Sony announced that it will launch a new PlayStation Portable model, PSP-3000, which will feature an improved LCD screen and a built-in microphone, for all major territories in October 2008. The upgraded hardware will come in three colors -- Piano Black, Pearl White, and Mystic Silver.
According to Sony, the new model maintains the basic design and functionality of the current PSP Slim and Lite, but upgrades made to the LCD screen add anti-reflection technology intended to improve visibility in bright areas, while adding a wider range of colors and enhancing contrast ratio.
The upgrade also includes a built-in microphone to allow for Skype calls and multiplayer communication directly from the hardware.
The handheld's video-out port has also been expanded to output gameplay in interlace format, enabling users to play games on non-progressive TVs (using separately-sold cables) in addition to progressive TVs.
Though Sony Computer Entertainment of America president and CEO Jack Tretton previously said
that the company was working to "close the loopholes" for PSP software piracy, no new anti-piracy measures or features were disclosed for the PSP-3000.
The system will sell in bundles for $199.99. The upcoming Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
PSP Entertainment Pack, announced at E3 for an October 2008 launch, will include the new model in silver along with the Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
game, a National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets UMD, a 1 gigabyte memory stick, and an Echochrome
voucher to download the title from PSN.
Sony's newly announced PSP 4GB Memory Entertainment Pack, which features a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo, will also include the new PSP model. The company says it will release the updated PSP by itself in a PSP Core Pack for $169.99 later this year.