Sony PSP Go

First Impressions:
Well, the PSP Go is sexy, at least compared to the previous PSP models.  One reason why I stopped using my PSP for Music and started using my iPod touch was because even the largest iPod models will fit in your pocket.  A PSP-3000 will maybe fit in your coat pocket.  Another issue with using the older PSPs to play music was that the left and right buttons were all too easy to hit (which would skip to the next or previous song) - Since the PSP Go slides shut when the keyad is not in use, this is no longer an issue.

The whole device is smaller, so the screen is of course smaller too, though not that much smaller.  (Still slightly larger than the iPod Touch).  The device is also a similar form factor to the Mylo, which means it's a good form factor for actually using the built-in Skype client.  If you think it might replace the Mylo 2, or another dedicated Skype phone, just remember that Skype can't run in the background on the PSP.

Software Updates and the Online Store:
Despite the lack of UMD support, the PSP in Japan comes with a voucher for a free game download.  Great! you might think, but the this is where the first problem begins.  The PSP store won't let you in until you update, and to perform the system update you have to download it first.  Once downloaded, though, it still won't install until your battery is at 100% (which takes quite a long time, and there is no menu option to show the exact batter status).  All in all, if you were thinking of buying the PSP Go, throwing a few games on it, and then heading to work in the morning, think again.  
Worst of all, this inconvenience seems to be the result of poor planning by Sony.  First of all, why should I be required to have the latest system software to even access the store?  That strikes me as something they are doing "because they can"(tm).  Next, why won't the software update with the battery at, say, 90% ?  Yes, it would be bad if the system ran out of power half-way through the update, but the fact is that the updates only take a few minutes.  At any rate, it may be a one time deal, but you will have to spend a few hours charging and updating your shiny new baby when you get home - instead of being able to play with it.
Once the system software update is installed, you can use the online store, but only if you register first.  Also note that you can change your address after registering, but not your region - and that codes for one region don't work in others.  Downloading takes quite some time, even on a fast connection - much longer than can be excused.  

Some examples:
 Title Size Time
 Patapon 350MB 1 hour
 Loco Roco 150MB 30 Mins

On the one hand, it's not that bad, because you can just set it to download before you do something else (like sleep).  On the other hand, if you want to download a few games before work or school in the morning, forget it.  Worse yet, there doesn't seem to be any pause/resume functionality.

Many reviews of the PSP Go bemoan the fact that the UMD drive is gone.  Yet, everyone complained about the UMB drive as well.  You can't have it both ways.  Personally, I am glad Sony removed the UMD drive, and I am speaking as someone who owns several UMDs.  Yes, they should have a trade-in program, and yes, I hope they come up with an easy way to transfer games between PSPs, but at the end of day, this is a new platform, the trade-off was calculated.  If you don't like the non-UMD PSP, then you are not in the target market for it.  Just like I don't complain about pink nail polish being pink, people shouldn't complain about the non-UMD model of the PSP being non-UMD.  The PSP Go is designed to compete with the iPod more than the DS, and thus it is better suited for people who will tend to use it for music and photos (and other apps) with some gaming, than for hard-core gamers.

The Good:
  • The screen is crisp and colorful, and not that much smaller than the previous PSP models.
  • The XMB is a bit nicer
  • The harware is compact and sexy
  • The system now has 16GB of internal storage + the M2 slot
  • The built-in microphone is nice
  • Bluetooth is a nice touch, especially since you can use it for internet access with System Software 6.10
  • You can now suspend games when you quit.  This is a great feature.  You can now quit any game, at any point, and then resume it later.
  • Unlike the Mylo 2, the PSP can connect to ad-hod networks created by a PC or Mac (that has 3G wireless, for example).

The Bad:
  • Many people don't like the control lay-out
  • The battery isn't removable anymore, which could limit the device's use on long trips.
  • The standard Micro-USB port is gone, replaced with an iPod-like proprietary connector (and special cable)
  • As a result of the USB port changes, previous accessories (GPS, Video Camera, and 1Seg TV tuner) won't work.  (The 1Seg option is still on the system menu, however).  Why isn't the GPS and/or 1Seg built-in?
  • The audio connector has changed, and you can no longer use previous PSP audio accessories (like the Skype headset).
  • Still won't play many H.264 videos from iTunes (DRM Free videos included)
  • There is no Mac or Linux version of the included Media Go software.  Even on Windows, it requires .Net to be installed.  Not the most friendly choice when the majority of Windows PCs still run XP.
  • Wi-Fi download speed is slow, you can't resume incomplete downloads.
The Annoying:
  • The PSN accounts are region specific (You can't use Japanese store redemption codes in the US store and vice versa).
  • You can only register one account per PSP.
  • Skype for PSP only supports 150 contacts.  That becomes a problem if you use Skype on a PC that syncs the address book to your Skype account automatically.  When there are too many contacts, it shows none.
  • No way to check exact battery level.
  • Bluetooth pairing doesn't work well sometimes, and there is no way to manually find the Bluetooth ID.
  • The 6.10 firmware crashes occasionally when doing things like Bluetooth setup.

The Ugly:
  • M2? Seriously?  When will Sony learn, people don't like their strange expensive proprietary memory sticks.  They started adding SD Card slots on their PCs for a reason.
  • Consumer unfriendly software update policies.
What could have been:
  • They could have built in the GPS for cheap
  • They could have built in the 1Seg tuner relatively cheaply
  • They could have built in Mobile Suica technology (they own it...)
  • They could have built in an accelerometer, since they are, after all, trying to compete with devices that have them.  (and they are very cheap now).
  • They could have added a touch-screen.
  • They could have put a camera like the Mylo 2.
  • They could have bundled 3G wireless like the Sony P Series laptops.