PSP 3000 soars in Japan, but is new LCD flawed?

Sony's PlayStation Portable 3000 launched Tuesday, October 14 and it's already delivering hugely impressive numbers overseas. Japanese market tracker Media Create released its hardware sales figures for the week ending October 19, highlighting a nearly 90 percent win for the PSP over the DS.

Hardware

  1. 159,816 - PSP
  2. 29,839 - Nintendo DS
  3. 26,024 - Wii
  4. 7,856 - Xbox 360
  5. 7,261 - PS2
  6. 4,725 - PS3
Source: Media Create Rankings

I put my hands on the PSP 3000 last week and came away marginally impressed with the new model's cosmetic upticks, but sharper eyes than mine picked up on a rather egregious flaw in the LCD involving noticeable interlacing during any sort of onscreen motion.

In case you've never heard the term, interlacing is a historically bandwidth-saving technique where -- instead of displaying an image on a screen line-by-line from top to bottom -- the image is presented every other line. The downside to this approach is that interlaced screens tend to exhibit "artifacts" that look like pesky horizontal lines raking across the screen during rapid motion.

I un-boxed my PSP 2000 and popped in Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops to see the issue for myself, dropping into the Soviet Base mission at the point where Snake (the protagonist) is standing next to a bunch of crates. Panning the 3D view around with the PSP 3000, I immediately saw the problem: thin black horizontal lines like the tines of a comb appearing to slice up the screen any time you move the view so much as a millimeter.

Trying this in the same spot with the PSP 2000 revealed a completely solid (if slightly "ghosted") image with absolutely no interlacing whatsoever. I also tried it again with the PSP 3000's new color "wide" option set to "normal," but this only slightly reduced the effect by muting the color contrast and hiding it better.

Sadly, Sony seems to have traded one problem ("ghosting") for another ("interlacing") and put enthusiast gamers who notice this sort of stuff and tend to play a notable role voting something up or down in a catch-22. To be fair, most gamers probably won't notice the interlacing, or won't care enough because the colors are so much more vibrant. But for the extremely vocal minority who do, you're in a bind: PSP 2000 "ghosting" or PSP 3000 interlacing. Not much of a choice, is it.

Me, I'll probably stick with the PSP 3000, but I can't really recommend you do the same if you're the sort of gamer who sees that stuck pixel in a laptop screen or tiny crack in a car windshield and can't help but fixate obsessive-compulsively on it forever after. For you, I suggest sticking with your current whatever-model PSP and waiting until Sony either "fixes" the 3000's hardware (it won't be a software fix - this one's hard-wired, so it'd have to be a physical revision) or releases a new model entirely.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags PSP 3000

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?