PSP-3000 Review

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A few weeks ago I decided a needed a bit of portable gaming in my life and went ahead and picked up a brand new PSP-3000 (plus some accessories) from my local Best Buy. Well, after a few weeks of playing around with it and its features and functions, here is my official review! Just for the sake of the review, here’s what I picked up when I bought it:

  • Brand-new piano black PSP-3000
  • The official Sony PSP hard travel case
  • 4gb Sandisk Memory stick (on sale for $20!)
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Now, the PSP 3000 was released not to long after the PSP 2000 was released. So what’s the difference between the 2000 and 3000 models? Well, not much at all. Both models carry the “slim” title and are much lighter and thinner than their fatter PSP-1000 brothers. The physical look and feel are identical between the 2000 and 3000 models. The only additions that can be found on the PSP 3000 vs. the PSP 2000 are as follows:

The 3000 model, pictured on the bottom, has an improved screen.

The 3000 model, pictured on the bottom, has an improved screen.

  • Improved screen technology: the screen is much brighter than previous models. This increase in brightness was designed and implemented to reduce glare from any light source as well as make outdoor daytime play easier to see.
  • Microphone: a built-in microphone was added to the unit to be used alongside the new Skype feature that is standard on newer PSP firmware updates. This addition no longer requires an external microphone accessory to be plugged into the PSP in order for Skype to be used properly.

And thats it. That’s all that is new with PSP 3000. I know, its not much. It’s a shame Sony released the 3000 series with so few new additions, there was much more technology I would have liked to have seen implemented and added in addition to the improved screen and built-in microphone, but we’ll get to that later.

Overall, the improvements of the 3000 model dont really warrant the need (or really, the desire) to upgrade from a 2000 model. So if you have a PSP-2000, my advice would be to wait a little while longer until Sony decides to release a new PSP that might actually be worth upgrading to.

Now, this is pretty much my first PSP. That being said, I feel the need to not only review the PSP-3000 vs. its predecessors but to also review the PSP as a whole and see how it stacks up as a portable gaming and media device. Being the gadget junkie that I am, I’ve got a pretty good eye for what’s good and what’s shit when it comes to gaming and media devices. So without further adeu, I give you my list of likes and dislikes concerning the PSP in general.

The special edition PSP I wish I had known about...

The special edition PSP I wish I had known about...

Likes

  • The screen size is fantastic. Its has a wide resolution which makes it ideal for gaming and watching videos. The brightness of the 3000 model is defnitely a plus; the colors and contrast are superb!
  • The built-in speakers get surprisingly loud.
  • Built in wi-fi means multiplayer gaming on the go. Combine this feature with a web browser, full access to the PSN store and remote play (I’ll get to this in a sec), and you got a killer multimedia device.
  • The controls feel comfortable and natural. The small analog “nub” (stick) is a nice feature that adds much more flexibility, in terms of gaming and controls, than other handhelds that are on the market at the moment.
  • The long battery life. I was able to play for about 2 hours straight and still had 70% left on the battery!
  • The weight of the unit (2000 and 3000 models only): for all the technology they packed into this device, its amazing how incredibly light it is!
  • Finally, the feature that pretty much sold me on the PSP vs. other handhelds is Remote Play. Remote Play enables the user to connect their PSP, wirelessly, to their Playstation 3. This allows you to access any and all music and video files that are stored on your PS3’s hard drive. Additionally, you can put in your older Playstation 1 games and play them through a remote connection on your PSP! Basically what I really liked was the fact that I was able to stream my movies/tv show/music from my PC to my PS3 to my PSP via my wireless network. I can also access the same things via the internet from anywhere in the world! Even if the PS3 is off, you can set it to where the PSP’s network/internet ping turns the PS3 system on, so that you can access all your data. You can even turn off the system remotely as well. Frakkin amazing!!!

Check back soon for my full review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

Check back soon for my full review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

Dislikes

  • The web browser. Oh man, where to begin. It’s slow. Really SLOW. The user interface and controls are god awful. I’m really hoping Sony improves on it. I can deal with the shotty controls and UI, at least make it run at respectable speeds!
  • Wireless 802.11 B. Its 2009. We have wireless A, wireless G, and now wireless N. Why the hell is Sony still shoving really old wireless standards into a multimedia device that can do so much with media and wireless networking. Is wireless G tech really that much more expensive to add in? If apple can do it with an Ipod, Sony should be able to do it too!
  • The UMD drive can be loud. This isnt a huge problem (at least not as annoying as the web browser!) but is noteworthy. Even with headphones on and the volume on high, I can still hear the UMD disc drive churning away and loading data.
  • The piano black models get smudgy really easy. Many iPhone and iPod users complain of similar issues. The piano black PSP is unfortunately plagued by the same problem, there’s just no easy way to keep this thing looking clean! An alternative, however, is to buy the matte silver version (Ratchet and Clank Mulimedia Pack) for a few bucks more.


Overall, the PSP is a fantastic portable gaming device. The game library is great! Some would argue it needs a lot more titles (I agree with this to some extent) but if you’re a die hard RPG fan (like myself) the PSP’s library is a great way to play some of the classics out there. Even their newer apps rival many console titles (God of War: Chains of Olympus, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, etc.) With all that said, if you’re looking for a great portable gaming device that has the ability to both play and stream media content than the PSP is defintely the way to go.

Final Score: 9/10

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~ by Achaean on February 26, 2009.

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