PSP 3000: Another minor PSP upgrade

Sony unveils the PSP 3000, which adds an antireflective screen and built-in mic to the company's popular portable gaming/media gadget.

Sony PSP 3000
The PSP 3000: Just a few tiny changes from last year's version. Sony via Joystiq

Additional coverage: Sony tries to dispel PSP 3000's battery issues

Sony officially unveiled the PSP 3000 Wednesday at the Leipzig Games Convention in Germany, confirming rumors that had popped up online in recent weeks. But before you get excited (or--if you just bought a PSP--exasperated), note that this appears to be an even more subtle upgrade than the slimmed-down PSP 2000 that debuted in September 2007. The main changes, according to Sony:

  • An antireflective screen, "which enables users to see the screen more clearly in well-lit places, even when used outdoors." [Update (08/21/2008): According to Engadget Japan (as translated by sister site PSPfanboy), the screen improvements don't stop at the antireflective screen. Sony has apparently also doubled the response time, improved the contrast ratio, and bumped up the color gamut.]
  • A built-in microphone, which will allow users to use voice features in certain games and use the PSP's built-in Skype functionality without the need for a mic-enabled headset.
  • The addition of 480i output for gameplay when the PSP is connected to a TV screen via a composite or S-Video cable. (The previous model only allowed playback at 480p, effectively restricting the usefulness of the feature to newer HDTVs with component video inputs.)

The PSP 3000 is expected to hit stores worldwide (Japan, Asia, North America, and Europe) in October, with some markets getting up to three colors: black, pearl white, and silver. Pricing and bundles weren't disclosed, but we're guessing Sony will stick with the tried and true $169 barebones/$199 bundle price points that have helped propel the handheld's strong sales.

Personally, if the antireflective screen works as advertised, I might actually be tempted to upgrade--but reflective screens are a major pet peeve of mine. What do you think: is the PSP 3000 a worthwhile upgrade, or are you still holding out for the "real" PSP 2? Or are you a hard-core DS fan instead--or possibly using the iPhone/iPod Touch as your portable gaming platform of choice?

Source: PR Newswire (Sony press release)

About the author

John P. Falcone is the executive editor of CNET Reviews, where he coordinates a group of more than 20 editors and writers based in New York and San Francisco as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. He's been a CNET editor since 2003.

 

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