The headphone/AV jack, on the bottom edge, takes any standard 3.5mm headphones as well as special PSP-only AV-out cables for connecting to a TV. The USB port remains centered on the top edge of the PSP. Sony doesn't include a cable, but it's a standard mini-USB connector, so you may already have one lying around. The USB connector is flanked by two screw holes that allow for accessories to be firmly attached to its frame, but most people will use the USB port for quick connections to the PC to transfer digital media, games and demos available through the online PlayStation Store.
The PSP's interface is known as the Cross Media Bar, or XMB. The original PSP was the first Sony product to use it, and it's since been incorporated into the PlayStation 3 and many other Sony TVs and AV receivers. It's a pretty slick menu system that's generally easy to maneuver using the D-pad and control buttons. As you get into some of the applications, however, that simplicity can get lost. We wished the Web browser, for instance, was as well-designed as the overall XMB menu system.
If you don't want to use headphones, the PSP has external stereo speakers. They produce decent volume for games and UMD movies, but we've always found the volume on videos that we copy over to the Memory Stick to be less potent. The PSP includes a 5-volt AC power adaptor, though it can also be charged via USB, albeit at a slower trickle rate.
The PSP is primarily a gaming device, but it's got some notable media functionality as well, such as built-in Wi-Fi capability. That allows it to connect to any wireless Internet service, including those with WEP and WPA encryption (but not WPA2). One annoyance is that the 3000 continues to use the slowest 802.11b version of Wi-Fi. An upgrade to 11g or even 11n is overdue.
As for video, the 3000 can play them from a variety of sources. The easiest, and most ill-advised, is to buy pre-recorded UMD video discs. A better option is to copy your own videos from a computer onto a Memory Stick Duo card, and pop it in to the PSP. A variety of freeware and commercial software products can readily convert files to PSP-friendly formats and resolutions (MPEG4 or H.264-AVC, up to 720x480 pixels).
Invest in an add-on cable, and you can output the PSP's audio and video to a TV. The PSP 3000 corrects an annoying limitation of the 2000 model -- now, video playback and gameplay will work on pretty much any TV. With the 2000, gameplay was limited to progressive-scan only via component video, limiting you to HDTV hookups.
Built into the PSP is the ability to stream live TV from a Sony LocationFree TV device, which is Sony's take on the Slingbox. As long as the PSP is in a Wi-Fi hot spot, it can stream the video and change the channels on a LocationFree box, even if it's half-way around the world.
The device doubles as a decent music player, with the ability to play DRM-free MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC and ATRAC3 files, and with support for album art. Shuffle and repeat modes are supported, along with a visualiser function. It can display JPEG, GIF and TIFF photos stored on the MS Duo card individually or as a slide show. Larger photos may need to be compressed before viewing.