PSP-3000: Is It Worth Upgrading?

By Mike on 12:09 pm

Filed Under:

It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Sony's Playstation Portable. The portable console was first introduced in 2005 to much fanfare. From a technical standpoint, the PSP is the best system to date with its robust and powerful graphics system that plays games at near PS2 quality, plus the gaggle of Internet and PMP features that make it an excellent value. However, there's always a but. The original PSP was bulky and had slow load times for its proprietary UMD discs. The PSP-2000 corrected most of these issues but for some reason, Sony felt that the screen needed a slight tweaking. That's when they came out with the PSP-3000. The third incarnation of the PSP features screen improvements. For people who want a PSP but don't already have one, buying the PSP-3000 is a given, since that's all that stores are going to stock. However, what about those who already own an original PSP or the Slim and Light? Is there reason to upgrade from either to the new model? The answer is no.

The PSP-3000 features only one major improvement. The screen has been made brighter, supports more colours, and has a faster response time. The latter was perhaps the biggest problem with the earlier models. Fast paced scenes in games or movies would be prone to ghosting. The faster response time should eliminate that issue. However, the new pixel layout on the screen has caused some issues. All PSP games are rendered at 480x272 using the progressive scan method. Progressive scan renders one full frame at a time, as opposed to interlaced which creates a weaved image. LCD screens are natively progressive scan so interlaced video can leave noticeable scan line artifacts. Owners of the new PSP-3000 have reported similar artifacts in high contrast areas. This is due to how the pixels in the new screen are laid out rather than the video being interlaced. I've seen photos of the issue and the problem does preduce a reduced image quality in some titles. How problematic is it? I can't say but it's a good reason to hang on to your current PSP rather than upgrading.

Aside from the improved screen, all the PSP-3000 adds is the ability to output video from games at 480i. This means that you'll be able to play your PSP titles on older tube TVs. Not much of a worthwhile feature. The only other change has been redesignating the "Home" button as the "PS" button to bring it inline with the Dual Shock 3 layout. Not exactly an upgrade. The PSP-3000 offers pretty much the same functionality as the PSP-2000 with nothing really new, so if you already have that system, it's not worth the upgrade. PSP-1000 owners shouldn't rush to spend another $169.99 either unless you really want the Thin & Light features. Reportedly, the PSP-3000 can't be hacked using the battery method so homebrew developers won't find it much use either. If you don't already have a PSP, the PSP-3000 is the one to get. Current owners should hang onto their money and wait for the next generation PSP.

0 comments for this post