Review by leeko_link

"This Device Needs to Go Away"

It has been a while since I play my PSP-3000 so just for the fun of things I decided to give it a rest and finally get myself the new PSP Go, the latest model of the PSP lineup.

Size:

The size is small and compact, I like the sliding feature where you slide the screen out of the control part of the device so you can play games. I also like how the screen looks by itself when the PSP Go stand in closed form. It looks like a tablet when closed but the screen isn't a touch screen so to use it you'll have to open it but the closing feature works great if you're gonna watch some downloadable movies on the thing.

Design:

Very sleek and catchy though a bit small for my hands. I like how the control is on the bottom below the screen (reminds me a lot of the Game Boy) this time with the d-pad, analog nub, START, SELECT, and diamond layout action buttons all on their correct positions. The problem is the control design are a bit flatten to the device so sometimes it won't click as good but for actions games like Ratchet and Clank it still works okay. I like how they re-design the L and R trigger buttons, make it much smoother to handle and it works as good as the rest of the previous model. I don't like how they took out the original port for the charger as it would really help if it share the same one as the previous models. They also took out the accessories port which makes the PSP camera incompatible with the Go as well as make games like Invizimals useless for play on the device. Besides all that, the design looks great and should retain most of the main features like the music, memory stick port, and so on.

Compatibility:

This is the main reason most gamers tend to stay away from the PSP Go, the compatibility was kinda lost here. For one thing you can't play UMD games or movies anymore since this handheld was made to be fully digital. Everything including games and movies will need to be downloaded from Sony's official store on the PlayStation Network. You can still used your original saved data from your memory stick on this device but unless you have a game that could read that game's data you can't play that game here. Also PSP game that remains UMD exclusives like Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep are a big factor in the PSP Go's downfall. The downloading process is also slow and battery consuming, unless you put the device on a charger or an adapter you will need to get use to waiting until you can play a newly purchased game on the Go. Another thing to take note of is that re-selling games is no longer possible with the Go. Any games or movies you buy and downloaded from the PS Store stays in the PS Store, if you don't want it anymore and deleted it, you will have to re-download it again the next time you want to play it.

Graphics Presentation:

The visual presentations on the Go are sharp and smooth at times. Since the screen is brighter and smaller, you actually get better clearer pictures when playing some games on the Go compare to playing them on the other previous models. Ghostings and pixel linings are also unseen of too which makes the visual values of games like Ys VI and God of War: Chain of Olympus look amazingly phenomenal.

Control:

Like I said before, the control is kinda close to being bury flat within the Go so to get use to them you will have to practice with the control quite a few times to get the hang of it. There are still one analog nub so FPS games are still gonna be awkward to play and since the d-pad is close to flattening, arcade style fighting games like Street Fighter Alpha 3: Max and Darkstalkers: Chronicles requires more practice than ever. The action buttons still works okay but still needs precise press in able to register its action. Besides all of that the control is fine as it was, the trigger buttons on the other-hands are the stars of the Go, where the other buttons lack the trigger buttons makes up for it. You can even use them to rewind or fast forward movie scenes while watching a movie when in close mode on the Go.

Music/Sounds:

Like the previous PSP models, the Go offer quality sound speakers but this time instead of just one little speaker for the sound you now get two which upped the sound even more. It won't get loud very much and won't go above and beyond the sounding of the iPod or iPhone but it'll still offer crystal clear stereo or surround goodness to your ears. Of course to hear all the goods you will need to use an earphones to get all the soundings and since the Go now supports Blue-tooth, you can even use your cellphone earphones for it too.

Memory:

Yes the PSP Go came not with an empty shell like the previous models but complete with a 16GB internal hard drive which I'm not sure if you could upgrade it or not. With 16GB of memory space and an option to use the ones you already have on your memory stick, that's a whole lot of memory spaces for just one handheld and it's good too considering you'll be downloading a whole lot of stuffs to the device at some point in its lifespan.

Battery Life and Price:

There's not much different between this device and the previous models in terms of battery longevity, it all depends on the size of the game you're playing. If you're playing a game with bigger file size you'll lose more battery juice in one go, if you're playing a game with a smaller file size expect longer expectancy. Also turning on minor features like the level of the backlight or levels of sound volumes vary the battery usage too. Another disappointment that hampers the PGP Go is its price tag, as cool as it looks, fully digital friendly as it could be, and UMD less you could still argue that it's not worth the $250 price tag that Sony is offering. There are better value in features from the previous models that should remain with the Go over having 16GB of memory any days.

Conclusion:

Well the PSP Go was quite a disappointment in its own ways but in other ways it was still a cool unique portable. It was close to being a tablet device but gladly it isn't. The only downfalls were that it's expensive, the idea for a fully digital handheld that could play PS2 level games are too good to be true and too difficult to handle, the wait time for download is a pain, the controls are half flat and sometime unresponsive, it didn't offer anything new in terms of innovation, it lacks compatibility with other PSP accessories and most importantly it lacks the UMD drive to which 45% of the current PSP library still remains exclusive on. The addition of a larger internal hard drive was a plus though not a good enough reason to drop previous features because of it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/29/11, Updated 08/03/12

Game Release: PSP Go (US, 10/01/09)


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