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By • Apr 29th, 2009 • Category: ! Daily Info & Reviews, Electronic & Electric, Entertainment


Sony’s touchscreen UMD-free PSP Go!
new PSP handheld gaming console that is rumoured to be unveiled at the E3 games expo this coming June 2009. It seems that the new PSP Go! cat is out of the bag, with Sony’s newly designed touchscreen UMD-free PSP set for an official unveiling at this year’s E3, if not before.

This new version of Sony’s PSP is said to be completely disc-free so will come with no UMD drive but rather have all games downloaded to it.

As for the design, with the name PSP Go!, it could be ultraportable and lightweight, and while previous versions of the PSP have been unibody with gaming buttons located to the side of the screen this new model is rumoured to have a large screen with slide-out control pad.

The PSP Go! Is said to be coming in two flavours: 8GB and 16Gb (the average UMD holds a little over 1GB of data) which is handy for the gamer that wants to store more and add multimedia, something that Nintendo can’t compete against to the same extent with the DSi.

According to gaming blog Blorge Sony has “indicated that taking out the UMD playback capability would help reduce piracy previously”.

No official word from Sony as yet, with the company quick to give out ‘no comments on rumour or speculation’ although it is fair to say that an official unveiling looks likely to happen at this year’s E3 in June. Or even before then, should the latest leaks force the company’s hand.

The PSP Go! will keep the same button configuration as current model PSPs so no dual analogue sticks, which many fans of shooters were clamouring for.

Two versions of PSP Go!

1UP’s developer sources further confirmed “that this redesign will be available in two SKUs, with either eight or 16 GB of built-in flash memory” and that “the system is set for release in Japan this September with a US debut coming in either late October or early November.”

The report also speculates that they “wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony borrow many design features from their Mylo 2 handheld Internet device….[which] could provide an 800×480 pixel touchscreen for the system, as well as a camera on the system’s backside.”

Most interestingly, for gamers at least, 1-Up claims that the mythical and ‘long in development hell’ Gran Turismo Mobile will be one of the premier launch titles for the new PSP Go! later this very year.

Is 1-Up’s mock-up sketchy? 

And probably wide of the mark, as controls would have to be slid back in if you were going to use a touch-screen. More likely there will be some form of touch-screen on the slider, too. Demise of UMD would be no great surprise.

But what will Sony do to appease existing PSP owners with their UMD games? That’s its chief diferentiator with the iPhone/iPod touch, which obviously has a massive head-start. And they seem convinved there won’t be two analogue sticks, which makes no sense for first- person shooters.

The PSP app store?

PSP Go!? PSP 4000? All that matters is that Sony are – more than likely – focusing on some form of updated, slide-screen, UMD-free PSP that embraces digital downloads.

It will be interesting if they make social utilities like Facebook, Twitter etc readily accessible via PSP – but with a better games machine at core that could handle, say, a new GTA, or Pro Evo.”

Whether or not the Memory Stick slot will still exist isn’t certain, but no mention has been made of it being removed. Consistent with past rumors, however, the UMD optical reader will be scrapped. Companies under pressure to sell retail copies won’t necessarily need to include physical media, as Sony itself has said that boxed versions of Patapon 2 will only involve coupons to download the game later.

Again elaborating on past leaks, Sony would announced the PSP Go! at the E3 event in June but wouldn’t ship until months later. The company’s native Japan would get the system first, in September, while North America would receive the system in late October or early November. Pricing isn’t known.

Given the shift to an Internet focus, the report also includes speculation that Sony may attempt to salvage the effort put into its poor-selling Mylo 2 communicator and roll the device’s touchscreen technology into the PSP Go!, though at least one rumor has explicitly said it wouldn’t occur.

The launch of an updated PSP in the near future is widely regarded as essential for Sony. Sales have continually been outpaced by the generally less expensive and more compact Nintendo DS line and are now under threat from Apple, whose iPod touch is more powerful than the PSP for 3D and attacks the PSP’s niche of a hybrid game and media player device. The iPod touch already depends solely on downloaded games and in many cases has less expensive titles than for the PSP.

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4 Responses »

  1. How much is the new psp? (The pic above)

  2. when it will be launched???????????????????

  3. Hi Conan,

    It’s RM1099. 2 colours available – Black & White. Gonna wait till it comes with more colour.


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