Sony's recent PSP-3000 upgrade had one major feature change among its other small updates: the brighter, increased contrast and wider color gamut screen (above: old top, new bottom). The more vivid display takes more power overall, but the rest of the PSP's components are now using less power, giving battery life a net change of zero, which is good. But the interlacing issues which results in visible jagged lines and scan lines on motion? Well, it's there, but it's not that bad. Here's what you should know before you buy a PSP 3000.
Yes, you can notice the scan lines in both games and movies. Yes, you can also noticed jaggies resulting from the interlace problems. But is it horrible? No. The image above exaggerates the effect slightly. The increased brightness and contrast more than make up for this. Does the new "improved" screen mean you need to upgrade from what you've got? Nah. Current PSP users are fine, and new PSP users may even prefer to get the PSP 2000 now to avoid the interlacing quirks if it really bothers you a lot.
Here are two other reasons why you don't need to upgrade, or might prefer to buy an older PSP now. They both play the same games and the hacking community still isn't quite familiar enough with the new version to say how hackable it is. One of the main problems that Sony's had with the previous two PSPs was piracy, as evidenced by the 5.0 release being hacked just two days after it launched. We're thinking that the PSP 3000 will add even stronger anti-piracy measures, but it's too soon to tell until hackers get their hands on them.
There are other very minor changes to this such as a microphone for built-in Skype chatting, the re-labeling of the Home button to the PlayStation button and the fact that the current pack comes with Rachet and Clank: Size Matters as well as a National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets UMD movie for $199. So the only question left to answer is whether the PSP 3000 is better than the PSP 2000. My answer? Yes, as long as you're alright with that screen. [Amazon]