Sony apparently had big plans to launch the next iteration of the PSP at E3, which is running this week. This has been a poorly kept secret in general, with better and better rumors about their new disc-less system seemingly coming on a weekly basis in recent months. But the biggest leak of all came this weekend as the internet caught hold of an early release of the Sony-made Qore web show that was supposed to launch AFTER the big news. Instead we have confirmation of many rumors, squashing of others, and very little new info. First off, take a look at the image courtesy of Wired:
Here are the details:
This is the PSP Go, the new mini PSP from Sony. And these are official Sony publicity shots, although they don’t come straight from Sony PR. Rather, they were leaked after the new console was spotted in a prematurely showing of the June 2009 Qore video (Qore is an online PlayStation magazine). It’s no quick mention, either. The new Go is the subject of a full-on piece by the first lady of podcasting, Veronica Belmont.
It’s cute, and it will sell alongside the current PSP 3000. The specs:
* 16GB flash storage
* Less than half the weight of the current PSP
* No UMD drive
* Memory Stick Micro
As noted in this article at Wired, there is no official price or release date yet, other than a vague ‘Fall’.
There was an additional product positioning note in the Qore video: they noted that the current PSP-3000 would not go away, and that UMD games would still be available. This means they will have dual track releases for some time.
Here are my thoughts on what we know so far (subject to change as we get more info, of course):
* The removal of the UMD is a welcome change.
* 16GB of internal memory was the top end of the rumors, and a great move by Sony!
* Memory Stick Micro is yet another new proprietary memory format from Sony, that no one else will ever use. This means it will tend to remain more expensive and add capacity slower than other formats.
* For evidence look at the history of Memory Stick and Memory Stick Duo compared to the SD format. Today I can get a 8GB SD Micro for <$20 and 16GB for $75!
* The addition of Bluetooth is also welcome, but what about the sub-par WiFi speeds we have with the current generation? Something tells me that isn’t changing.
* Note the control layout? Anyone else feel their hands cramping just LOOKING at those? I just hope it plays better than it looks.
* Lack of second analog stick is definitely the sore spot for many. Folks look at the location of the Start and Select keys and see how nicely the mock-ups added the analog nub there and spread those keys above. I also lament the non-inclusion, but with the general feel of the device I am not surprised.
* The whole dual-track thing concerns me – are we to expect that *every* new game will be released as both digital and UMD? Same price? My cynical side says that users of both systems will have reasons to be unhappy in the coming months.
One pricing note – John Koeller used the word ‘Premium’ when talking about the system. This concerns me as it seems they are positioning it as a higher-priced alternative focused on more non-gaming media and tie-ins withe PS3 than on being the PSP that will make major gaming in-roads. Because, while Sony has sold nearly 50 million PSP’s, they have also been losing market share every week since April 2006, when Nintendo launched the DS Lite.
Here is the YouTube Video: