Last year's PSP remake gets remade again. Only without anything we really wanted or asked for…
This time last year, Sony released a new version of the PSP called the Slim & Lite. One year on, it’s done it again with the PSP 3000, only this time the layout and features have been marginally tweaked to make it a little different from the slimmer PSPs we've had for the last 12 months.
Sony says the screen is better under outdoorsy lighting conditions and there's now a microphone hole sitting on the bottom edge of the case for Skype-ing with.
Despite the minimal alterations, there was quite a bit of a hoo-haa surrounding this newer PSP model on the internet recently, due to some observant pixel-counter noticing a kind of blurry, interlacing effect afflicting certain games when you poke a digital camera at them and take a photo in extreme macro mode.
The human eye and brain are much more forgiving of individual pixel fluctuations, mind, and this revised PSP still has the power to amaze with its wide, bright and dazzling screen.
It's still the finest portable movie player around, if, that is, you can be bothered converting your files into the one specific form of MP4 Sony lets you play on it.
From left to right
Put it side-by-side with an older PSP and you'll be hard-pressed to notice either Sony's claim of a better and brighter screen or the internet's claim of a worse and blurrier one.
It's still huge. It's still fabulous. It's still bright and wide and it makes games and videos properly playable and watchable on the train. Plus the slightly more pocketable size of the smaller, lighter PSP that arrived with last year's slimming session make it all the more likely that you will carry it with you everywhere.
The changes Sony has made elsewhere are minimal. There's a built-in microphone, so you can make use of all the games that require voice input. Which is no games. It'll come in handy for using Skype, but we'd imagine the number of PSP users that use Skype can be counted on the fingers of a football.
All the other impressive features of the PSP – its Remote Play PS3 hook-up, web browser, internet radio options and the like – are available on older models thanks to Sony's rigorous firmware updating programme, so there's little point in upgrading if you're already a previous PSP owner.
It's a shame the more glaring problems with PSP haven't been dealt with here. There's no internal memory, so it's off down to Currys Digital with your battered old credit card to buy a Sony Memory Stick should you want to save your games or load up any media.
The analogue stick is also unchanged from previous PSP models, meaning it's still useless compared to the one Sony's been sticking on its PS2 and PS3 controllers for more than a decade.
The video playback formats also remain stupidly limited, forcing users to jump through hoops and re-encode any movies they might want to watch on the go.
It's a bit of a joke in this modern age to release a media player that only supports, to quote the manual, ‘some types of MP4’ along with, if you can find any shops that sell them, Sony's creaky old and almost totally deceased UMD film format.
Regardless of the whinges, though, the PSP remains a superb portable media and gaming machine, thanks entirely to that vast, face-warming screen that makes anything you watch or play on it look sensational.
But please, Sony – stick 8GB in it next year, launch an online store so we can buy games and movies via the internet, and let it play all forms of ripped media without forcing us to download dodgy MP4 converters off darker bits of the internet. Then we'll all leave our Nintendo DS uncharged in a drawer and switch over to the PSP in a flash.
Sony PSP Slim & Lite 3000 review
Still a great media and gaming machine, but not the comprehensive remake we were after