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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced its third incarnation of PlayStation Portable handheld video game console. The novelty will be priced at the same level as predecessors, but will sport a number of improvements, which are important, but are hardly crucial.

The PlayStation Portable model PSP-3000 is similar to the PSP-2000 released last year in terms of sizes and weight, however, it features substantially improved screen with increased colour range, higher contrast ratio, reduced pixel response time as well as trans-reflective coating. In addition, the PSP-3000 comes with built-in microphone to enable voice communications using Skype network as well as some other improvements. Other specifications remained unchanged.

Although the new screen consumes slightly more energy, which means that gamers will have to buy batteries with boosted capacities, it is highly likely that overall user experience will be tangibly different from the previous models. In addition, integrated microphone will make the PSP a true mobile communication device.

The improved PSP will be available in Japan, Europe, the U.S. and other countries later this year in various bundles. With no extras included, the PSP-3000 will cost ¥19 800 ($182) in Japan, $199 in the USA, €199 ($287) in Europe, £149 ($264) in the UK and AU$299 ($249) in Australia.

Sony PlayStation Portable competes against Nintendo DS handheld video game system. So far the device from Nintendo has been considerably more successful on the market.

Tags: Sony, Playstation, PSP

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