This is the third entry in our articles about the Sony handheld series of devices. In this article we will introduce and discuss the PSP GO, PSPE1000 and another classic SONY handheld-stype, the PSV series. The PSV had two models–the PCH1000 and the PCH2000.
The Japanese version of the PSPGO went on sale in November of 2009. It cost $249.99 which proved to be too expensive in the opinion of many gamers at that time, resulting in drastically affected sales. It’s biggest feature was its lightweight and ease-of-use which made it convenient to carry around and play–the slide cover was a big attention-getter! With a 3.8-inch TFT screen that featured 480 by 272 pixels, it was smaller compared to the PSP3000, but had the same resolution. the PSPGO supported bluetooth, wifi, and had a smaller memory stick. It came with 64MB of main memory as well as 16GB of built-in storage. It was able to play games, watch movies, listen to music, and had built-in internet surfing and calling as well.
However, the sales volume of the PSPGO continuously was poor. One key reason for this besides the price was how SONY discontinued the UMD disc with the PSPGO and it could only download games–meaning a variety of classic titles could not be enjoyed by players who had UMD discs. This resulted in immense dissatisfaction with players feeling the game experience was very bad compared to the previous three generations of the PSP handheld.
While the trend with electronic products is for them to become smaller and smaller, SONY went the other way with the PSPE1000 and made a handset that was interestingly thicker than even the original PSP1000. Released with a low price and more simple functions, it was advertised more as a handheld machine geared-towards children, with an appearance quite similar to the PSP1000 as well. Much to SONY’s surprise, the machine was an unexpected hit, with more sales than the PSPGO and many more favorable reviews that it as well. The heavier body gave it a good hefty, “Feel,” that a number of people thought was the best in the PSP series. In addition, with the fact the PSPE1000 looked so much like the original PSP1000 it appealed to player’s nostalgia as well. This mixture of a nice weight, nostalgia, and a low price made the PSPE1000 actually a very popular addition to the collection of adult gamers.
The full name is the PSV is PS Vita. The word, “Vita,” comes from Latin, meaning, “Life.” which is appropriate for a device geared-toward daily entertainment and social communication! With this in mind, besides simply playing games the Vita handhelds also had 3G and Wifi internet, photo-taking, could play music as well as videos, featured GPS, and many other applications. The PSV was released in two generations. There was the PSV1000, which was the original and advertised not as a replacement for the PSP, but a new coexisting technology. Until 2013 when the PSV2000 was released, the biggest difference between the original PSV and the PSP generations was how the display was changed from an organic EL to an LCD. Besides this, the PSV was a bit lighter and easier to carry than the original PSP.
There were two types of hardware, the PCH1000 and PCH2000.
With the design of the PCH1000 the buttons were much more prominent and the glass texture-appearance of the device was both beautiful and comfortable to hold. All this resulted in a much better experience in, “Feeling,” the device for players. The PCH1000 did not use the UMC disc, but instead of downlading games directly to the machine as the PSPGO controversially did, it replaced the UMD disc with a special kind of cassette. Doing this made the machine lighter and allowed an expansion in its memory. There were five colors to choose from: Black, White, Blue, Red, and Silver. There was a version that only connected to the internet via Wifi and another that could utilize both Wifi and 3G networks. It’s battery life was 3-5 hours while gaming, 5 hours when watching videos, and 9 hours if listening to music.
The best feature of the PCH2000 was how it was light and easy to carry. It featured a thickness of only 15mm and a weight of 219g–15% and 20% lower than the 1000 model, respectively. This smaller size was accompanied by cheaper material as well resulting in it at times being thought of as feeling a bit like a low-cost plastic toy played-with by children. In addition, the PCH2000 only supported Wifi, it lacked 3G. It did have 1GB of storage in addition to the system memory, which helped to improve the smoothness/running of games. It had a battery life of 4 to 6 hours when playing games, 7 hours with video, and 12 hours if playing music.
As is known, last year SONY announced that the PSP was being phased-out of the game market. There were many SONY fans who felt upset with this, but others who believed it was a good thing for SONY to now concentrate exclusively on doing its home video game consoles, such as the extremely popular PS4.
This third entry concludes our articles looking at the history of SONY with its handheld game consoles. Even if they are no longer being made it still is always fun to look back at these classic devices people fondly remember.