I picked up a PSP Go this morning. It is smaller and has Bluetooth so I think it may be a good replacement for my PSP 2000 (albeit Sony wants me to repurchase any games I currently have on UMD- at list price!). Very soon after opening the box I began to have some doubts on the usefulness of the device…
- The battery is non-removable and had about a 20% charge when I turned it on.
- To install games, they need to be downloaded from the PSP Store.
- To access the PSP Store (from the PSP Go! device), the system needs to be on firmware 6.1.
- The system shipped with firmware v5.x
- To update the firmware, the system battery needs to be at least 70%
- I had to plug the device in for a few hours before I can use it…
The ‘battery status’ option also appears to be absent from the system menu…
The PSP ships with a code for Rock Band Unplugged. This can be entered directly into the PSP Go! (after updating the firmware so I can login to the PSP Store) or via PC. The ‘keyboard’ of the PSP Go! (and the PSP) is a nightmare to attempt to use, so I opted for the PC install.
- When I open the Playstation Store, I am directed to install the PSP Media Go software.
- Once this is downloaded (80MB) I click the ‘Account Management’ icon in the upper to the game store- and I am directed back to a Playstation Store login page- in my web browser.
- Logging in puts me at the Account/Transaction Management page where I can also ‘Redeem PlayStation Network Card’.
- I enter the code and I am prompted me to download an ‘xpd’ file with the PlayStation Network Downloader.
- When I attempt to comply, I am informed that the PlayStation Network Downloader needs to be updated and it directs me to download an updated PlayStation Network Downloader.
- I download the updated downloader and restart the process
- I am now told that the PSP needs to be connected to the PC…
- I went back to the PSP Go and logged into the store; under the Downloads I see that I now have Rock Band Unplugged as a download.
- I start the download direct to the PSP Go- the download will take 45min on a 3mbps DSL connection.
- During this download, the PSP is unusable for anything else as the only option to leave the download screen is ‘Cancel’.
Back to the PSP Media Go software, it appears the the other work inside of the software (i.e. not redirecting me out to a web page)- but account management cannot be handled the same way?
The alternative to downloading the games via the PSP Go! appears to be downloading them via the Media Go software (or web page)- but this requires the PSP to be connected to the PC. This still takes 45 minutes to download.
Not only did Sony slap me with the proprietary M2 Memory Stick format, they made a proprietary cable to replace the mini-USB that was on the old PSP.
These cables cost $15 and are required for both USB connectivity and for PSP Go! (non-removable) battery charging.
A ‘dock’ for the PSP Go is $30- and it requires the USB cable and a charging cable to be purchased separately (oddly, the PSP1000/2000/3000 adaptor can be used for this)- or to use the included USB cable/charging adaptor solution.
If I wanted to purchase an additional charging adaptor, it is sold separate from the USB cable- so for a PSP Go! dock set for the office, I am looking at $60: $30 for the dock, $15 for a USB cable and $15 for a power adaptor. (It would be generous of Sony to include a small bottle of lubricant with these purchases)
- The PSP/PSP Go! is completely useless while downloading software
- The purchasing process is the least ‘friendly’ experience I have ever had purchasing anything online
- Accessories are very overpriced and incompatible with everything else in the world.
- The game downloads take an amazingly long time- so if you wanted to quickly purchase a game for a trip, it will take at least an hour to purchase & download
- The ‘7 Wonders’ game on sale for $5.99 at Fry’s is going for $9.99 in the PlayStation Store (and there are dozens of similar examples).
- No resell/trade-in value for digital downloaded games
Sony really didn’t care about what the consumer wanted with this version of the PSP; this is all about making the PSP ‘hack proof’ and recovering money that was ‘lost’ to piracy. Hence the inhospitable purchase/download system and the proprietary hardware/cables/storage. The only addition to this unit is a Bluetooth module- which should have been in the original PSP.
This PSP Go! is a bastardized hybrid between a portable gaming console and the Mylo2- and the price is about $100 too much. Paying $20 for a game with no media that can be traded with friends/resold to GameStop and then waiting an hour to play will not be acceptable for most people. (now for $5, this may be bearable).
Here’s a word to Sony: you aren’t losing most of your sales to piracy- but to overpriced crappy games that people cannot justify the price to purchase (and hence, they will pirate them to see if they are playable).
The PSP Go! is un-hackable (just like the PSP 3000 and Blu-Ray)- but it will eventually be hacked. Once it is hacked and ISO images of my current UMDs can be played on the PSP Go!, it will then be a usable device- but in its current iteration it is and overpriced rebuild of a 5 year old device that Sony is using as a beta test console for their equally overpriced ‘online store’.