The PSPgo launches today in Australia, ushering in a bold download-only strategy for Sony’s handheld. I’m curious to hear if and why you’re picking it up.
I’ve been playing around with the PSPgo Sony kindly sent me earlier this week and my feelings on it are somewhat mixed. The most immediate plus is it does actually live up to its name: this PlayStation is genuinely portable; it fits in your pocket in a way neither the original PSP, the PSP Slim nor the PSP-3000 can. It’s considerably smaller and lighter than a DS Lite or DSi, too. I can carry a PSPgo and my phone in the same pocket, something I wouldn’t have even bothered trying with the older models.
I was surprised by how comfortable the smaller design feels when in use. If anything, it’s even more comfortable than the Slim, perhaps because it’s nowhere near as heavy. My hands didn’t feel cramped and even the tweaked positioning of the analogue stick required only minimal adjustment before my thumb rested in a natural state.
Slightly spoiling all this is the slight “rattle” it makes when you move the system around or press heavily on the buttons. This is due to the fact the sliding screen means the unit is essentially in two connected sections, and they bump together at times. I found it a little disconcerting.
In theory, the download-only model appeals to me. For one, I simply don’t have that many PSP games, so I’m personally not too fussed about not being able to play my old UMD games on the PSPgo. For the new user, of course, this is a total non-issue.
And generally speaking, it’s more convenient to not have to carry around those silly UMDs and simply have all your games permanently stored on-board. Of course, with a memory stick of appropriate size, you can do this with the existing PSPs, too. (But do you actually carry it around? I never did.)
But ultimately, my reservations about the PSPgo are almost entirely centred on the price. It’s far too high for what is basically the same hardware in a smaller, more pocket-friendly shape. The PS3 “Phat” became the PS3 Slim and shed $200 off its price tag. Now the PSP shrinks and suddenly it’s $170 more expensive. It’s ridiculous.
Sure, some retailers, such as Big W’s $398 deal, are currently offering the PSPgo for less than RRP, but it’s still vastly overpriced. Personaly, I quite like it as a piece of hardware – size is important – but unless money is seriously no object whatsoever, I couldn’t possibly recommend buying one.
Let me know if you are getting a PSPgo today and why you decided to take the plunge. Also, if you’ve spotted any good launch day deals, pass them on to the Kotaku community in the comments below.