I will be comparing this to the original PSP and PSP '2000'.
PSP '1000' - Fat, old screen
PSP '2000' - Thin, old screen
PSP '3000' - Thin, new screen (built in microphone)
£149.99 (Fifa 09 or Batman pack with choice of one of four other games, Gamestation)
Higher Contrast Ratio
More Anti-Glare on the screen
Double the Pixel Response Time
Video Outputs in interlaced mode
In the box -
No USB Cable (it takes the same mini USB cable used to charge the PS3 Controllers if you have one).
I got one of these a couple of days ago along with PlayTV, mainly because I like gadgets and I'm a little bit stupid.
Having had a PSP '1000' before I was interested to see if the screen etc really was better.
The first thing you will notice is the it doesnt advertise the fact its a PSP 3000 in the box or instruction manual. This is intended to take the place of the PSP 2000 and say 'PSP Slim & Lite' the same as the '2000'. Only in the corner in small writing does it say PSP 30003pb. The edges are apparently slightly more rounded than the 2000, the silver ring on the back is slimmer, the areas where the D-Pad and buttons are is slightly concave.
Anyway, the other thing you will immediately notice is that the charger is now a 'big plug' type instead of the powerpack you got with the other models, its a far lighter and more easy to store but it has a major problem, the cable is far too short. Unless you are a meter or less away from the socket you wont be playing this while its charging, it's amazingly ridiculous when you consider that one of the brightness options is only available when the PSP is plug into the wall.
If you previously owend a PSP 1 the first thing you will think when taking this out of the packet is ''It feels like its something made by Fisher Price''. It seems to be made of thinner plastic, and being lighter and not having the eject mechanism of the original it now feels like a cheap plastic toy.
I've had 3 of these machines (more on that later) the first ones UMD tray was slightly wobbly and felt poorly constructed, the second ones UMD tray was fine but the battery cover squeaked and moved slightly, my third and final one has the squeaky battery cover and the memory card cover moves around and doesnt fit snugly.
This model is now made with the exact same finish as the PS3 ie, the moment you remove it from the box it will begin to attract dust from other galaxies like a black hole on heat.
Im not going to go on about the analogue stick still being awful, the D-pad unusable and the fact there are only around 5 good games for the thing, everyone already knows this stuff so lets look at the screens.
Dead Pixel Joy !
First things first, after I got my shiny new PSP home and began to play I noticed the one thing every geek with half decent eyesight fears, dead pixels.... Not just one or two but at LEAST eight !, suffice to say I was straight back to Gamestation. Got it replaced and wandered off home without checking it first (hindsight is a wonderful tool). As soon as I turned the second one on I noticed two bright white dead pixels..... Back I went PSP in hand, Gamestation started being a***y about it by now, refusing to change it as it had less than five dead ones, after a few discussions to several buffoons about consumer rights and trading standards I was issued a third machine. This one has two dead pixels but they arent bright white and I'm too lazy to go back. Still not very pleasing though.
If youve played a PSP before you know what its all about, the main selling point here is the screen improvements, half the pixel response time, better contrast etc. Turning on GTA : Vice City Stories, it was immediately obvious how much had improved. The trails behind people and objects when they move is almost completely gone. It makes the games look far crispers and cleaner, the same is true with UMDs, they now look more like DVD than ever. The contrast has also been improved making the picture look a 'healthier' although it seems to have the negative effect of making it a little under saturated. The picture on Fifa 09 is cleaner but the colours look more washed out than on the '1000' Its a strange mix but overall picture quality is definitely better.
There has been much talk since the release of poor interlacing on these screens, the bad news is its true. On GTA Vice city no interlacing was obvious, only looking carefully at the palm trees when passing them at speed will spot it. Fifa 09 on the other had suffers quite badly, the game is fine when moving form left to right but when the camera sweeps up or down scanlines will appear on the players and they turn into fuzzy lines. I tested the game on a PSP '1000' and this doesnt happen. When watching a UMD you will notice the same thing, fast moving objects and characters will have poorly alised edges. The thing is , its only really fast moving parts and its really not that bad, but considering you are being expected to pay for this one as an upgrade to a previous very similar model this is of course disappointing.
The anti glare on the screen has improved, yes, but its still no good. even on an overcast day you wont be sitting outside playing GTA without squinting or staring at your own ugly face.
So thats about it, I didnt test the microphone because im not talking into my games console.
Overall, its ok but its still a PSP so it still not worth buying, expecially considering you cant hack the firmware on these ones to make them actually useful. Its worth the upgrade from the PSP1000 if you're made of money, if you own a '2000' I'd just keep it safe in the knowledge Sony ripped you off once again :)
Ps People say the battery doesnt last as long as the other models, it does.
*****Just a little update to my review, after watching a couple of films and playing a couple of games I have come to the realisation the interlacing is not satisfactory, the more you see the more it annoys you, I am going to attempt to take mine back tomorrow and want nothing more to do with Sony. They have recognised the problem and called it a 'feature' they have no plans to fix it.*****