E3 2009 Preview

PSP Go Hands-on

The worst kept secret of E3, the PSP Go was ‘officially’ revealed at Sony’s E3 09 press conference — as if the Qore episode detailing exactly what the new PSP would offer wasn’t “official.” Despite the widespread lack of surprise from everyone in the crowd, a tangible amount of excitement remained in the air when Jack Tretton revealed that the Go would be available to check out in the Sony booth. Of course, I had to get my hands on the machine.

For those that haven’t remained in the loop, the PSP Go is not the PSP2. Though it has slightly different hardware specifications than other PSPs, games will be released on UMD for older models, and via the PlayStation Store for the PSP Go.

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You already know that, however. What you don’t know is how the Go feels in yours hands. I do, and I’m happy to report that it looks and feel great. The Go is incredibly light, with a sliding screen that can be closed while watching media, which further decreases the size of the already small portable device. There are some buttons that run along the top, so you’ll still be able to control certain aspects of the machine, like volume, while it’s in the closed position.

The face and shoulder buttons feel wonderful, as does the analog nub, which initially appeared awkwardly placed. I expressed concern in an earlier article about the placement of the analog nub, but I retract that statement; once the PSP Go was in my hands, I discovered that the new placement actually feels far more ergonomic than the analog nub of old. Just to clarify, that’s not from a few seconds of holding it – I played nearly an hour of Gran Turismo PSP and LittleBigPlanet PSP on the Go. It’s simply in a more natural place.

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Everything else remains largely unchanged. As I said earlier, it’s not the PSP2. Since it will run the same games as earlier models of the PSP, Sony couldn’t add any new features that would alienate current PSP owners.

As a result of the time I spent with the portable, I’m genuinely looking forward to the PSP Go’s release later this year, and plan to get one as soon as it becomes available. Away we Go!