note that you cannot add pictures to your ATRAC files once it is on the Memory Stick Duo, so add the pictures before you transfer it to the PSP. If the first song for an ATRAC group has an album image, then that image will show up in the Group (box) icon similar to MP3 Groups.

PSP Video

Whenever not specified, the specifications and capabilities of are based on the assumption that the latest firmware was installed.


Groups are Directories on the PSP. In directory /PSP/PHOTO/ you can make as many sub-directories as you want and place photos inside those directories. The directory becomes the equivalent to a GROUP inside the PSP. Different GROUPs can hold different sets of pictures, and there is a way to slideshow all groups by pressing the "triangle" button while the current selection is on the Memory Stick icon under the PHOTO icon. If you have a Sony digital camera along similar lines to the Sony Cybershot P10, then the PSP will also read the pictures you took with it (assuming you placed the memory stick duo inside the adapter so it will fit into the Sony Cybershot digital camera). The directory for Sony Cybershot camera digital pictures is /DCIM/101MSDCF/ and all .jpg pictures there will show up under its own group icon. The /MISC directory created by Cybershot digital cameras are ignored by the PSP.


The PSP only plays back Motion-MPEG, .mp4, and .wmv formats, so regular MPEG2, and AVI movies won't play on it. Once you have converted movies to MPEG-4 (or created one using more recent digital camcorders), a matching .THM file extension with the same named .MP4 file provides a picture of the movie in the XMB navigational menu. Be sure the .THM files is in a format supported by the PSP (JPEG, 72 Pixels/Inch, 160 x 120 pixels). A popular free program called the 3GP Converter will create this file automatically for you. For .mp4 videos, special care must be taken to be sure it is compatible with the PSP. The framerate must be 29.97 or 14.98 fps for SP MPEG-4 .mp4 videos and 29.97 fps for AVC MPEG-4 .mp4 videos. SP MPEG-4 encoded .mp4 videos require AAC audio at encoded 24KHz, while AVC MPEG-4 (H.264) videos require AAC audio encoded at 48KHz. Special tags must also be enclosed inside the .mp4 to let the PSP know it is capable for PSP playback.

High Resolution Video

Note that if the resolution for AVC MPEG-4 .mp4 videos are greater or equal to 480x272, you must place them in the new /VIDEO folder at the root of the memory stick. The thumbnails must be in .jpg format with a file name matching the video file name.


The PSP uses TFT LCD display technology.

Here is a 500x magnification of a RGB pixel (in yellow) from a PSP Fat, PSP Slim, and PSP Brite RGB pixel:

PSP Fat RGB PixelPSP Slim RGB PixelPSP Brite RGB Pixel

Note that the PSP Brite has a different orientation of the pixels compared to the first two generation PSP. Instead of left to right Red, Green, and Blue to define a pixel, it is top down. The end result is the same number of pixels though. The PPI (pixels per inch) of all three PSP is 128ppi, which is not exactly half the 221ppi of the PSVita (with double the resolution length and height wise) because the PSVita has a bigger screen. The PSVita has a resolution of 960x544 compared to the 480x272 resolution of the PSP. See PSVita Display Pixels and iPhone Display Pixels to compare PSP's pixels with other mobile devices.

PSP Hardware

Main Specifications:

Model Specific Chips

PSP Motherboard

PSP Motherboard Hardware Information:
Serial NumberTachyon
Main Chip
FatTA-0824000000114000000112CXD2967CXD5026ClockGen change
FatTA-0864000000121000000112CXD2967CXD5026LCD change
SlimTA-085v1500000022B200000123CXD2975CXD5029idstorage encrypted
SlimTA-085v25000000234000000123CXD2975CXD5029battery eeprom write disabled
SlimTA-088v1/v25000000243000000123CXD2975CXD5029Heatsink shielding added.
SlimTA-088v36000000243000000123CXD2988CXD5029Pre-IPL changed in CPU
SlimTA-090v1CXD5029In Refurbished PSP
BriteTA-090v26000000263100000132CXD2988CXD5029Memory Stick IPL blocked
BriteTA-090v26000000263100000133CXD2988CXD5029Memory Stick IPL blocked

Serial NumberMain Chip
FatTA-0791-864-275-11CXD2962 GG(c)2004 BAR14 04KBCXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0791-864-275-31CXD2962 BGG(c)2005 BAR15 5313CXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0811-867-844-11CXD2962 CGG(c)2005 BAR15 5393CXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0811-867-844-21CXD2962 CGG(c)2005 BAR15 5223CXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0811-867-844-31CXD2962 BGG(c)2005 BAR15 535UCXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0811-867-844-41CXD2962 DGG(c)2005 BAR15 6063CXD1876 -102GG
FatTA-0821-867-950-21CXD2967 GG(c)2005 B301 628KCXD5026 -203GG
FatTA-0821-867-950-31CXD2967 GG(c)2005 B301 628KCXD5026 -203GG
FatTA-0861-871-690-11CXD2967 GG(c)2006 B303 630KCXD5026 -203GG
FatTA-0861-871-690-41CXD2967 GG(c)2006 B303 634KCXD5026 -203GG
Serial NumberMain Chip
SlimTA-0851-871-259-11CXD2975 BGG(c)2007 SCEI 730KU63 B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0851-871-259-12CXD2975 CGG(c)2007 SCEI 730KU42 B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0851-871-259-21CXD?(c)2007 SCEI ? B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0851-871-259-22CXD2975 BGG(c)2007 SCEI 740KU60 B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0851-871-259-31CXD2975 BGG(c)2007 SCEI 727KU65 B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0851-871-259-32CXD2975 CGG(c)2007 SCEI 739KU62 B401CXD5029 -304GG
SlimTA-0881-876-496-11CXD ??CXD?
SlimTA-0881-876-496-21CXD ?(c)2007 SCEI 807KM1F B403CXD5029 -304GG
Serial NumberMain Chip
BriteTA-0901-877-016-11CXD ?(c)2008 SCEI 829KM3Y 3A01CXD5029 -304GG
BriteTA-0901-877-016-12CXD ??CXD ?
Serial NumberMain Chip
GoTA-091?CXD ??CXD ?
GoTA-0941-877-140-21CXD ??CXD ?

The full version of your motherboard should include the "Serial Number". However, most people on the internet use the short form of (like TA-085v1 or TA-085v2), but this old labeling system does not capture all the different PSP released, and should be replaced with the serial number (or a shorted form of the serial number). You can use the above table to arrive at your PSP's generic short name ("Motherboard Version" column) once you have seen your motherboard's "Serial Number". To see detailed analysis and pictures of the all the different PSP motherboards see PSP Motherboard Evolution.


This is the version of the chip containing the main CPU, Media Engine, Graphics Engine, Virtual Mobile Engine, AVC decoder, 4MB eDRAM (8MB eDRAM in Slim and later), and the crypto engines. It encapsulates a lot of major and minor details. The version information is pulled from the CPU registers.


This is the version of the system controller (SYSCON) chip. You can usually deduce the serial number of the system controller chip on the motherboard when knowing this number. For example, 0x00030600 has the BAR14 labelled chip, while 0x00040600 has the BAR15 labelled chip. Communication with this chip is done through SPI.


This is the version of the power controller chip made by Fujitsu. From the version of this chip, you can derive at the voltage that various parts in the PSP are running on. For example, a Pommel of 0x00000103 had the CPU I/O running at 3.3v, and a Pommel of 0x00000112 changed the NAND flash bus to run at 1.8v. Since Baryon (SYSCON) controls this chip, access to this Pommel chip is via SPI.


This is the version of the chip containing the UMD controller, signal decoder DSP, 480KB buffer, ATAPI interface, and some flash space, etc. Communication with this chip happens over the ATAPI interface.

PSP Motherboard Software Information:
TA-090v1SlimYesYes3.60NoFound in refurbished PSP

Note that the versioning of the motherboard in the above chart (an example version is TA-088v3) is not as accurate as actual serial numbers in the previous charts. There are actually many many versions of motherboards and the first person to have seen a different one usually labelled the new one incrementally (v2, v3, etc). Also, not many software can detect all variations of motherboards at this moment, so two different motherboards may sometimes be detected as the same motherboards, when actually they are different and have different serial numbers. The old labeling needs to be replaced with actual serial numbers on the motherboard, rather than the order that new motherboards were discovered on the internet. If they can't differentiate, then the software needs to list all the possible variations the user has in possession. In this website I have resorted to appending the last two digits of the serial number as a good way to differentiate between minor variations on the motherboards. As an example, for TA-085, it would end up with these shorthand version notations:

Short VersionLong Version
TA-085:11TA-085 1-871-259-11
TA-085:12TA-085 1-871-259-12
TA-085:22TA-085 1-871-259-22
TA-085:31TA-085 1-871-259-31
TA-085:32TA-085 1-871-259-32

Whether TA-085:11 or TA-085/11, it doesn't matter, but at least now the order that a new motherboard is discovered does not affect accuracy of its labeling. In future versions of this webpage, the old labeling system will be replaced with the above new notation to reflect accuracy.

The lowest firmware is the version of the firmware that the PSP this motherboard came in can be downgraded to without complex patching of the firmware. For example, on some of the earlier motherboards (TA-082 and TA-086), you need to manually patch idstorage key 0x05 to allow even lower firmware to be installed without causing problems. In this particular case, the ClockGen hardware was different from previous motherboards, and the idstorage key for configuring the ClockGen needed to be changed (actually rename the tag so it gets ignored) to reflect this.


Note that the PSP uses the USB port in client mode, so you cannot use off-the-shelf USB devices, they must have Host-capable ability (in other words, it uses a special Sony proprietary protocol). There is internal infra-red support as well, so slower IR devices like remote-controls and the like are compatible if you do not wish to use the USB port. This IrDA port functionality was removed in the PSP2000 models. One thing it doesn't come with is internal Bluetooth, but it might be possible to support it via a Bluetooth USB gadget.

PSP Security

Pandora Battery

The Pandora battery was a name given by the community of PSP hackers to indicate a battery that has had it's eeprom re-written to trigger the PSP into service mode to load code (IPL: Initial Program Loader) from the Memory Stick when powering up. Sony had special batteries that sent this special code in case the firmware code in the flash was corrupt, allowing it to be reflashed using clean code from the Memory Stick. The Pandora Battery was basically a regular battery that was modified (via software or hardware) to send the exact same service mode code.

Early batteries supported re-writing its own eeprom (via software commands) to send the special code, thus by-passing the need for Sony's special service mode battery.

The actual function calls were (since removed from firmware 3.80+):
0×68ef0bef sceSysconBatteryReadNVM
0×1165c864 sceSysconBatteryWriteNVM

Of course, loading code from the Memory Stick means custom firmware can be developed, with all security by-passed. In TA-085 (v2) motherboards, you will notice that battery eeprom writing was disabled, thus in this and all later versions of PSP you could not create a Pandora battery. But the hardware triggering of loading IPL from Memory Stick from was not disabled, and Pandora batteries created by earlier PSP still worked. It was only when TA-088 (v3) and later PSP Brite motherboards that changed the Pre-IPL code (located in the CPU) that prevented the old incompatible IPL from loading off the Memory Stick. If the IPL is made compatible again then the Pandora battery (along with new service mode codes) will work again. The ability to load IPL off of the Memory Stick was "probably?" disabled in TA-90 (v2).


The Kirk is the main decryption and verification chip on the PSP. Kirk is mainly responsible for decrypting PRX and eBoot files. The Kirk can be issued commands to decrypt other types of encryption. It has a block cypher (for AES related decryption), but can also decrypt or handle signatures, hash, and prng using a group key (same on all PSP), user key (based on the unique fuseID of each PSP), or any supplied 128-bit key. The Kirk only has version 0x0010.


The Spock is another decryption chip on the PSP used mainly to decrypt UMD discs that are AES encrypted. Spock only has version 0x0050.

Magic Gate

The PSP also contains DES and AES hardware to handle MagicGate (mostly protecting content on Memory Sticks).


The FuseID is a unique 48-bit value stored in the CPU chip of every PSP. No two PSP has the same FuseID. 48bits can represent at maximum number of 281,474,976,710,656 (enough PSPs for many years to come).

In addition to the FuseID, there is a 64bit register located at 0xBC100090 that is unique for every PSP. This 64bit ID is used for unique encryption of the NAND flash in 3.00+ firmwares, and idstorage in Slim and later models.

The PSP has a Pre-IPL located inside CPU/hardware. This Pre-IPL loads the IPL from the Memory Stick (if triggered by a Pandora or service mode battery), or from the PSP flash. IPL stands for Initial Program Loader. This IPL is signed and needs to be decrypted by the Pre-IPL before running. When decrypted and run, the IPL then loads and runs the actual firmware from the NAND flash.

Flash memory

The PSP contains 32MB of NAND Flash, while the PS3 Slim/Brite/Go contains 64MB of flash.

The NAND flash handles data in blocks and pages. There are 2048 blocks in 32MB. Each block holds 32 pages. Each page holds 512 bytes, so every block is 16KB in size. However, there is an extra 16 bytes dedicated to each page for access and error related functionality. Thus, each block uses an extra 512 bytes for housekeeping, and the total extra memory used is 1MB for 32MB of flash memory. So the actual size of the flash is 33MB for Fat and 66MB for Slim.

For the PSP's 32MB of NAND Flash memory, it is broken up into two parts. The first 1MB is the bootstrap area, and normally holds the IPL (Initial Program Loader). The Pre-IPL looks in this bootstrap area for the IPL if a Pandora battery is NOT used (otherwise, the IPL is loaded from the Memory Stick). The second 31MB holds the firmware code. Normal flash drivers provided by Sony only allows access to the second area, and purposely don't allow access to the bootstrap area.

Bootstrap Area

The bootstrap contains most of the IPL code (encrypted).


The bootstrap also contains the IDstorage area (at 0x000c0000) used by the PSP to store important hardware ID information.

When accessing the rest of the 31MB in the flash through the driver, the flash memory is broken up into four FAT12 partitions (flash0, flash1, flash2, flash3).

Flash Storage Area


Flash0 is 24MB in size.

Here is the file structure:
Some important files are described as follows:

/DATA/CERT directory contains unencrypted base64 encoded certificates.
/KD directory contains all the kernel .prx files used to control the PSP.
/VSH/ETC directory contains firmware version information in encrypted files "index.dat" and "version.txt" (same info in plaintext).


Flash1 is 4MB in size.

Here is the file structure:

/REGISTRY contains the system registry files (system.ireg and system.dreg).


Flash2 is mostly empty.


Flash3 is mostly empty.

Memory Stick File Structure

Although you can take out the memory stick, and stick it into another computer to do the copying, then place it back into the Sony PSP, it is not as convenient as manipulating the files with the memory stick still in the PSP. To activate the PSP as a USB hard drive (using memory stick as the drive), simply connect the PSP to a computer using a USB cord, and then select PSP's "Settings->USB Connection" menu option. On PSP Slim, this activates the battery charging also. Because of convenience, it is advisable to find the largest high capacity Memory Stick you can afford (like 32GB).

UMD Disc File Structure

PSP Firmware Versions

FirmwareRelease DateDescription
1.00Dec 12, 2004
  • Original firmware shipped on Japanese PSP.
  • Able to run unencrypted code from memory stick.
1.50Mar 24, 2005
  • Default firmware shipped on USA PSP
  • German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian languages system support
  • Game sharing with other PSP
  • Resume play when from sleep mode for video and music
  • Disabled "direct" ability to run unencrypted code from memory stick.
1.51May 18, 2005
  • Security update
1.52Jun 15, 2005
  • Able to play UMD music
2.00Aug 24, 2005
  • Default firmware shipped on European PSP
  • Web browser
  • Custom wallpaper backgrounds
  • WPA-PSK (TKIP) WiFi security
  • .mp4 (AAC) and .wav (LPCM) audio support (under /psp/music/ folder)
  • .mp4 (AVC) video (formatted MAQxxxxx.MP4) support (under /MP_ROOT/100ANV01/ folder)
  • .tiff (.tif), .png, .gif, and .bmp graphics support (under /psp/photo/ folder)
  • Korean system language support
2.01Oct 3, 2005
  • Security update
2.50Oct 13, 2005
  • LocationFree TV
  • Unicode (UTF-8) web browser support
  • WPA-PSK (AES) WiFi security
  • Copy protected video support
  • Korean language system input
2.60Nov 29, 2005
  • RSS Channel audio support
  • .wma audio support (under /PSP/MUSIC/ folder)
  • Copy protected video download via web browser support
  • Simplified (GB18030) and Traditional (Big5) Chinese encoding for web browser
2.70Apr 25, 2006
  • Flash 6 web browser support
  • Game demos (encrypted) downloaded from internet can be saved and run from memory stick
  • RSS channel audio feed data can be saved to memory stick
  • .m4a (AAC) file extension supported (under /PSP/MUSIC/ folder)
  • Simplified and Traditional Chinese system language support
  • Fix free available space for memory sticks greater than 2 GB
2.71Jun 1, 2006
  • Fix playing of videos for LocationFree TV with external tuner
  • Game demos (encrypted) downloaded via PSP web browser and saved and run from memory stick
2.80Jul 27, 2006
  • Pictures and Video support for RSS Channels
  • .3gp AAC audio extension supported.
  • Storage of video files under /VIDEO/ directory on Memory Stick (480x272 resolution or higher).
2.81Sep 7, 2006
  • Support for Memory Stick Pro greater than 4GB.
  • Support MUSIC, VIDEO, and PICTURE directories in root of Memory Stick.
2.82Oct 26, 2006
  • Security Patch
3.00Nov 20, 2006
  • Remote Play from PS3
  • M-JPEG (Motion JPEG) support for PSP Camera.
  • PS1 Game support
3.01Nov 21, 2006
  • Security Patch
3.02Dec 5, 2006
  • Security Patch
3.03Dec 19, 2006
  • Add more support for Plastation Network titles.
3.10Jan 10, 2007
  • Less memory usage option for PSP Web Browser
  • Dynamic Normalizer option is Sound Settings
  • Support for PS1 PAL games
3.11Feb 7, 2007
  • Bug fixes
3.30Mar 28, 2007
  • Support playback of MPEG-4/H2.64 AVC resolutions of 720x480, 352x480, and 480x272 in /VIDEO folder
  • Jpg thumbnail support in /VIDEO folder
3.40Apr 16, 2007
  • Minor tweaks
3.50May 30, 2007
  • Remote Play functionality with PS3 works through internet.
3.51Jun 29, 2007
  • Security patches
3.52Jul 24, 2007
  • Minor changes
3.70Sep 11, 2007
  • Custom Themes support
  • Scene search for videos
  • Sequential playback of multiple videos
  • Multitask playing music and watching pictures at the same time
3.71Sep 13, 2007
  • Scene search and sequential playback support from Memory Stick videos
  • Viewing slideshow while music is playing now supported
3.80Dec 17, 2007
  • Internet Radio
3.90Jan 29, 2008
  • Skype
3.93Mar 18, 2008
  • 22 more Internet Radio stations
3.95Apr 8, 2008
  • PS3 remains on after closing Remote Play
  • PSOne games can have configured buttons
3.96Apr 8, 2008
  • Install from Hot Shots Golf 2 game.
4.00Jun 18, 2008
  • Google Search
4.01Jun 24, 2008
  • Internet search results
  • Video playback speed
4.05Jul 14, 2008
  • New music visualizer
  • Preloaded on PSP-3000
  • Preloaded on PSP-3000
5.00Oct 15, 2008
  • PlayStation Store
5.01Oct 23, 2008
  • Fixes Memory Stick problems
5.02Nov 21, 2008
  • PlayStation Network issues
5.03Jan 20, 2009
  • Patches GripShift exploit
5.50Apr 23, 2008
  • Information Board
5.51Jun 11, 2009
  • System stability
6.00Sep 10, 2009
  • Game expiration support
6.10Sep 30, 2009
  • PSP Go Bluetooth internet tethering
6.20Nov 19, 2009
  • Digital Comics

PSP Networking

Game Sharing

Some UMD games allow you to share games with other PSP owners who have not purchased the same game. One particular game that utilizes this feature is the Namco Arcade Museum, but the games transmitted contain only one level (to entice the receiver to buy the full game apparently). The person transmitting the game has a "transmit" option inside the game itself, while the other PSP owner who is receiving the game would chose the "GAME->Game Sharing" Menu option. Note that the received games will disappear once the PSP is powered off, and there is no option to save the game to memory stick.
Note that the PSP was made to operate with a PS3 via Remote Play, so some of the features requires a PS3.

Note that a special directory called /PSP/GAME/UPDATE is reserved for updating the firmware of your PSP. You can place the EBOOT.PBP update file there and launch the update from the XMB menu.

Network Update

The PSP is able to update its own firmware via the "SETTINGS->Network Update" Menu option. Once a valid connection is initiated, the PSP will check (for Japan model PSP) http://fj01.psp.update.playstation.org/update/jp/psp-updatelist.txt for a list of the most current firmware versions. If one is found it will try to download and save the new EBOOT.PBP firmware image on a memory stick at /PSP/GAME/UPDATE and then update itself from that firmware image. The first PSPs were released in Japan, and it came with version 1.0 of the firmware. On March 24, 2005 version 1.5 was released for it, which coincided with the USA version of PSPs which had version 1.5 built in. The major changes provided in the 1.5 version are bug fixes and better language support for many countries.

In order for the PSP to check for updates, you must make sure you have valid Wi-Fi settings. In the "SETTINGS->Network Settings->Infrastructure Mode", if you selection the triangle button while the cursor is on a connection name, you can select the "Test Connection" and the PSP will actually try to reach this URL: http://fj00.psp.update.playstation.org/networktest/trial.txt

Note that depending on your location and PSP hardware version, the URL's will change slightly to reflect your location and hardware.

When the firmware is updated, more functionality are available.

PSP Peripherals

PSP-100PSP AC Adapter This came with the original PSP. When attached to the PSP allows running off of wall sockets and charging the battery.
PSP-110PSP Battery The original PSP1000 battery is actually lower in voltage (3.6V) than the AC adapter (5V). When running on batteries, the fourth brightest screen setting is disabled. It has 1800mAh. You can fit this Fat PSP battery inside the Slim PSP.
PSP-S110PSP Battery This PSP battery is made for the more modern PSP2000 Slim and Light models. It is 3.6V with 1200mAh. You cannot fit this battery inside the Fat PSP.
PSP-120Remote Control The standard remote control for the PSP can actually control more than just music playback. It can actually turn ON your PSP when you press the PLAY button on the remote (takes it out of sleep mode). In addition, it offers control for Photo, Music, Movie, and Game playback.
    • Play: Start/Pause slideshow.
    • Previous: Previous picture.
    • Next: Next picture.
    • Play: Start/Pause song.
    • Previous: Previous song.
    • Next: Next song.
    • Previous (held down): Fast reverse.
    • Next (held down): Fast forward.
  • VIDEO (when selection is on a video)
    • Play: Start/Pause video.
    • Previous (held down): Fast reverse.
    • Next (held down): Fast forward.
  • GAME (when selection is on the UMD game)
    • Play: Starts game.
The remote control (PSP-120) of the Sony PSP provides audio in and out and remote button control of the PSP buttons.
PSP-130Headphones The standard PSP headphones can also be replaced with high quality ones. The plug is standardized, so just get the best one you can afford. You can even attach it right into the Sony PSP-120 remote control without problems.
PSP-140Headphones with Remote Control The PSP-140 accessory is simply the combination of the Remote Control (PSP-120) with the Headphones (PSP-130).
PSP-170Soft Case and Wrist Strap The PSP-170 is a combination of the PSP Soft Case and Wrist Strap.
PSP-180Sony Car Adapter The Sony Car Adapter allows charging and operating the PSP inside a car.
PSP-190Battery Recharger The Battery Recharger allows you to charge batteries separately.
PSP-220Sony UMD Accessory Pouch and Cloth The pouch allows storage of UMD discs and two cleaning cloths.
PSP-240PSP Talkman The PSP Talkman is a microphone. It allows voice input.
PSP-250PSP Hand-Strap The PSP Hand-Strap is a cord that you can tie to the Sony PSP for easy carrying.
PSP-280PSP Battery This battery pack lasts 20% longer than the one shipped with the original PSP Fat. It is 3.6V with 2200mAh. It also fits inside the PSP Slim.
PSP-290PSP GPS This accessory allows receiving GPS signals from satellites for navigational games or applications.
PSP-300Video and Audio Camera Allows recording video and taking pictures along with audio via its built in microphone. VOIP is supported.

Memory Stick

The PSP Fat Value Pack comes with a 32MB Memory Stick Duo (PSP-M32). The PSP Slim Value Pack comes with 1GB. All memory sticks are basically the same, so just go for the largest you can afford (and that is 32GB at the moment). The high capacity ones all come with MagicGate, so if you should want to download music from Sony Connect in the future, you are all set to go. It is the lower capacity (those lower than 128MB) memory sticks that you should pay attention to the MagicGate feature. MagicGate allows protected content storage.

USB power cable

There is a USB cable you can purchase that allows you to connect one end of the cable to the USB port of any computer and the other end to the power plug port of the PSP. What this allows you to do is charge your PSP without the PSP power adapter (which is quite inconvenient to carry around as it is almost the size of the PSP itself). Note that you cannot recharge the fat PSP via the USB port on the top of the PSP (which would have been a nice feature to have along similar lines to the Motorola RAZR V3). This feature was added to the PSP Slim and later models (you can enable automatic USB mode charging from the XMB menu settings).

Programming on the PSP

Running homebrew software

It is possible to run homebrew software on a Sony PSP. The original version 1.0 firmware allowed running unsigned code. Later versions were patched so that this ability was not allowed directly. However, there were indirect ways to run homebrew software. Selecting the "Settings/System Settings/System Information" menu item allows you to view the version of firmware your PSP has installed. If it has version 1.0 or 1.5 you are able to download homebrew onto your memory stick and run them without any major effort. If you have firmware version 2.0 or higher, you may need to use special software loaders or install a custom firmware that allows such ability natively. Search the internet for more info.

The PSP is in a unique situation in that it is a device funded by a gaming industry. This provides a very low price point for the hardware, which in effect makes it possible for it to become a mass production item similar to televisions, microwaves, etc. There will be more Sony PSP sold in a years time than all the Sony CLIE PDA's ever sold in its lifetime (which are not sold any more). This provides a very unique situation in that the PSP (with its CPU core more powerful than the Sony CLIE) can actually replace the CLIE and act like a PDA. But it is on par with a notebook because the feature set of the PSP is way higher than that of a PDA. There is only one functionality that is needed to make the full transition to a computer, and that is support for large monitors (via USB most likely). A harddrive would also be nice, and was included in the PSP Go. However, since flash memory are now increasing in capacity at exponential rate, 64GB M2 cards is becoming adequate. PSP programming is going to be a hot industry, but Sony would have to provide free or very low cost development kits for the average person, and not only to large game companies. Something like a personal version for those that wish to develop programs to run off of the memory stick only, as this would catapult the Sony PSP from a niche product to a common household item. There will be software or shareware programs for anything under the sun. It may even eclipse the PC as the standard computing device because everything is becoming mobile (look at how notebooks sell more than desktops these days).

The PSP Slim allows a higher resolution output via the TV-Out socket. This would answer need for programming on the PSP itself and outputting the code on a large display. Can the PSP be used to program PSP games? With the release of the PSP Slim, this has become a reality (with its extra 32MB main memory). The only missing piece is a nice official keyboard or a touchscreen add-on for the PSP display. With the PSP Go supporting bluetooth, this may finally become a possibility (assuming keyboard bluetooth is supported).


Programming on the PSP is similar to programming on Linux with a MIPS CPU. The only major "feature" of the MIPS CPU is that it has a special absolute memory map addressing that allows segments of the absolute memory to be uncached versions of the same data in main memory. In particular, 1024MB of user space over 0x40000000 are the uncached versions of your data in lower address space. So lets say you are reading and writing data at address 0x00012345 that may reside in the cache. If you want to bypass the cache, simply add (by doing a logical OR) 0x40000000, so 0x40012345 would point directly to the data in main memory.

Memory Map

The following is the memory map of the PSP. Note that since the PSP only has 32MB or 64MB of main memory, the virtual addresses below all map to the physical addresses located within that small area of main memory. Expect a lot of duplicate virtual addresses pointing to the same location in main memory.
0x040000000x041fffff2MBVRAM / Framebuffer
0x080000000x09ffffff32MBMain Memory
0x088000000x09ffffff24MBUser Memory
0x1fc000000x1fcfffff1MBHardware Exception Vectors
0x1fd000000x1fffffff3MBHardware I/O
0x400000000x7fffffff1GBUncached version of above
0x880000000x887fffff8MBKernel Memory
0xbfc000000xbfcfffff1MBHardware Exception Vectors


In addition to main memory, you can access various other storage devices through code via normal filesystem extentions.

fatms0: Memory Stick
umd0: UMD
flash0: First block of NAND Flash
flash1: Second block of NAND Flash

PSP program formats

The PSP uses ELF (Executable and Linking Format) as the executable format. These are packaged into a EBOOT.PBP along with other files for easy distribution and loading. When loaded, the MIPS cpu can run the code in kernel or user mode. Most of the XMB and drivers for the hardware boot in kernel mode. Most of the kernel code and device drivers for the PSP are coded in a relocatable executable format with the extension .prx. This format is a proprietary format made by Sony. Note that .prx format code need not run in kernel mode, but a vast majority of them are because Sony provided them to control the PSP hardware.

The EBOOT.PBP is an archive format to store many different files filled with data inside one larger file. Below is a breakdown of the different files that are known to exist inside a PSP EBOOT.PBP...

File NameDescription
PARAM.SFOBasic header file describing the program
ICON0.PNGGraphical icon for the program that shows up in XMB
ICON1.PMFAnimated icon for the program that shows up in XMB
UNKNOWN.PNGBackground graphic for the program that shows up in XMB
PIC1.PNGLarger icon for the program that shows up in XMB
SND0.AT3ATRAC3 music that plays in the XMB for the program
UNKNOWN.PSPThe program itself
UNKNOWN.PSAREncrypted contents of the program

The minimum required files needed to exist inside a EBOOT.PBP so that it can run from firmware 1.0 or 1.5 is PARAM.SFO and UNKNOWN.PSP

The PARAM.SFO (from the EBOOT.PBP above) is a variable length file containing information on the program. It has many optional labels that can be set as a parameter for the program. Below is a listing of a majority of them and common values for a typical update PBP that you place in /PSP/GAME/UPDATE on the memory stick...

BOOTABLEInteger: 1
DISC_VERSIONString: 1.00
REGIONInteger: 32768
TITLEString: PSP Update ver 3.71
TITLE_0String: (Japanese title)
TITLE_2String: (French title)
TITLE_3String: (Spanish title)
TITLE_4String: (German title)
TITLE_5String: (Italian title)
TITLE_6String: (Dutch title)
TITLE_7String: (Portuguese title)
TITLE_8String: (Russian title)
TITLE_9String: (Korean title)
TITLE_10String: (Traditional Chinese title)
TITLE_11String: (Simplified Chinese title)
UPDATER_VERString: 3.71

A typical homebrew EBOOT.PBP's PARAM.SFO would contain these labels

BOOTABLEInteger: 1
DISC_IDString: UCJS10000
DISC_VERSIONString: 1.00
PSP_SYSTEM_VERString: 1.00
REGIONInteger: 32768
TITLEString: MyHomebrewProg


The PSP update file PSPUPDAT.PBP that you store into /PSP/GAME/UPDATE/ to update your PSP's firmware has gone through different incarnations through time. The main parts of PSPUPDAT.PBP is the program segment (DATA.PSP) and the encrypted segment (DATA.PSAR). Besides containing most of the kernel code stored in .prx files, it also holds changes to the IPL code (which boots the initial firmware code itself).

In earlier firmwares (1.50/1.51/1.52), the IPL was stored in ipl_update.prx located in DATA.SAR
In later firmwares (2.00+) the IPL was stored in DATA.PSAR.

Note that in 2.60+ firmwares, decrypting the IPL required some pre-IPL code.

Devkit PSP

There are special PSP (devkits) for developers and for these PSP, the IPL is not stored in the NAND flash, therefore the PSPUPDAT.PSP for devkits do not contain IPL update code.

Homebrew programs are normally loaded and run in user mode. In firmware 1.0 and 1.5, programs can actually load and run in kernel mode unencrypted from the memory stick. The difference is mainly the packaging of the EBOOT.PBP. Firmware 1.5 required two EBOOT.PBP in separate directories, while firmware 1.0 needed only one. This unencrypted loading (and running in kernel mode) ability was disabled in later firmware versions, however. Because of this, the vast majority of homebrew (homemade) software were made to run on either firmware 1.0 and 1.5. Many firmware downgraders and exploits were made in order to get PSPs flashed with official Sony firmware 2.0 and higher to "downgrade" back to firmware 1.0 and 1.5 in order to allow it to regain the ability to run homebrew software unencrypted (unsigned by Sony essentially). As a result, homebrew authors wrote code targetting firmware 1.50 (or 1.00) specifically because it is an official Sony firmware that actually did not prohibit running unencrypted (unsigned) code. This trend was solidified when later firmware releases complicated the loading of homebrew software, requiring special loaders that took advantage of bugs or exploits in either the XMB or commercial games. Because of this, homebrew software targetting these firmware versions are very very few, and people often just downgrade to firmware 1.50 or 1.00 to run homebrew software. However, downgrading to lower firmware often results in less features available from the XMB, thus an effort was made by some to make custom firmware that basically took Sony's latest firmware and put back the ability to run unencrypted user mode code (with some offering ability to run in 1.50 kernel mode as well, which allowed old homebrew software to run unmodified). This custom firmware trend started when the latest firmware was 3.xx. Homebrew software authors nowadays thus still write for either firmware 1.00/1.50 (kernel or user mode), or in user mode for the latest custom firmware (3.xx). Because custom firmware are constantly changing with each official firmware upgrade from Sony, a stable environment for coding on custom firmware is still in flux. The PSP Slim, however, provided an extra 32MB of main memory that can be open for homebrew programmers. This extra memory is not available in firmware 1.0 and 1.5, and the PSP Slim hardware is so vastly different that firmware 1.0 and 1.5 cannot run on it (inside a custom firmware) without major modifications. Because of these reasons the newer trend is for some homebrew authors to basically break away from coding for firmware 1.0 and 1.5 and rely strictly on the latest version of unofficial custom firmware to provide them with the mechanism to run user mode code unencrypted from the memory stick. Some authors even provide a separate .prx file during installation, which contains custom kernel code that they need in their program.

PSP Emulators

Are there Sony PSP emulators available? Yes. In fact, the most accurate ones come from Sony. You run them on a PC and is available for game developers.

The Future

Of course nothing is complete without mentioning the PS4 and PSP2 when discussing PlayStation devices. The PS4 is actually very similar to PSP2 (the next version of PSP). If you want to take a look at what the PSP2 will look like, just take a look at any standard notebook computer like the Sony VAIO S notebook. It has a widescreen (like the PSP), and you can fold it down to protect the screen (similar to Nintendo DS/DS Lite). Of course it may not be that big, but you get the idea. It will be able to play games and have all the standard fast graphical chips, but this time with a powerful operating system to do more than just games. After the "GAME" will come "COMPUTER" apps in the XMB menu. Note that the PSone comes with a portable LCD screen. If the PS4 comes with one, then it will actually be a bigger cousin of the PSP2, or even be the PSP2 if it is small enough.

Technology is merging and these newer versions of Playstation devices should incorporate phone, video camera, digital camera, and webserver technology. The input devices should expand to transparent glasses that have a large display projected at 1080p or higher in the lenses. That way you are not stuck with a small screen while mobile with the PSP. And if you are at home, the PSP should be able to be plugged into a high definition display (HDTV supporting 1080p) so you can view movies and photos and play games on the high resolution HDTV. The next generation PSP should support phone calling and serving not just game data in multiplayer games but should be able to allow you to host a webserver and open up endless protocols for connectivity besides just the webpages of the internet.

If you take a closer look at the evolution of electronic devices, you will find that they all seem to be input devices for two of our five senses. We have five senses:
  1. Sight
  2. Hearing
  3. Touch
  4. Taste
  5. Smell
Notice that televisions, radios, movie theaters, etc all tailor to our first two senses (sight and sound). Because touch, taste, and smell devices are difficult to make, all the major electronics improve on the sight and hearing mainly. However, it is possible to merge or elevate sight and hearing to incorporate other functions. If you look at the PSP, notice the left to right order of the icons...

First PHOTO (sight), then MUSIC (hearing), then MOVIES (sight and hearing), then GAMES (sight, hearing, and some touch). But there is something else that GAMES provide, and that is brain entertainment and interactivity (game solving skills). But what comes after GAMES? A COMPUTER (or APPLICATIONS). That is the next logical point in the elevation (or evolution). Applications provides an extension beyond GAMES, as you can now engage your brain in all sorts of activity (besides solving puzzles or hand-eye coordination procedures in finishing GAMES.) And that is why the browser is in the PSP, and all the trappings of a regular computer are the logical next step for the PSP.


Of course, it is not complete without mentioning features that it is destined to be: a mini-notebook or PDA. It actually comes with a WI-FI adapter inside (802.11b with WEP/WPA encryption), providing the possibility for you to upgrade its firmware and download games, music, video, and other content. The USB port allows you to attach a webcam, GPS, keyboard, mouse, modem, GPRS/CDMA/3G Phones, and practically any type of device the firmware supports. Since the UMD disc can store 1.8 gigabytes of memory, that is enough to store a whole operating system. If that is too large, you can use the memory stick to store 8GB (or more) of programs. Adding the operating system to the memory stick might be easier for companies other than Sony (since Sony controls UMD disc creation technology). It can function as a full-fledged computer and the networking ability allows you to use it as an internet browser. The USB (version 2.0) port is actually the expansion slot of the PSP. Add a GPRS/CDMA/3G adaptor, and you can use the PSP to make mobile cellphone calls. Add a USB camera and the PSP can function as a digital camera or camcorder with sound. Add a USB HDTV receiver (over the air or not) and you can watch TV. Add a USB radio receiver and you can listen to radio. The list is endless.

Super Secrets

The background of the PSP (when not in game mode) changes colors at the beginning of each month. Since there are 12 months, your PSP will change 12 times in a year. If you go to "SETTINGS->Date & Time Settings" and modify the month, your PSP background will change colors instantly to the matching month. You can override this feature and set your desired color manually, or choose colors other than the default 12 month colors.

The power button (slider) actually has three purposes.
  1. Slide it down: Hold mode, where all buttons on the PSP are disabled (in case you are jogging).
  2. Slide it up and release immediately: Puts the PSP in sleep mode.
  3. Slide it up and release after 3 seconds: Turns off the PSP.

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