The D.o.a. handheld that's still alive in 2018
The PSP Go is the mini-disc of handheld consoles; it arrived just a shade too early to really make a lasting impact, and it was quickly overtaken by more rounded and cheaper alternatives. The move away from UMD to a purely digital library at a time when the internet was still mostly shite didn’t help, neither did the £200 price tag.
Well, I’m here to tell you this: the PSP Go is a fucking shark, an ancient apex predator that never needs to evolve. It’s functionally perfect.
“Wait a minute Scott”, I hear you cry from your work’s toilet, “Don’t you mean the Vita?”
No, I don’t mean the Vita, fuck sake. The PSP Go is a cracking handheld console, and because the Playstation Store is no longer available for it, you can hack that bad boy guilt-free.
In fact, the process is so easy that I can even do it; just plug the PSP Go in to your computer, drag over the software into the PSP Go folder (I hope this isn’t too technical) and your time machine is good to go! Of course, this is still illegal, but so is stealing garden furniture and spray-painting your tag all over town, but that’s not stopped you yet.
While the PSP has a great library in its own right (Peace Walker, Persona 3, Monster Hunter and on into infinity), its real value comes from the massive back-catalogue of PS1 games and the great communities that work to localise games that were never available in English.
As a Hideo Kojima fan, there’s always been two games I’ve been aching to play; Snatcher and Policenauts. Snatcher, I was able to play reasonably comfortably on my laptop about two years ago (worth the custodial sentence), but I really fancied trying Policenauts on something a little less bulky than a three year old MacBook Pro. Thankfully, there’s a great fan-translation available for the PSP Go and it was smashing to play on my commute.
I’ve also been able to play and complete Suikoden 1 and get to the third disc of Final Fantasy IX, all while riding quietly through Hyndland. I know there’s other ways to emulate older games, like on your phone or tablet, but nothing beats playing games on a device designed for games and, most importantly, nothing beats playing a game with actual buttons and a wee d-pad.
While it may not be the God-King handheld console, the 3DS, I still get a real buzz from playing games like Xenogears or Metal Gear Solid while on the train, on a console thats about the same size as my wallet. If you have an interest in one of the most varied back-catalogues going, I would highly recommend picking up an eight year old console that was surpassed by its successor only a few short years after release. It’s the Dreamcast of handheld consoles; it’s a beautiful dream that’s available to buy in CEX for around £60.