Sony PSP 2000 Review

Hardware

The PSP 2000 is the second iteration of the Sony PSP, and was the first redesign of the handheld. It’s 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the original PSP system (reduced from 23 mm to 18.6 mm and from 280 grams [9.87 ounces] to 189 grams [6.66 ounces]). Other changes include improved WLAN modules and Micro-controller, and a thinner and much brighter LCD.

The original PSP struggled with poor load times of UMD games, so to improve this, the internal memory (RAM and Flash ROM) was doubled from 32 MB to 64 MB with a part of it now acting as a cache, which also improved the web browser’s performance.

The screen is the same as the original’s and, unfortunately, just as smudge-prone.

The PSP 2000 has a glossy finish on the outside – which looks nice and shiny when it’s new. However, it can easily attract lots of finger prints on the surface and scratches are more visible. Also, the wavelike bulges on the old PSP, which covered the battery and Memory Stick slot on both sides and curved beneath the middle and index fingers, are gone. They gave the original a more ergonomic feel, which will be missed, but this is minor point.

The device’s A/V port, not found in the original, serves two purposes. Since it uses the 3.5mm mini-jack format, the port works with any standard headset for listening. It also doubles as a video-out and can hook up to component or composite inputs via a special cable.

Also, the Memory Stick Duo slot has been moved to the left of the D-Pad, and the Wi-Fi switch has been placed on top of the unit, next to the mini USB port. The speakers, now elevated above the D-Pad and the “diamond” buttons, are actually better positioned for stereo listening. But the low volume levels that plagued the original PSP remain an issue.

The four-way direction pad, as well as the familiar “diamond” buttons (triangle, circle, square, and x), have been slightly elevated, offering greater tactile feedback. The analog stick is disappointingly unimproved over the original’s: A better design would have raised the stick slightly and given it a rubberized texture, as opposed to hard plastic.

Like the original’s, the PSP 2000’s power button is located in an awkward position: It’s easy to hit unintentionally, and if you aren’t careful, this can lead to an accidental power-down during game play.

Instead of using a dedicated button found on the old PSP, all that’s required to open the UMD drive is a simple tug on the cover hatch. Placing a UMD in its grove within the opened hinge, then closing the hatch, is the easiest way to load discs.

Ergonomics

The PSP 2000 feels a lot lighter compared to the original, However the wavelike bulges on the old PSP, which covered the battery and Memory Stick slot on both sides and curved beneath the middle and index fingers, are gone. They gave the original a more ergonomic feel, and do miss having them.

Battery Life

The battery life isn’t as good compared to Nintendo’s second iteration of the DS – the DS Lite, which can deliever 15 to 19 hours of play on a three-hour charge. There’s a 1,200 mAh battery on the PSP 2000, which is smaller than the 1,800 mAh on the original. Battery life ratings are identical to the original’s, and you can expect 3 to 5 hours for video and 3 to 6 hours for gameplay.

The PSP 2000 can be charged via the USB port, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. The resulting trickle charge will take about 5 hours to fully juice up the unit, versus about half that using the standard adapter.

Software

The PSP 2000 has a lot to offer in-terms of software, the device can play back full-length movies via UMD, or you can create your own library of movies with an abundance of free, third-party applications that are easily accessible online. Also there’s 700 – 750 games to choose from, a built-in web browser, online multiplayer functionality with PSN, and Remote Play.

The system’s GUI (the XMB interface) will give you a choice of more than 28 background theme colors instead of the 12 found on the original model. Other subtle differences include a host of external display settings.

On January 8, 2008, built-in Skype Wi-Fi Internet phone service was added via firmware updates.

History

At E3 2007, Sony released information about a slimmer and lighter version of the PlayStation Portable. It was released on August 30, 2007, in Hong Kong, on September 5, 2007, in Europe, on September 6, 2007, in North America, September 7, 2007, in South Korea and September 12, 2007, in Australia.

The model numbers were changed to PSP-2000, following the previous region-based numbering scheme (cf. the PSP-1000 numbering scheme of the “old” PSP model).

Technical Specifications

  • CPU –  Clock Speed: 1-333 MHz
  • RAM:
    • 64 MB Main Memory
    • 4 MB embedded DRAM
  • Battery – Rechargable lithium-ion battery
  • Screen – 4.3″, 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD screen
  • Pixels – 480 x 272 pixels
  • Sound – built-in stereo speakers and headset connector
  • Wi-Fi – IEEE 802.11b
  • DC in 5 V connector
  • USB 2.0 (mini-B)
  • AV out
  • Media – Memory Stick Duo & UMD Drive

Final Verdict

Pros:

  • Lighter, slimmer, and sleeker update of the original PSP
  • improved load times for games
  • AV output for video and game playback on TV
  • Raised D-pad offers increased tactile feedback

Cons:

  • Unfortunate power button location is unchanged from the original.
  • Gloss finish on the case attracts lots of finger prints & scratches are more visible
  • Screen smudges easily.
  • USB Charging could be better
  • Difficult to grip sometimes

The PSP 2000 was a must have for me (when I got this from new) and had some really good improvements over the original, which persuaded me to get one. There are some areas that could of been improved, but despite that – this is a really cool handheld to own! I have enjoyed using this for many years, and it’s still going strong… talk about reliability!

Sony later released the PSP 3000, which was a more improved version, but was the last PSP to have the same form factor and UMD Drive. The PSP Go, which came after, was completely different to any PSP we’d seen before, and was one of the first to move away from using physical media.