After the long wait we finally have a new and improved PSP from Sony, named the PSP Go! This moniker was derived from Sony’s recent usage of Go! on its European PSP peripherals, like Go!View and Go!Cam.
Following the thread of previous rumors, the PSP Go! will likely ditch the UMD drive in favor of digital downloads that plant directly on the new internal flash memory unit. PSP Go! may be available in two storage models: 8GB and 16GB. This rumor makes perfect sense due to Sony’s digital download-only release of Patapon 2. Concurrent with the device’s launch, Sony may to release 100 downloadable games in its store, ranging from the PSP’s old disc catalog to new titles.
Also out of luck are those waiting for dual analog nubs — according to rumors, the PSP Go! will feature slide-out controls beneath the screen, but will maintain the control scheme of the current PSP model. If true, this is a major missed opportunity for Sony. Enough people have pleaded for dual analog sticks since the initial release of the PSP; it’s about time Sony delivered.
Capitalizing on the recent boon of iPhone touch screen games, the PSP Go! might have a touch screen of its own. This, too, would make perfect sense as a reactionary effort to mimic the iPhone/iPod Touch and Nintendo’s DSi — Sony’s main competition in the gaming arena. A sleek and large touch screen could be just what Sony needs to get the PSP off the ground.
These are all rumors and speculation at this point, and Sony refuses to comment. But given how the current causal gamer is obsessed with digital downloads, touch screens, and sleek, lightweight designs, I’d be willing to place a wager on the authenticity of these guesses. The rumor mill says the PSP Go! will be unveiled at the E3 summit in June, and will hit Japanese markets in September and come to the United States in the Fall.
The Sony PSP Go’s price is too high, according to Wedbush Morgan’s infamous crystal ball gazer/analyst Michael Pachter. Pachter says the US price of $249 “is too much, period.” Particularly as Pachter believes that the PSP Go will cost less for Sony to produce than the PSP-3000, priced $80 cheaper.
Speaking on Bonus Round, Pachter said: “The $169 PSP-3000 is a profitable device. The disc assembly for a UMD costs more than 16 gigs of flash does. So this new device doesn’t cost as much as the PSP-3000 and they jack the price up $80? They’re ripping off the consumer.” Wonder what he’d think of the Sony PSP Go’s probable UK price point of £230?!
According to Pachter, the Sony PSP Go’s pricing is to compete with the Apple iPod Touch. “The comparison is favorable from a technology perspective,” Pachter told Kotaku. “However, the iPod Touch has a ridiculously loyal fan base, tremendous brand awareness, gigantic advertising support, a touch screen, an app store, and a lot of music. The PSP Go has a better gaming architecture and better games, but lacks many of the features that the iPod Touch has. Its price should be compared to the PSP 3000.”