Oct 4, 2009

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Review: Sony PSP® 3004 or PSP® 3000

Posted on 4:11 PM by abhishek jain

sony psp 3000All work and no play makes you a dull boy this is an old phrase but we animators hardly gets a chance to play the games due to deadlines or learning about new stuff in the spare time. Other reasons can be rendering going on the systems or laziness in plugging the console to the TV, so here comes the handheld game console. A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable device with a built-in screen, games controls and speakers. Handheld game consoles are run on machines of small size allowing people to carry them and play them at any time or place.

In this review we will cover the Sony PSP 3000 (or say 3004 in some countries). Sony launched the PlayStation Portable in 2005. Nearly four years after its original release, the PSP is still going strong. This review is specifically written for the new users who like to own this machine and we will try not to compare with the older versions. According to Sony, this new model has some features like brighter, increased contrast and wider color gamut screen, built in Skype client, microphone and some others.

Sony PSP 3000 is 2.81 inches high by 6.3 inches wide by 0.63 inches deep and its weight is a little lighter at just a little over 7 ounces or 200gms. PSP 3000 gives a good grip in the hands. Sony decided to release the PSP 3000 in two different colors. The classic black piano finish as well as a brushed metal matte finish (limited to some countries). In our case, we have the Black Piano finish model for review.

The screen size is 420 x 272 and the screen color gamut, contrast ratio is incredible. But the screen is a magnet for the fingerprints and you can notice jagged edges, scanlines in high motion videos or games. The PSP-3000 screen uses anti-reflective technology that promises to reduce glare and improve screen visibility under well-lit conditions, such as playing outside on a sunny day, but actually you find it very difficult to play games outside, thanks to the glossy screen. A decent screen protector can help you in this case but it’s still not easy to play outside. I strongly suggest spending the bucks to purchase a protective case.

sony psp scanlines

sony psp in a sunny day

In PSP 3000 is the built-in microphone, located just below the screen. It can be used for online communication, be it within a game or for the PSP's built-in Skype application. Since the introduction of Skype to PSP users, the software has had a lot of success with games that utilize its potential and also for general phone use. The Sound of the microphone and speakers is crisp and clear.

The PSP is designed to play games and movies off something called UMDs--Universal Media Discs. Or you can play through the Memory Stick Duo; PSP doesn’t come with internal memory so you have to spend money in buying a decent size memory stick, betting on a 4GB size is a good idea so you not required to buy another Memory stick soon. Most important thing is memory sticks from other companies will not work properly or sometimes are not even recognized by PSP, so go for the Sony Memory Stick Duo Pro-Mark 2, its little costly but provides overall good performance and you will not be disappointed.

The PSP has built-in Wi-Fi capability and unit is outfitted with possibly the slowest version (802.11b) on the planet, allowing it to connect to any wireless Internet service, including those with WEP and WPA encryption. Not only this you can also play music, see photos, browse internet, use RSS reader, play internet radio, play games in network, upgrade firmware and output the display on the TV. If PSP also contains the camera then can also use for the video conferencing, hope future models will fulfill this requirement.

If you like to play the game or watch movies on the bigger screen then you can TV-out the display using composite cables which need to buy separately. PSP 3000 supports the non-progressive scan TV and HDTV. But the games take an only 60%-70% of the screen and give a window boxed look until you use the zoom function of the TV to increase the size of the games window to 80%. For some games TV-out brings out the worst in graphics.

PSP battery gives us the approx 5 hours of games playback when Wi-fi is switched off and set the brightness level of the screen to normal. Battery can be charged from the USB connection too, so when your PSP connected to the PC then it get’s charged during transferring of the data.

Core pack comes with the PSP, battery, AC adapter (100V-240V, so you can use the adapter anywhere in the world) and printed material. If you like to connect PSP from the PC then you required a USB cable and need to download Media Manager software from Playstation website for transferring the games, video in PSP and for buying the UMD games, download the demo versions of the game from the Playstation store.

sony psp 3004 box

Now comes the pricing part, Sony PSP 3000 core pack is available for $170 / 9490 INR, which is not a bad price for this good machine but then you have to spend money in Memory Stick around $26 / 1650 INR for 4GB, $17 / 1190 INR for composite cable, $7 / 200 INR for USB cable, casing and games are extra and as per your requirement. So around minimum $220 / 12500 INR money is required which makes this expensive. Wait… don’t forget this new series contains a latest motherboard and firmware which is not possible to hack till now, so buying a original game UMD is always a good idea but here that becomes the must scenario for everyone. We will recommend this machine and will give 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, we cut the half star for the screen prone to fingerprints and difficulty in playing outside, another half star for the tv-output for games limited to 60-70% and making worse for some 3D games and final half star for making this expensive after buying all the necessary accessories (memory disk and USB cable must included in the core pack).

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