The head of Sony Corportation Entertainment product planning Naoya Matsui said in an interview that the company had been planning for a media-less PSP gaming console from the beginning.
Talking to Japanese website Gamebusiness, he said that the company planned to release a PSP model without a UMD drive from the beginning and added that "if we'd simply released the hardware, there wouldn't have been much for everyone to enjoy. We needed to prepare the right environment for it first - things like the transferral of content with the PS3 and PSN, and PC software to manage content like music and movies such as 'Media Go'."
The PSP was released in Japan in December 2004 and UMD cartridges were used as support for the games. Fast forward in 2009 and the Apple iPhone, which was in ether back them, has popularise media-less games (as did Steam for the desktop platforms). The PSP Go, an updated version of the PSP, was launched early last month.
So why didn't Sony release the UMD less version in the first place? Well, at least now, current PSP have a great reason to upgrade from their existing gaming console to something err... different.
Furthermore, by then, Sony has been able to add a few significant improvements including the flash memory, an accelerometer and a webcam. But the PSP Go's price is still too high and now PSP owners find themselves with a quasi obsolete technology.
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Sony and others will almost certainly kill media and stick to onboard storage by the time the next generation kicks in. Apple has shown the way and has demonstrated that a medialess environment has some significant advantages as it cuts out the middlemen as well.
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