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Developer Panel Gives Its Verdict On Sony's PSP Go 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the thumbs-slanted-forward dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A panel of games industry veterans have given their final verdict on Sony's PSP Go. David Perry thinks the handheld is an excellent step in the right direction, though he wants it to include free-to-play games. Andrew Oliver of Blitz Games Studios was also optimistic: 'The iPod has demonstrated that, given a nice small device and a good interface and easy buying process, people are happy to download content. I think this will work and move gamers to accepting legal digital downloads, which is the way we want the market to go.' In total, a panel of eight developers discussed four key issues surrounding the handheld, including whether or not they will develop for it."
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Developer Panel Gives Its Verdict On Sony's PSP Go

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  • Terrible. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @12:57PM (#28281573) Homepage Journal

    With the go you pay more for less.
    You loose the UMD so you loose access to all the cheap used games and the old PSP will get a software update to allow you to get games online just like the go.
    The features of the Go are good. The actual device I think will be a bust.

    • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:00PM (#28281615)

      I have an original PSP, properly modded. It still sits unused unless I want some old NES titles on the go.

      No need to upgrade to the "Go".

    • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SailorSpork (1080153) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:12PM (#28281807) Homepage

      Which is why the DSi is starting really small with they digital distributions - they need to get people used to the idea of paying for downloads in a low-cost way. Eventually they will release larger / full games, I'm sure, but when people are ready for it.

      Sony expects people to go straight there with no transition, no mention of cheaper (or even Greatest Hits back catalogue) to entice a switch. They haven't given the consumer a single reason to want a PSP Go over a normal PSP, they're doing it strictly because of the higher-profit cut-out-the-middle-man business model. Good luck with that.

    • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jim Hall (2985) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:47PM (#28282357) Homepage

      You loose the UMD so you loose access to all the cheap used games and the old PSP will get a software update to allow you to get games online just like the go.

      I don't know that you actually have a PSP, or you'd know that the current PSP can already access the PlayStation Network online store to buy games (not movies, though ... probably too big to download over wifi?) I've downloaded some demos directly to my PSP-1001 using PSN, and it works fine.

      I haven't purchased PSP downloadable games on my PSP through PSN, though. That's because I have a PS3 also, and I'd rather buy games via the PS3, and use the PS3's hard drive as a "repository" of my purchased downloadable games. I push purchased games to the PSP when I want to play them.

      And yes, I've bought a lot of PSP games through PSN. Cuboid, SOCOM Fire Team Bravo, Puzzle Quest, etc. Actually, I probably wouldn't have bought SOCOM FTB except that it was pretty cheap on PSN, and I figured what the heck. (Turns out, I liked it.)

      Yes, you lose access to all the used PSP games that are already out on UMD. That matters (somewhat) to people like me who already have a PSP and have a (small) library of PSP-UMD games that I occasionally re-play: Daxter, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, Star Wars: Battefront 2, SOCOM Tactical Strike, Lumines, Loco Roco. (A few of these are now available via PSN as "UMD classic" downloadable games, for less $$ than the cost of the game on UMD.) And I buy the occasional PS1 game from PSN: Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot. (I still have my original Spyro trilogy on PS1 discs, but re-purchased it anyway so I could play it on my PSP.) When my current PSP-1001 dies, and I replace it with a PSP Go, I'll probably have to re-purchase any of those old (great) games that I still want to re-play. Or, I could look for a (used?) PSP that supports UMD. So here's hopin' my PSP-1001 outlasts the "replay value" of those old PSP-UMD games.

      Aside: I also still have a few UMD movies. To be honest, though, I don't really re-watch movies. I only watch(ed) UMD movies when I went on business trips, but as soon as the PSN store offered movie rentals (where the SD version could be "pushed" to a PSP to watch there) I only watched new stuff that were rented. Not that there are any new UMD movies, anyway ...

      But back to the point - Sony isn't making the PSP Go for you & me. They are making it for people who don't (yet) have a PSP and would be willing to buy one. That's why Sony is making such a big deal that the PSP Go can purchase games from PlayStation Network. It will attract more people to the PSP Go. It's the same crowd that buy apps for their iPhone. Or PC games from Steam. Same concept, different price points.

      When Slashdot discussed the PSP Go a few weeks ago [slashdot.org], I posted a bit of advice for Sony, to help with immediate adoption of the PSP Go. I'll repeat it here:

      Hint to Sony: When you release the PSP Go, please also release [at least] the top 50% of games from your UMD PSP game catalog as digital downloads from PlayStation Network, so PSP Go owners can buy older, popular games. Really, I'm telling you to make half of your "UMD classic" games available on PSN. Just do it. It's the only way you'll build traction for the PSP Go.

      • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @02:06PM (#28282635)

        Yes, you lose access to all the used PSP games that are already out on UMD. That matters (somewhat) to people like me who already have a PSP and have a (small) library of PSP-UMD games that I occasionally re-play:

        Every game I own on UMD, I've already converted to ISO so that I can push it onto a memory stick. Cuts down on the annoyingly long UMD load times, makes it so that I can carry 5-6 games without worrying about losing/swapping the UMD cartridges in and out, and saves me up to 25% battery life as well. UMD was a colossal mistake from Sony, if they'd wanted to make the PSP a real success they would have never bothered with it and just put out their titles on pre-made memory cards. They could have fit four memory card slots into the space of the UMD drive.

        The only way I can see buying the Go is if/when it gets hacked, so that I can port my current library over. And even then, my old PSP would need to die.

        Hint to Sony: When you release the PSP Go, please also release [at least] the top 50% of games from your UMD PSP game catalog as digital downloads from PlayStation Network, so PSP Go owners can buy older, popular games. Really, I'm telling you to make half of your "UMD classic" games available on PSN. Just do it. It's the only way you'll build traction for the PSP Go.

        Problem #1: people hate re-paying to get something they already paid for, especially in such a short term. Yes, I know people pay money for old arcade titles or NES/SNES titles on the 360/wii services, and even a few will pay for old Playstation titles, but that's because those are OLD and many people either lost their old copy, broke it, sold it at a garage sale, or remember playing it over at a friend's place. If you turn around and tell people, two years after buying the UMD, "well if you want it on the new device you'll have to buy it again", you'll have a customer revolt.

        Problem #2: The PSP, functionally, has problems. 99% of the titles for it are either old Playstation copies, or re-treads of Playstation properties. Lacking a secondary analog stick and enough buttons, playing many of those is way more difficult than it should be.

        Problem #3: you can only produce "Grand Theft Auto: Yeah I Fucked Your Mom" so many times before it gets old and boring. It hit "old and boring" 5 years ago as most of its old fans finally grew up.

        • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Informative)

          by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@nOSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:07PM (#28283481)

          UMD was a colossal mistake from Sony,

          They had to go with a disc that holds 1.8GB because cheap flash storage of that capacity didn't exist yet when the PSP was designed. The PSN also didn't exist yet, that had to wait for the PS3. So sure, they could have released games on MS Duo, but don't you remember seeing 1GB MS Duo's going for over $100 at PSP launch? You couldn't even buy 2GB Duo's at that time.

          You're probably thinking now :"The DS uses cards" Yes, it does, but they're masked ROMS, not flash, and their capacity is much much less than a UMD, only 256MB.

          • Re:Terrible. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by lordofthechia (598872) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @05:16PM (#28285413)

            That's true, the cost of using MS media could have been huge. That said, I think the biggest mistake they made with UMD (especially UMD Video) was not including video out with the original PSP.

            It was stupid to sell movies on UMD for $20 (the price of a DVD) which at the time could only be watched on the PSP's tiny screen. If people had the option to hook up their PSP's to their TV and watch the movies on a bigger screen, then I could definitely see a larger proportion of people shifting money from DVD purchases to UMD purchases (and thus made the $20 pricing more acceptable).

            Heck, UMD's could have made inroads replacing DVD's for long car trips (by using external screens connected to the PSP's video out).

            Of course with how cheap flash memory is, the point is now moot.

        • by Jim Hall (2985)

          Every game I own on UMD, I've already converted to ISO so that I can push it onto a memory stick. Cuts down on the annoyingly long UMD load times, makes it so that I can carry 5-6 games without worrying about losing/swapping the UMD cartridges in and out, and saves me up to 25% battery life as well.

          I'm glad for you. But not everyone who owns a PSP is willing to hack it, to run homebrew on it to play ripped UMDs. Hacking your PSP is the only way to rip a UMD to ISO.

          Problem #1: people hate re-paying to get something they already paid for, especially in such a short term. Yes, I know people pay money for old arcade titles or NES/SNES titles on the 360/wii services, and even a few will pay for old Playstation titles, but that's because those are OLD and many people either lost their old copy, broke it, sold it at a garage sale, or remember playing it over at a friend's place. If you turn around and tell people, two years after buying the UMD, "well if you want it on the new device you'll have to buy it again", you'll have a customer revolt.

          I'm not sure you read my comment the first time around, so I'll repeat the idea: Sony isn't making the PSP Go for people who already own a PSP. Sure, some current PSP owners will probably go for the PSP Go. Those that do likely could care less that the PSP Go doesn't support UMD games. These people are happy to move on to new games, and prob

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        But they are still selling the old PSP for less than the Go. There is no reason for anybody to buy a Go. Unless you want less for more.

        • It comes with Bluetooth access -- the one feature I've wanted on my PSP that it doesn't have. Not worth $50 but still a feature.

      • Quick offtopic question for you: I've a PSP, and noticed that with, say, PS1 Classics, they're available for both the PSP and the PS3. Does one purchase enable play on both, should you own both? Or do you need to purchase twice?

        • by Jim Hall (2985)

          Quick offtopic question for you: I've a PSP, and noticed that with, say, PS1 Classics, they're available for both the PSP and the PS3. Does one purchase enable play on both, should you own both? Or do you need to purchase twice?

          You purchase once. I picked up '(PS1) Spyro the Dragon' for PSP/PS3. You can play it on your PS3, and you can push it to your PSP to play there. Yes, you can play on both PSP and PS3 at the same time - it doesn't "lock" you into only one platform at a time.

          I don't know how to transfer save files from the PS3 to PSP, though.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      With the go you pay more for less.
      You loose the UMD so you loose access to all the cheap used games and the old PSP will get a software update to allow you to get games online just like the go.
      The features of the Go are good. The actual device I think will be a bust.

      You forgot that while you have 16GB of memory onboard, if you want more, you have have to buy the even more expensive Memory Stick Micros. Just when 16GB memory stick duos are becoming available for mere mortals (you can get 16GB in other format

    • The Go does not replace the traditional PSP at all. Sony has said this repeatedly, it is for people who don't want the UMD support.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ProppaT (557551)

        Right, but it's also much more expensive than the regular PSP. So, does this sell on the shelf next to the PSP? Can the old PSP play the new PSP Go games? If it's not supposed to replace the traditional PSP, it just opens up a whole new world of confusion on the part of consumers.

        Sony seems to be the master at making devices that blur so many lines that people aren't sure if they should buy it and why they should buy it, especially lately with their game consoles.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          From what I have read the old PSP will play all the games the Go does so yea I just don't see it.
          If it was cheaper then it would be logical.
          What it will really do is kill used games.
          You will not have the option of selling your old games when you finish them. You will not have the option of trading them to your friends. I am also betting that it will be less hackable as well.
          Let's face it Sony and the other console makers HATE used games. I got a PS2 and I think I have bought 5 new games for it. Four of them

        • When they introduced the PSP 2000(?) it had twice the RAM of the original, but that memory is for caching and is not available to games so as to keep new games compatible with the old unit.

          However, the new unit was able to run Skype in that extra memory, and the old one was not.

          There may be other PSP Go unique features that will emerge, but knowing Sony, there won't be Go-only games.

    • I can't actually view the page at work but I believe this should address your claim that

      You loose the UMD so you loose access to all the cheap used games

      http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/59050 [shacknews.com]
      For those too lazy to click the link, or limited net access like me, Sony are planning on releasing a tool that will let you copy your UMD disks to the new PSP Go.

  • I'll stick to my original model with custom firmware, thanks. There are some legitimately great apps our there, like PSPFiler, a well as support for youtube.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention all the free, pirated games I can download!

  • It's curious that the Go is really making as many waves as it is. From what I've seen there really isn't that much difference between the Go and the standard PSP. The PSP is still a valid gaming platform, so i don't really see Sony's need to push this out unless they feel the need to release a new hand held every 6 months like Nintendo tends to do with the DS.
    • by ESqVIP (782999)
      New handheld every 6 months? There are just DS, DS Lite and DSi. Meanwhile, this is the fourth PSP, the three last ones all being released roughly a year apart. Not to mention AFAIK the DS's all share the same accessories (save for the DSi not having a GBA port), while the Go will require all-new accessories.
      • by 7Prime (871679)

        Remember that the DS actually came out BEFORE the PSP, and it's only on its third itteration. The PSP is now on its fourth.

  • Go figure... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by .sig (180877)

    Making the PlayStationPortable portable? What a great idea! Mine is just way too big and bulky for me to carry anywhere...
    (i.e., I just don't get it)

    • Too big? While it is wider than a DS, it actually weighs less. Less than a DSlite even. Just hold a PSP-3000 and DSlite in your hands, sure surprised me.

      • by .sig (180877)

        And that's the point I was making, slightly sarcasticly - The PSP is already portable, it's part of the name FFS

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:23PM (#28282013)

    The PSP Go can enable the industry to sell games cheaper - while not dropping quality

    Sure, it can, but will it? One of the issues with digital downloads is that they don't necessarily respond to pricing influences like physical products do, and as a result prices are insulated and tend to stay higher. If we take a look at Steam for example, Valve wants $40 for Left 4 Dead, while Best Buy will sell it to you for $30. Or if we take a look at PSP games on the PSN store, they'll sell you the 1st-party racing game Wipeout Pure for $16, but even those evil bastards at Gamestop will sell you the game used for $7, or $15 (still $1 cheaper!) if they have new copies in stock.

    Sony does not currently price digitally distributed PSP games at a reasonable level. A physical copy can virtually always be found for cheaper than a digital copy, and sales in the real world can drive that down even further. For the most part, it's foolish to buy from Sony's store so long as you have a UMD drive to play games with.

    If Sony wants to go the iTunes Store model, they need to reevaluate their pricing structure. The iTunes model works because even though there's lot of crap, there's still a lot of good stuff that's competition to force down prices, and Apple's liberal pricing model will let you do that. A store and system that does little beyond locking you in to paying retail prices for new games for the rest of all time is going to be a hard thing to sell to people that know they can do better.

    • If Sony wants to go the iTunes Store model, they need to reevaluate their pricing structure.

      That and open it up to homebrew. Apple copied Microsoft's model of the XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Community Games when it created the App Store; why can't Sony?

    • by ink (4325) *

      A store and system that does little beyond locking you in to paying retail prices for new games for the rest of all time is going to be a hard thing to sell to people that know they can do better.

      That's the fundamental problem. Sony executives have had a long history of exploiting the PlayStation brand with "synergy" for the rest of the company. The PS3 and the PSP are prime examples of mostly-useless crap that they have shoved into them in order to "leverage" other Sony properties (UMD, Blueray, Memorystick, etc.). The executives are freaking out over the iPhone because they see their market crumbling, and so what do they do? Do they copy the Apple model? Hell no. Instead, they've removed the

    • by non0score (890022)
      I think the problem mostly stems from the fact that the big publishers don't want to piss off the brick and mortar retail stores, like Gamestop. I'm pretty sure they'd be willing to price digital downloads at far better pricing (i.e. cheaper than retail), especially since they don't have to worry about manufacturing/packaging/distribution costs (well, less distribution costs anyway -- still gotta pay for bandwidth). But then that will anger the retail stores, which still hold the lion's share of sales.
    • by rob1980 (941751)
      I noticed they released Patapon 2 at $20 as a test case for digital distribution, and they have games in the UMD Legacy section of the Playstation Store in the $6-$23 range. If that's how they're thinking of pricing new games going forward, then it's absolutely the right way to go. At those kinds of prices the Playstation Store will compete hard with Gamestop's used PSP market and win head-to-head on titles that are hard to find or otherwise sold out in stores. Sure, Gamestop beats the Playstation Store on
    • You need to pay more attention. Steam has sales all the time. I've seen games go anywhere from 10%-90% off. Left 4 Dead had a weekend where it was 50% off. It did massive sales numbers over that weekend.

      In the future, when physical distribution is gone, these types of sales will become even more of a big deal. Gamers have shown that they can and will wait for a price drop before buying a game.

      Even though digital distribution eliminates any supply issues, it is still subject to the law of demand.

  • The PSP Go is DOA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MemoryDragon (544441) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:42PM (#28282255)

    Seriously, way too overpriced compared to the DS. And say what you will, existing PSP owners wont convert nobody wants to throw away a perfectly fine UMD collection and rebuy all the games again.
    I am not sure what Sony thought introducing it, but definitely this thing seems Dead on Arrival to me!

    • Seriously, way too overpriced compared to the DS.

      So true. Whenever I see a DS in public, it's always in the hands of a 5-12 year old. Parents buy these things to keep their kids distracted in the car, out running errands, at a restaurant, etc. The DS does that job just fine, and no sane parent would put a $250 device in the hands of a child. Add to that the adult gamers who bought a PSP and were sorely disappointed with the titles available.

      Product extensions on products with a bad reputation rarely fare well. Maybe I'm just bitter that I wasted my m

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ucblockhead (63650)

      They probably thought that by releasing the PSP Go without a UMD drive while not discontinuing the PSP 3000, which does have the UMD drive, they were giving consumers a choice.

  • PSP Go (Score:4, Informative)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @01:43PM (#28282277) Homepage Journal

    Also know as the PSP Cartman [gizmodo.com].

  • This is the future (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moon3 (1530265)
    Sorry chaps, but seeing the iPhone App Store, the Xbox Live marketplace etc. This is a last decade of media based content.

    And the PSP Go will be a success story.
  • Too expensive! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by earthbound kid (859282) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:59PM (#28284263) Homepage

    I have a DSi but no PSP, so when I heard about the Go, I thought, "Hmm, sounds cool, and I don't have any UMDs, so I won't miss the drive..." Then I heard about the price. $250!? For something less capable than an existing PSP? I don't know who Sony thinks they're kidding. This one is going another "Game Boy Micro." Potentially interesting, but it won't take off with consumers since it's way overpriced.

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