Hands-on With The PSP SlimThe best video clips are here

Sony’s John Koller describing the new features


After Sony announced its PSP Slim in Tokyo, we were anxious to get our hands on a real one, since “on paper”, the changes were somewhat subtle.

This afternoon, we met with John Koller (a senior product manager at Sony PlayStation) for a hands-on in San Francisco. After holding the PSP Slim in our hands, it is obvious that the PSP has lost weight (33% lighter) and size (20% slimmer). That’s a very appreciable improvement, although not a life-changing one: I won’t start to put it in my pants pocket. Thankfully, Sony listened to its customers and has added many other changes that have a significant impact:

1/ TV-Out: begin able to play on a large screen is really cool. The movie quality is not as good as a decent DVD player, but it’s close and it certainly beats the **** out of my iPod video. Thinking about it, it must be “DVD-quality” on the crappy CRT TVs found in most hotels.

Hands-on with the PSP Slim

2/ USB Rechargeable: I’ve been asking for all devices to be USB rechargeable for years. Users can now plug the USB cable in their laptop and not worry about pluging to a wall. thanks Sony!

3/ More improvements: Doubling the memory means faster load times (speed varies depending on the titles). Better battery. The speakers and the WiFi switch have been moved away from the user fingers to avoid an accidental switch during a game.

This is a direct effect of how electronic devices are made: as time goes by, Sony continues to reduce the manufacturing costs by designing a smaller and cheaper PSP. Consumer get a cheaper and sexier console. I particularly like how simple the new UMD slot is. It is not only easier and cheaper to make, but it is also harder to break (no springs…). In the end, everybody wins.

I’m not sure how much slimmer it can get, but I don’t think that it will ever accommodate the sliding keyboard that I always wanted (hint, hint). Oh and could they cram a phone in there too? :)

Price: $199

Release Dates:
Silver: Sept 10th
Black: End of September
White: Oct 9th (Darth Vader Limited Edition – Will be on sale only a few months)

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