By their very nature, handheld consoles are subjected to a tougher existence than their home cousins, which can usually expect the luxury of a quiet life sat on a TV cabinet shelf, safe from the elements and constant commuting.
That's not to say handhelds can't last for their entire lifetime, trouble-free. Mine always have, but then I do tend to treat them as though they are babies with nitroglycerine for blood.
Nevertheless, accidents can occur, of course, and consumer electronics do occasionally go faulty as a result of circumstances that would baffle the world's finest technological minds.
We don't know if that's the case affecting the handful of readers who've recently got in touch asking us who they should contact in order to get their PSPs fixed, but having replied to them individually we thought it also perhaps worthwhile to publish a little something that will hopefully be of some help to some of you.
The first thing to note is that the PSP instructions manual includes an impressively comprehensive troubleshooting guide covering just about every area of the handheld's functions – from power, battery and charging issues to screen, sound, UMD, music, photo, video, network and more.
Should that not help resolve your particular issue, then it's worth remembering that UK owners (and possibly most other countries – check your manual) enjoy a 12-month guarantee covering their PSP from the date of the original purchase.
During this 12-month period, Sony will either repair or replace, free of charge, any PSP which is faulty due to defective materials or workmanship (provided it's undergone normal usage, in accordance to the terms set out in guarantee section of the PSP instructions manual).
Obviously, you'll need to contact Sony to set things in motion. The manual states you should call your local Customer Service helpline (listed in the PSP current software manual, apparently) but we felt this was a little vague so we asked our helpful contact at Sony to be a little more precise.
And we're told that anyone who has a broken PSP (or any PlayStation product, for that matter) should call the PlayStation Careline. They should do this whether they are in or out of warranty. The Careline operates an extensive troubleshooting procedure to identify the fault and, if possible, fix it over the phone. If not, they'll obviously be able to advise you as to the next step.
The PlayStation Careline number is: 08705 998877.
We obviously hope you'll never have to dial it. But if you do, at least now you know who to call.