A couple of weeks ago I gave you 10 reasons not to buy a PSPgo. I thought they were all valid though some were more subjective than others. At the time I said that I would follow it up with 10 reasons to buy a PSPgo. I have to admit that I have not been able to come up with ten reasons that make sense but after a late night viewing of Donnie Darko to get myself into a suitably twisted mental state where I can try and justify spending a Frank-ly ridiculous amount of money on a new iteration of the PSP hardware I do have five reasons for you.
It is my personal belief that Sony are simply testing the digital-only waters with the PSPgo in preparation for launching a digital-only PSP2, perhaps as soon as October 2010. That we might see the PSP2 as soon as next year is pure speculation on my part but I am more certain that the PSPgo is the last-hurrah for the PSP. Maybe we will know more after Cologne but even being able to jump forward 28 days 6 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds would not get me to GDC/Gamescom so we will just have to wait. In the meantime here are those five reasons:
1 – It Is New
Let’s face it, many people who buy a PSPgo will likely be buying it simply because it is new. With the technology and gadget loving crowd if they are not considering buying it because they themselves always like to have the newest gadget they may be considering it just for the cachet that comes from showing their peers that they have bought the latest technological bling.
2 – It Is Smaller
While the PSPgo is only two millimetres smaller than the PSP-3000 in height and depth (y and z for you maths geeks) it is four centimetres narrower thanks to the controls being hidden under the sliding screen. To put that in perspective, at only thirteen centimetres wide it is only one centimetre wider than a Blu-ray disc (or typical CD or DVD for you Luddites).
If you are one of the millions of owners of a DS Lite you might find it easier to picture if I say that the PSPgo is about half a centimetre smaller than your little folding console in height, width and depth. Needless to say these diminutive proportions will make it easier on your pocket, if not your wallet. Here are some size comparison pictures that have been floating around the Internet for a while.
PSPgo, PSP-2000 (same size as a ‘3000) and an iPhone:
PSPgo, DSi and a DS Lite:
3 – It Is Lighter
If you are still walking the streets in a stoop because of the weight of your PSP-1000 the fact that the PSPgo has shed 40% of that weight, or 130g, may give your wrist muscles pause to consider the purchase. Even compared to the much more svelte PSP-3000 the PSPgo has lost a shade over 30g. If you have got a UMD in your PSP-3000 the weight difference goes up to 40g. So you could switch to a PSPgo and carry a nice Bluetooth headset along with a Fox’s Glacier Mint or two to keep your mouth feeling refreshed on your travels and still be carting the same amount of weight around as a PSP-3000 packing a single UMD game.
4 – It Has Better Ergonomics?
Perhaps. This will be one of those more subjective points as it will depend on hand size and personal preference. Some people, myself included depending on the game I am playing, find extended bouts of play on the PSP to cause discomfort in the left thumb because of the position of the analogue ‘nub’ below the d-pad. The PSPgo radically changes the position of the nub by moving it inboard of the d-pad.
There is some speculation that this might be more comfortable during longer game sessions although I am concerned that it might be too far in from the edge making it a bit of a stretch. Indeed, in a recent hands-on with the PSPgo, Jason Bradbury of Five’s The Gadget Show, said that he found the PSPgo’s nub to be less comfortable than the PSP-3000. So it will likely come down to personal choice on this one. If this is one of your major motivations for considering buying a PSPgo I suggest you find an FLGS (friendly local game store) that will let you try holding one before you commit.
Sony have made one other ergonomic modification to the basic shape by adding curved ridges onto the back of the PSPgo to give your fingers something to grip. This might prove useful if you find your hands getting sweaty due to a particularly tough or exciting part of a game or if you happen to be playing during the UK’s single annual hot and sunny week next year.
5 – It Has Bluetooth
If you do find the analogue nub uncomfortable on the PSPgo there is another option available thanks to the only significant new hardware capability that the PSPgo has over the PSP-3000, Bluetooth. Conveniently the SixAxis or DualShock3 you have at home for your PS3 (you do have a PS3 don’t you?) connects to Sony’s black monolith via Bluetooth so you will also be able to use your controller to play games, etc., on your PSPgo. It is almost as though Sony actually plans these things.
In fact by equipping yourself with a video out lead for your PSPgo you could actually connect it up to your TV and pretend you have a PS3 Slim. Of course by the time October gets here and if the rumours prove true, instead of spending £230 on a PSPgo, £35 on a DS3 and say £20 on a video out lead for a grand total of £285, you may well be able to buy yourself an actual PS3 Slim which will come complete with leads and a controller for less than that.
Do not forget that Bluetooth headset I mentioned earlier. With the PSPgo also expected to support Skype like the ‘2000 and ‘3000 you will be able to make free or cheap telephone calls whenever you are near a Wi-Fi hotspot. The wireless link to your earphones also means you can carry your PSPgo in an inside pocket safely protected from the elements and other street dangers even if your jacket does not have some fancy cable routing solution.
So there you have it, five reasons to consider buying a PSPgo and I think I even managed to sound quite positive about it in places. So now let me know what you think in the comments. Can you come up with any other sensible reasons that I have missed?