Persona 3 Portable now has a Famitsu blog. You can find the first entry here, and it contains some new screenshots and videos of the upcoming PSP game.
The first change you’ll notice is that the art for the environments has been redone, and is now pre-rendered. It’s hard to tell, but the character “models” in most scenes outside of Tartarus appear to be sprites.
Unfortunately, Famitsu also indicates that you will no longer be able to navigate the overworld in control of your character. Instead, you’ll be guiding a cursor around and “exploration” will be more menu-based. In scenes where you’re walking to school and interacting with people in class or during certain Social Link segments, you will only see portraits, not the actual character models (or sprites in this case) with animations.
New battle costumes have been added to the portable version, along with a “Guard” command during battles. You will also have full control over your party members this time around if you want to direct them in battle.
There’s new music, too, which means you won’t be hearing the awesome “Mass Destruction” track during battles, at least while playing as the female protagonist. At least the S.E.E.S. dorm music is still intact.
A screenshot of the main menu also indicates that a data install option will be available to PSP users that buy the game on UMD. Persona 3 Portable features five difficulty levels ranging from beginner to manaics, the most difficult setting.
Thanks to all the readers for the tips! Special thanks go to QBasic for helping figure out that the redone character art may be 3D models mapped onto sprites.
Food for thought (spoilers!):
1. P3P is based on the FES version of the original, but doesn’t include “The Answer.” Is this still considered canon?
2. Does the female protagonist have the same fate in store for her as Minato, or will her scenario end differently?
3. Will the inevitable Persona 4 Portable be altered to reflect the alternate telling of P3’s events in any way? (Perhaps by reading save data on your PSP?)