PSP:PSP Model Differences
Page content & researching collaboratively taken from io55.net's PSP page with permission.
There are five PSP models, and a variety of revisions within these models.
Models are arranged chronologically.
PSP-1000 "Fat" (2004-2007)
The first PSP. A very common system, although likely just as common as it's successor model. Being Sony's first crack into the portable market, the fact that the PSP-1000 has some downsides isn't surprising. Mainly, the PSP-1000 suffers from having 32 MB of RAM instead of 64 MB (resulting in slow UMD loading times), a bulkier shell (which some may prefer), supposedly poorer button quality, a less vibrant and green-ish screen, and a faulty WLAN module which is easily broken. Can be identified by the power port's yellow area having a sort of “square” bottom, the text next to the power LED being green, the speakers being towards the bottom of the screen, and the obvious thicker body and higher weight. However, the PSP-1000 does have two things going for it, which is the quality of it's speakers and the presence of an IR sensor/blaster. While somewhat irrelevant to most, the IR gave the PSP-1000 a few cool extras, like the ability to be a TV remote or connect to a wireless keyboard.
PSP-2000 "Slim" (2007-2008)
Sony's first update to the PSP, and a welcome one. Also a very common system, likely just as common as it's predecessor model. Greatly improves upon the PSP-1000 in a large variety of areas. The 2000 is slimmer, lighter, doubles the RAM to 64MB (improving UMD loading and web performance), corrects the WLAN module issue, has a better screen with more accurate colors, and has a video-out feature not present on the 1000. Can be identified by the power port's yellow area being a perfect circle, the presence of a serial number barcode and video out port on the bottom of the system, and a generally slimmer and lighter body. Picking between the PSP-2000 and 3000 can be tough, as certain changes on the 3000 (such as the screen and speakers) may be fine to some, but not others. Basically, get a PSP-2000 if you hate scanlines and prefer your speakers to be a bit nicer. Most will probably not care and prefer the better screen with scanlines (3000).
PSP-3000 "Brite" (2008-2014?)
Sony's second round of improvements for the PSP, and yet-again a welcome one. Most likely not as common as the earlier models, although they aren't hard to find in any sense. Easily identified by the bottom row's buttons being ovals (instead of half-circles), a small microphone near the “PSP” text, and the “HOME” button (bottom left) being changed to a PS (logo) button. On the 3000, the most notable changes are the aforementioned addition of a microphone and button changes, the improvement of the video-out port (more output modes), and more importantly, an improved screen which comes with an issue which may bother some users. To be more specific about the screen, the PSP-3000's screen has greater color range, superior contrast, superior pixel response, and less glare, but it introduces somewhat noticeable scanlines which weren't present on the 2000. The speakers are also a bit worse than the earlier models. Essentially, the 3000's screen beats the 2000 in all ways except the scanlines, while having worse sound - which may be a dealbreaker to some. Otherwise, the PSP-3000 is very similar to the 2000, in ways such as the form factor, button quality, having 64 MB of RAM, and so on.
PSP GO "N1000" (2009-2011?)
Radically changed from earlier PSP models, the PSP GO was certainly a one-of-a-kind for it's time, despite it's poor sales. Featuring a slide-out set of buttons similar to those keyboard phones, the complete lack of a UMD drive, a drastically reduced weight, a non-removable battery, 16 GB of internal storage, a proprietary charging port, and a very nice screen, it's safe to say it's very easy to identify a PSP GO. Introduces Bluetooth to the PSP line, and can connect to a DualShock 3 controller. Capable of video out through a now rare and expensive dock, which, when combined with the DS3 connection ability, makes the GO kind of like Sony's version of a hybrid console. Furthermore, the PSP GO uses the "Memory Stick M2 Micro" type of memory stick, rather than the "Memory Stick (PRO) Duo" of earlier PSPs. More importantly, the PSP GO can still be hacked like earlier models, although different methods are used. With the PSP GO having such a unique set of features and a very forward-thinking design, it comes as no surprise to learn that the GO is the most expensive of all PSP models.
PSP Street "E1000" (2011-2014)
With the Street being a budget-oriented model exclusive to the PAL countries, it comes as no surprise to know that the Street lacks several major features of the PSP and isn't found easily. Easily identified by it's sleek bottom bar which has no prominent physical buttons. Coming with a poorer build quality, the removal of 2 media buttons, a lower battery capacity, the complete lack of any Wi-Fi capabilities, and less-than-stellar possibilities for hacking, the PSP Street is a peculiar curiosity at best, although some may find it's “modern” design interesting.
A large wealth of information for PSP revisions exists on the internet, mostly thanks to the work of the PlayStationDev wiki. These revisions impact several methods of PSP hacking, including the powerful “Pandora's Battery” method. This information has been linked below.