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It's a No Go...

  • Oct 5, 2009
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I'm a huge gamer.  And I happen to have a huge network of friends.  It's how I'm able to play a lot of games early on before actually buying them.  When you're in a gang of ten people (eight of whom play games regularly) usually there's someone who will get a hold of something within that group.  When my friends and I saw the PSP Go for the first time, my thought was, "No one in our group is gonna get that thing."  Well, I shouldn't have been surprised when someone actually DID.  And yes, I do point and laugh at him.  I point and laugh because he already has a PSP.  And therein lies the problem with PSP Go.  If you already have a PSP... one has to wonder why you would even bother to update to the PSP Go in the first place.  With some systems there's usually an incentive to update.  When it came from the DS to the DSi there were lots of bells and whistles... and sure, the DSi may not have been worth an upgrade either... but they never took away the reason you were buying it in the first place.  And that's the big problem with the PSP Go!  The DSi, one can at least argue, is worth it for those who have a DS Lite.  You'll have a lot harder time trying to do that with the PSP Go.

So lets start with some of the PSP Go's strengths.  The first is simple, the design is actually nice.  It slides to reveal the buttons.  Kind of like some of the cell phones you've no-doubt seen.  Whether or not this is a good thing is hard to determine.  The original PSP wasn't exactly fit for sitting down for long periods of gaming if you have big hands.  Yet because of the PSP Go's size and stature some may find it's a bit more cramped.  Even though the original PSP could be a pain for big hands you can say without a doubt that not everything seemed so cramped together.  It's an even bigger problem if you've got big hands 

It also has a lot of internal memory.  About 16 gigs or so.  This is great, but that memory is going to go fast.  And this is where we get into one of the PSP Go's biggest problems.  It's for downloads only.  All the games you want and all the movies you want... must be downloaded.  Full price.  In shirt, the handheld console doesn't support the UMD format.  Or, to put it in simpler terms... if you already own a PSP and you have games for it... you can't play them on the PSP Go.  So don't get rid of your PSP--no matter what deal you find at the used Game Store.  If you want to play games on your PSP Go, you have to download them... at full price.  And they'll take up memory fast on that internal memory.  But the problem is simple... why the hell would anyone who already owns a PSP actually WANT to buy a PSP Go?  With no UMD support, no less?  I understand this idea of going totally digital and all, but the PSP was already a pretty well established handheld to begin with.  For a handheld to go fully digital after already establishing itself just seems like a bad idea.  Especially given the PSP Go's enormous price tag (for just $50 dollars more you could buy a PS3... or you could buy an XBOX 360 for the SAME Price).  It's the idea that they take out quite a bit of stuff.  Any accessory you used for your previous PSP models (either 1000, 2000, or 3000... isn't it disturbing that within the past three years we're already on the FOURTH incarnation of the PSP?) you can't use anymore.  That's ridiculous.

Some say that the PSP Go! is meant for something different.  Other than playing UMDs... which is crazy given that Sony actually expects you to download each game you've already got.  There is a way to transfer UMD data to the internal memory of the PSP Go, but for some reason they decided NOT to release that in the United States.  I don't know why.  Maybe we'll get it later... and if we do it better soon.  

People also like to Argue that the PSP Go is for "On the go!"  If so I must say (and it say with all do respect) that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  THAT'S the PSP Go Fanboy battle cry?  "It's for on the Go?"  Seriously?  Newsflash folks... the PSP is a HANDHELD SYSTEM!  It was already something you could take on the go.  That's what you do with handheld gaming.  It's all for on the go.  This is what handheld gaming evolved into.  Seriously.  If you have a DS or a GBA or a PSP you've no doubt taken it with you when you have a long flight... or a long bus ride.  For all anyone knows you might've played it in the Doctor's office while waiting for a check up.  Handheld gaming is already about being on the go.  The only thing the PSP Go actually fixes is that you won't need to carry a case for all your UMDs... because you wouldn't be able to play them anyway!  So if you want that, "It's for on the go!" to be your battlecry, go right ahead... saying it more doesn't make it any less stupid.

But there's more the PSP Go gets wrong.  The screen is smaller.  This is because the PSP Go is smaller.  I'm not sure how everyone will react to a smaller screen, but you have to know that it's there.  You also can't use any of the accessories that worked on previous PSP models.  Not the Memory Stick Duo... nothing.  You're basically starting over.  This is terrible when you consider you're paying 250 bucks, and it's a handheld that's been stripped of what it already had.  The lack of UMD support is a big hit to the PSP Go, but the price is definitely a rip off.

Now let's be clear on something.  Sony has NEVER been about appealing to gamers.  Hell no.  Their systems always survived because of excellent third party support.  But Sony themselves have always marketed their systems as something other than a gaming device.  They put a lot behind the original Playstation, but lately when they've released a new system, they never push it as a gaming device.  When the Playstation 2 came out, Sony wasn't pushing all the awesome games coming.  No.  They pushed the DVD Player capabilities, hoping that would sell the system.  Even when it started selling because of games, Sony didn't really push that.  The Playstation 3 they pushed because it was (at the time) the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market (at $600 bucks!  You can get them cheaper now).  Sony is pushing their consoles more as an entertainment center than a gaming device.  Granted, Microsoft does this too, but Microsoft doesn't have to be reminded that they made a gaming system.  For whatever reason Sony does.  Whenever we talk about good gaming systems, most of us mention the games... Sony doesn't.  That's not to say the PSP is bad or anything.  It actually does have good games.  All I'm trying to get you to understand is that when it came to the PSP Go, thinking about their built in fanbase was not one of their priorities, and leaving out the UMD support wasn't something they thought of as a "dumb move," in the slightest.  Rather they saw it as a pretty smart move.  You have to understand, Sony is just doing what they do best, making sure you know all about the bells and whistles.  They want you to know about everything their handheld can do and all the features you'll get with it.  Almost every time Sony advertises, for example, they're advertising based on how awesome their system is.  Not how awesome the games you're going to get on it are.  Even Nintendo with the Wii made sure people were thinking about games when they put their system out there.  Sony doesn't do that sort of thing.  Again, all I want you to understand is that the lack of UMD support doesn't bother Sony and they don't see it as a problem at all.

And you just might enjoy the Digital Download thing... if you don't already own a PSP.  But even if you don't own a PSP shelling out 250 bucks is asking for a lot when you could by the 3000 model for less... and get slightly more with it.  If you already own a PSP, though?  There's no real reason to upgrade to the PSP Go.  Especially not with that enormous price and no way to transfer your UMD games to it at this point in time (at least not for US). 

It feels like a giant leap backwards for Sony.  Digital Download is fine and all, but with a handheld that's going strong (sort of) and soon to be entering its fifth year it might've been far better for Sony to actually wait until their next handheld device to do such a thing.  Even for those who don't have a PSP and are interested in getting one it's just not worth it at this point in time.

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October 05, 2009
Lol Sean your completely right. Sony has put a sucker bet on the table hoping that the stupidity of consumers will bail them out. I hope the PSP Go comes to a complete halt over the next year when they come out with a the 5000 series psp console lol
October 05, 2009
Not that I was planning to get one but nice to know I made the right choice by purchasing the DS Lite a couple months ago. Nice informative writeup.
October 05, 2009
Great to know! I was planning on buying this for someone for Christmas...I guess I can get something cheaper...
October 05, 2009
There's no way I can actually recommend this.  If it was way cheaper and supported the UMD format I would be way more psyched for it.  But as it stands... it's not even worth it for those who don't own a PSP.
October 05, 2009
I really appreciate your review. I guess my nephew can ask us for something else.
More PSP Go reviews
review by . October 15, 2009
psp go
What's the deal with the "PSP GO" anyways? Does anybody understand the logic behind this product?  It seems to me that the "negatives" greatly outweigh the "positives".  What puzzles me the most is that they actually took away features (like the ability to play UMD games and movies) and then slapped on a more expensive price tag!  Also, by taking away the UMD functions... Sony is actually kind of telling consumers that the "UMD" is now …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this game


Sony recently announced the release of the new PSP Go, a sleeker more advanced version of the original handheld videogame, movie, and video gadget. Go is half the size of the original PSP and built to download and store video, pictures and games. Go devices have built-in wireless Internet and Bluetooth capabilities. The PSP Go will be priced at $249.
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Number of Players: 1-4 (Most Games)
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: Playstation Portable Go

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