LOS ANGELES--When Sony launched the PSP in 2004, the electronics giant was looking to take a slice of the portable gaming pie that had been almost entirely Nintendo's since the launch of the original Game Boy. While the PSP has come in second to Nintendo's DS, the handheld has been far from a failure, as Sony today announced that worldwide shipments of its debut portable have topped the 70 million mark.
PSP software hasn't fared too poorly, either. Sony said the system's UMD library includes 3,200 titles worldwide, with software sales totaling 298 million to date. Beyond the UMD library, there are 2,180 downloadable titles for the system available on the PlayStation Network.
With the impending launch of the Vita (formerly known as the NGP), the PSP's days are all but numbered. However, Sony said it's not ready to retire the platform just yet, stressing that SCE Worldwide Studios and third-party publishers still have "many more" offerings in the pipeline.
The PSP debuted first in Japan in December of 2004, with North American and European debuts following in March and September of 2005, respectively. In September of 2007, Sony launched the slimmer PSP-2000 with a brighter screen and simpler disc door mechanism. That model was then phased out after the PSP-3000's debut in October of 2008. That model--which remains on sale today--has a high-contrast LCD screen and built-in microphone. The final iteration of the PSP hardware, the PSP go, launched in October 2009 and did away with the UMD drive entirely, relying entirely on digitally distributed titles from the PlayStation Network. The PSP go largely failed to catch on and was reportedly discontinued in Japan.