PSP related rumors don’t seem to die. This time it comes from 1up who claims to have the dope from the sources directly involved with the hardware. They say that the device will first show its face at the E3 expo, which is just over a month away and September being the likely release for Japan. US and other countries will get in October or November just before the holiday season starts.
Also, Sony has decided to drop the PSP2 or PSP-400 moniker for PSP Go! Why? That’s because Sony already had Go!Cam and Go!Video services in the past and as the new PSP is expected to have both these features, the Japanese giant has decided to stick with it.
The latest rumor also picks up few things from the previous ones – like the built-in storage and no UMD. It will have a slider form factor with no extra analog control and supposedly come in two SKUs of 8GB or 16GB storage. Another interesting tidbit is that as the UMD will make its way out, digital download services will kick in and Sony plans to keep 100 titles, old and new, for download on the launch day. PSP Go! will also have a WVGA touchscreen display.
Now, if all this is true, which I believe is, makes a lot of sense from Sony’s point of view. Sony knows that its UMD failed but they cannot drop it completely because doing that, would mean game publishers abandoning and also the 50 million plus PSPs that are already in the market will be reduced to a PMP with no new games.
Instead, their formula of success looks to be to create two different devices that will cater to different audiences. Let’s say Sony does not drastically change the hardware of PSP Go! but offer the device with aforementioned features. This would make the PSP-3000 and PSP Go! go head to head as far as gaming prowess is concerned. Now alongside Go!, if Sony outs a PSP2 or PSP-4000 that will be a step ahead in graphics and hardware with its roots stuck to PSP-1000 (UMD, no internal memory et all), they would have two handheld consoles in the market, targeting two different users – one who seeks DS like functionalities and wants fun over pure gaming can go for PSP Go! while a hardcore gamer can go for PSP2.
PS: Of course, this is totally based on assumption but the idea is pretty much plausible.