The only surprise about the announcement of a redesigned PSP made by Sony at E3 yesterday was how little the handheld appears to have changed. However, although the PSP 'Lite' looks virtually identical to its predecessor, there are substantial revisions beneath the surface.
Available in September in North America for $170 (£84), the revised PlayStation Portable comes in black or silver. It's a third lighter and around a fifth thinner than the existing model and has an unspecified longer battery life. Sony didn't say when it would make it to other markets.
Despite plenty of speculation to the contrary , the UMD disk drive has been retained. Although the ability to preload and cache data from a UMD has been added to reduce in-game load times.
Probably the most significant change to the hardware is the addition of a video output port. This means the PSP can be connected to a TV for a bigger view of games, photos or videos, with the device itself then functioning just as a joypad.
There's also a new function that allows the device to use DLNA networking to access media on a PC or PS3. This could allow it to act as a relay for funnelling movies from a remote source to a screen anywhere.
Sony also unveiled several special-edition bundles of the PSP as well, including a Star Wars package with a white PSP featuring a sketch of Darth Vader on the back and a Daxter pack with the popular action game, episodes of Family Guy on UMD and a 1GB Memory Stick.