PSPgo – Out With The Old

Everybody knows that the release of the PSPgo will see the end of the UMD drive, and usher in a new era of download only media. Sony are allowing industry insiders some hands-on time with the new PSPgo, and despite the fact this preview program hasn’t reached rural Leicestershire yet, it hasn’t stopped me sniffing around for information of what’s in and what has been left out of Sony’s new handheld.

First up the firmware,  the latest firmware for the current PSP’s is v5.51, the demo PSPgo’s are running with v5.70, unsurprisingly most of the changes seem to be about removing the options related to the UMD drive and replacing them with new options for the 16gig (14.74gig available) of on board storage.

  • Video Settings has the UMD options removed
  • System Settings now has ‘Display Panel Close’ option giving the opportunity to select either ‘Standard’ which displays the large clock, or ‘Sleep Mode’ which errr… puts it in sleep mode. All options to do with UMD are also removed in favour of ‘Format System Storage’, strangely ‘Battery Information’ is also absent.
  • Power Save Settings loses the option for ‘Backlight Auto-Adjust’
  • New menu option for ‘Bluetooth Device Settings’ allowing you to turn the Bluetooth on & off, and ‘Manage Bluetooth Devices’

The changes don’t just stop at the UMD and firmware however, as we’ve previously reported the Memory Stick Pro Duo format has been dropped in favour of the Micro stick or M2 format used in a number of Sony Ericsson phones, although these phones also allow the use of the more popular and slightly cheaper Micro SD cards.

A number of ports have also been changed or dropped including no more USB port, instead the PSPgo will now have a proprietary port similar to that of the iPod dock connector  and we all know what a proprietary port means, yes the dreaded proprietary cable. Although I hate proprietary cables and connections this move appears to have allowed Sony to remove the AV port which will lead to internal space savings and costs, so its not all bad news as the new port seems to allow charging, media transfer and external connectivity all in one lovely connection.

Some people may point out that Sony have made a few too many things obsolete with the release of the PSPgo, including the whole back catalogue of cheap and readily available games, everybody’s memory sticks and a wealth of cables and accessories that most people will probably already have forked out for, its issues like this that despite the PSPgo being a fantastic looking and brave (digital download only) new product that it isn’t exactly endearing itself to its existing 50m strong customer-base.

There are of course loads of things to look forward to with the new PSPgo along with confirmation that Sony will be doing some kind of rebate program for people to trade their UMD titles in for a digital copy, the details of which will presumably be announced nearer the October 1st release date.

Source: Digital Foundry.