Print 12 comment(s) - last by aqwan135.. on Dec 20 at 8:18 PM

Targeted at professionals rather than teenagers

The original PSP-1000 was released five years ago in Japan. The competing Nintendo DS used flash memory cards for games, but Sony decide to introduce the Universal Media Disc (UMD) capable of holding 1.8GB of data, which was massive for its time.

The PSP Go introduced in October was supposed to introduce new options to the PSP line. Sold concurrently with the latest PSP-3000, it replaces the UMD with 16GB of flash memory. This allows gamers to have around a dozen games with them without having to carry around discs and swap them out when they want to play a different game.

Music and videos can also be stored, allowing the PSP Go to compete somewhat against Apple's iPod Nano. Additional storage is provided via Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash cards. 16GB is the largest size available at the moment, but there are smaller sizes available. The M2 format tops out at 32GB, and there are rumors that Sandisk is working on such a card based on 32nm technology.

The PSP Go is 35% smaller and 16% lighter than the PSP-3000. The screen is smaller, but retains the same pixel count as the PSP-3000. This allows the PSP Go to have a higher pixel density and a sharper image. Unfortunately, the battery is also smaller, and only allows for 3-5 hours of gaming.

This still makes it a viable option gaming option for commuters who carpool or take public transit and are looking for some entertainment. This is a very large market in Japan, and a large percentage of people on Japanese subways can be seen with a DS Lite. Sony is clearly targeting urban professionals more than teenage gamers.

A recent trip to Asia meant that I was faced with a 15 hour flight with limited entertainment options. I picked up a PSP Go along with a few games like Gran Turismo, GTA: Liberty City Stories, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and Rock Band. Downloading games via WiFi is pretty slow, and the best option is a broadband connection and transfer via USB cable. Charging through a USB port is possible, but a charge from an AC adapter is required if the battery is depleted.

The PSP Go fits perfectly in a suit jacket pocket, and I now find myself playing with the PSP Go whenever I'm early for a meeting or waiting in line. I used to carry around a Nintendo DS, but having all of my games loaded on the PSP Go is much more convenient.

Holding the PSP Go is a little bit awkward at first because of the sliding screen and takes a little bit of getting used to. Gamers with large hands may want to try one out for themselves before making a purchasing decision.

The biggest criticism so far for the PSP Go has been on price. NAND flash prices have doubled in the last six months due to demand from SSDs and portable media players. Price for flash memory had been forecasted to go down, not up.

A Sony representative pointed out that the PSP Go is only around $50 more than a 16GB iPod Nano, and is much more fun. However, Sony can afford to subsidize the PSP Go, since the move to digital downloads will allow the company to reduce the cost of manufacturing, packaging, and distributing games.

The PSP Go will be most attractive to highly mobile professionals who are buying their first PSP or seeking the greatest portability. There are still many people who don't have a PSP, or are looking for a better gaming experience than Apple's iPhone or the Nintendo DS Lite. Those who have an investment in UMDs or are price-sensitive will want to stick with the PSP-3000.

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Another favorable review
By bug77 on 12/11/2009 10:39:40 AM , Rating: 3
This makes two of them and the other one I also read on DT (iirc).

But for the rest of the world, PSP Go offers less features than PSP-3000 for more money and forces you to buy your entire game collection again, since you can't use UMDs and Sony won't exchange them for the online equivalent.

But aside from these two "minor" downsides, yes, PSP Go makes a lot of sense.

RE: Another favorable review
By MozeeToby on 12/11/2009 10:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, make any games already purchased freely available for downloand and it would make sense. Rolling out an incremental improvement (not a next generation one) and breaking backwards compatability is just stupid. Even if you had to physically mail in the UMD disks you might be able to convince me, but until then it's a no go.

RE: Another favorable review
By Jansen on 12/11/2009 11:10:06 AM , Rating: 5
Two main points in the article you might have missed:

1) The convenience of not have to carry flash memory or UMDs is a big feature

2) The PSP Go is targeting people who might not buy the PSP-3000. By expanding the market you bring more people in. If you don't have a PSP already then you don't don't have an investment in UMDs. The PSP-3000 will still be produced.

RE: Another favorable review
By bug77 on 12/11/2009 1:21:42 PM , Rating: 1
I stand corrected.

1) Accessing PSN with a PSP Go is nothing like accessing PSN with a PSP-3000 with a MS installed. Groundbreaking new feature.
2) I wasn't aware there's a market consisting of people looking to spend more for less. Kudos to Sony for catering to the new audience.

RE: Another favorable review
By Oobu on 12/12/2009 9:01:01 AM , Rating: 1
There's always a market for people who want to buy nice things. In fact, I thought everyone knew that the higher price stuff is always better. ALWAYS.

RE: Another favorable review
By Hiawa23 on 12/14/2009 9:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure what Sony was after with the GO, but I have a launch 1001 model, in mint condition, & honestly, I saw no need to upgrade to the 2000 or 3000, & the GO has no appeal to me, infact, the GO is the worst of the models.

My only minor issue with the 1001 is the ghosting, I certainly don't want a smaller PSP screen as it's already too small, I surely don't want DD only when I have 50GBs worth of M2 & memsticks, & over 30 umd games.

All Sony needed to do for me was add a 2nd nub, improve the speakers, & improve the battery life & I was good. The GO does none of that, my 1001 model already does everything the GO does & more. Seems like it will be an epic fail for Sony. If anything the GO should be cheaper than the 3000 not more.

RE: Another favorable review
By aqwan135 on 12/20/2009 8:18:13 PM , Rating: 1

fr ee sh i pp ing

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(air max) $34



Competing with the iPod Touch/iPhone NOT the iPod Nano
By nafhan on 12/11/2009 11:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
Really, the Sony guy compares this to the iPod Nano? It's definitely meant to compete with the Touch or iPhone, and professionals and commuters are the group most likely to purchase or have an iPod Touch or an iPhone.

By Jansen on 12/11/2009 11:11:56 AM , Rating: 2
The conversation was centered around the high price of flash memory.

The Convenience isn't Limited to the Go
By ChronoReverse on 12/11/2009 11:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
With obvious exception of size, all those features are available to even the PSP1000. That is, access to the PSN store and the ability to play the store downloaded games from solid state memory.

The reason why people complain about it is that you're paying more for just a smaller size that comes with the loss of functionality. Perhaps the logistics were too difficult but Sony lost a lot of points when they scrapped the trade-in program for existing UMDs.

The claim is that the PSPGo is for those getting their first PSP but frankly the market is saturated. Those who want a more dedicated gaming platform already have one (whether it's the three iterations of the PSP or the same for the DS). The remaining market is similar to the Touch's and frankly, the PSPGo is less compelling in terms of functionality in comparison. This segment isn't as interested in the Go's dedicated gaming abilities and really, the Touch's abilities are already catching up in many ways.

It's not sufficient for those who want what the dedicated gaming system can offer, but most of those people already have an earlier PSP or DS. There's some space for the Go, but it's slim.

By Ard on 12/13/2009 2:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. You don't need a PSPGo to take advantage of the convenience factor found in having access to downloadable games. It still makes more sense to pick up a PSP-3000 for $170 and a 16GB Pro Duo for $48-60 (saving you $20-30 over the Go). This gives you both the benefits of truly portable gaming and access to the, currently, lower prices of discrete media.

Like the idea
By cochy on 12/11/2009 10:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
I love the idea of going 100% downloadable media and commend Sony for doing this (retailers aren't happy though). I wouldn't pick up a Go simply because of the high price point at this time. I'm also not terribly impressed that the screen size got smaller. I own a PSP 2000. I use it when I travel and mainly retro-game with it, downloading $5 PSone classics.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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