Why I Want A PSP Go

The PSP Go was launched to, well, a bit of a lukewarm reception at E3, just over a month ago. The heavily revised handheld console promises lighter weight, smaller dimensions and to be the very first download only games console.
I for one am hugely excited by the prospect of the PSP Go and the possibility of it writing a new chapter in the history of video games. There has been a lot of focus on the price of the machine, and at €249, it certainly isn’t cheap. But behind the noise of angry internet rants over Sony’s pricing strategy, the significance of such a device seems to have been lost.
The PSP Go is a hugely important step forward for Sony. It’s a gamble that the accountants at Sony HQ in Tokyo will hope stops the stream of lost money in recent times. While we already have PSN downloads for PS3, Xbox Live Arcade downloads for 360 and iTunes applications and games for the iPod Touch and iPhone, being the very first games console not to use some sort of physical media is a leap into the unknown. But look at it this way. Sales of music CDs fell off the side of a cliff ever since iTunes bared its 79p, everything on your home computer, head. Sony, Apple and Microsoft’s TV show and film download services are going from strength to strength as is BBC’s iPlayer and Virgin’s on demand services.
Consumers like to browse through everything on offer from their very home and then chose what they want when they want it. The PSP Go entitles users to do just that. PSP games are limited to the size of a UMD, roughly around 1.8 GB. There are PS3 demos bigger than that, so I see no issues with the download size of the games and it’s very rare that a PSP uses all the space available. I know broadband speeds vary massively, but they are on an upwards curve and provided you have a decent connection, a whole PSP game should be downloaded within an hour. With the PlayStation Store, you needn’t worry that a game might not be in stock, especially with regards to older titles. No more sifting through used bargain bins, rejoice! Provided Sony deliver on their promise of having a large range of previously released PSP titles ready for the launch of the Go, users will be able to choose from a range of old and new titles without leaving their sofa. They even seem to be getting it right with the pricing of older games based on the digital release of Archer Maclean’s Mercury, only £4.79.
Not having a UMD drive has other advantages too. Quicker loading is a certainty, as is the lack of that horrible scratching noise every time a UMD drive tries to load anything. To me, it always sounded as if my PSP was eating its own internals. But more than anything, it reduces the size of the console. The PSP Go will be the first really pocket-able PSP model, something that Sony has always tried to get across since the original PSP 1000. Yet, it was never really possible because the console was always too long to fit comfortable in your jeans pocket. Sitting down with a PSP on your person was always an exercise in awkward grimaces as you tried not to snap your console in half or rip your trousers.
Another ting that Sony has led us to believe is that the PSP is a genuine alternative to an iPod or stand alone MP3 player. Again though, the shape of the device has always counted against it and it never really fulfilled this role. But now, the Go can truly be considered a competitive music player, thanks to its new shape, 16GB of memory out of the box and SensMe software.
Hopefully the build quality and materials used are of a higher standard than that of the current PSP 3000 and it looks as though the ergonomics have been given a thorough work over too. Early previews seem to confirm this; however I will not know to what extent these have been improved until I get my grubby mitts on one. Also, as a device that is portable, carrying around several UMD discs around (for example, on holiday) never really made any sense to me. Having Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, MotorStorm and Little Big Planet all ready to go (no pun intended) in one item is really appealing. But, along with the significance of it being a download only console and the other upgrades, it is the games that will make or break the PSP Go. Fortunately, the PSP Go will be launched alongside a huge range of games covering all genres.
More games in one year than any other for the PSP. There are a few reasons for this. One primary reason is Sony cutting the cost of dev kits by a massive 80%. However, I think the main reason is the PSP Go. Sony have obviously approached developers with the concept and explained that it will have a massive marketing push in time for Christmas, it is cheap to develop for and because it is download only, the developers get a bigger slice of the pie. Their investment is reasonably safe too because even if customers don’t take to the Go immediately, the PSP 3000 will continue and there will be revenue from games on UMD. It’s a win-win situation.
Yes, it won’t be cheap upon release, but if Sony can effectively put across to gamers that it is a premium product, it will appeal to a great number of people who enjoy digital distribution like me. I know collectors like to have boxes, discs and cartridges in their display cabinets (they will still be catered for with UMD releases), but the majority of people aren’t fussed with displaying their purchases. The music industry and popularity of PSN downloads have already proved this and the PSP Go takes this one step further into something I thought the PSP should have always been. Portable personified.

The PSP Go was launched to, well, a bit of a lukewarm reception at E3, just over a month ago. The heavily revised handheld console promises lighter weight, smaller dimensions and to be the very first download only games console.

I for one am hugely excited by the prospect of the PSP Go and the possibility of it writing a new chapter in the history of video games. There has been a lot of focus on the price of the machine, and at €249, it certainly isn’t cheap. But behind the noise of angry internet rants over Sony’s pricing strategy, the significance of such a device seems to have been lost.

The PSP Go is a hugely important step forward for Sony. It’s a gamble that the accountants at Sony HQ in Tokyo will hope stops the stream of lost money in recent times. While we already have PSN downloads for PS3, Xbox Live Arcade downloads for 360 and iTunes applications and games for the iPod Touch and iPhone, being the very first games console not to use some sort of physical media is a leap into the unknown. But look at it this way. Sales of music CDs fell off the side of a cliff ever since iTunes bared its 79p, everything on your home computer, head. Sony, Apple and Microsoft’s TV show and film download services are going from strength to strength as is BBC’s iPlayer and Virgin’s on demand services.

Consumers like to browse through everything on offer from their very home and then chose what they want when they want it. The PSP Go entitles users to do just that. PSP games are limited to the size of a UMD, roughly around 1.8 GB. There are PS3 demos bigger than that, so I see no issues with the download size of the games and it’s very rare that a PSP uses all the space available. I know broadband speeds vary massively, but they are on an upwards curve and provided you have a decent connection, a whole PSP game should be downloaded within an hour. With the PlayStation Store, you needn’t worry that a game might not be in stock, especially with regards to older titles. No more sifting through used bargain bins, rejoice! Provided Sony deliver on their promise of having a large range of previously released PSP titles ready for the launch of the Go, users will be able to choose from a range of old and new titles without leaving their sofa. They even seem to be getting it right with the pricing of older games based on the digital release of Archer Maclean’s Mercury, only £4.79.

Not having a UMD drive has other advantages too. Quicker loading is a certainty, as is the lack of that horrible scratching noise every time a UMD drive tries to load anything. To me, it always sounded as if my PSP was eating its own internals. But more than anything, it reduces the size of the console. The PSP Go will be the first really pocket-able PSP model, something that Sony has always tried to get across since the original PSP 1000. Yet, it was never really possible because the console was always too long to fit comfortable in your jeans pocket. Sitting down with a PSP on your person was always an exercise in awkward grimaces as you tried not to snap your console in half or rip your trousers.

Another ting that Sony has led us to believe is that the PSP is a genuine alternative to an iPod or stand alone MP3 player. Again though, the shape of the device has always counted against it and it never really fulfilled this role. But now, the Go can truly be considered a competitive music player, thanks to its new shape, 16GB of memory out of the box and SensMe software.

Hopefully the build quality and materials used are of a higher standard than that of the current PSP 3000 and it looks as though the ergonomics have been given a thorough work over too. Early previews seem to confirm this; however I will not know to what extent these have been improved until I get my grubby mitts on one. Also, as a device that is portable, carrying around several UMD discs around (for example, on holiday) never really made any sense to me. Having Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, MotorStorm and Little Big Planet all ready to go (no pun intended) in one item is really appealing. But, along with the significance of it being a download only console and the other upgrades, it is the games that will make or break the PSP Go. Fortunately, the PSP Go will be launched alongside a huge range of games covering all genres.

More games in one year than any other for the PSP. There are a few reasons for this. One primary reason is Sony cutting the cost of dev kits by a massive 80%. However, I think the main reason is the PSP Go. Sony have obviously approached developers with the concept and explained that it will have a massive marketing push in time for Christmas, it is cheap to develop for and because it is download only, the developers get a bigger slice of the pie. Their investment is reasonably safe too because even if customers don’t take to the Go immediately, the PSP 3000 will continue and there will be revenue from games on UMD. It’s a win-win situation.

Yes, it won’t be cheap upon release, but if Sony can effectively put across to gamers that it is a premium product, it will appeal to a great number of people who enjoy digital distribution like me. I know collectors like to have boxes, discs and cartridges in their display cabinets (they will still be catered for with UMD releases), but the majority of people aren’t fussed with displaying their purchases. The music industry and popularity of PSN downloads have already proved this and the PSP Go takes this one step further into something I thought the PSP should have always been. Portable personified.

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