Sony PSP Go review

The Sony PSP handheld games console re-emerges better than ever before

Sony PSP Go review
The PSP Go costs almost as much as a PS3 – but is it worth it?

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Sony's new PSP Go is a beautifully designed bit of kit for gaming on the go and it certainly boasts that all-important wow-factor if you enjoy impressing your mates with genuinely new and innovative tech.

We liked:

While the slider screen initially seems like it might be a little frail, the decent build-quality means that you can happily throw this into your bag or jeans pocket without worrying too much about breakage.

The size is just about perfect for a handheld console – Sony has achieved an almost perfect balance between portability and functionality for gaming and this fits in your pocket better than any other handheld on the market.

Sony's downloadable game store works well either via your PS3 or PC, with a full copy of Gran Turismo (weighing in at just over 1GB) taking no longer than 30 minutes to download on a half-decent broadband connection.

The Bluetooth tethering function is superb – letting you hook up to the internet via your mobile phone and letting you use a wireless headset to Skype with.

We disliked:

After around half an hour of playing with your shiny new Sony toy you're going to have to reach for the duster and pledge, because while the piano-black, glossy finish looks the part, it's very easily smudged by clammy hands.

The cost at launch is nothing less than ridiculous! At an RRP of £225 you could almost afford to buy a new PS3 Slim with the Uncharted 2 bundle – not to mention Sony's penchant for expensive accessorising, with cases and straps and the like all set to cost you even more.

Luckily, retailers are already slashing this price to a more favourable £199, so make sure you shop around.

Another gripe is that there are still no real killer-apps when compared with Nintendo's DS Lite/DSi.

Our favourite PSP games are generally a few years old – and we keep returning to Ridge Racer 2, Lumines 2 and the like. Not a good sign. Gran Turismo is not enough.

Sony also needs to work on the PSP Go's battery life. Without the option of replacing your battery and with only around only 3-4 hours constant gaming on a full charge, this isn't a very useful device for long trips where you are away from a power point.

The lack of UMD-to-download programme for older games is sure to put off a lot of current PSP gamers, who will not want to buy a console that doesn't offer them a way of playing all of their favourite games.


With all of the above criticisms taken into consideration, this is still the best commercially available handheld gaming console on the market.

It feels, looks and plays better than older versions of the PSP and in most ways better than Nintendo's DSi.

Of course, the major issue that's going to really decide whether or not the PSP Go has a long-term sustainable life beyond Christmas 2009, is whether or not third party publishers decide to put their all-important development budgets behind the machine – because Nintendo unarguably has the edge when it comes to winning handheld game content.

And while Gran Turismo is a superb game, it's simply not enough when compared with the software on offer from the house of Mario, Zelda and Metroid.

Content, as the hoary old cliché goes, is king. Sony's new PSP Minis might well prove to be mildly diverting and cheap gaming snacks, but we need to see more quality, full-length AAA-titles in 2010 to be confident that the PSP is still a contender.

Overall, if you're a fan of Sony products, you're unlikely to wince (too much) at that unnecessarily-high launch price.

With the in-built Bluetooth, you can sync with your mobile phone (and use it to tether your PSP Go to the internet – natch!) or sync it to a wireless headset, which we found is particularly useful for Skype-ing.

You can also stuff plenty of games and demos on the 16GB of internal flash memory to keep you going for weeks on end. And if you still need more, you can put it all on a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card.

Adam Hartley