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Sony has gone through several iterations of their portable gaming system since the launch in 2005. The latest version of the PSP is the one to receive the most visual changes. The shape we know now from the 1000-3000 series has changed to a sliding top and is now smaller, almost iPod like, when the system is closed. The most important change Sony has made to the PSPGo is they removed the UMD drive. Since there is no UMD drive the system is smaller and more portable. So how does the new Go fair against its older disc based brothers? Let us take a look at the similarities and differences to see whether you should upgrade to the new system or stick with the old disc duster you got from grandma.
The first time you pick up a PSPGo you will be surprised. The size of the Go is noticeably smaller than the other PSPs. The Go fits comfortably in your pocket thanks to no UMD discs and a smaller screen. Note the PSPGo and other PSPs all have the same screen resolution. Without a disc drive the only way to get games on your system is via the Playstation Network. With 16 gigabytes of hard disk space you should not be filling up your HD anytime soon with just games. For those people who are going to use the system for other things such as music and video, the 16gig HD may not be enough and that is why you can always add a Mirco memory stick (M2) for additional space – Pro Duo memory stick won't work here. The battery life has not improved over the previous systems, expect 3-5 hours of battery life depending on what you are using the Go for.
At the moment there is no way to transfer your UMD based games over to the Go. You may be asking why would you want the Go if you cannot transfer your old games. Well the answer is there is no reason you should get it. Sony plans to have both the Go and UMD PSPs to co-exist. Go is aimed at people who have not yet considered a PSP before and to market it as an ultra portable gaming and media machine. Though with a $249 price tag Sony may want to reconsider their tactics, considering a 3000 series is only $199 and comes with a movie, game and memory stick.
When I first purchased my PSPGo I was loving it. I could slide it closed, throw it into my pocket and take it with me to work or to a buddies house no problem. It was not long before I realized the short coming of the system was also its greatest strength. The UMDless PSPGo was a gift and a curse. I was only able to purchase games over the PSN, and I did not actually own a physical copy of the game. I was unable to lend games to a friend if they were interested, or even trade the games in for in store credit at the local video game store. I also noticed the PSN was at times getting games days after the retail release, and in one case not even having a game available (Rock Band). Mind you, the price of games on the PSN is about what you would pay retail but should it be? Without being able to lend a game to a friend or trade it in to a store the game should be priced lower. Plus over the PSN there is no retailer to pay, no shipping, or manufacturing costs. So I say again, should the PSN really be charging the same as retailers?
The PSPGo is a well built system, the buttons feel comfortable, and the joystick is actually easy to use but still Sony has not added a 2nd analog stick. If you already have a PSP I would recommend staying clear of the Go as it seems to be aimed for people who do not currently own a PSP. Maybe if the price dropped to $199 and was bundled with more than a lite version of Rock Band it would be considered as an affordable handheld, but at the moment why not spend the extra $50 and get a 120gig PS3? After all, the PS3 only does everything.
Very portable system
Games saved on the hard drive make it easy to switch between games without having to carry UMDs
Sliding the screen is a good way to pass the time
Steep price tag at $249
PSN is the only way to purchase games
Where is my 2nd analog stick?