Should the PSP stay or Go?

The new PSP Go has created a stir.

The new PSP Go has created a stir.

Sony are courting a lot of controversy with their new console PSP Go. This is mainly due to the fact it’s a download only device, with no UMD drive as per the older PSP models. The price of £250 is also causing a stir, with the PSP 3000 retailing for £100 less than the new model. Retailers are up in arms as well, because they’ll only make money from the sale of the console, with no added games sales at launch or in the future. So where does this leave this brave new venture from Sony and what are the implications for the future?

Retailers in Holland are already boycotting the device (Source: Eurogamer), with the largest one Nedgame (no not a bunch of neds tearing through your neighbourhood!) mentioning the price as a factor, and with no justification for it. The smaller screen and lack of UMD being a prime example of the new console having less features than the old model, with the addition of Bluetooth being the only new addition. The omission of a UMD drive is a big factor for the retailers, as without it, Nedgame and other retailers simply won’t be able to sell games to PSP Go customers. This is their main revenue stream, and is a mighty kick in the teeth for them. Also, downloadable games are tied into PSN accounts, so trading and swapping games will become a part of history. Nedgame also state that they don’t feel comfortable with Sony creating a monopoly on the software sales for PSP Go. Other retailers in Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain are following suit in not stocking the console, so it will be interesting to see what happens on the UK high street. ShopTo, the online retailer, is stocking the PSP Go, but owner Igor Cipolletta has reservations about it’s release saying: “I have the feeling that as a format it is almost dead before it has arrived, and it relies far too heavily on a customer base that is prepared to pay more for download content than the equivalent disc based product, and I suspect this market will soon dry up based on the technical limitations of the hardware”. Harsh words indeed.

PSP Gos older brother the PSP 3000 series.

The PSP 3000

I recently purchased a PSP 3000, after deciding I just couldn’t justify the extra expense of the new iteration. I bought the console for £120, then added Football Manager 2009 for £9, God Of War Chains of Olympus and GTA Vice City Stories together for £25. Football Manager alone is still £29.99 to download on the PSN store! I can pick up a 16Gb Memory Stick for £25 to give me the same storage as the Go, which still saves me money over the new console on it’s own! The difference in price between the UMD and download release of Football Manager 2009 is also something which should worry future PSP Go owners. I just don’t see how they can justify a year old game still being full price to download, when you get no packaging, manuals or disc that you get with the UMD release. This price stagnation is quite prevalent on PSN, and this lack of price cuts makes me think that once Sony have sold you your shiny new console, you’ll be paying top dollar to download a game, that you can buy for half, or less, of the retail price on the high street. Sony really are taking a monumental gamble, and I personally hope that it fails, otherwise the next Playstation that you buy could be download only, and the second hand and trade-in market will cease to exist. With Sony controlling the pricing of all the games on PSN you can say goodbye to any bargain buys. It doesn’t bear thinking about does it?

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

2 comments

  1. KrazyFace /

    I don’t really use my PSP much, I bought it coz I’m a gaming nut and can’t stop buying shiny appliances! What I’m saying is, there will be some who can’t help themselves and they will buy one, but I think these people will be few and far. I won’t be buying, because the current PSP already does what the Go! does and more! Like you said though, there’s no good reason to get a Go! It’s smaller sure (which is my main gripe about my PSP) and it’s probably lighter but that’s hardly a reason to shell out £250. Until Sony sort out the GAMES and ABILITIES of any PSP, there’s little reason to see this up-and-coming addition as anything more than a media grabber for the PSP range. The platform needs to bring its self in line with the funtionality of the iPhone to beat the DS and stand a chance of being a ‘must-have’ gadget.

  2. Idontthinkso /

    I will not buy another psp(I already own god of war edition)until sony adds another analog stick.

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