Today Sony will begin shipping its next-gen portable video game device, the PSP Go. With the iPhone fast becoming the new hot gaming platform, it stands to reason that Sony would take a few cues from Apple. Then why is the PSP Go getting trounced by reviewers?
The iPhone taught us that mobile games are best bought on the run–all the better for impulse buys. The PSP Go forgoes cartridges for a wireless connection, just like the iPhone, but instead of installing an always-on 3G connection like Amazon did with its Kindle, Sony sticks the PSP Go with just WiFi–and antiquated 802.11b WiFi hardware at that. Games start at $5, when many iPhone games are $1, $2 or free.
The PSP Go is much smaller than the original PSP–and usability suffers. ArsTechnica says that arranging your fingers on the keys is “like fighting over the armrest on a plane.” As Engadget points out, all the old cables from your original PSP–not to mention all those cartridge games–are all useless with the new hardware. Cnet decries the high pricetag ($250), and calls the user experience “awkward.” And as Gizmodo complains, “PSP Minis can’t have any network or online features. Nor can they support camera peripherals.”
If the PSP Go is Sony’s answer to the phenomenal rise of the iPhone game, it’d better have a more convincing riposte coming soon.
(Image courtesy Gizmodo.)