Sony's new re-brushed and buffed-up PlayStation Portable 3000 handheld video game system should finally be dangling from plastic retail hooks or resting in neat little rectangle stacks on shelves as you read this, but should existing PSP owners think about upgrading?

As for the microphone, well, it's a microphone all right. Everyone says we sound fine when we use it to chat across the pond and bug family and friends vis-a-vis Skype, although we're also told there's a bit of an echo (to be fair, that could just be Skype). No word on whether it supports noise-cancelling tech, but let's just say the mic's still not the way you'll want to talk smack in a friendly online match if, say, you're playing in a noisy coffee shop or cafe.

In a bind, though, it'll be a lot nicer than reaching for and untangling the snarl of wires and jacks that comprise the PSP headset. Think about getting a call and at least being able to answer and tell the caller to hang on while you get the headset into position (as opposed to fumbling and tumbling and losing the call in your rush to plug in). We actually use a PSP as a phone here in the UK (in lieu of a Skype or any other IP phone) so it works.

What about video out? We weren't able to test this because we don't have the proper hookups, but the gist of the update is that you were already able to plug the PSP 2000 into an HDTV with a separately sold cable and play games on the big screen using the PSP as the controller. With the PSP 3000, the big change is that you can finally plug into a non-HDTV as well.

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Sony PlayStation Portable 3000: Specs

  • PSP CPU (System clock frequency 1-333MHz)
  • 64MB
  • 4.3 inches (16:9) full-transparent type, TFT drive, 480 x 272 pixel, Approximately 16,770,000 colours displayed
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b)(Wi-Fi)
  • High Speed USB (USB2.0) (mini-B)
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo
  • Analogue Video Out
  • mic
  • Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack
  • AC adaptor
  • USB power supply
  • 169.4x18.6x71.4mm
  • 189g