UK Exclusive: More PSPgo Details

You have to wonder how the world functioned before Google.  Thanks to the marvels of Google’s Translate tool which does a much better job than us of translating web pages we are able to read Japanese gaming sites and, we think, bring you news before anyone else in Europe has noticed.  One of those Japanese gaming sites is Game Watch.  They have spoken to two representatives of SCEJ’s Product Planning Dept, Naoya Matsui and Hiroshi Kazu Yanase about the PSPgo.

They reveal that the PSPgo actually began development two years ago.  That seems like quite a long time given how little is actually different between the PSPgo and it’s older siblings.  Perhaps an indication that Sony could have launched it earlier but have been waiting until the market was ready for a download-only console.

SixAxis/Dualshock3 Connectivity

Then there is confirmation and details of something that a lot of you have been asking and speculating about.  You will be able to connect either a SixAxis or Dualshock3 controller to the PSPgo.  They go on to detail which controls will work and not surprisingly L2, R2, L3, R3 and the right analogue stick will not be usable.  So any hopes of twin-stick gaming on the PSP via your DS3 seem to have been dashed.

Firmware updates will continue to roll out across all members of the PSP family at the same time though as we have been used to since the release of the PSP-2000, some models will get features that others do not.  New additions to the System Settings menu on the PSP XMB (or Kurosumediaba according to Google, love the way it sounds) are an option to select the system’s behaviour when you slide it closed, with either ‘Standard’ or ‘Sleep’ to pick from, and a Bluetooth Connectivity menu.

In-game Kurosumediaba

One new PSP software feature touted by Sony is the ability to bring up the XMB whilst in-game.  On current PSPs when you press the ‘Home’ button, the one with the PlayStation logo on it, with the volume control and a “quit the game” yes or no option.  There is also a clock and a battery indicator that are both visible at the same time proving that Sony can do it.

When you press Home on the PSPgo you are given two options.  You can choose to either end or suspend the game.  If you choose suspend, after two to three seconds of progress bar, you are returned to the XMB.  Under the Game menu you will now find a ‘Resume Game’ option complete with a tiny screenshot of your game in progress.

Google’s Jap-lish is not perfect but it seems that what is actually happening is that the game state is actually being saved to the PSPgo’s internal flash memory.  Once your game is suspended all XMB functions will be available.  For example, you will be able to use the PSP’s web browser.  Also the PSPgo can be switched off once a game is suspended without the game’s suspension consuming any battery power.  I cannot decide whether “This feature has not been flushed to main memory can deliver PSP-1000/2000/3000″ means that game suspension will be supported by the older PSPs or not.  If you can read Japanese visit the article and let us know in the comments please.

Not that much smaller and lighter

We have all heard that the PSPgo will be 50% smaller in size and 40% lighter in weight than the original PSP.  Sony said so at their E3 keynote and it has been often repeated since.  This article again makes it clear is that those reductions are in comparison to the original PSP-1000, or PSP Phat, not the current PSP-3000.  So using the official specifications for ‘1000, ‘3000 and ‘go (the ‘2000 is the same size and weight as the ‘3000) here is a comparison for you:

  • PSP-1000, 170mm x 74mm x 23mm, 280g
  • PSP-3000, 169.4mm x 71.4mm x 18.6mm, 189g
  • PSPgo, 128mm x 69mm x 16.5mm, 158g

All weights include batteries and empty UMD drives where applicable and the size for the PSPgo is when it is in its ‘closed’ position.  Treating all the PSPs as simple cuboids for the sake of making the calculations easier it turns out that the PSPgo is only 35% smaller than the PSP-3000 and only 16% lighter so your jacket’s pocket lining will not be feeling the benefit so much.  Though perhaps the huge wad of cash that has disappeared from your wallet to buy the PSPgo will compensate.

One final curious point on the contents of the article.  It gives the PSPgo’s release date as November 1st.  So far all the information we have lists it as launching on October 1st across the US and Europe.  So it looks like we are getting it a full month ahead of Japan.

Game Watch’s article also had the first pictures of a PSPgo and PSP-3000 side-by-side that I have seen anywhere.  To save you making the virtual trip to Japan here they are: