Editor’s note: The PSP Go is controversial to owners of existing PSPs. But what about those who don’t own a PSP? Or those who want to support going digital? Suriel argues that the Go may be the PSP for them. -Jason
Against all common sense, warnings, cynicism, and even my own advice, I bought a PSP Go. I don’t believe that I need to defend my decision to buy a PSP; the stack of PSP games that I’ve wanted has grown large enough to merit the purchase. The point of contention is why I chose the Go over the more versatile 3000 model.
The Go presents itself as a “premium” version of the system. It’s more expensive, looks sleeker, and stands firmly as an iPhone competitor. I won’t delve into a comparison between the two, other than to mention that the Go lacks phone capability and needs a hotspot to connect to the Internet.
With that in mind, the assumption that many come to is that the Go is an overpriced piece of plastic that does nothing but reinforce brand loyalty.
So why should you buy the Go? First of all, the $250 price isn’t as inflated as you think. Right now, a PSP 3000 ($169.99) with a 16GB memory stick ($63 on Amazon.com) is around $233 before tax, so the Go and its internal 16 gigs of memory are only $17 more than the alternative. It’s not exactly a fair comparison, though, since Go users are more likely to use up that memory than the 3000.
The most divisive facet of the Go is, of course, that fact that it lacks a UMD drive — which means that owners of PSPs who upgrade to the Go can’t play their UMD games on the new PSP. It’s possible that most of the ire directed at the Go comes from PSP owners who feel maligned and abandoned by the company that they’ve been supporting. That’s a natural reaction to have, really. If, say, the DSi went digital-only, I’d be peeved about having to re-buy all of my DS games.
But from the perspective of a new buyer, it’s extremely tempting to start fresh. UMDs, like most physical formats, are cumbersome to carry around, which is especially important with a portable device. Your options are limited by what’s on the store (I, for example, am still waiting to play Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
), but those are the sort of growing pains that come with the territory.
Price comes into play as well; the one store where you can purchase Go games doesn’t have to compete with any other retailer (or at least any that’s legal), so there’s little chance we’ll see bargains or deals unless they’re from the publishers/developers themselves.
The upside to this, though, is that I don’t have to worry about whether or not the money I put down will go to the developer. Used copies are pure profit for retail and retail alone, so I’m willing to take the price hike in exchange for supporting the people who made the game. I don’t have any more or less money than anyone else, so I may end up buying fewer games in the long haul.
The biggest reason I bought the Go, however, may have been to support the concept of a digital-only device. I may be overpaying for it right now, but I feel like I should support such a platform from the get-go. The PSP may not have been the right console to go with on this front, but I want to encourage and support any publisher that takes this route as much as I can.
Or maybe I’m just trying to validate a bad decision.