At least Sony tried. If the PSP Go hadn’t been released as the line in a line of continually updating SKUs for the company’s PlayStation Portable gaming device, it could’ve been something cool and different. It was those things, but in stripping away basic PSP features like the UMD disc drive, this smaller, sleeker, more expensive device actually ended up offering less. Repeated attempts have been made to sell gamers on the PSP Go since its late 2009 launch, but Sony has finally given up and admitted defeat on this one. It was the right idea released at the wrong time.
Reports started to circulate yesterday from various sources that the PSP Go had been discontinued. Sony kept quiet about it at first, but eventually issued a statement to Japanese website AV Watch confirming the news (via Gamasutra). Production has ceased on the device and new stock will no longer be shipping out. The PSP Go is gone.
Sony cites the the need to shift focus to the coming NGP handheld as the reason for the move. Low sales numbers were also probably an (understandably unmentioned) issue as well; the biggest problem with the NGP by far was its lack of a UMD drive.
Three PSP SKUs were released prior to the Go, and all of them ran UMD-based games. The Go couldn’t run them and no option was given for transferring UMD content to a memory card, meaning the entire established PSP community would have to either re-purchase their old games as digital downloads or keep an older model handy as a secondary. Which, when you get right down to it, is patently ridiculous.
Tellingly, Sony also confirmed in its statement will continue to manufacture and ship the PSP-3000 (the latest pre-Go version of the device) since it continues to sell. The PSP Go will also continue to be supported with firmware updates and repair services.