As if the $250 price wasn’t reason enough, Sony has just announced yet another reason to puzzle over exactly why someone should buy their upcoming PSP Go: a special edition Gran Turismo PSP-3000 for $199! The package includes a Mystic Silver PSP, a UMD copy of the upcoming Gran Turismo game, a voucher to download a white Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, a 2GB Memory Stick, a PSN voucher to download a movie (title TBA), and yet another voucher to download 10 free songs from Sony Music Pass. If that sounds like a good deal, it is!
So how does the upcoming PSP Go release compare? Not very well. While Sony has made it clear that they are ‘premium pricing’ the PSP Go, the product offering feels especially anemic in light of the Gran Turismo pack. Here are the relevant features based on the GameStop pre-order page, with my comments in italics:
* 16GB built-in memory
* Bluetooth support
* All digital content – no disks required (i.e. – there is no UMD drive)
* Ultra-crisp 3.8” LCD screen (smaller than the current 4.3″ screen)
* Memory Stick Micro support for added memory (i.e. another new proprietary format)
* PSP®go System
* USB Cable
* AC Adaptor
Other features that are shared with the PSP-3000 I removed from the list. In terms of ‘extras’, the PSP Go will come with “Rock Band Unplugged Lite”, which is a 5-song version of the popular music game (similar to the demo), but with added ability to buy downloadable songs.
Perhaps you heard that the PSP Go was getting a special deal whereby registering before October 10th would allow you to grab a free copy of Gran Turismo? It is true … if you are in Europe! Sadly the deal has not made it outside of the EU yet, though there is still hope that it will happen in the next month (if you are a hopin’ fool like me, at least!).
So for a $50 premium you get the basic PSP Go system and not much else. The 16GB built-in storage gives you the ability to store some combination of ~10 games, 10 movies, loads of songs, tons of images, and so on. And while 16GB seems like so much more than the 2GB card provided in the PSP-3000 package, remember that you need to store every game you want access to on that drive – or the memory stick drive. Of course, this is another sore spot for PSP owners, as we now need to go buy another storage card regardless of what we already have. Fortunately the SD Micro to Memeory Stick Micro price premium isn’t as bad as it was for the original Memory Stick Pro Duo when the PSP first arrived. Still, getting 8GB adds another ~$30 to the price of the system.
None of this will make me cancel my pre-order, but it makes me wonder just how a normal person could justify this purchase. It also makes me wonder what Sony is thinking … or even if they are.