Ok, how odd is this? Sony announced a new PSP model-- *NO* not the Playstation Vita-- a PSP.... that has no Wi-fi capabilities, a slightly tweaked design based off the PSP-3000, & a budget price: €99.00.
The rejigged volume/start/select button area looks rather ugly. Are they a one-piece membrane overlay similar to the 3DS? Or are they capacitive touch buttons?? (yeah right) And it looks like the entire back opens up to access the UMD drive??? Very strange. This PSP E-1000 is going to have the same matte finish as the PS3. I do like the embossed Sony logo at the top right corner.
There aren't any plans to release this model outside of Europe.
[Check out these pics of it at Engadget's PSP E-1000 gallery]
I actually noticed something else about the PSP E-1000, there's only 1 speaker area. So it's only got a mono speaker?? The headphone jack is moved to closer to the bottom center of the unit-- it doesn't look like there's a port for the remote/video out, but it's hard to tell from the pics at this point.... and there is a switch-- if that's not for Wi-Fi,
It is somewhat intriguing, but why keep tinkering with the PSP? I guess Sony doesn't think it's dead yet.... at least not in Europe. And I think Japan still shows support for the handheld.
But you know what? The PSP *isn't* quite dead here in North America either. I wouldn't go so far as to say that now is the BEST time to buy a PSP, but... well, the other day I was in Future Shop, and I scanned the PSP game racks. Almost all the major PSP UMD games are priced at $9.99. It's possible to get Resistance: Retribution, the Syphon Filter games, Twisted Metal, Wipeout, etc.... most of the best of the PSP library, right now for $9.99 a game. That's pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.
Obviously, there isn't going to be much new software support coming for the PSP. But if someone was interested in a budget handheld gaming system, the PSP is a not bad choice, considering there's about 12+ major titles that are $10.00 & probably still some other good deals if one keeps an eye out.
If someone was debating between a PSP & a PS Vita, of course the choice has to be the Vita. But if someone was simply looking for a good budget game player & not concerned with the latest games, the PSP fits the bill. The only caveat I would attach to that is I'm not sure the PSP is great for little kids. There's Loco Roco, Me & My Katamari, and a few others but I'm not sure the overall library is all that little-kid-friendly. Just my 2 cents.
I guess Sony is seeing the PSP as filling the gap until the "delayed" Vita comes out.