Three is not enough

While the PSP 3000 comes with cosmetic tweaks,a real update is overdue,finds our correspondent

Written by ShawanSen | Published:January 18, 2009 2:55 pm

While the PSP 3000 comes with cosmetic tweaks,a real update is overdue,finds our correspondent
A year after the ultra slim and light Sony PlayStation Portable 2000 ‘addiction’ for gaming enthusiasts was launched,the company has come up with an upgraded version—PSP 3000. While PSP 2000 lived up to its promises,the latest offering of Sony comes with additional features vis-à-vis its predecessor. The million-dollar question is whether the new PSP offers enough incentives to lure the old PSP owners as well as new ones.

If you are expecting pre-loaded games,internal memory and upgraded software,then you might be disappointed—this is not a sequel to PSP 2000 but a redesigned product with cosmetic changes. The new PSP has the same hardware. So what’s new in it?
The biggest change is the appealing 4.3 inch LCD screen with an anti-glare,which appears to be a lot better. In system settings,you will notice a new “colour space” option that lets you switch between “wide” and “normal”—which the PSP 1000/2000 did not have. The “wide” option is turned on by default,and makes everything look brighter. It tends to make the text in the operating system look a little too vivid at times,but load a game like Need For Speed Carbon and the new colours simply pop,making it even easier to identify 3D in-game objects at a distance or in shadow.

There’s another feature that Sony was going gung-ho about—a built-in microphone. Located just below the screen,it can be used for online communication—within a game or for the PSP’s built-in Skype application. The advantage of having the microphone integrated into the body is that you can use it with any standard pair of headphones as well as the special PSP-only AV-out cables for connecting to a TV. By contrast,the PSP 2000 required a special handset for communicating online.

One could plug the PSP 2000 into an HDTV with a cable and play games on the big screen using the PSP as the controller. With the PSP 3000,one can finally plug into non-HDTVs as well.
The shiny appearance is a feel-good but it is also a magnet for fingerprints. The dimensions are pretty much the same. The antireflective technology to improve outdoor gaming capability is undoubtedly welcomed but it does not seem to make a big difference.

The directional pad does not wriggle around in its carved-out slot,making it easier to play fighter games. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the triangle,circle,x,or square buttons,which are still pretty loose.
The new PSP is plagued with interlacing,which becomes more apparent when game objects are moving fast—try games like The Takeover and MotorStorm. The good news is that ghosting has been done away with—it was a major problem in the older version.

What was really expected of this new version was a large built-in storage capacity. Sadly,that is not to be found and one would need a Memory Stick Duo.
Although the PSP is primarily a gaming device,it’s got some notable media functionality as well,such as the wireless hotspot. One annoyance: the 3000 continues to use the slowest 802.11b version of Wi-Fi. An upgrade is overdue. With a few cosmetic changes and priced at Rs 9,490,the PSP 3000 isn’t the best buy.

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