Posted by Dan on November 16, 2009

PSP as a Standalone Console

sony-psp-2000-slimWith the exception of the original PSP (PSP-1000, AKA “PSP Fat”), the greatest feature of the PSP today is the ability to output video to your TV. Through the use of a dock/cradle with video and audio outputs coupled with a remote control, there exists a solution for you to comfortably use your PSP as a standalone media player connected to your TV or home theater.  UMD and Memory Stick videos display in near DVD quality on most TVs (especially with S-Video or Component Video cables), and by sending the stereo sound to a surround sound system, you can get pseudo 3D sound.

This indeed is convenient, and makes the purchase of a dock/cradle truly worth the price. I’ve seen generic PSP docks from overseas sellers at low prices that even have integrated standard RCA, S-Video, and Component Video outputs, such as the one shown below at just $18.99:

PSP Dock

The added convenience of standard ports eliminates the need for purchasing proprietary video cables and gives you the flexibility of controlling your PSP’s onscreen audio/video menus with the included remote control.

There’s only one thing missing that would make the PSP truly capable as a stand alone media center and home game console: a wireless game controller.  It appears that Sony had plans for a type of dock at one point which would have allowed you to utilize your PS2 and PS3 wired and wireless controllers, as they had registered a patent for such technology.  Here’s a link to that story on Joystiq:

Sony’s patent for controlling the PSP

It’s too bad that nothing exists that would have combined the efforts of the dock pictured above and the technology described in the patent that Sony has registered.  It would certainly have made the PSP a true standalone gaming console.  A wireless controller is entirely possible through the use of the IrDA port on the PSP.  A controller simply sends input/output commands to the PSP, just how the remote control does to navigate menus and control playback in “Video” and “Music” modes.  Outside of hacks, a simple firmware update could surely enable a wireless game controller to be used with the PSP, which would only be practical with a PSP-2000 or later displayed on a TV.

All in all, obtaining a dock still seems to be a very logical choice for PSP-2000 and later owners, especially if you are considering playing back video or other various forms of media through your PSP on your TV or home theater setup.

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