Sony's New PSP Go! Portable Storage Technology Revealed
Sources close to Sony PSP development have hinted what Sony's planning to stick in its rumored smaller, sleeker PSP Go! console.
Remember the CES 2009 Press Release back in January? The one where SanDisk revealed a panoply of tinier, higher-speed memory products? Think those.
Think specifically the trailing bullet point, the one where Sony and SanDisk "have co-developed two expanded Memory Stick formats." Think something like the Memory Stick HG-Micro, with a 60MB/s transfer rate, approximately 40MB/s faster than original Memory Stick Duo.
As for all the folks reporting the PSP Go!'s will include dedicated internal flash memory, they may want to think again.
Ask yourself this: Why would Sony bother?
Think about pricing. Think about forcing consumers to eat the extra memory cost when Sony needs to be price-competitive with Nintendo. Think about obsolescence if memory card speeds and capacities increase in the near term. 16GB of internal memory? That's pretty much nothing at all once you've pulled down a handful of movies and games and loaded up most of your music collection. Look at Apple's iPod Classic. It's sporting 120GB of storage these days.
What are the ramifications? We all know the UMD drive's never been the speediest kid on the block, though in the slimmed up PSP the new "UMD Cache" system option increased initial load times in trade for slightly less frenetic ongoing game access.
Still, the main complaints surrounding the UMD remain:
1. It puts extra strain on the battery, especially when viewing movies or dealing with data that's continuously streamed from the disc.
2. You've got to tote around all those kludgy little discs.
3. The discs themselves aren't well protected. There's no sliding "shutter" to protect the access gap in the sleeve, allowing easy scratching or ingress and trapping of particulate.
4. It's slow.
5. It's noisy as all get out. Forget playing in bed next to your loved one, something that's never been a problem with my Nintendo DS.
So you ditch the UMD, and aside from the headache it'll create for those of us with large UMD libraries (games and movies) getting things transferred, everything now resides on a bunch of physically tinier, zippier, swappable memory cards. No noise, less kludgy and more rugged physical footprint, plenty of expansion headroom, and you can upgrade at the speed of your wallet.
Now Sony just needs to ship a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers with the new system, so we're not squinting around on the ground if we drop one changing our data out.
I still don't like this. For one, Sony is now completely at the mercy of ISPs. Still on dialup? It is going to take 3 days of non-stop downloading for a single game. Imagine Time Warner's bandwidth caps where each game would have a 3$ surcharge. I also imagine that games will have restrictive DRM and only work on the PSP they are purchased on so that if it breaks, you lose your whole game collection.
No thanks, I'll stick with my slim, non-gimped PSP thank you, and I can only hope consumers do the same. There is no reason why UMDs and downloadable content can't coexist except that Sony is now apparently batshit crazy.
its obvious that sony are gonna try and cover there backs against piracy for this, so there will b some kinda protection on the downloads.. and like the post before me said, your kinda screwed if you lose that data and cant back it up coz of some sorta drm/hardware binding data/encrypted pkg.
so i can imagine that sony would implement a 5 times download allowance like the ps3 has just incase something does happen to your purchased download game.
im going to stick with my slim for a bit and see what happens no need to rush into it there is bound to be teething problems also.. what will happen with the umds that people already have and if we dont have it physically will the games be cheaper because they wont have any manufacturing costs.
If they were t o just rely on physical memory cards the logical thing would be to have multiple slots, say you have 2 to 4 slots, multiply that by 16GB thats 32 to 62GB, just a suggestion. Also with the downloads im sure they will allow to download games etc from computers and stations in stores then transfer which would not take that long if you have a high connection.
I know what I'm about to write is a really dumb idea but I'm just going to get it out in the open and you can call it dumb all you want.
If the whole download thing doesn't work out I guess that memory is now so cheap that sony could just as well sell this 4GB cards for as much as a UMD costs now in order to get "physical" copies to consumers, I know, it's dumb but it could happen maybe.
It's kind of funny really, as I don't pirate games on the PSP but I do use a custom firmware so I can play legitimate homebrew and as a matter of course I back up my UMDs and play them from a memory stick as it's just more convenient to do that.
However, I'm very much opposed to being forced to buy digitally as there's just no consumer protection when something goes wrong - if I lost or broke my PSP, I'd have to re-buy all my games, if the flash fails the same, etc...
Plus there's the pricing issue. Even on brand-new games, UMDs are cheaper than downloads - e.g. Patapon 2 cost me £10 on UMD, Sony is charging £20 for a download with no manual, disc, etc. It's just ridiculous.
If they came up with a hybrid solution, e.g. providing a CD that ran on a PC and allowed you to download it straight to the PSP via USB that'd probably work for me too, but again there's still the problem that if my current PSP broke I'd have no way to play all my existing UMDs games if the replacement PSP doesn't have an UMD (unless I could get a cfw on it and run the images I've already created).