Phlog 11  - Sony Playstation Portable as an impractical, beater, game, music, movie device

(Title could use some work)

During the one flight I took during the height of the pandemic, I took it upon myself to find a cheap, multi-purpose device to take on the plane with me.  The reasoning was to keep my phone stashed away and
not have to touch it during the flight or hanging out in the airport as well as save the battery.  Normally, killing time on a trip involves streaming plex or catching up on peertube, email or playing
older games in small chunks.  An older device probably wouldn't have the connectivity to accomplish this or even if it did, lack of application and/or browser support just wouldn't be there.  This led me to
start thinking about keeping shows and maybe even an entire movie on the device itself, which was just deja vu from the early 00's when I was contantly trying to fit poor quality DVD rips and music on the
paltry stoage of my laptop or Zaurus.  An older Nintendo DSlite emulated older games, but doesn't easily do music or video, same story with the GBA (though it's since become almost a daily packed item due to
its size and being "AA" battery powered.  I also briefly considered a Switch lite, but that didn't fit the 'cheap' requirement at all.  In the end, I settled on a Sony PSP as it will run RetroArch, play
video and music files (though, not at all in the formats I like :-/ )


       Cheap as heck on eBay in almost any color you like
       No region restrictions on physical PSP games so hit the local game store and rummage sales without fear
       Chargers and replacement batteries are plentiful
       Actual, real life, no-foolin' headphone jack!
       Nice, large screen for video
       Clean, simple interface
       Mini USB for dropping files onto the *sigh* Memory Stick Duo (remedied below, however)
       Memory Stick Duo adapters available to use microSD cards
       Volume, "Home" and other controls are physical, tactile buttons
       Sound is not terrible
       Physical switch to turn off wifi and save some battery
       Physical "Hold" switch for keeping it from waking up and draining battery in a bag or my pocket.


       The UMD drive is loud if there's a UMD in the PSP, even if nothing is running from it.
       Battery life can be short for some activities
       Does Not seem to consistently charge off aforementioned USB
       wifi is WEP only (though, not that there's much for this to connect to any longer)
       Lots of Sony-specific and obsolete apps pre-loaded
       In the limited number of games I tried, emulating anything newer than SNES & Genesis is going to run like a Powerpoint

Having gone through all that, the import PSP I took along with me and have since thrown in my bag for different trips has held up quite well.  No screen dings, the UMD door stays shut, have not lost the
battery compartment door or shoulder buttons - I feel pretty good about letting it ride around in a day bag or work bag.  The only part I'd be concerned about is the analog, well, not really a 'stick' so much as a distant cousin to a ThinkPad laptop mouse pointer.  It moves around smoothly enough, but there's *just* enough clearance where I can see it getting sheered off by catching a pockett or some divider
inside a bag.  So far so good, though.  Maybe since it's roughtly the same height as the D-Pad, it's safe?  Your mileage may very, though I tend to be very rough on stuff.

Performance-wise, as mentioned above, it can start to chug pretty hard trying to emulate anything modern.  I just wanted GB, NES and Genesis-era gaming but anything beyond that is probably going to be a
disappoiting (note: they're may be some performance tuning or other, better RetroArch cores for certain platforms I'm not aware of).  Additionally, if you're using the original PSP (PSP-1000) there's only
half the RAM of the latter 2 revisions.  I also didn't try the 8-bit computer cores (MSX, ZX Spectrum, NEC boxes)
and do not know how well they perform - if anyone actually reads through this and gets their portable microcomputer fix via a Sony PSP, definitely email me.  I'm very curious to hear A) How it works for you
and B) How you arrived at using a PSP for this, specifically.

Movie files run just find with the built-in media.  The toughest part is encoding and formatting them correctly for a device for the early 2000's.  Handbrake no longer has a preset for encoding files for
the PSP but you can either import it from an earlier version or roll your own mp4 files with a max(?) resolution of 480x272.  The AVC and AAC codecs appear to work just fine.

Music plays without issue as MP3s (and WMA and ATRAC if you feel like punishing yourself)