Review: Sony PSP-3000

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I have before me the Limited Edition Ratchet & Clank PSP Entertainment Pack. And with said pack comes a silver PSP-3000, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, a 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo and a voucher for echochrome. Many have wondered if it’s worth the upgrade or if it’s in any way distinguishable from the previous generation. It is and it isn’t, but it kicks much ass.

I can say right off the bat that the PSP-3000 hardware is much, much nicer than my white Darth Vader PSP-2000. It’s much lighter too – by about 100 grams give or take. Aside from a few cosmetic changes on the outside most people wouldn’t recognize that one is newer than the other except for the color by just looking at it.

The buttons on the 3000 are definitely more resistant when pushing down, which I personally like because inadvertently pressing the wrong button during a game can be frustrating. That might not be a big deal to anyone, but it’s something worth noting. The “Home” button has been modified with a PlayStation logo, which used to reside on the upper left corner and a built-in mic has been placed between the volume keys and PSP logo. The Sony logo has been shifted from the right upper corner to where the PSP logo used to be. The silver ring surrounding the PSP logo on the back has been reduced in size and the overall package is much more polished and refined than that of the PSP-2000.

The screen is much brighter and a lot crisper on the 3000 than it is on the 2000. You might not be able to tell by looking at the photos, but it is. That whole interlacing issue exists, but I hold the unit at arm’s length and not six inches from my nose. It honestly doesn’t bother me and the only reason I can tell it’s there is because I have the older model to compare it to. It’s a caveat that doesn’t seem to be easily fixed, if at all, but it’s something to think about if you’re looking to upgrade. I can’t attest to the screen’s readability in the sun because it’s super late in the day here in NYC, but I never play outside.

The built-in mic works great and folks can hear me loud and clear over Skype. Again, who knows what it’s like outside of my office cube or apartment, but I don’t make Skype calls on the sidewalk.

I’ve been wondering about hacking the PSP-3000 and it remains to be seen from what I’ve gathered on the Interwebs if it’s even possible. The Pandora battery doesn’t work with the 3000 and v5.0 of the firmware was only partially decrypted, so we’ll have to give this one some time. Maybe Sony made it hack proof, but only time will tell. There’s a lot of discussion going on over at the MaxConsole forums about it now and PinoyPSP3000 has managed to sort of hack it, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort.

As Nicholas told me earlier today when I asked about hacking my PSP-2000, he said, “It’s probably not worth it.” And I’d have to agree with him. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it to see what all the fuss is about, but in the meantime I’m ok with what I have.

Battery life: remains to be seen. I’ll update in the next day or so.

So, is the PSP-3000 all it’s cracked up to be? Yes. Is it worth upgrading to from the PSP-2000? If you’ve got an extra $200 lying around and you don’t stick your nose six inches from the screen. I’d take a look at both in person and try out the buttons on both and see which floats your boat. I do have to say that the PSP-3000 hardware pwns that of the PSP-2000, but maybe it’s just me.

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