I traded in my older PSP 1001 on Wednesday, October 15 2008 (which never had a dead pixel from the day it came out to today) and made the plunge to get the just released PSP 3001. For those of you who already have the PSP "Slim" 2001, the differences are not so significant that it warrants an upgrade. For those who have the 1001, it's a lot nicer, but at the expense of a few things you have probably grown to like, such as the fabric PSP case, included headset, lanyard, and cleaning cloth have not come back to users as a bundle.
The 3001 series "Ratchet and Clank, Size Matters" bundle (the only way to get a PSP 3001 until November) did come with a couple of things in an effort to make up for the loss of accessories. The PSP in this bundle is "Mystic Silver". It's a matte version of the "Silver Ice" PSP 2001.
- Ratchet and Clank: SIze Matters UMD
- National Treasure: Book of Secrets UMD
- Echochrome PSN voucher (valued at $9.99)
- 1GB MemoryStick Pro Duo 2 Mark 2 (with MagicGate support) (about $30)
- PSP 3001
All for $199.99. The trade in value of the PSP 1001 at Gamestop was about $50 (with a promotion that was running which added an extra $20 to a system trade in). From a tade perspective, it seems a little top heavy to pay an additional $150. On November 8, 2008 a second bundle will be released containing no UMD games, but a voucher for "Everyday Shooting" and a 4GB memory stick. The PSP will be piano black.
The 3001, like it's predecessor the 2001, retained the drop in loading system which was a modification that helped significantly reduce the weight of the original PSP. Some users claimed that the weight reduction and the move from piano black made the PSP feel 'cheap' and 'breakable'. In a way this is true. The 2001 and 3001 series PSPs initially feel pretty cheap, but after a couple of hours of it in your hands it goes back to feeling pretty solid. The matte finish on the shell keeps the PSP from looking as marked up as the fingerprint magnet, PSP 1001. The screen however, still shows every mark.
All 3 PSPs share that same screen size, but the 3001 has something a little new that some users are sure to like. The 3001 has a wider color gamut giving games and movies a more vivid appearance. I had not anticipated a huge difference, but with games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, where the colors are relatively muted or God of War with it's muddy palette, the wider gamut provided a higher degree of detail that wasn't so apparent before. Of course if the user isn't happy with the brighter colors the gamut can be switched back to 'normal' in the system settings.
In the PSP 3001 Sony changed the subpixels which have a good side and a bad side. Some users complain that there is an interlacing effect that happens when playing (it's not very noticeable), but the images appear much sharper than on the previous PSP models. Games such as Disgea and FFT would have portions of text that looked messy because of the subpixel layout, but the new horizontal subpixel direction clean much of that up. Previously, the 2001 and 1001 PSPs had vertical subpixel directions and it caused the image to look funky at times. Along with a new subpixel direction, the PSP 3001 has brighter contrast and becomes much easier to see and play in well lit areas (there seems to be slightly less screen glare as well).
The addition of the PlayStation Network is more than welcome to PSP owners. It is now possible to buy and download retro PSone games (like Castlevania: SOTN, or WipeOut ) . A big letdown to PSP owners was that Sony still has not decided to include hard storage. With the implementation of hte PSN (PlayStations Network), users still have to collect various memory sticks or shell out money to buy a really large capacity stick (It's rumored that there will be a 32GB MSDP), to collect various games they've paid to own. On the PSN users can also buy and download selected UMD games, PSone games, and professional "homebrew" style of games only available to download. and not previously released on any other system.
Overall the 3001 is not so big a jump that the PSP "Slim" owners would feel compelled to upgrade, but it is something the original PSP "Fat" owners might want to contemplate - especially since the GPS hardware is nearing release in the US and allegedly won't be ideal (or possible compatible) on the non cacheing, less video RAM having, heavier 1001.
Since the Sony PSP 3001 doesn't come with a lanyard, using the WiiMote lanyard as one is perfect. If you have not taken advantage of the lanyard replacements Nintendo offered, make sure they still offer it and order one lanyard more than you need. Then use that as the PSP lanyard.
When transferring data from one PSP memory stick to another, EVERYTHING transfers... even games you bought. This means that you could 'borrow' a game like Echochrome