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It’s official: PSP Go discontinued

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PSP Go - Sony

[Note: this is an update to an earlier article.]

The PSP Go is PSP Gone.

After a flurry of rumors Tuesday, Sony has confirmed that the PSP Go's life is coming to an end. The company plans to stop production of the handheld device that relies solely on downloadable content, opting instead to focus on the upcoming NGP - Next Generation Portable.

Sony Computer Entertainment, in a statement to the Japanese website AV Watch, confirmed whispers that it was ceasing production of the PSP Go. The company will continue to sell its remaining inventory, but once those are gone, the system will disappear. They've even slapped 'shipment ended' tags on PSP Go hardware at the official Sony Playstation Japan website.

But with Sony, things are rarely simple. While the system has met its end in other parts of the world, it has apparently earned a stay of execution in the U.S. Sony Computer Entertainment America, in a brief statement Thursday, said it is "continuing production of PSPgo for North America."

The PSP Go's forerunner -- the PSP-3000 -- isn't going anywhere, though, no matter where you're shopping. The company says it will continue to sell that system, as sales have been constant.

It never was an easy life for the Go. First released in October of 2009, it was a device that, in theory, was perfect for the gamer on the go, but in reality proved to have a substantial number of fatal flaws.

The biggest of those was the price itself. At launch, the PSP Go cost $249 -- an $80 premium over the existing PSP-3000 for a system that actually cost Sony less to produce. Outspoken industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities at the time said Sony was "ripping off the consumer."

A litany of other issues plagued the device's initial reception. The system's screen was smaller than its predecessor. Downloads took a long time (the price of 1GB files), and if the wireless signal was interrupted, you had to start over. Owners of previous PSP systems would have to repurchase their entire games library if they wanted to put it onto the PSP Go. There was no way to transfer physical products to the digital device.

It wasn't long before the writing was on the wall. As Apple used 2010 to cement its lead in the portable digitable distribution space, Sony began backing off its marketing for the PSP Go and de-emphasized it in media presentations. The biggest surprise is that the company waited so long before pulling the plug for good.

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