Thursday, June 11, 2009

PSP Gone.

I wonder who's in charge of Sony's portable division. Hell, who's been in charge for the past few years?


Honestly, the more I hear about the PSP Go, the more I shake my head.

The latest news surrounding Sony's new iteration is a bit of a doozy, but not unexpected. While the console's lack of a UMD drive more than speaks for itself as far as future releases go, Sony's expectation that nearly all upcoming PSP games will be downloadable following October 1st makes me shift my decision from simply ignoring the Go's existence to raising red flags in my head.

I've already run my mouth endlessly about how I feel a 4th redesign of the system is needless, but I used the console's momentary failings as a gaming platform as the primary reason. Truth be told, I think the Go is a fine idea, and a worthwhile redesign of the system consumers should've gotten in the first place.


The problem I have with it is the fact that it's coming after two previous redesigns, nearly indistinguishable from each other.

(In descending order, PSP-1000,2000,3000 models)

While the new PSP can boast a wealth of new things to the table, the previous two cannot. Other than worthless incremental, largely unnoticeable upgrades like a sharper screen or more RAM, they're functionally identical (I've been using my 1000 model for the past 4 years), and unfortunately previous consumers who purchased this model not knowing what Sony had in store are unfortunately hung out to dry.

With Sony trying to move away from their failed UMD format, it means the current 50 million plus owners are going to be in a bit of a bind. Not only will they have useless drive attached to their units, but they'll have to re-invest in Memory Sticks as well. The average PSP game takes anywhere from 100MB to 1.60 GB, and the average owner possesses a 1 or 2 gigabyte stick. The math isn't difficult.

Moreover, not everyone has internet access, and even those that do don't possess wi-fi. If Sony is going to go the downloadable route, this alienates even more customers from their future releases. Thankfully, they're leaving the decision up to third parties as to whether or not they want to continue using UMD, and hopefully more are like Capcom, who still has a head on its shoulders regarding their fanbase.

Another problem worth considering is the existing PSP owner who may want to upgrade. What are they to do with their existing, now unplayable collection? Will Sony collect and redeem UMDs for download vouchers? Give software that allows the ripping and compression of UMDs (not likely) so they remain playable?

The PSP Go in my opinion has a number of problems, with very few solutions. Sony wants to offer this thing alongside the PSP, says the go won't replace the current model, but I have a hunch it's just PR speak. Nintendo said the same thing about the DS Lite, and it was such a functional upgrade that became a mainstay. With Sony going UMD less in the foreseeable future, what reason will there be to continue using the old models? This is another huge gamble that'll divide the PSP community, and further confuse consumers.

I suppose time will tell moving forward, but I really have to ask again:

WHERE is Sony getting all this money from?

1 comment:

  1. I remember selling my psp for cash towards my 360, I didnt miss it much, I miss it alot more now on the long train ride to and from the bronx,

    I would consider picking up a psp Go, its a good fit for me because I dont currently own a psp, but what I mostly feel sorry about is that they are changing the USB port so that you have to buy a brand new usb cable to connect with,

    not only that but you will need to replace all your old cables as well if you used them to connect the psp to your tv,

    so basically if your a current psp user your screwed, but if your a new user then it looks like a good investment...until they reformat and upgrade all over again.