Tweaked PSP due out in October

Built-in microphone, improved screen.

Sony has unveiled a new version of the PlayStation Portable during its Games Convention press conference in Leipzig.

The new handheld will be released on 15th October in EMEA territories (Europe, the Middle-East and Africa) and will cost EUR 199, with FIFA, Harry Potter, Buzz and Go!Communications bundles available at that price.

Sony Europe boss David Reeves said the PSP, model number 3000, would introduce an improved LCD screen and a built-in microphone.

"We will be enhancing the LCD screen. What this actually means is we have taken the already high quality screen and increased the intensity and number of colours it can display," Reeves, who was holding one of the new PSPs, told the audience.

The result is crisper colours with more intensity and less glare when you're out in natural light, according to our transcription chiefs.

As for the microphone, the goal is to establish PSP as "a viable communication device", which isn't going to dampen hopes for PSP phone software, although it's worth remembering that the handheld already supports Skype.

Indeed, Reeves went on to say that as long as you're in a Wi-Fi area you'll be able to use Skype and Go!Messenger to contact people.

The model Reeves was holding up to demo was Piano Black and also had smoother edges and corners according to our men and women on the scene.

Slim and Lite will be available as a standalone product for EUR 169, for "a limited period of time", he added.

Reeves' announcement presumably also means that the PSP-3001 uncovered by gadget spies recently is a goer for the US, although we'll have to wait for definitive confirmation. Dave's busy doing it live.

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