PSP: Portable Productivity Platform?


Kotaku poured some water on a rumor from an industry analyst that Sony’s Playstation Portable could soon drop in price to an eminently affordable $150. And while I’d love a PSP just to kill some time while stuck on the bus, it made me wonder about the viability of some of the portable gaming platforms as something to integrate into your work life. With a little brain grease, you can hack and modify iPods, PSPs, Nintendo DS and other handhelds to do much more than just play Tetris or the latest Christina Aguilera hit.

With such a tiny form factor, it’s certainly tempting to figure out how to use such a device as something that you can carry around instead of a laptop to quickly check email, lookup web info and the like. Does anyone use a gaming device to actually keep tabs on their work? And at what price, or with what features, do you think would make it practical?



The Sony PSP has quickly become an all-in-one entertainment system for games, movies, tv shows, music, software, and even connecting to the Internet. In face, I’ve even been using it as a phone lately with the new Skype capabilities. You can find out more about the PSP at


Hey Tetsu. I have heard of some real dodgy things with psp blender. Not sure what I believe since those saying it’s good and stuff are trying to sell it or something. Anyway, I guess if you have the money, you can always test it. I read of that they offer a gurantee. On the blog, they say just get it, and get a refund the same day. That way you get it for free. Pretty sneaky. But guess others have done it.

Tetsu Asakawa

Hi everyone, I just got a psp. and I was wondering if is the best choice to download games,movies,musics, and etc. If anyone knows a great place to download games and stuff to the psp. please let me know. thanks!. also how much games would a 4GB memory hold?


I think one of the reasons I’d like to see a ‘gamer’ platform hacked into a productivity solution is because the business-marketed gadgets (treos, blackberries,etc.) all use proprietary solutions and networks, whereas with hacked hardware you can install everything from Linux to simple browser-basedapps like y’all have listed above.

If that PSP price drop never happens, I might have to get a DS just to play around with it.


Well…I don’t use PSP and DS, instead of that, I used zaurus which is Linux-based PDA. I can check not only e-mail but also Web sites, RSS feeds.
Now I use WM PDA to check above. I think using PDA is much better solution to check e-mail because PDA can use not only wifi but also BT.

BUT I know we can’t play Tetris on a PDA :)


I thought in the past that to truly work as a productivity platform you had to invent a way of using the controllers to enter text fast…not just by scrolling through the list, but by sort of creating a “special move” for each character of the alphabet. My guess is that to a whole generation this would make qwerty redundant and really power the PSP to top spot as mobile productivity platform. Add to this the potential power of the PS3 with the PSP as a remote control and you have a really interesting combination.

Anthony Cornehl

I have been working on my Nintendo DS Lite with the goal of making a usable platform as a hand-held desktop. There isn’t any officially released software for the DS, so most of the programs are “homebrew” software, that is loaded onto a ds with the use of a “Pass Thru” DS card, and a Gameboy Advance cartridge that has a slot for a flash memory card. Productivity software is limited beyond IRC for internet use, music players, and text-file readers, but not hopeless. DS Organize has a lot of applets to use and sports a decent interface. There is also the DS Linux project that has GNU/Linux to run on the DS, with all the utilities expected from it, including SSH, text web browsing, IRC applications, and Nano-X GUI.

It’s far from being a consumer-centered solution, but it’s not supposed to be either.


I’ll second Taylan Pince’s comments – even without hacking it, I use it regularly for checking emails (e.g. gmail displays just fine on its browser), even when at home, sittling on the sofa and too lazy to turn on my MacBook..

Vladimir Sedach

Me and a few friends tried kicking around the idea of starting a software start-up to write productivity applications for the DS (it’s easy to develop for and of course has lots of market penetration) this summer, but no matter how much I annoyed them they were too lazy to actually commit to anything. If you’d like to know more about our ideas, feel free to get in touch.


Taylan Pince

I don’t know much about PSP hacks, but I use my PSP all the time to check my mail on the go. It’s easy to connect to wireless networks on the PSP, and I wrote a small PHP/imap module to gather all my messages from different accounts on one page and display them in a format that fits the PSP screen. I am also working on building a small, web-based note taking/to do list package to use with it. I think the Horde Project has a mobile version that might be used on the PSP as well.

People laugh at me when I tell them that PSP is far superior to iPod; I truly believe that Sony is offering a whole lot more than Apple did so far in the mobile entertainment area. With the GPS support coming soon, I think PSP is a really good solution as a cheap, extendible tool for increasing productivity.

Alex Stankovic

It would be really awesome if I could use PSP to do email. I could then justify getting one because it’s not only a gaming device anymore, it’s a business tool. Could possibly even claim it as a business expense :)

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