The new PSP Go is a not a replacement to the original PSP (now PSP 3000). Sony classifies it as an alternative, mainly something that is more portable, and we might add a little more expensive. Starting at $250 the PSP Go has taken on the price of the original PSP when it was first released. Sony hopes that through a tight integration with PlayStation Online as well as PS3 they can get more then a few of these consoles off the shelves.
The PSP Go is a radical change from the original PSP. While it is clear that the PSP Go and the original PSP are siblings there are quite a few differences between both systems. For instance the screen is smaller then the original (although the resolution is the same). The PSP Go has a 3.8 widescreen TFT LCD display (16:9) which boasts 480 x 272 pixels. The PSP 3000 carries a 4.3 widescreen TFT LCD with 480 x 272 pixels.
The controls have been changed also. Instead of being on either side of the screen they now slide out from underneath the screen. However, they are all located in approximate locations except for the analog stick, select and start buttons which are located towards the center. The left bumper and right bumper buttons are still located at the top of the screen. But the volume, WLAN and other controls are located at the top of the device. The device also supports Bluetooth 3.0 meaning that a variety of compatible Bluetooth headsets can be paired.
One of the biggest changes is the addition of a new 16GB internal memory (still expandable though), integrated battery (to prevent hacking) as well as a new proprietary connector meaning PSP 3000 accessories will not work with the Go. Moreover Sony has removed the UMD reader from this version so all games, movies, etc will have to be downloaded.
Overall the performance of the PSP Go is comparable to that of the PSP 3000. However there are some drawbacks. For those used to the control arrangements of the PSP 3000, the placement of the analog switch on the PSP Go will be very awkward. That said, the right and left bumper buttons are a lot better then that of the PSP 3000.
Although screen resolution is the same, as we said before the size of the screen is smaller. While this is not a big deal for movies the smaller screen real estate might hamper your game experience.
One of the most controversial features of the Go is its lack of a UMD drive. Sony decided to omit this for portability reasons. At first Sony had promised that people who owned UMD versions of a game would be able to get a free download credit for that game on the Go. However, that deal was soon bagged and as such, left many people with large game libraries out in the cold.
But our major gripe is the fact that downloading large games can take quite a long time. Most PSP games range from 1GB to 1.5-2GB and as you can imagine downloading onto the Go can be a pain to say the least.
The processor provides around about the same performance as the PSP 3000 so there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference there.
So the major question will ultimately be is whether the PSP Go is worth it? If you’re used to the PSP 3000 you might want to play with a store demo before you drop your $250 on this. On the other hand if you’re looking for a new gaming system and have your eyes peeled between the DSi and the PSP Go, you should definitely check out the PSP Go. Just be prepared for life without a physical disk or cartridge.