The Good Light, slim enclosure; screen offers better color reproduction than that of earlier PSP models; improved AV output for video and game playback on TVs; built-in Skype with onboard microphone; retains all of the impressive media and online features of earlier PSP models; deep lineup of great game titles that offer better graphics than Nintendo DS games.
The Bad Despite improvements, problems and annoyances remain: screen exhibits noticeable jaggies and scanlines during high-motion video and gaming sequences; UMD load times still poky compared with DS games; screen isn't glare-free, and is still a magnet for fingerprints; Web browser and data input can be cumbersome; no built-in storage; subtle redesign missed the opportunity to add even more features.
The Bottom Line While there's probably not enough to get owners of previous the PSP to upgrade, newcomers will find the PSP-3000 to be a solid portable gaming and multimedia device.
Sony PSP 3000
Editor's note (June 2, 2009): Sony has announced a new, smaller PSP model called the PSP Go. However, the PSP-3000 reviewed here will continue to be sold alongside the more expensive PSP Go once it becomes available in October 2009.
While some still consider it a second banana to Nintendo's nearly ubiquitous DS Lite, the Sony PSP has sold more than 50 million units since it appeared on the scene in 2005. Sony released a second-generation version--the PSP 2000--in 2007, giving it a slimmer and lighter chassis, some speed tweaks, and the ability to output straight to a TV screen.
For 2008, the PSP got another minor makeover: the PSP 3000 boasts a built-in microphone (to increase the usability of its onboard Skype functionality) and better video output support (you can now play games on non-HD TV hookups). It also has an "improved" screen that's said to reduce glare, offer better color reproduction, and diminished ghosting. However, these "improvements" actually resulted in visible artifacts on the handheld's screen. The flaws aren't visible in most circumstances, and it's not a dealbreaker--but the fact that it's a step backwards is annoying nonetheless.