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PSPgo: Green Gaming Solution?

Though the PSPgo is facing controversy pending its October 1st release next week, many are applauding Sony’s efforts for an environmentally friendly gaming device.

The PSPgo is the smallest PSP to date, and will fit easily in one’s pocket. Its slide open design allows for more user friendly gaming with its controls on the bottom versus its predecessors side controls. It contains a 3.8″ LCD screen compared to older versions’ 4.3″ display. It is not graphically better or faster than its predecessors.

Unlike the past PSP’s, the PSPgo is UMD free. Games, movies, music, and TV shows can all be downloaded on to the PSPgo via the Sony Playstation Store. Mac users will be out of luck and can only access content through the Wi-Fi in the device as Sony has opted for Windows support only.  John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, said in a Q&A interview on 9/14/09 “we see digital and the importance of digital content really leading the way into the future.

The PSPgo has a 16GB flash drive which is believed to hold about 17-18 games since the average game will run 600MB-800MB. Users can purchase additional memory for more storage as needed.

Owners of older PSP system currently have no way to use their previously purchased games with the PSPgo. At this time and place, Sony is not considering an option for converting these games for digital use: users will have to purchase digital copies of the games or just play them on the old system.

Digitally downloading games means less plastic used for games, and packaging. It also means a longer battery life since there is no spinning drive; one will not recharge it as often which saves energy. Also, there will be no shipping costs associated with the games, saving on both money and less emissions. There will also be less waste since people won’t be throwing away scratched games and packaging. The cost of the games should be less than a traditional game because of these factors, as well.

Other benefits include the fact that games won’t skip, since it’s not reading content off of discs. It comes with Bluetooth and syncs with Skype so users can even make phone calls with the device by pairing a Bluetooth headset. Users traveling with the PSPgo won’t have to haul their game collection with them and can count on a longer battery life while using it.

Though its $250 price tag is controversial with some retailers because they are not making money on the hardware and there are no games for them to make money off of, there are still many accessories that can be sold for the PSPgo. It will not be compatible with previous PSP accessories, so PSPgo users will have to purchase all new.

The pros and cons for the PSPgo are plenty, but regardless, its green impact is a step in the right direction.