You might think cool hardware would be enough, but, you would be wrong. Apple has cool hardware, but after playing a lot of games on a touchscreen, I didn't really care for it. I was ready to jump over to the PSPgo, which would deliver a far better gaming experience.
To be honest, I love the hardware, its cool, no worries. Smaller buttons, yeah, well, its ok. I don't mind. I have man hands and I can make it work. I really like the controls being under the screen, I don't have to hold up the PSP as high, it just "feels" better. I love the sliding mechanism. Some themes you can get make it so that when you slide it shut, a clock appears. Its really cool. Some of the controls, like the volume control, are in a truly irritating place. But its small, and portable, and sacrifices were made and I'm ok with that. I am a Sony guy, I love their stuff, and once again the Sony hardware team does not disappoint!
Problem is, when you roll a piece of hardware that has no UMD slot, you better have some awesome supporting infrastructure. And we know what cool supporting infrastructure is thanks to the iPhone and its Appstore.
There are a lot more games for the iphone than for the PSP. But the PSP is supposed to be a better, pedigreed gaming machine. We all know it. There are more Mustangs than Ferraris out there and most of us would rather have a Ferrari. And as for the gobs of games for the iphone, over 20,000 I think, how many games does one need, anyway? And most of them are junk.
So i was really excited about the PSPgo. Sony knows games and gaming systems. The PSPgo should smoke any wimpy touch screen gaming "system". And in terms of hardware, I think it does.
But the PSP go has its own issues. The bottom line is, you should buy a PSP with a UMD slot - for now.
Here are the reasons:
There are only 7 "mini" game titles in the app store at the time of this review.
There are 16 "exclusive" PSP downloadable titles.
Then there are hundreds of PSP games, but, the issue there is that many of these PSP games cost LESS on UMD than they do on the PSPgo! So not only do you lose the ability to buy a USED game, and the ability to RENT the game from gamefly, you also actualy get to pay MORE for the games in download format. Its INCREDIBLE!
Ape escape... $13.99 on Amazon.com, $19.99 via digital download on the PSP.
beaterator... $36.99 on Amazon.com, $39.99 via digital download for psp.
Other games are the SAME PRICE as getting a hard copy. Except, you don't get to sell or trade that hard copy when you are done.
The biggest software source that I have access to a huge back catalog of PSP games that are NO LONGER IN PRINT. Gee. I'm super unimpressed. We all know the only reason games go out of print is because they aren't selling anymore and you can buy a used copy at gamestop for $5.
And guess what - I could access all this software from a PSP1000, PSP2000, or PSP3000, and buy used UMDs and sell my games when I'm done.
The downloadable games should be CHEAPER than buying a hard copy. You aren't paying for extra convenience. You should be paying less because that game did not have to be pressed and distributed thousands of miles to get to you.
In addition, the Playstation store - which is your most convenient way of getting games - is very poorly set up. Forget seeing a video of the game, as you can on Amazon. None of the games for sale even have screen shots so I can't tell what the heck i'm buying. There is less information available than on the back of a UMD case in the store. Hello 1995!
There are also no customer reviews, so I can't make a judgement from that.
The free Rockband Lite took 30 minutes to download, which seemed waaay too long and a lot longer than the iPhone games I've been buying. In a world where you can download a Kindle book in 2 minutes, and a iPhone game in less than 5, without even using WIFI, a 30 minute wifi required download is going to get old in a hurry. Oh yes, I know I could tether it to a computer or PS3 with a USB cable. Hellllllo 2004. Lets not brag about that too loudly, the PSPgo is starting to be a King of Inconvenience.
The bad appstore, poor download prices, and lack of cheap, addictive games is a total deal killer for me. Yes, Sony will fix this. Over time. Not by Christmas 2009.
Buy a PSP3000 this year. And leave the PSPgo for another time, after Sony works out its growing pains...
Ignore my score for a moment, please, because it doesn't really mean much. Looking at the scores already here on Amazon.com, I completely understand and can agree with most of them. As such, it's hard to really place a score on this new device. Honestly, I don't think there's been such a contentious electronic device launch like the PSP Go in...well, recent memory. Having refreshed the PSP what feels like a hundred times already, Sony, presumably feeling the sting from Apple's success with the iPhone/iTouch as a digital gaming device, decided to refresh the PSP yet again. And herein lies the problem.
The Go gets rid of the UMD feature of all of the previous PSPs and embraces the digital world in a remarkable way for a gaming device. Without getting too far into the "owning versus not owning debate" (let's keep this civil), a lot of people have flocked to the iPhone's bite-sized, digital-only gaming and Sony's new direction is pretty much inevitable. If a way of presenting games is making money, a company will always follow suit. The problem is that with the lack of a UMD drive, Sony's faithful who've purchased at least one PSP in the past are left high and dry. For individuals who have a nice UMD collection going, this move can only be met (and has understandably been met) with vitriol, with calls of "why are you ignoring us?" There was talk, at one point, of having a UMD transfer system that would allow gamers to somehow turn their UMD into a digital purchase. This was scrapped in the USA even though, from the sounds of it, Sony Europe still has a program for some games. Then there's the issue of the price. Buyers can easily purchase the slightly older PSP-3000 for about $170, $80 less than the PSP Go's $250 price point. To make matters worse, any of the digital products being released for the PSP Go will work on prior models, as long as they have a memory stick. Yikes.
All of this history going into today leaves the question is the PSP Go worth it? Well, that kind of depends (with one huge caveat I'll mention in a bit) on the consumer. The Go is about 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000 (more so for the original PSP) and has a slick sliding system that hides the keys. When closed, it's roughly the same size as an iPhone, a tad longer, wider and rounder but almost the same size. Unlike the other PSPs, this one does seem a lot more portable. It also does look and feel like a nice expensive piece of electronics. I remember when I first held the original PSP in my hands and it felt like an expensive system; this brings back memories of that day. While it doesn't have the UMD drive, it does come with 16 GB of storage space (which could cost you $60ish to get the same amount of space on the PSP 3000). One of the bigger new features, though, is the Bluetooh technology. The latest firmware update (available today) will allow tethering to your cell phone, which, if your plan allows for it, will allow you to use your cell phone as modem if you don't have Wi-fi available. It's a nicety and one I won't be able to use (thanks AT&T) but somehow I don't think a cell phone, even 3G, will be strong enough to consistently play online or be quick for downloads.
Not much comes in the box. You get a cell phone-like charging kit, based on a new framework for charging. It's kind of a "one jack fits all" multi-purpose plug-in. The cord has a USB connector on one side and the cell-phone-like plug-in for the PSP. This same jack will be used for other purposes like TV out, etc. This means that any of your old accessories won't work on the new system. It also comes with a voucher to download the PSP Go version of Rock Band Unplugged; this version is free to start out and comes with five songs ("Buddy Holly," "ABC," etc.) and then you just buy additional tracks à la carte. The demo for Patapon 2 comes pre-loaded, as well. The final thing, besides the manual, is the Media Go software which you can also download from the internet, to purchase games on your PC to transfer to your PSP. Nothing fancy. As a quick update, I've had more time to mess around with it and have started using the Media Go to download files. Like a cell phone, you can plug the PSP Go into your computer through it's power/USB jack to charge the phone. Media Go acts like iTunes (and has a similar skin) so you can download games through Media Go, directly to your PSP Go. It's a lot faster. As an example, it took me around the same time to download/install God of War (over 1 GB) via Media Go as it did Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (200ish MB) via the PSP Go 802.11b Wi-fi. The synching process will be familiar to anyone who's used iTunes or Zune software and is actually a bit easier and quicker, even if it takes an additional step.
So, again, is it worth it? This brings us back to that one caveat: the price. If you're not a current PSP owner, have embraced digital-only gaming and don't mind dropping $250 (as a comparison, you could get an Xbox 360 or a Wii for that price or less; or, for $50 more, a PS3) on a "new" gaming system that is technically about four years old in terms of games (meaning, not a "next generation" PSP), then yes. The PSP Go is a worthy purchase. It's still the same PSP, a strong, powerful device that has a good assortment of fun games. Even when the most angry at the product, you have to admit that. It's just a great device, whatever version you buy. But it's just not as well-rounded and consumer-beneficial as the older, cheaper models. So, if you're not that person above, either keep (or upgrade to) the PSP-3000 and you have the benefit of not only getting all the new digital games and "minis" available today but also play UMDs.
I like mine and am glad I purchased it. I love the portability of it and the lack of UMDs. But, I'll be honest, the PSP-3000 is still a cheaper and more well-rounded option.
on October 26, 2009
First off, I'll begin by saying I own a PSP Go...which unfortunately about 99% of all reviewers do not. So please accept a review from someone who has purchased one and logged about 30 hours of playtime.
I sold my PSP1000 this summer to fund the purchase of a replacement xbox that RROD'd on me. I've been wanting to get another PSP since, especially with the advancement of PSN games and PS1 games on the PS Store. The PSP Go only fueled my desire to get another PSP. One of my biggest gripes with the PSP1000 (which applies to the 2000 and 3000 as well) was the UMD drive and not-so-portable size.
Size. The Go really is small. You won't realize how small it is until you've actually handled one. It is only a fraction larger than my cell phone. I know some people put it in their pockets, and it certainly is small enough to do that, however I do not for fear of scratching the screen. But it can be carried anywhere in a pocket, unlike the previous models.
Screen. Coming from a 1000 unit, the screen is much brighter and much more vibrant colors. It looks gorgeous and the games really pop!
Analog Stick. Much more improved feel, added resistance.
Buttons. There is much less travel, and almost a "click" to the buttons. I much prefer that, as the older models' buttons just felt too mushy. Even the L/R buttons are better. Many have complained that they are hard to reach. People, you don't have to wrap your fingers all the way around the buttons! Just tap the tip that overlaps the side of the unit to press the buttons, they were designed that way!!
Bluetooth. This is incredible. I have a nice set of bluetooth headphones that I love to use with the system. Not necessary, but just a bonus. I have used my PS3 controller with the unit once, and it is incredible, but the problem still lies in holding the PSP. If you're holding the PS3 controller, who's holding the PSP? I haven't figured out the usefulness yet, unless you buy Sony's proprietary cradle.
Volume. I never remember my 1000 playing this loud. Part of that is the fact that the Go's speakers are on the front of the unit, versus the bottom of the unit (i.e. under your hands) on the previous models.
Pause Feature. This should be included on every system, portable or not. Better yet, stupid game developers need to abandon the "Save Point" system altogether. That's the dumbest thing ever. Sony has remedied that as best they can with the Pause feature.
Finish. The "Piano" finish has no place in a portable unit. It gets greasy, smudgy, and just looks awful. Sure, the screen is fine as is, but sony should have definitely used the flat black from the bottom sliding portion for the rest of the unit. That flat black holds no smudges, doesn't reflect, and provides more grip. Shiny =/= better.
Battery. This is by far the worst part. I can only get 4 hours with full volume and screen brightness. That just isn't enough, especially when there is no UMD drive. I can get over this as long as the battery has a fairly long life, but having to recharge this often will mean the battery might not last very long. I want several years out of it!
UMD/Lack of UMD. What do you prefer? People are offering way too much criticism of this aspect. Sony is not replacing the UMD nor the PSP3000. It is simply trying to offer a product to a specific customer. I prefer it this way. It makes the system much more portable not having to carry around 7 fruity little game "totes" with your 20 different UMDs when you go on a trip. I never liked that.
If you already have a PSP, this was not intended for you, get over it. If you are looking to buy your first PSP, and don't want to carry around a bunch of little UMDs, this is for you. I just don't understand why people are giving Sony so much flack for just adding more options. When they came out with the Purple Hannah Montana bundle, did everyone cry because it was just dumb? No, sony was trying to win over new customers of a different audience. It isn't meant for everyone! It is simply another option...an option that I very much enjoy.
If sony had made the PSP Go flat black finished all around, and a longer batter life, I would have given 5 stars. As is, the Go is still a great portable game system, the most portable of all.
on November 7, 2009
I live in Japan, and since the Go was released here one month after it came out in other markets, I had plenty of time to read the reviews. Hopefully you realize, like I did, that a large majority of the negative reviews are from those who have never held the console in their hands. I'll offer my insight as someone who has owned the Go for about a week.
Pros: Great games that are easy to download; highly portable; stylish; ample memory; vibrant screen; great ergonomics; blue tooth; Wi-Fi; PS3 syncing; does more than play games (music, videos, photo-viewing, web-browsing, Skype); game-pause feature; value.
Cons: For me, none. If you were hoping to be able to transfer UMDs, thrive off of buying/selling used games, don't have a way to download games, or you're not willing to spend $250 on an excellent handheld device, the list of cons grows.
All in all, I couldn't be happier with the PSP Go. I had high expectations, and I wasn't disappointed.
on October 22, 2010
There are plenty of reviews outlining the shortcomings of the lack of a UMD device in the PSPgo. And I could overlook many of the shortcomings discussed as I had no UMD library to worry about, as I had no PSP device before purchasing the PSPgo.
Or so I thought.
It is has been a year after the PSPgo release, and I guess I believed the hype about Sony making the majority of existing games available via the Playstation Store. Big mistake. As of October 2010, Amazon lists 1200+ titles for the PSP, but Sony's Playstation Store is only showing just over 200 titles available for download for PSP.
And it isn't just the old titles that are lacking. Take the title "Kingdom Hearts, Birth By Sleep" (released Sept 2010, a month prior to this review) and buy it for your PSPgo. What? Can't do it? That's right, it isn't available except on UMD, thus, it is a "PSP-only" game. Furthermore, in the game hype and promo for this title, there's no mention of if or when such a game might be available for the PSPgo. It seems that Sony believes their own hype--that a PSP and a PSPgo are the same thing--that they see no need to require that games being released only on UMD be tagged in a way so that PSPgo owners aren't led into believing that the game will also be available to them. Hmm...perhaps that would hurt sales for PSPgo?
Sony screwed up when they dropped the plan to allow transfer of UMD titles to the PSPgo. That was the plan announced in Summer '09. But when they changed their mind ("for technical and legal reasons"), they effectively orphaned the PSPgo. As long as UMD transfer is not possible and there is no simultaneous release of titles on UMD and download, the PSPgo will be an inferior and different product to the PSP. I have only had mine for a day and regret the purchase once the full picture became clear. (An impulse birthday gift purchase. If I had consulted Amazon reviews first, this mistake would have easily been avoided.)
Reviews that favor the device for its forward looking concept of pure digital download are valid only to the extent that they distinguish that the titles availability for a PSPgo are not the same as those for the PSP. Right now, with the path Sony appears to be taking, the media and availability of the titles are to be forever different, making the PSP and PSPgo two distinct platforms--and yet the PSPgo lacks any great technical advantage over the PSP as far as making new or cutting edge games is concerned. There will be no PSPgo games developed that won't run just as well on a PSP.
Even if Sony can fix the complaints I've outlined here, making all the UMD titles available for download or conversion, the PSPgo then becomes a device that is arguably only "as good as" a PSP--there are many that would still disagree with that assertion.
The PSPgo is an badly executed concept that seem to offer all the business advantages to Sony and game developers at the expense of the customer and also lacks real technical innovations to make it worth buying over a PSP. I wish Sony had already demonstrated the guts to admit their blunder and pull this thing from the market.
on October 11, 2009
I'm a skeptic sometimes when it comes to new gadgets. Having read all the hate and flak the PSP go had gotten when the price was announced, I remained skeptical about whether or not I should take the plunge. I live in Saudi Arabia and the last PSP I owned was the bulky, fist-shaking grandpa model, the PSP-1000. It died on me a few years ago and I had to miss out on so many great games and features over the years. None of the newer iterations seemed attractive to me; at least until I saw the PSP go. Why did I purchase a PSP go?
(+) Compact size, fits right into pocket, not much bigger than an iPhone
(+) Looks and feels great in your hands. Analog nub placement is leagues better than on previous outings
(+) No UMD drive means no noise pollution while playing games or watching movies
(+) Pause Game feature which lets you pause any game, exit to the XMB and return at any time (you could even play other games)
(+) No price mark-ups by Saudi game retailers; for example, God of War costs $34.99 here compared to $15.99 on PSN.
(+) Solid build, great engineering on Sony's part
(+) Bluetooth capability meaning you can plug in a bluetooth headset or Dualshock 3 controller (via PS3) and play any game you want with a better control setup if the DS3 is what you prefer (works amazingly well with God of War).
(+) No cramping when playing games for long durations
All things considered, the PSP go is not perfect and it's definitely not for everyone. What I didn't like about it is the following:-
(-) Download/Install can be a hassle sometimes but doing so on the PC proves to be a better solution
(-) No Mac support for Sony's Media Go software that comes packaged with the device
(-) Proprietary charger and USB port means old chargers won't work
(-) Price is a little high for what it offers
(-) USB cables for the device are sold at a ridiculous price of $14.99.
(-) Charging via computer only through USB mode. Inane and outright dumb.
(-) Battery is irreplaceable and is essentially still pretty bad
Finally, no UMD drive in this device means most current PSP owners can't play their already purchased games and without a proper rewards program set in place by Sony, previous customers reserve the right to be upset. However, it doesn't warrant the unnecessary hate the PSP go has been getting. It's a great device that plays great games if you want to invest in it. Those looking to do so will certainly not be upset. Let's not get into the intricacies brought forth by custom firmware as I personally don't care for it at all and nor should any consumer looking to play games properly (developers getting their due, etc.) on the device. I've been toying with this thing all week and I simply can't get enough. And considering its caveats, it's still a great portable handheld if it meets your requirements/interests. It sure as hell met mine and I'm immensely enjoying it.
on November 29, 2009
I am a grown woman who loves gadgets entirely too much...I'm confessing this because it has bearing on my review. I own a Nintendo DSi(which I love..) the PSP(like that too but don't use it as much as the DSi) and now I have a PSP GO.
I enjoy playing video games because I have a stressful job, it's one of the ways I unwind. Like I mentioned, I love my DSi but there are some titles that they don't have and the graphics on the PSP are stunning. I'm not a big fan of the UMD format though, and I found the PSP unwieldy at times.
So, they come out with the PSP GO..and of course, it catches my eye because I have no willpower when it comes to gadgets. It is very comfortable to use, the graphics are great and I like not having to tote the UMDs around. I found some old favorites in the store too-I never got to play the first Silent Hill and now it's on my PSP Go..this made me ridiculously happy.
I gave it four stars because of the price..I feel it should have been no more than $189-$199. The lack of UMDs shouldn't affect the rating. Why, you ask? Because this to me is a "niche" product..I don't think they mean to replace the PSP with the GO. This is meant to appeal to those who like the form factor..a little console that they can pick up, turn on and play without fumbling for disks.l also think that the digital download thing will become more popular as time goes on- if you want a disk that you can buy, sell, trade then obviously, don't buy this. If you have money to spare and play a lot of video games and have a gadget addiction like me, then I think you'll be happy with this. I think it's really that simple..I have to admit, I'm amused that some people get so angry at some of these products-no one is making you buy them. But, the DSi went through something similar-people pissed off that the GBA slot was gone. They are still selling the Nintendo DS too are they not? So, why are people so afraid/offended/angry about the GO?
on October 9, 2009
Bottom line: Spend your money on a PSP-2000 or PSP-3000 plus a 8 or 16 GB memory stick (or just stick with your current PSP if you already have one). Aside from Bluetooth connectivity, the previous PSP models do everything the Go does, plus give you the option of playing UMD games and movies, plus work with the standard Mini USB transfer cable that you probably already have.
Sony has put out some misleading advertising suggesting that downloading digital games from the PSN Store is a new feature unique to the Go, but every regular PSP can already do this. I really don't think this can be overstated: Every PSP can get online and download games in exactly the same way the Go can, and has been able to do so for a long time already. The Go does not even speed up transfers or allow downloads to run in the background. The functionality is exactly the same.
(Note that while every piece of digital content playable on a PSP Go is also playable on the older PSP models, there are some UMD games that are not yet available on the PSN Store, and may never be. PSP Go owners are simply locked out of playing these games at all, in any form.)
The PSP is a very impressive handheld system with a ton of great games already out, and many more promising games on the horizon. Sony's renewed focus on online content means that there has never been a better time to enter the PSP scene. Unfortunately, the Go is a botched release that is inferior to the previous PSP models in nearly every way.
on October 5, 2009
Sony's new PSP Go is an update to the venerable PSP handheld gaming device. No doubt that it's a small sexy looking device but after giving it some thought I can't think of a single reason someone should get it.
Aside from super sexy aesthetics what really differentiates the PSP Go from it's main competition (the Nintendo DS) is that it's an all digital device. What does that mean? Well, you no longer go to a physical store to buy games for the PSP Go because it doesn't have a slot for UMD games. Like the iPhone it has an online store where you purchase and download all your games. You'll be able to find PSP Mini games (smaller games that you'd find on the iPhone) as well as regular PSP games such as Gran Turismo. Pretty cool huh?
But think about this. With a downloaded game, you can't share it with a friend without giving them your system. Also you loose the ability to sell the game after you've finished it or realized that you actually hate the game and want to get back some of the cash you just wasted on it. So the only real benefit of an all digital system is that you get instant gratification. See a game on the store you just have to play, pay, download and play. That would be pretty cool except Sony botched up wireless service for the PSP Go.
First off the PSP Go uses an old standard for wireless connectivity, 802.11b instead of the more recent and much faster g and n. Why create a device that can only function wirelessly then use an outdated, slow standard? But it doesn't end there. Sony also designed the PSP Go so that if you are downloading a game and you loose the network connection for some reason (which tends to happen a lot more on the outdated b standard), the next time you connect the system doesn't pick up form where it left off but instead starts downloading all over again. Insane! It's not uncommon to hear reports of three hours download times for a single game. Ouch! And it's all because of the Sony is using older wi-fi technology.
Why did Sony choose to make getting games such a pain in the neck? Shouldn't this, the big selling point of the device, be quick, simple and painless? I'd rather spend the three hours driving to a store, buying a game, getting home and playing it than just sitting around waiting for a download. Oh did, I forget to mention that when the PSP Go is downloading you can't do anything else with the device?
Aside from core functionality problems, there are other concerns. Sony created a new proprietary connection cable for the PSP Go so all you previous PSP owners can't use any of the cables, or devices you have for the original system. Controls are cramped and the system in uncomfortable to hold. And of course to enjoy all the agony that the PSP Go offers you have to pay $250. That's just $50 less than a PS3! A Nintendo DSi is $170. An iPod Touch is $199. Why pay $250 when you can buy a PSP 3000 for $170 and it will do all the PSP Go does and more (like play UMD games and movies).
It seems to me that the PSP Go will only appeal to blinded fan boys and gadget freaks. Who else would want to deal with all the pain of ownership?
on September 27, 2010
Ok, so far most complaints about this product is that you have to pay full price to buy every game in digital version and many people thought those complaints are unhelpful. Now forget about price, how about the fact that major game titles are simply unavailable? This review is written on 9/27/10 and as of today, one of the hottest latest best psp games--Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, is only available on UMD!!! So if you spent extra bucks to buy this sucker rather than the cheaper regular PSP, you are actually screwed like me because there's no way you can play this awesome game. And this is not the only game not available on PSPgo. I contacted Sony and asked them why they screw their customers this way and what they gonna do about this, all I got was some lame response like "Your issue cannot be resolved due to SCEA policy." So if you decide to buy this PSPgo, be aware that in the future the same can happen and you won't be able to play major games if they are only available on UMD.