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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Would A PSP2 Be Download Only?

Unfortunately, the inclusion of UMD, Memory Stick and 8GB of flash seems pretty far fetched -- either Sony loses the UMD and goes for all-downloadable games, or it sticks with its tried and true method of milking consumers on Memory Stick purchases, it's hard to imagine an all-in approach.
-- PSP2 "Cobalt" to feature dual analog, UMD, 8GB of flash? Don't count on it. [Engadget]

I've pondered for a bit that Sony might want to drop the old UMD format for good and make a slimmer, meaner (and mayber cheaper) PSP for the masses. I had assumed they'd replace it with a Memory Stick slot - but I never considered the possibility of having no slot at all and allow it purchase games online. Essentially it would work like the Wii's Virtual Console - you have an account which tracks what games you own and you're allowed to download however many of them will fit onto your console at a time.

It seems a bit like folly, but it's also kind of brilliant. Wifi is a lot more common these days - so anyplace with a wireless net connection is suddenly your own personal store. It would be similar to the synergy that made the iPod so popular (with being paired with iTunes). I'm not sure if it would make it more or less hack-proof in the long run - but it seems like it might make it more than less (much like iPods are today). Sony could rake in licensing fees while offering lower prices.

Of course, just like the DS downloading demos off the net, I don't see this happening. Sony seems pretty attaced to the PSP in its current incarnation and they still seem to defend UMD to the death. Still, an intriguing idea.

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