Expensive device leaves UMD owners in the dust

Yesterday was the first day that the PSP Go was available for sale at retail. Reaction was mixed, as many potential customers were displeased with the high price.

The new model (PSP-N1000) will sell for a MSRP of $249.99 compared to the $169.99 of the older PSP-3000 model that will continue to be sold indefinitely. It has a smaller 3.8 inch screen, versus the 4.3 inches of the PSP-3000 which uses Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc (UMD) format. The PSP Go also features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The latest generation of the PlayStation Portable lineup is the first to use digital downloads from the PlayStation Store as the exclusive means to buy a game. Games and demos are downloaded to the console's 16GB internal flash memory either directly, through Sony's software on a PC, or through a PlayStation 3. Additional storage of up to 32GB is available by purchasing a Memory Stick Micro device.

Sony had announced plans for a UMD trade-in program so that PSP owners would be able to use their old games, but nixed that due to "legal and technical issues". Many gamers are thus sticking with their older PSP models instead of upgrading to the PSP Go.

The firm hopes to make the entire PSP software library available at the PSP Store, but so far there are already 225 games available for download. Some retailers are upset that they will not see any revenue from software for the PSP Go, and have decided to boycott it.
The whole point of the PSP Go is to deliver games that are more affordable in a smaller, lighter package that has greater battery life. Sony is targeting gamers who don't yet have a portable console and Nintendo DS Lite owners who are looking for better graphics. Time will tell whether Sony will be successful or not.

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