Sony Went Wrong With the PSP Go

Sony's PSP GoIt’s two days before Sony’s official press conference at E3 and it seems like we’ve already got their best news (and really, it’s not all that good). Their new handheld, the PSP Go, is bouncing around the intarwebz through leaked pics and video. I’ve weeded through the spec list and have to say, I’m completely unimpressed.

    - smaller than the psp 3000 (43% lighter)
    - 16GB of built-in flash storage with memory stick micro slot
    - no UMD drive
    - 3.8in widescreen
    - single analog stick
    - wi-fi support
    - bluetooth support
    - PS3 integration
    - multimedia support

So there you have it – an incredibly lackluster list of features for Sony’s big E3 announcement. Did it surprise you as much as it did me? There have been plenty of devices that missed my expectations, but not always in a bad way. Sometimes they even made sense. The PSP Go, however, falls short on almost every count, size being the one exception so I suppose we can start there.

The size, when the device is closed, looks to be about perfect. Small enough for a pocket. Thin and extremely light. That’s just what I want. Open it up, though, and suddenly my hands are in the very wrong place for working a d-pad (I have fairly big hands) and you can forget about that analog stick. I have the same problem with Jessica Alba – there’s only one and she’s way out of reach.

Storage doesn’t seem bad, but if they want to get serious about downloadable content, 16GB is probably a bit small. Until Memory Stick Micro is equivalent to microSD in price, I’m going to be pretty grouchy if forced to buy one.

No UMD is so dumb I hardly need to say it. People will be pissed they can’t play their old PSP games. Really, really pissed.

The one change I can get a little excited about is the bluetooth tethering mentioned in the Qore video. By tethering the Go to a 3G phone you could theoretically access online games and your PS3 content from afar, even when you aren’t getting wi-fi. Neat, huh?

Sure, but it’s not enough. I think everyone can see us hurtling toward the megadevice – the ultimate smartphone/camera/gamer/gps/everything device we’d never leave home without. So why is Sony so convinced it needs a dedicated handheld gamer with some multimedia features as an afterthought? Why not open their handheld to developers? Why not see the success of the Apple App Store and Android and make PSP development as much a culture as PSP gaming? I can think of 40 million people who would be much happier if they did.

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