PSP rumors have been floating around since before the system was even released, understandably. However, after two revisions, PSP Slim and PSP Slim Revenge of the Interlace, Sony found it necessary to bring along one more, at least if the rumors prove to be true.
Arguably the only beneficial update since the PSP Phat has been Skype. For users of the service, this in itself, can justify the upgrade but to many others like myself, it takes much more. All PSP models up to this point have fallen "victim" to custom firmware allowing many to "back-up" their UMDs straight to the PSP's memory stick. To upgrade, would simply mean to have a slimmer device. Custom Firmware also allows you to play most if not all of your old PSOne library as opposed to what Sony
dictates releases onto their Playstation Store.
All that is about to change. Sony is rumored to announce their new PSP, dubbed PSP Go!, at this years E3 Expo in June. This iteration of the hardware is rumored to go entirely flash based, meaning no more UMD slot and no more UMDs to fumble with. After witnessing "sickening" data on the piracy rate of Resistance: Retribution I can see exactly why Sony is going the way of digital distribution. I'm sure it's easier to implement DRM on a downloadable title than a UMD based title, however with the amount of clever people out in the world today, I feel that point is also relatively moot. Don't get me wrong I agree and applaud at the convenience digital distrobution brings but I digress on the matter of not having anything physical to go with the empty space left in my wallet. Sure, I buy games off of PSN from time to time even my iPhone is littered with digital goodness. However those games are not of the $30 to $40 dollar range. I expect a little more in that range, which is why I also go the way of "collector's" or "limited" edition when the packaging is right. I love the feeling of bringing home a newly packaged product only to free it from it's housing and placing the packaging on display. This is what I worked for, this is what I got.
Ever since it's inception the PSP has gotten plenty of flack for only embracing one analog stick. Personally, I think it's more of a developer shortcoming than it is the hardware. It's developers not pushing the limits of the hardware and envisioning something other than bringing console games to a portable system. Nintendo proves it time and time again on the Wii. Games that are developed for the controls of that particular device will ultimately riegn supreme. Take the discussion we had on our last podcast where I mentioned Microsoft's rumored full body motion control and Barry instinctively saying "why would I play BioShock with that" as the perfect example of it.
Regardless, the PSP Go! is expected to look plenty different, yet I hope you can see why I say don't get too excited as there is no reason Sony would iterate to far from the base. Adding either a touch screen or a second analog nub would cause all titles developed from here on out to incompatible with it's three older siblings. It's also a bit too early to introduce an entirely new system. E3 is a mere 3 weeks away so I'm sure we will find out more
leaks deets soon.