updated 03:25 pm EDT, Thu July 2, 2009
Sony Planned Disc Free PSP
Sony's PlayStation product planning head Naoya Matsui today told Japanese publication GameBusiness that the company had always planned a version of the PSP without the UMD drive. He claims that the company had wanted downloadable games from the handheld's launch in 2004 but that it wasn't feasible until the PSP Go due to infrastructure. It was necessary to have not just simple download to the system itself but a means of getting games from a PS3 to the PSP as well as an easier sync process for loading games, movies and music.
Matsui maintained that keeping the old PSP in the market was necessary for now as some buyers weren't yet used to downloading most of their content online. The PSP Go is for those early adopters more used to the concept.
UMD was originally chosen to give PSP games more storage at the time than flash memory allowed at a reasonable price. It also allowed for secure portable videos. The decision initially gave Sony a technical advantage but eventually became a liability in cost and bulk as flash memory became inexpensive enough to hold more than UMD at similar or better prices. The Go will come with 16GB of memory when it ships in October. [via Develop]