If you are a fan of visual novels, particularly otome-games, you would want to own a PSP to access its massive library of games. They still sell the system new, but it looks like there is a strong supply of used machines on ebay. Prices hover at $40 to $50. If you are patient, you might be able to snatch one with minimal scratches and at a reasonable price point. There is no region-locking with PSPs, so you are free to play any of the games made in Japan. Go for a PSP-2000 or PSP-3000, (ignore the 1000). You will also need a memory stick. They are called ‘Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo’ (preferably 4GB+). You can find pirated versions of them on Ebay for about $10. Don’t Worry! These work fine.
At this stage the PS VITA (although it has a better screen) is NOT recommended.
Ability to read Japanese or Simplified Chinese highly recommended!
Once you have your machine, follow these steps:
1) Download the Official Firmware 6.60 [official, mirror, mediafire]
2) Connect the PSP® system to the PC using the USB cable. (make sure the memory card is plugged into the PSP)
3) Drag EBOOT.PBP into \PSP\GAME\UPDATE
4) On your PSP, run Official Firmware Update program that appears under Games. Now you are on OFW 6.60.
5) Now Download Custom Firmware 6.60 PRO B10 [download]
6) Extract and drag all of its contents into \PSP\GAME
7) On your PSP, run PROUPDATE. Press X when prompted. (or L trigger + X)
Now you can play downloaded PSP games!
note: if you ever switch off your psp completely you may have to run the PROUPDATE program again to bring it back to CFW. To make CFW permanent, see this guide.
For the Emulator option, scroll down to bottom.
Visual novels in English on the PSP
It’s a miracle we even got two commercial!
Visual novels in Chinese on the PSP
For more VNs in Chinese, please see duowan.com. Some of the games will be ready for download pre-patched. Others you will have to hunt for the JP ISO. It depends on the group.
Visual novels in Japanese on the PSP
Search Tip: Just add “iso” + “download” to the search.
Also see RenPSP 0.2 – Cross-Platform Visual Novel Engine, a PSP homebrew that runs Renpy games on the PSP.
Related Article: running hakuoki on jpcsp