Guild's PSP Go review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Guild McCommunist, May 28, 2011.

  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Well, I finally got my grubby hands on one, and now I get to review one. The controversial PSP Go!

    [​IMG]

    Now, I normally review stuff from a typical consumer standpoint. So no piracy, no hacking, no homebrew included. On this review, however, I'll change that. Simply put, the PSP Go is rather mediocre without using homebrew or piracy. Plain and simple. Now that we have that out of the way, I can say the Go is a fantastic device for both piracy and homebrew.

    The Pros

    • It's an actual Playstation Portable!: One thing the original PSP models have been criticized for is portability. While the DS became more portable with the DS Lite and DSi (and not portable with the DSi XL), the PSP has had roughly the same sized models consistently. The Go, however, is incredibly portable. Here's some size comparisons so you can see for yourself (they're taken with my shitty phone camera so pardon the quality).

      Warning: Spoilers inside!
    • Internal storage! Probably one of the biggest draws for the Go is the sweet 16GB internal storage. You don't have to worry about swapping memory cards or all that junk; it's always there. Added with some expandable storage and you can easily fit everything you want on your PSP Go.
    • Cheaper expandable memory! A lot of people are probably a bit miffed about Sony using a new form of expandable storage instead of the old Memory Stick Pro Duos. I'd be a bit pissy too, but fortunately Memory Stick Micros are really cheap. They sell for roughly half the price as Pro Duos for the same amount of storage.
    • The screen! The PSP Go screen is a tad bit smaller than regular PSP screens, but it does make games and details a lot more vibrant. Games generally look a lot better on the Go.
    • Firmware additions! The Go has some exclusive features to its firmware. The most notable one is a save state feature, which is really helpful. Basically in any game, you can pause the game via the Home button and choose "Pause Game". A snapshot will be taken of the game at the time you paused it and you can reload that snapshot whenever. While there's only one save state slot across all your games, it's still a nifty feature for making the games easier to pick up and play. Additional firmware features include a clock. When the screen slides down when your system is on, the screen will shift to a cool looking clock. A bit pointless but cool nonetheless.
    • Bluetooth! The PSP Go has Bluetooth connectivity, which means it can connect to Bluetooth headsets, controllers (such as the PS3's controllers), or phones. You can even connect your PSP Go to the TV, connect a PS3 controller to it, and play all your PSP games on your TV! However, these require a PS3 (whether there's homebrew that allows it is unknown to me).
    • PSP Minis! While they're available on all models, they were made to help promote the Go. Some of them are garbage, but there's a lot of fun ones out there. Plus their small filesize means they won't be hogging much space on your system.

    Debatable

    • The controls. Personally, I've had no issues with the controls. I have big hands and I've found cramping to be an issue on handhelds. I had some cramping on my original PSP 1000 but that was eventually cured by basically breaking my hands into it with Dissidia 012 nonstop. My DS still gets some mean cramping on my hands when playing FPS games or using both bumpers. However, I've never had any of those issues with hours of Go gaming. It's really different from person to person, but I wouldn't say the controls are anything bad or nothing you can't just get used to.
    • The buttons. The buttons on the Go are from what I found to be a bit more "squishy", compared to the "clicky' buttons of the other PSPs. Personally, I enjoy the squishier controls and flatter buttons, while others don't. The L/R buttons are the most noticeably "squishy" and the biggest pro for me. Others complain about their positioning and proximity to each other but I find it better than before. For games like Monster Hunter which use the D-Pad for the camera, the closer, the better.
    • The sliding screen. Some people aren't a big fan of the sliding screen. They say it feels kinda flimsy and it interferes with the L/R buttons. I don't really find this much of an issue myself but we're all a bit different.

    The Cons


    • No UMD drive/way to play UMD games. While the UMD drive is clunky and obnoxious, it was and still is the most popular way to play legally bought copies of games. The Go's controversial decision to drop this was what made it largely unpopular. If it came with some method of converting your UMDs to a file for the Go, there'd be little complaint about it. But there's not. If you're a regular consumer with a bunch of UMDs, you'll be shit out of luck. For those with hacked systems, however, you can dump your games and put them on the Go (or just pirate them altogether). It's a minor issue to pirates but a huge issue to anyone else.
    • New USB port. This is personally my biggest peeve with the system. The new USB port and cable is unique to the system, so odds are you won't have a spare lying around. While this does cut down on the ports (as it acts as the charging port, the data transfer port, and the video out port), it's annoying to go around with the cable from your charger to your computer to your TV, and buying any more of them is just a waste.
    • The price. New PSP Gos are really quite pricey, often hovering around the $175 range (when new PSP 3000s are $130). However, on the used market, they're about the same or even cheaper than used PSP 3000s. I bought mine with shipping included for $113. Even if you're looking to buy new, think about it like this. The PSP 3000 costs $130 and a new Pro Duo 16GB costs about $50, totalling $180. The PSP Go costs around $175 and includes 16GB internal storage. And if you find the new features really nice, then it's an easy buy.

    Overall


    I can't really recommend the system to any user who doesn't want to pirate all their games and use homebrew. The lack of a UMD drive hurts a lot. The PSN Store isn't that bad but the prices aren't able to compete with a used UMD and the selection can be quite limited depending upon your region. The Store, however, does sell PSX games at pretty decent prices (buying Xenogears on the store sure beats paying $100 for a new copy or $30 for a used one) and the selection isn't that bad, even if it's missing some notable games like Chrono Cross. That may draw an average consumer enough to the system if you wanted literally a portable Playstation.

    But, buying it as a device for game piracy and homebrew, the Go is honestly the best PSP model so far. The 16GB internal storage is the systems biggest appeal as well as cheaper expandable storage. It's also pretty easy to hack and you'll basically get all the benefits of a regular PSP minus the bulk of a UMD drive and fat battery pack and plus some sweet features like the save slot.

    While I won't be doing a review breakdown, I'll basically just say this:

    Buy it if you pirate! Don't if you won't!
     


  2. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker Fake News Reporter

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    Haha, how paradox.

    Anyways, can newly purchased PSP Gos be softmodded easily or what does it require? I have zero knowledge regarding the PSP.
     
  3. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Well, it depends.

    PSPs are sent out with the latest firmware from when they're manufactured/shipped. But I do believe if it's on 6.35 or below you can use CFW and basically hack it.

    If it's higher, you can still use signed homebrew and signed games, but they have a file size limit (something like you can't sign anything over 700-something MB) and are a pain to sign.

    I bought my Go and it had 6.31 OFW, upgraded it to 6.35 and have been using 6.35 PRO ever since. It's temporary CFW but I usually leave it on sleep mode anyway and it takes all of 5 seconds to enable again.
     
  4. Scott-105

    Scott-105 Bow to me. Please?

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    I REALLY want a Go. My 1000 is in very bad shape. If I can find a Go for cheap, I would buy it. I wanted to buy one on eBay last week, because it was on sale for $125 new on the "big deal" thing. My parents wouldn't let me use their card though. It sucked.
     
  5. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    New Go's all have 5.70 OFW on them (I think I got that right this time). There are no models out there with a newer firmware number, new or used. Used, only if the owner made it a point to update the Go.
     
  6. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    And the currently-latest firmware (6.39) has a software downgrader.

    But yeah, as soon as the Go became hackable pirates started loving them. I'd consider trading my fully-hackable 2000 for a Go just to have it more portable, since I don't really play PSP games (even pirated).
     
  7. KingVamp

    KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    I didn't understand how the ds still give you cramps and not the psp go.
     
  8. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Possibly the shape differences. My DSi tends to dig into my left palm a little and it can get uncomfortable after a while.
     
  9. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    It's the L/R buttons. My fingers have to curve around to get them while the Go's "mold" to my hand a bit more. It's hard to describe.
     
  10. Windaga

    Windaga GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I've personally never had that problem. The original PSP starts to cramp my hands after hours of playing, but that's primary because of the analog stick and L+R buttons, and I tend to stop playing before that happens either way.

    I don't have a PSP Go, but I've used my brothers extensively. I definitely like the analog stick placement better on it, which is odd because I thought it'd cramp my thumb. It's an overall better device, I think, though I'm happily content with my PSP 2000. I do think the brighter screen is nice, but I tend to play my PSP at night, and at the minimum brightness, so I like the larger screen size better. Still and yet though, I think the on board storage is a great motivator for those that pirate. Not that I condone it or anything, but 16 gigs of on board memory is mighty nice either way.

    Edit
    Oh, in comparison with the DSi. Hm. I've never cramped up playing a DS/i game...I guess it must be because I've played it so much.
     
  11. cris92x

    cris92x GBAtemp Fan

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    Could you take a photo with the controls sliding out? Also are the analog sticks different? My biggest complaint about the psp is the dam analog stick, It's not horrible but its nowhere near great. I've been meaning to buy a psp and the go just might do it for me.
     
  12. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    If it's hacked you can just swap the d-pad and analog stick inputs with a plugin.
     
  13. purplesludge

    purplesludge anyone have any ideas for this space

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    Analog stick seemed the same to me when I had one except now you can't put a larger one on it because of the sliding.
     
  14. machomuu

    machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    I don't know if I plan on pirating...I'll probably go PSP 2000 on this one.
     
  15. ojsinnerz.

    ojsinnerz. Damned

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    Protip to all Canadians. The Staples stores have had been having the PSP gos on clearance for awhile. My Staples locations never bothered to actually change the prices, so have to ask them about the price.

    But it's only 99.99.
     
  16. xist

    xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    The controls themselves are a downgrade from the 3000 (if anything the Dpad is worse than the 1000's!) and the screen only improved because of effects upon game resolution due to decreased screen size. If anything the scan lines are worse making it a step down from the 3000's LCD.

    Battery life is pretty shocking too in comparison to older models, especially given the non removable nature.
     
  17. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Here's some analog stick/size comparisons. My thumb is there as kinda a reference.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  18. xist

    xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    Well i only mentioned the screen because you've got it as a Positive attribute....it's debatable whether it's really better when PSX games are the only ones that should really see an improvement.

    IMO the controls really are a downgrade over previous consoles though, and whilst the placement is user dependent, the actual buttons themselves just feel awful compared to any other pad or console of this era, DS or PSP...
     
  19. The Pi

    The Pi Lurker

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    Still waiting on mine coming, I'm looking forward to it. Haven't had a PSP since before it came out (long story) will be fun to go back and play all the PSP-only games I've missed [​IMG]
     
  20. Thanatos Telos

    Thanatos Telos random stuff

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    The 3000 seems to have the same quality screen from personal experience. I tested 20 games and the PsP 3000 had them bigger, but same quality though.