At 2.8 by 6.6 by 0.6 inches (HWD) the new PSP has been streamlined, and its sleekness is noticeable when compared with the original (which measures 2.9 by 6.7 by 0.9 inches). The major difference between the two devices, however, is that the new PSP feels much lighter. Weighing 6.7 ounces, it’s a third lighter than its predecessor. Those seasoned by hours of game play on the original model will feel the difference instantly.
A new A/V port serves two purposes. Since the port uses the 3.5mm minijack format, it can be used with any standard headset for listening. The port also doubles as a video-out: A special cable (sold separately for about $20) lets you output your PSP games, videos, movies, and photos directly to your television or any LCD monitor via component or composite connections. Videos and photos are displayed at DVD-quality resolution (up to 720 by 480, or 480p), but games are limited to the PSP’s native resolution of 480 by 272 pixels in progressive format only. Out of juice from all those movies? Fortunately, you can fully charge the PSP via a computer’s USB port in roughly 5 hours.
The PSP’s multimedia prowess is impressive, and the new model is no different. The device can play back full-length movies on UMD (Universal Media Disc—over 450 movies are available), play a wide range of digital audio fi les, and even transfer recorded shows from TiVo (series 2) DVRs. I found that the 480p and 480i modes looked better; when the PSP upscaled video to HD resolution, the result was a slightly distorted picture. In general, AVI and H.264/MPEG-4 fi les looked fi ne on a 65-inch HDTV, and my S.W.A.T. UMD gave nearly as good a picture as you can get with a standard DVD.
Though rich on multimedia functions, the PSP’s primary focus is gaming. Most games for the PSP now rely on richly detailed 3D graphics, and more and more titles are starting to take advantage of the device’s Wi-Fi capability and offer multiplayer options. Add in the PSP’s TiVo compatibility, as well as the ability to access streaming music and video via Sony’s Location Free system or a PS3, and the PSP becomes a powerful, portable media extender, albeit pretty much tied to other Sony hardware.
All in all, the new “enhanced” PSP is a satisfying addition to any gaming enthusiast’s collection, and a must-buy for gamers who currently do not own a PSP system. The new enhancements only broaden the appeal of this already exceptional gaming device.PriceSony PSP (model 2000): $169.99 directCheck This Out:Toshiba Portege R500: Sexy and Slim LaptopLG Voyager Challenges iPhoneIriver Mplayer: Mickey Mouse MP3 player