Andriasang, a Japanese games blog, has sleuthed out what they think is the Japanese blog of either a Sony shop employee or fanatical fan. The post on the blog indicates that the employee asked his boss about the stock of the PSP Go, he was told that Sony was discontinuing the hardware and the remaining stock would be cleared and never refilled.
Stopping there, this is just an interesting rumor founded entirely on baseless hearsay. Intriguing, telling and seemingly inevitable. The PSP Go has been a troubled piece of hardware ever since its announcement. It dropped the proprietary UMD format for an entirely digital library, thus rendering physical software completely useless for the platform. That, coupled with a less than ergonomic design that shaped users’ hands into those of a prehistoric bird, the Go seemed doomed from the start.
However, the blog gets validated a bit once Eurogamer polled Sony for comment. SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe) fed Eurogamer the following:
“It is a very exciting time for PlayStation portable devices…Before the end of the year we are launching NGP, our next generation portable device, which we believe will revolutionize portable gaming. In the meantime, the current generation of PSPs continue to be in demand, especially since the introduction of our value for money, Essentials range of games and we will continue to meet that demand.”
Obviously, SCEE doesn’t comment on the discontinuance of the PSP Go. However, they don’t deny the rumor either. While that still keeps the stopped production of the PSP Go a mystery, it does add to the possibility that Sony is cutting their losses and moving on. The hardware hasn’t sold well; in fact, Sony has not released any tangible sales numbers.
SCEE is right, though. Despite the PSP Go, this is an exciting time for Sony in the handheld hardware race. Nintendo has played their hand with the 3DS, Sony looks like it’s moving in an entirely different direction with the NGP.
We’ll know more at E3.