While integrated 3G connectivity was tipped for inclusion in the PSP Go back in its rumor days, in the end Sony went for the simple route and just gave their handheld WiFi and Bluetooth. Thanks to PSP update v6.10, that Bluetooth can be used to tether the Go to a cellphone, meaning connectivity isn't just limited to wherever you can find a WiFi hotspot.
Sony's PSP "minis" download games for the upcoming PSP Go are already prompting confusion, not least because of the company's own guidelines for developers hoping to fast-track their submissions. Sony has revealed its policies for PlayStation Network approval, including details on the "accelerated approvals process"; unfortunately, for titles to qualify for that process they must be single-player, have no network or downloadable content, and no peripheral support.
The first time I heard about the PSP Go, I wondered if most of us were ready for a dedicated game system that lacks a physical software format. Sure, that is basically what the iPhone and iPod touch are, but I don't really think of those devices and the PSP Go as being in the same category.
Sony have released their latest firmware update for the PSP, and while v6.00 may look relatively innocuous at first glance, more careful reading of the changelist does suggest the company is paving the way for rental gaming. Among the tweaks, Sony list "games can now be grouped and displayed in folders based on their expire date"; however until now the company has only offered expiring video content, not gaming titles.
Full changelist after the cut
Tearing down gadgets isn't new. In fact, The PSP Go's bigger brethren just went through the same thing. There's plenty of reasons to do these things to new pieces of tech, but most of it revolves around finding out what makes them tick, and how much it cost to put it all together. In the case of the PSP Go, there's nothing really new to show off. And to be honest, we'd much prefer to have one not disassembled, rather than look at those standard guts within.
With the veracity of his information seemingly corroborated by accurately tipping the Sony PS3 Slim back in June now that the skinny console has been made official, tipster Super_Secret's next prediction - regarding Sony's portable gaming line - is now under the microscope. In June the anonymous source suggested that rather than phasing out UMD-based PSP models, Sony were instead preparing to replace the current PSP-3000 with a new PSP-4000.
Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai has confirmed that the company will continue to lose money on each of the $299 PS3 Slim consoles they sell, together with revealing that Sony's motion-controller has been pencilled in for a release in spring 2010. Meanwhile he also denied that, with the advent of the UMD-free PSP Go, we are seeing "the death of physical media", pointing to the large percentage of the 100 countries Sony sells gaming products in that don't have access to high-speed internet connections for downloads.
We may be feeling sour about the PSP Go's hardware, but its software may end up putting a smile on our faces. According to Pocket Gamer, the upcoming handheld's downloadable PlayStation Network (PSN) games will be priced at €1, €2 and €5 apiece ($1-$7), bringing them to the level of titles from Apple's App Store for the iPod touch and iPhone. They also claim that Sony have been actively courting iPhone developers, in the hope that they will port their existing titles over to the PSP Go.
Many have argued that Sony's upcoming PSP Go is more a shameless marketing and cash-grabbing exercise, lacking the segment-shift that a truly innovative device might deliver. We're holding off from judging until the review units come in, but hearing the latest feedback from pre-launch prototype models isn't exactly putting us in the most positive frame of mind. Eurogamer got their hands on the early PSP Go, and found that not only does the new handheld require all new video cables but little things like the AV port have changed, too.