There's a new PSP in town, and it has people talking. The PSP-E1000 (also known as PSP Street) is a budget model and has only been announced for Europe thus far, but if it sells well enough, it may soon become available stateside.
You may be wondering whether this one would be a better buy for your kids than previous models. Here, I'll examine the differences.
The PSP-3000 has come down in price to $129.99, so launching this new model at 99.99 Euros--the equivalent of more than US$130--isn't much of a deal.
Wi-Fi has been removed from the E1000, meaning players will not be able to take their games online, nor will they be able to connect to the PSN Store, use Skype, or install updates without a game disc. As well as being highly inconvenient, this is a major blow to kid-friendly games like LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, and Mega Man: Powered Up, which are still being sustained years after their release by user-created content and online play.
The stereo speakers have been downgraded to a single monaural speaker. That sets the PSP back to the days of Nintendo's Game Boy and Sega's Game Gear in the early 90's, when you had to use headphones in order to enjoy stereo sound. By contrast, Nintendo's current portable, the 3DS, has amazing simulated surround sound that's sure to be noticed by kids and adults alike.
The UMD drive is back, after its notable absence from the PSPgo model. However, the PSP-3000 also has a UMD drive--most likely a better-made one, to boot.
The change from front-mounted buttons for the system controls (sound volume and brighness, for instance) to a single touch-strip neither adds nor detracts from this model's value.
In North America at least, there will be no reason to opt for this model over a PSP-3000, so its arrival on our shores may be less than likely. Better to go with just about any model of PSP over this one (except maybe the PSPgo).