I wouldn’t say that the Sony PSPgo completely came out of left field, but it still had a few surprises for us to consider when it was officially unveiled at E3 2009. As it turns out, Sony had been planning to release a PSP without a UMD drive for quite some time. The PSPgo is just the final fruition of that vision.
The biggest kicker is that Sony didn’t suddenly come up with plans to remove the UMD drive in the last six months or so. Instead, they are saying that they had major plans to make a PSP without the UMD drive right from the beginning of the system’s life.
Remember when the original Sony PSP first hit the market? It introduced the UMD drive, but I guess Sony saw that format as a temporary solution. So, they wanted to build “the right environment” for it first, whatever that means. Sony had been working on a PSP sans UMD for the last two years.
Now that digital delivery has become so incredibly popular, thanks largely to the iPhone and the App Store, it only makes sense that the PSP Go is able to grab new games without having to mess with physical media. Sony can cut costs, games can (hopefully) become cheaper, and everyone can win, right?