Does the world really need a new PSP?

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PSP-E

No, I’m not talking about the PlayStation Vita, the shiny and exciting new handheld with two (TWO!) thumbsticks that Sony will be releasing in Japan towards the end of this year. No, I’m talking about the new PSP hat Sony announced at their Gamescom press conference that’ll be hitting European markets for €99 – the local equivalent of about R 1020.

It’s the 5th major SKU for the PSP, following the original, The Lite and Slim PSP-2000, the more vibrant PSP-3000 and the digital-distribution disaster the PSP-GO. The new budget-priced PSP, called the E-1000, is a bare-bones version of the handheld – that’s had the fat trimmed in all the wrong places. Sort of like a PSP-Go in reverse, the PSP-E features a UMD drive (so you can play all your old games) but crucially cuts out the Wi-Fi. Though you can still buy and download PSP software using the included Media Go PC software, it means you’re unable to use any online features at all.

This renders online games like Killzone, SOCOM Fire Team Bravo 2, and Syphon Filter practically useless. Wants new levels for LittleBigPlanet? Tough! With no Wi-fi, it also means that ad-hoc multiplayer games wont be supported, so it’ll be for solitary gamers only. I’ll admit that with its charcoal black matte finish it’s easily the most stylish PSP available, but I’m struggling to see the point of it. Is it just Sony’s way of muscling in on some of the holiday period handheld gaming spend, getting parents to buy the thing for their kids?

It will come bundled with some games though; Invizimals: The Lost Tribe, EyePet Adventures, FIFA 12 and more – sot it does present pretty good value.

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Until the end of August, you can get a fully-functional, brand new PSP-3000 with working Wi-fi for R999 at BTGames – cheaper than the PSP-E will be available for. If you really want to get in on some PSP action, that’d be your best bet for a complete PSP experience.

Last Updated: August 17, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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