updated 03:00 pm EDT, Tue June 2, 2009
Sony PSP Go Official
Sony this afternoon confirmed the existence of the PSP Go, its first major redesign of its handheld console. The new slider design reflects a shift towards download-only content and drops the UMD disc loader entirely in favor of 16GB of built-in flash memory that helps it slim down. Users can either download software directly over Wi-Fi or transfer it from a PC or PS3. A Memory Stick Micro slot gives it extra room. The PSP Go also gets Bluetooth to pair with headsets or cellphones themselves for communications.
In tune with the online focus, Sony says it will bring its PlayStation Store's video service to the PSP and let users buy or rent movies from the handheld instead of having to load it first on a PS3. Pricing should remain unchanged.
Despite some tentative rumors, Sony considers the PSP Go a premium device and will sell it for $250 when it ships on October 1st. All games for the PSP should be available in both UMD and downloadable versions from here on, the company says. The existing $170 PSP will remain for the foreseeable future.
The redesign arrives as both competition against the Nintendo DSi as well as Apple's iPod touch, which has been pushed as a major game and media platform with games from larger publishers as well as access to music and (sideloaded) videos.