The general online sentiment however is that this device is a pile-of-crap, that you’re “a motherfucking idiot if you buy that piece of shit,” etc.
I really don’t get it. One caveat: I upgraded from a PSP-1001. Things like physical dimensions, and the extra memory cache present in the 2000 & 3000 series devices I have no familiarity with. I love the tiny dimensions, the quality of the games available to it, and how freaking light it is. It doesn’t feel cheap.
PSP-1001, PSPgo, 1st gen iPod Touch
Most of the arguments against it seem to stem from a perceived high launch price and the lack of a UMD transfer option.
The price argument is stupid. It’s the price of admission for being an early adopter. This isn’t any different from any other new technology. Can’t afford it? Don’t think it’s worth it? No one is forcing you to buy it. But people love feeling entitled and bitching.
The lack of UMD transfer was hardly a surprise. Yeah it would have been nice, but how could the company possibly ensure that there wouldn’t be thousands of software copies made from a single physical disc?
It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. I actually just went and traded in every single one of my UMDs because I figured I had enough games anyway, and I was never going to get around to beating those particular titles if I hadn’t already. I’d owned them for years. Something to be said for the PSP platform in general, the A-list titles typically have a good 50 hours of gameplay each, at least.
Having access to those A-list titles in such a tiny pocketable form though is of immense value to me. Admittedly the novelty hasn’t worn off, but the Go goes everywhere I do, no pun intended. The old PSP-1001 was a real brick to carry around; it wasn’t remotely pocket-sized, nevermind with that plexiglass Logitech Playgear case which was popular at the beginning.
With my PSP-1001 I was already ripping all my UMD games to the MemoryStick with hacked firmware and homebrew available to it. I hated carrying around extra media, and they loaded many times faster from flash. As it is, I’ve been declaring war on most physical media. I was glad to trade in my UMDs. I’m looking to dump my CD collection and have whole-heartedly embraced iTunes. I’ve been buying PC games from Steam for years whenever possible. So the Go really fits my mindset.
I did enjoy access to homebrew (NES/SNES emulators, an ebook reader, some indie games) on the old PSP, but I realised I wasn’t using any of it anyway. The PSP-1001 d-pad was terrible for NES games with its lack of diagonals. I’ve been reading books on my iPod Touch instead with Stanza. The indie games were novel, but nothing I couldn’t live without.
The only nitpick I have with the device is that it’s silly that, while you can leave the screen on and watch video with the device closed, there are no real play controls outside. There’s volume … but then screen brightness and mute/equaliser (really helpful). At least you can pause with the ‘PS’ button. This really makes it almost useless as an MP3 player as well, something that with the slightest bit of effort it could have been at least competent with. (Technically, you could make playlists in advance…)
The only major issue I have with it is that you’re tied solely to the whims of the Playstation Network store. You can buy digital titles from Amazon.com as well, but their prices are all worse-to-substantially-worse when you consider conversion from USD to CAD at the low end, and arbitrarily inflated prices at the high-end (Killzone: Liberation is $13 CAD on the PSN store or $40 USD on the Amazon.com store).
So far though, Sony seems to have been pretty good with sales, which is how Steam suckered me in. I already owned Patapon 2 & Jeanne D’Arc digitally from my original PSP, but picked up the well-priced Killzone. The sale this week had me picking up a Mercury bundle for $10 (Marble Madness-like games) since I felt I was lacking a good puzzle game. That’s already a something-stupid 250 hours of gameplay or so…