Co-Optimus - Review - PSPgo Hardware Review

Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

PSPgo Hardware Review - Page 2

All of the features of the PSPgo add up to a great experience, though it shares most of them (flaws included) with the current PSP.  Examine the following pros/cons and editorial bits, and see if the system is right for you.

- New "pause game" feature allows you to suspend a game at any time and resume wherever you left off
- Included storage is more than enough for a full library of games
- Downloaded games can be put on up to 5 PSPs (obvious co-op implications here!)
- Finally fits in a pocket comfortably
- Bluetooth lets you sync a DualShock 3, which is oddly appealing
- The new screen

- Price
- Still no scratch-resistant screen cover (but Sony will gladly sell you protective film!)
- Outdated wireless tech (endemic to all PSP models)
- Price
- Firmware update out of the box, but that's also a PSP issue.
- No way to convert/cash in old UMDs
- Price
- Renders old accessories useless without a converter, USB cord now proprietary
- No compatibility with old Memory Sticks


Who is this for?

The first-time PSP owner who has a large influx of disposable income despite the economy?  Summer guys? Gadget-whores?  It's hard to say. 

What about my UMDs?
As of this writing, Sony has no plans to offer a cash-in or conversion program for your existing UMDs (unless you're in Europe, and even then you're screwed). If you want to play those old games, you need to have a disc-based system or understand that you will have to rebuy any of the titles that might be on the PSN store.  It's a lame situation, but if it's a big deal to you, you've already got a PSP, and the upgrade is largely unnecessary.

What if I already own a PSP and want to upgrade?
You likely already know if you want a PSPgo.  You have to make a decision whether or not you want to have to keep another PSP around to play older games (though you can certainly feed the Gamestop monster and trade up, losing all your games in the process), and you need to be aware that the PSN store prices will hold a lot firmer than in a retail store. If bargain-bin PSP shopping is your thing, you definitely do not want to upgrade. As with all download-based services, you will be locked into a pricing scheme, and your sole source of games will be Sony.  If this makes you uncomfortable, stick with what you've got. Your techno-lust may not be sated, but you will learn to live with that, some day.

This product is anti-consumer! We should boycott it!

No one is stopping you from keeping your current PSP, and they're not being discontinued. With adequate memory expansion, you can replicate all but the Bluetooth/Pause features and the form factor.  You can download games to all current PSP models, and you can buy UMDs for everything. If you are made uncomfortable by the PSPgo, then simply do not purchase one.  The best part about being a consumer is that voting with your dollar does tend to work.

Mike, you own one, would you recommend a purchase?

If you don't already own a PSP and aren't fazed by the price? Absolutely.  If you own a PSP already? There's no reason to upgrade- buy yourself a fat Memory Stick for your existing one and you'll do just fine.  If you're a gadget whore? You've already unboxed one.

A Small Rant:
Sony, I know you're pricing this bad boy to be seen in the same light as the iPod Touch, but seriously, what the hell are you smoking? There is absolutely no reason that a system with relatively inexpensive flash memory, a slightly smaller screen and LESS moving parts than its predecessor should cost more money. It's an inexcusable flaw, and frankly it's preventing me from making a wholesale recommendation.  While I can see why you would have a hard time offering a UMD-to-digital exchange program, a complete lack of options for potential upgraders is also inexcusable.

Final Verdict:
The final grade I am assigning the PSPgo is based purely on the hardware's own merits. Sony's pricing and practices are certainly mind-boggling, but it's a fine piece of hardware.



Co-Op Score

The Co-Op Experience: A second player can enter a level any time. Earn points with your friend and unlock together new special weapons and upgrades.

Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.