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Friday, June 05, 2009

What I See: The PSP Go, and Digital Distribution



E3 had Sony announce the PSP Go (though it was leaked out just beforehand), and personally, if I didn't already have my new PSP-3000, I would jump on it the second it came out. While the smaller screen is a bit of a deterrent, I love the convenient size of it, The slide-out feature, and the fact that it has a 16GB Solid State Drive (I've recently become a fan of these things). But while they added the drive, they took out the UMD access, which means all the UMDs I've purchased would be incompatable with the PSP Go. Following that, however, is this news post stating that they are currently working on a solution to allow people with UMDs to exchange and get digital copies. While some, including me, think this is pretty good, there's a storm of people furious over possibly losing their physical UMDs and boxes.

I know everyone's freaking out about the loss of hard copies of games if they switch to Digital only. Losing a physical means of the game is, honestly, a little messed up in my mind, especially losing the box art. The risk of losing the data on an HD is pretty intimidating as well...

However, I honestly look at it this way: I buy the game, I download it to my PC, and I burn a copy of it to CD/DVD. It's an extra step, both from getting your solid media and then transferring it from the disk to the PC to the PSP, but at least the only way you can lose that data is if the disk is scratched beyond repair, just like any other solid media today, and there is still the chance of re-downloading it even after that point if the service is still available. Yeah, it may not be as pretty, but since this is the way technology will advance, the consumer may simply have to deal with it in this way if he still wants physical and wants his product. Besides, then I get to customize the covers as much as I want.

I would loathe Sony if they forced us to go digital via repurchasing the games I've already had. And yes, they should have this whole situation worked out already, but at least they are working on it now to hopefully remedy it before the PSP Go actually debuts. The method in which they do this, however, does worry me a little. The trade-in system...That would be very cumbersome, trading in every individual UMD for a code to download a game. However, you can't simply do the "get the serial off the box to download" because I myself have a couple of UMDs w/o the box or missing a serial number because I got it used, plus the disks don't have a serial on them...

To those who mention the piraters...they're already doing this kind of thing to the digital downloads anyway, those who act as pirates with their custom firmware PSPs. It is, however, more difficult to modify a digital download PSP game to play on a CFW PSP, than to simply create an ISO of the UMD via the CFW and then play off said ISO on the PSP's memory stick.

Used game sales...Yeah, that's what is going to be in trouble. Good luck selling digital copies...

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