Some Interesting Psp Info, System Durability


Well-Known Member
Dec 4, 2004
Another lonnnnng post but some of you may want to bear with it or at least, skip to the section about battery life for some possible very good news....

Just some interesting tidbits... got this months issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly in the mail today, as expected there was a HUGE PSP section in there covering all the launch games and such... and some interesting 'tests' they did.

Well, first the durability... EGM are pretty well known for abusing game systems to see what they will put up with before quiting (they flushed a GBA in a toilet SEVERAL times and it STILL worked!), and of course, they were more than happy to do a round of tests on Sony's latest.

First they dropped it from about 4 feet (1 meter abouts?) high onto a carpeted floor. The battery popped out, but otherwise the system was fine afterwards.

Then the dropped it the same distance onto concrete.... the system still worked, but the UMD door wouldn't close fully afterwards (though it closed enough to still play games), and they claimed it started making a loud noise when it was loading, but it would still play... scary thought though... use those wriststraps boys and girls!

Lastly, one of the editors actually STEPPED on it, the guy weighed 175 pounds (no idea what that is in kilos sorry :( ) and almost instantly the LCD popped... no big surprise there.

Anyways, they ran yet another test of battery life... now this is kind of interesting, because they had previously tested the battery life of the Japanese unit, and the new results indicate that, though the battery is still rated the same mAH (1800), the US systems do seem to last quite a bit longer.

Running at the medium brigthness setting, at 2/3 volume, not using headphones, they got 5 hours and 45 minutes playing metal gear acid, and at the same settings, they got 3 hours 15 minutes playing Ridge Racers... but get this, that three hours was playing WITH THE WIFI ON playing 4 player multiplayer games!!!! People had been reporting averages of about 1.5-2 hours of ridge racer wifi gaming.

My first speculation is that this has something to do with that rumored LCD switch a few months ago... as was pretty much proven, the first batch of japanese units had a much brighter LCD, and by my own experience, having owned a Japanese unit from both the first and second batch, the second batch unit did seem to last, on average, about an hour more per charge.

My second speculation is a bit more interesting. When I just picked up my US one on launch day, I gave my wife the Japanese one (which was the one from the second batch)... by the way I was averaging 4-5 hours per charge on that unit. But now dig this... when I gave her the Japanese one, I gave it to her with the NEW battery from the US unit... and kept the Japanese battery for use with the US unit. I did this because my Japanese battery was already fully charged... selfish eh? heheh but anyways, she's been playing the japanese PSP, with the US battery, from 100% charge until it would die, for the last three nights at work (she also works graveyard at a job where she's free to do most anything she wants to pass 80% of the night). Now, she's been playing about 50% Ape Escape, and 50% Lumines, and she's been timing it, she gets to work at midnite and just starts playing, and now she said for the last three nights she has been able to play, pretty much uninterrupted, from 12 midnite until about 7am until the battery dies... SEVEN HOURS!!! Not a fluke... this has happened the last three nights in a row. So, even though the battery still SAYS 1800 mAH... maybe there is a possibility Sony have done something to the batteries to make them last a bit longer??? Remember, it's not something they changed about the systems, as she was getting 7 hours on a japanese unit with a US battery. Oh and by the way, the US and Japanese versions we have have the exact same LCD with the same brightness and saturation.

Verrrrrry interesting.....

EDIT: I think I'm gonna steal that US battery back when my wife isn't looking.....
I will snake the US battery back out of the Japanese unit and start testing... see if I get longer play times...

But EGM getting 3 hours and 15 mins out of Ridge Racer with WiFi ON... that's a sign to me right there, because I know when I only had a couple games and mostly played Ridge Racer, I was getting average 3 hours and was never playing Wifi....

am i crazy in suggesting this could have anything to do with it?

having just got my JAP PSP i'd love it to be either battery or firmware that has bought about this sudden burst of longevity.
Hmm maybe they did get a Higer mAH battery? or it might be some other component measurement of the battery was changed like the voltage?

It'd be intersting to see if anyone else got this result... but at the same time You say you wife has ben playing it for several days. maybe the time the system spends turned off is helping to extend the life. (some batteries will gain back a few minutes of charge if you leave them be even after they shut off on you, Ive had this happen with my MP3 player with it's built in Lithium Ion battery.)
trooper posted on Mar 30 2005 at 07:51 PM said:
Are they all underclocked ?. Or did they start doing that after the Japan release ?.


Yeah. The PSP is underclocked, I read that somewhere - officially.

There are rumours though that the early ones run at full speed.

But who knows.
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Kop_007 posted on Mar 31 2005 at 09:59 AM said:
trooper posted on Mar 30 2005 at 07:51 PM said:
Are they all underclocked ?. Or did they start doing that after the Japan release ?.


Yeah. The PSP is underclocked, I read that somewhere - officially.

There are rumours though that the early ones run at full speed.

But who knows.
Software is what runs the PSP at its clock speed. Developers can underclock or overclock will. They say 222mhz is the sweet spot between, graphics and battery life. Once they make a better battery, games should use the full power 333mhz.
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Okay, here's the deal... both batteries, the US and Japanese ones I have, are identically marked. They both say 3.6v, 1800 mAh. I did switch the batteries with my wife again yesterday so now I have the US battery again.

I haven't had a chance to drain it yet so dont know if it will make any difference for me.

Let me clarify one thing, my wife has been playing the hell out of her PSP... I charge it, she takes it to work, plays for 6-7 hours pretty much straight except small breaks here or there, brings it back dead and I start the process again with a full charge. She also plays every chance she gets at home... if I so much as head to the restroom she fires it up, so she's even draining the battery a bit before her seven hour marathons at work.

The underclocking thing is a very interesting theory, and brings to my mind another possibility... maybe the US version of Lumines (which is the game she plays the most, she says now about 70% of the time with the other 30% being Ape Escape) is set to underclock the PSP by a lot and THAT"s why she's getting so much better battery life? Since it's a pretty basic game I'm sure it doesn't need to run the system at anywhere near full speed to run it okay.

This might also explain why I seem to be noticing a bit better battery life now that I'm playing mostly US games (and why EGM staffers noted the same results with their US games, even notorious battery drainer Ridge Racer)... Maybe all these games have been coded to run a slower clockspeed now with the US versions?

There is one exception I've seen for myself... right after I bought Tony Hawk and played the hell out of it... I noticed it killed battery life WAY fast, back to my Japanese Ridge Racers levels... like 3 hours or maaaaybe close to four on a full charge, this was on the Japanese system with Japanese battery, before I got the US system. Otherwise I almost always get just about 5 hours per charge.
playing wipeout, i think i got about 4 hours with taking the full charge to 20%ish

btw, what do you guys think of that pelican BRICK? i hope it's not really a brick haha
I haven't read all of this but here it is anyway...

*Hiroshige's Goto Weekly overseas news*
Current PSP only efficiency of 2/3 being able to show the reason which is not


- As for operational frequency it was not 333MHz and was 222MHz

The PSP tip/chip was operational to tell the truth with only the clock of 2/3 of the specifications. Current PSP still being able to show full performance means not to be. In addition, the OS kernel of PSP among the main memories of 32MB, had possessed the 8MB thing area. This is large to exceptional case as a OS kernel area of the game machine.

The motherboard of PSP
In the middle of March was held "GDC (Game Developers Conference)" with, the side which is not excessively known so far generally concerning PSP, made clear. SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America), the session which is entitled "PSP Advanced Software Overview" was done with GDC. Among those, Mark DeLoura of SCEA (Manager of Developer Relations), update and software layer of the PSP hardware specifications and the entire image of the tool were explained.

In former official announcement, as for operational frequency of the CPU core of PSP with コンフィギƒ…ラブル, it was the expectation which operates at most 333MHz. But, with GDC, as for the CPU core of PSP, as for present condition when it is restricted in 222MHz, it was explained. It means to be held down to the clock of 2/3 of the specifications exactly. In addition, also bus speed, 166MHz at the time of specifications announcement of the year before last (reverse operation) from is backing up to maximum 111MHz from zone.

"As for CPU is the range to 333MHz, but under present conditions it is locked to 222MHz. Because the bus is typically the half of CPU (the clock), it has become 111MHz. When CPU is pulled up to 333MHz, when deciding, also the bus is pulled up probably will be to 166MHz, "that DeLoura explains.

The down grade to 222MHz has suggested that in provisional specification, there is a possibility of pulling up in the future to 333MHz. In the future, moving to 65nm process and the production process after the that, perhaps at the stage where electric power consumption goes down, to 333MHz it makes improvement possible.

SCEA did not explain the reason where it is restricted to 222MHz finely. But, as recognized even from the fact that this specification modification is explained with the corner of economical electric power, as for low frequency conversion for electrical retrenchment as for being it is clear. PSP, under the present conditions of 222MHz, to use comfortably with the lithium ion battery of 1,800mAh as an operation and a game machine of 4 - 6 hours, is the last line. Because of that, above this increasing CPU frequency, increasing electric power consumption, it is presumed that it was not possible to shave battery drive time. It seems that as for actual solution with semiconductor technology of present condition, is not 333MHz and is 222MHz.

Summary of CPU core. Frequency has become 222MHz with default The graphic engine under present conditions operates with 111MHz

- The electric power consumption decrease of PSP whose hardship is many

Those where it is distinct from the frequency lock of PSP, are that also SCEI and have suffered hardship in electric power consumption decrease. Especially, in case of PSP becoming problem TDP (Thermal Design Power: It is average electric power consumption not only thermal design electric power consumption). As for average electric power consumption, because leak (a leak) electric current echoes largely, with the process which the present time refines it is very difficult to lower. With improvement such as process technology and circuit design, how much can reduce leak electric power, it is one of the future technical hurdles of PSP.

Though, when you look at the whole PSP, the fact that electric power is eaten on the other hand seems like the device other than main chip set. In the explanation with GDC, seeking and the wireless LAN of UMD drive (Wi-Fi), high brightness setting and the like of liquid crystal display, when it is the operation which consumes electric power very it was explained. Conversely, as for electricity consumption being little, you say that it is the media engine, the bus and the memory stick.

As for the media engine which includes AVC decoding because rather to hard wired it is converted, electricity consumption is little. In 2004 August HotChips conference as for average electric power consumption at the time of AVC decoding below 500mW it was explained. As for the bus, it is seen that is, because economical electrical conversion is possible by the fact that it TURNS OFF briskly.

PSP in the future economical electrical conversion of UMD drive and wireless LAN module etc. becomes necessary. In order with GDC to hold down the access to UMD, it called. In addition, economical electrical conversion of wireless LAN module, as wireless LAN corresponding title increases, probably becomes the important element.

The 222MHz lock is produces effect to also software development. For example, when at the point in time when it reaches the point where it can utilize the frequency to 333MHz, the software where the load which uses the full CPU clock is high was made, there is a possibility the case where compatibility of the current type of 222MHz becomes problem coming out. But, when you see in positive, PSP specifications means to be the margin where still it improves performance.

The largest obstacle economical electric power of PSP. As for CPU under present conditions lock to 222MHz When developing the battery emulator tool in order to optimize electric power consumption

- 8MB and enormous OS kernel area

The summary of OS of PSP
With GDC, summary was explained concerning OS of PSP. Though as for big topic, the OS kernel was occupying to possess 8MB. The fact that as for the OS kernel of the game machine several hundred KB units quite there is many a thin thing, guarantees the 8MB thing quantity is quite exceptional case. Among the main memories of 32MB of PSP, the user (ゲームデベロッパ) only 24MB it means not to be left.

The fact that kernel possession memory is large many functions is for the controlling PSP. PSP has taken the API based programming model basically, (however, the graphic register list and the like is open) for the sake of, it is presumed that library layer and ratio of the driver are large relatively. Those where amount and the software layer whose extent of abstraction of the hardware is high become thick are reason.

Various OS kernel modules and the low level driver are loaded in the 8MB space, run also the utility applet of PSP. Also the engine such as network, audio and movie playback is included in module. Saving data management and ネットワークコンフィギƒ…レーション, there is an ounce clean keyboard and various message dialogues etc. in the applet.

In other words, it was not the case that the kernel itself of PSP is the size of 8MB, it is the case that it became the result 8MB, also the space of various engines and protocol stack and the applet etc. guaranteeing. Guaranteeing the space of the applet, in the game, send the game program, is an advantage where it can change to the applet quickly.

The OS kernel guarantees 8MB as the possession area The utility which is loaded in the kernel area

As for the graphic library with 3 classes, as for LibGU OpenGL like (it is not 100% interchangeable) Class of audio library

- The main memory of PSP which originally is 8MB

Those where it is interesting at the OS kernel area of 8MB are the point where the quantity of the main memory of PSP which SCEI at the beginning has planned is 8MB. In other words, when the cover is opened, it is the case that consumes the main memory quantity of originally plan with just the OS kernel of SCEI side. When SCEI has advanced PSP with the specifications of 8MB memory of according to of original plan, the possibility of having become something whose also OS development of SCEI side is very difficult is high.

Concerning the main memory of PSP, you say that the last of the specifications of PSP at stage of the り adjusting which is done, there was a considerable friction. EDRAM (it installed from viewpoint of semiconductor production and DRAM) it was only and from the viewpoint of SCEI and the game development which we would like to hold down to 8MB the memory quantity of PS2 class opinion struck between desired ゲームデベロッパ. Finally SCEI side on ゲームデベロッパ side, listening opinion concerning the desirable memory quantity. Because the opinion of 32MB is many preponderantly, there are the details that it actualized 32MB main memory with the DDR memory of 256Mbit as an external.

Is because it made the transplantation from PS2 of 32MB memory easy and applies that ゲームデベロッパ side desired 32MB. But because the OS kernel possesses 8MB really, like PS2 which almost could use 32MB freely you cannot use memory. Though, with PS2 does not prepare as for the module, because it is there is on a OS side, the memory necessary quantity PS2 compared to decreases on デベロッパ side depending upon the software.

As for case of the memory quantity of PSP showing, the hardware design of SCEI questions, development of software architecture, it sows, being able to link it is to be the possibility without of being. If the software architect has related closely at stage of the hard design, it is presumed that probably there was no complication at the memory quantity. If the abstraction with the software is made thick, the memory quantity to be more becomes necessary.

What you can see the mismatch of the design of this hard and the software the time, is the weak point of SCEI. It has become the big difference with Microsoft where especially software architect side decides the specification of hard. Though, the device development itself which designates, the personally owned semiconductor technology of SCEI as the base is big strength. If it is not that, it is difficult to make the game machine like PSP.

- There is no region cord/code in the UMD game

With GDC concerning the profile and the file format etc. of UMD it was explained. As for UMD, under present conditions there is a profile of 3 types of PSP game and UMD Audio and UMD Video. Concerning the PSP game among these, the region cord/code is not set. But, as for audio and video, it is the possibility that it is restricted.

With GDC "VFPU (vectoring floating point arithmetic unit)" of the CPU core of PSP concerning, summary made clear. As for the CPU core of PSP with the R4000 core of MIPS32 instruction set, VFPU has belonged as an extended arithmetic unit. VFPU is designed by for vectoring and matrix operation, supports the 32bit single precision floating point format of IEEE 754. The matrix of 4x4/product-sum operation of vectoring has become 22 サイクルレイテンシ.

VFPU 128 these コンフィギƒ…ラブル has the 32bit register, also scalar operation has become possible not only vectoring and the matrix. It is seen at the time of vectoring and the matrix that the plural registers are combined. In addition, also the floating point data of 32/16/8bit integer and half size can handle. In other words, PSP being relatively powerful, stacks VFPU whose is widely used.
heheh I hate bad babelfish-style translations but the most of that one made at least some sense.

Okay so from that we can infer that a) ALL PSP systems, including the first batch in Japan, are currently locked at 222mhz, B) which means that this would have nothing to do with why my wifes system, on the US battery, seemed to get so much more play time than I've ever achieved on my Japanese system, and c) impressive as it already is, there is obviously MUCH room left to grow for the system... a jump from 222 to 333mhz should make a pretty noticeable increase in performance, meaning even closer to PS2 graphics or even better, as well, they could find ways to optimize and shrink the firmware/OS, so that it's not taking up so much RAM (8MB!!!!) and hence free up even more performance.

I mean... you typically do see any consoles performance improve steadily and noticeably thru it's life cycle... so this isn't anything too new, but it's good to know the potential is there and what we're seeing with the PSP so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

EDIT: Junker - regarding that Pelican power brick... I was checking that out last night, and it looks like a worthy accesory, if it does what it says. Originally, someone had told me it was just an empty casing and you put 4 AA batteries in it, but it is actually it's own rechargeable battery (however I didn't see anything on the box indicating what kind it was, i.e. Li-Ion, NiCad or NiMh). It seems to hold exactly double the capacity of the stock PSP battery, it claims it takes about 4.5 hours to charge (using the PSP's stock AC adapter... convenient :D ) and claims that it "can fully charge the PSP two times". It comes with a pretty long cord... so I guess you could slip it in your front pocket with the cord coming out and then plugged into the PSP. I would have liked to see a beltclip or some other attachment on it incase you dont want to put it in your pocket (or wear really tight blue jeans?). So anyways when used I guess it functions just like the AC adapter would, putting the PSP into the "Charging" state as well the PSP should run directly off that battery (menu should say "Power Source: External" just like when running off the AC adapter) and drain that first before switching to the internal battery.

One BIG benefit to this if anyone hasn't figured this part out is that, when running off of external power, you can use the PSP's (normall unavailable) FOURTH brightness setting on the LCD, which is just beautifully bright and really works great for darker games like Metal Gear Acid. I was thinking of picking it up for that alone. Of course, having approximately 2-3x the PSP's normal battery life doesn't hurt either, and it still charges fast enough to be fully charged whilst I sleep. IMO... definately worth it if you dont mind carrying the extra bulk, having the cord connected all the time and dont mind the extra charge time.

My only concern is that Pelican accesories often tend to be low quality, so I have this sneaking feeling that this battery brick would wear out fast... within maybe months, you might notice it doesn't hold nearly as much charge as it used to. But even then, for only $20, if I get a couple good months of use out of it I dunno if I could complain.
yeah, looks to be the best route for bat issues till the official answer from sony.
The one that holds 4 AAA batteries is by Madcatz and comes with a few UMD cases, and I'd expect that to break before the pelican one.

Shouldn't be long before Intec makes one I bet.

Also I saw a couple of heavy duty looking devices the provide the same function for digital cameras.

Though I would probably double check the voltage on these babies before jacking them in to your PSP though.

Okay, gave my PSP a go for the first time last night with the fully charged US battery, and for the first time really sat and timed the thing.

So... I was playing Lumines, Metal Gear Acid, and then Wipeout, using the lowest of the three brightness settings, except for on MGA where I used the medium brightness, and had the volue turned about 3/4 of the way up, not using headphones.

I played all three about equal amount of time well I did probably play Wipeout a bit more than the other two, and got *drumroll*....

Just under 7 hours of play time before the battery light started blinking and I stopped playing. From experience, I can say once the light starts blinking you can usually get about another 20 minutes or so of play before it shuts itself off... so I should have had no problem getting the thing to play over 7 hours. This is definately more than I've ever gotten out of a full charge before out of the three PSP's I've had... so I'm 95% convinced that, even though they are marked exactly the same (3.6v, 1800mAh), that the US battery lasts longer... the battery itself, nothing to do with the system, as I still seemed to be averaging 4-5 hours when using the US system with the Japanese battery. So... for what it's worth, there you have my results. I'll chime in again if my wife mentions anything about getting shorter life now that I secretly switched the batteries and she has the Japanese one.

Well this is just one less thing DS fanboys have to argue with now :D Actually my DS hasn't gotten 7 hours of battery life ... averages 5-6 though I imagine it might do 7+ if I played mostly GBA games on it :p

I may try one more test, I saw someone else do this one and I tried it with my second Japanese system... I'll play a round of ridge racer and just let the replay run over and over until it fully drains the battery, I'll try this with the light on brightest and the volume up full... with my Japanese unit I got about 3.5 hours straight out of it this way but now EGM are claiming the same lifespan with wifi on so I wouldn't be surprised if the US one gets 4-5 hours in this same test....