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Joystiq and PSPFB hands on with PSP-2000: Part 1

This September, Sony will be unleashing the first ever revision of the PlayStation Portable. Codenamed PSP-2000, the system sports a new slimmer design, and the ability to display content on a television. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding the new system -- but tonight, we're going to clear things up. We asked the readers of PSP Fanboy to submit their questions and received about a hundred responses. That's a lot of ground to cover, so we're going to spend the next few days answering as many as we can. Let's begin.

The PSP-1000's volume wasn't that loud. Did they increase the volume?
Submitted by: dapurplebyrd
As you can see, the speakers on the new PSP (right) are not louder than the old PSP (left). With headphones on, the volume output is identical as well.

What firmware is shipped with the PSP?
Submitted by: mike

The system includes firmware 3.60. Some new features of the firmware include: USB Charge, new background colors (27 in all!), and Connected Display Settings (for TV output).

What video sizes does it play? Hopefully 640x480.
Submitted by: Surtur

Nope. PSP 3.60 still does not support 640x480 video, which means many iPod-compatible video podcasts still don't work on the PSP.

Is the system quieter when loading data from the UMD?
Submitted by: Brandon
In some ways. The PSP will still make that scratching noise when loading data from a UMD. However, it does seem to happen slightly less often. Listen to the video, though. You'll notice that both systems will make the same disc loading noise.

Do files open faster on XMB?
Submitted by: TheHood

We loaded up our 4GB Memory Stick Duo with tons of 1080p images and had the PSP generate thumbnails. In our test, we noticed one thing: the two systems performed identically.

Is ghosting still noticeable?
Submitted by: Saigon

Yes, ghosting is still noticeable on the screen, particularly in scenes involving bright whites. The screen isn't bad -- let's not forget that the original PSP screen still produces fantastic video.

Does the web browser take advantage of the added memory? For instance, can web sites that cause the old PSP's memory to run out work on the Slim?
Submitted by: [email protected]

We were trying to read our favorite gaming blog when this error message struck. Seemingly, the browser is another thing that hasn't been improved in the new PSP.

What happens if you press the screen button long enough to start video out if it isn't plugged in?
Submitted by: Don
The screen simply turns off, just as it did before. This will help you conserve battery.

Is it possible to play music while viewing a slideshow on the PSP with this new release?
Submitted by: Sai
No. When you enter a different part of the XMB, your music will stop just like before.

How is the Wi-Fi connection? Can you test the range?
Submitted by: Makiyura

The range for both PSP-1000 and PSP-2000 seem nearly identical. For us, the system lost a signal once more than 30 feet away from our wireless router. In terms of download speeds, we saw that the PSP-2000 had only a marginal advantage, one that could have been caused by random network speeds, rather than an inherent system design. Regardless, PSP-2000 constantly outperformed the original PSP in our RSS download tests.

Do the buttons actually have a better response/feel to them?
Submitted by: Dennis
Yes. The buttons have slightly more resistance, which makes it much better to the touch.

I heard that when you output games to your HDTV (through component), the picture is framed. Is it true?
Submitted by: Sephiroth_FF

Yes it is true. On our 61" TV, the image produced by the PSP was 42" on our TV. That means, in diagonal terms, less than 70% of your screen will be devoted to the game. The XMB, however, will appear in full screen, as will movies and everything else accessed from there:

The image quality of games is particularly impressive. Ignoring the somewhat significant borders, the games we played looked like they were being output by a PS2. Movies, on the other hand, fared worse. Our Spider-man 2 UMD looked good, but didn't match the quality of a properly upscaled DVD running on the PS3.

There are still a lot more questions to answer. However, we need to spend a little more time with the system. Expect answers to burning questions on PSP-2000's load times, battery life, TV out functionality, and more in the next few days.

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