This September, about two and a half years after the launch of the PlayStation Portable in the United States, Sony will finally release an improved model. The new model, PSP-2000, is not the second generation of the PSP, but is rather an enhanced version of the current unit. One of the most useful features in the new model is the ability to output photos, movies, and games onto a television screen at standard definition resolution (480p) with a set of AV cables. Next, to solve the unit’s bulkiness, Sony slimmed down the PSP-2000 by about 20% and made it 30% lighter. Although the unit is still way bigger than a iPod Video or iPhone, it’s a good improvement.
On the technical side, the internal RAM has doubled from 32 to 64MB requiring less loading cycles. Although the new CPU requires less power and UMD reading time has been reduced, the battery life remains the same since a smaller battery had to be used to fit into the slimmer unit. Some rumors indicate a possible brighter LED backlit screen, which could drastically improve battery life, however no official statement has been issued. Also as a bonus the new PSP can now be charged using a USB cable, though it will take 5 hours instead of 2.5 with a AC adapter. The WiFi switch and speakers have been repositioned for easier access and the IR has been removed because it was never used. One thing we didn’t like was that the UMD now literally “falls” into a slanted tray instead of using the loading mechanism which used to take in and pop out the disk.
The PSP 2000 “core package” will retail at $169 and will include only the console (black), a battery, and an AC charger. (Original PSP cost at $250 at launch.) In addition a Ice Silver PSP bundled with Daxter, a 1GB card, and a UMD movie will be available for $199 on the same day (September 10th). Retailers such as Amazon are already taking pre-orders for the PSP-2000 at no extra cost. Also in the situation that Sony drops the price before or within 30 days after launch, Amazon will refund the price difference!