psp go

So, apparently the new PSP Go is going to hit shelves soon.  I totally keep forgetting about it.  While it looks pretty freaking cool, there are a couple of things that are keeping me away completely, and I’d have to think long and hard about getting one.

First of all, this sucker is freaking expensive.  $250.  Eek!  That’s only $50 less than a PS3, although that’d be a little harder to lug around in your pocket.  I still have a PSP-2000 or whatever the number is, I know it’s not the first generation one, and it works really well.  Sure the UMD thing is slow and cumbersome and sucks power like uh … something, but it works fine.  And it’s about $100 less retail.

This is my *real* beef though with the system — it only has 16 GB onboard memory.  That could arguably be a reasonable amount, except that this PSP is entirely digital.  The only way to get games is to download them to the flash drive.  On top of that they are marketing it as a great portable movie player.  16 gigs is not a lot of space to play with.  If they had 40 in there then I might start thinking about it, but that still brings me to the next point.

It *still* only accepts Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo (man, what a mouthful) for the extended storage.  Normally, I wouldn’t care — Sony has their own format, yay, whatever, good for them.  But they are priced exhorbantly high.  A 16 GB flash card, that would double the system’s space, costs $72 right now on Amazon.  Not only that, but that’s the highest storage capacity available.  So, you’re going to cap out at 32 GB.  That’s a lot, I suppose, but if I wanted to tout around movies with me, I’d still want more space than that.  I dunno.  But at this point you’re talking $320 to carry around max storage.

The last thing that has me worried is that all the games are digital.  I’m a big believer in the second-hand market for used games, and the new PSP just guts that opportunity completely.  You want the game?  You buy it new, and you pay full retail price.  Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but what happens with digital games is that when there is only one source to get them, I’ve noticed that the price does not go down.  Ever.  At all.  Games that are listed for sale at launch point that originally start at $40 or so, might eventually go down an extra $10 or so, but after time, it just stays there, and it’s always going to be prohibitively expensive.  That’s a problem.  What’s worse, is that you would think that after five years or so the price would come down, but by then the owner / manufacturer / retailer has completely forgotten about it, so nothing ever gets changed.  It’s really going to screw up the economics, I think, when there’s only one way to get a copy of the game (well, legally, of course).

So, while I’d love to get one, I think next time I have a spare $250, I’d probably be putting it towards getting something else.  I think the PSP Go is a great idea, in concept, but too expensive and not enough storage.  I could get past the all-digital downloads, eventually, I assume.  I’d still like to see some way to get a second hand market in there though — it would really drive things along.

Edit: Whoops, apparently it uses a different format — Memory Stick Micro M2 (or whatever order that goes in).  The pricing is just as bad, though.  $80 for a 16 GB stick.

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