When the Sony PlayStation Portable launched, it was a must-have purchase: it looked cool, had a great screen for games and even its own dedicated movie format. Nintendo had to rush through a better-looking DS. The PSP raised the portable gaming bar.

Now, though, with the DS Lite selling well and the UMD movie format proving a bust, the PSP has been reborn as the PSP Slim & Lite. But if you’re expecting something radically different, think again.

Slim and, indeed, ‘lite‘

It certainly lives up to its title: the weight has dropped considerably, and it’s been flattened as though by some mighty Kryptonian hand – one of Superman’s party tricks was to crush a piece of coal into a diamond, and the slimming process has left the back of the PSP shinier than before, too.

The Wi-Fi switch is now on the top, there’s no infra-red and you now open the UMD drawer by hand rather than a spring-loaded release.

This has helped slim it down, as has the new, thinner battery, which offers a longer life – a big plus.

TV times

The pin-sharp screen remains the same as before, thank goodness, and the navigation buttons are where you expect them to be. A ‘TV out’ socket allows you to connect a cable and play your games on a TV screen.

It isn’t really worth upgrading for the look of the thing, but the reduction in weight – by a third – could tempt some.

However, some purists may prefer the more demure styling of the original with its matt black back and the pingy spring-loaded drawer.

Old PSP batteries can be used on this console, too, and offers increased playing time over the one included, though the battery cover won’t fit over it. And although there’s extra RAM to speed up loading times, this isn’t significantly faster.

If you already own a PSP, don’t upgrade. If you’re new to the machine, enjoy this slimmer version with greater battery life.

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Stuff says... 

Sony PSP Slim & Lite review

Definitely an improvement over the original PSP, but not so significant as to be worth throwing out the old one for