To be honest, I have something of a love/hate relationship with my PSP.

I appreciate the screen clarity, the selection and support of companies like Square-Enix and Capcom, the online radio, the ability to watch movies, and the online store, but I can’t help but feel as if something is lacking for the little system.

Of course, there’s the fact that the system gets very little support. For this year alone, I’ve picked up Dissidia, and if LittleBigPlanet turns out to be a UMD, I’ll pick that one up as well.

If you want to see the negative effect that piracy has on the gaming industry, you need to look no further than the PSP. I have seen some remarkable homebrew applications, as well as how easy it is to copy games and movies. But such “cleverness” has come with a price, and Sony’s decision to stop the piracy essentially punishes long-time supporters.

Most developers have long stopped producing new games for the PSP, and the UMD movies already came to a screeching halt a few years ago. The rampant piracy is undoubtedly the reason for the creation of the PSPgo, the new all-digital download version of the system, which renders the long-time supporter’s UMD collection incompatible. With the system struggling as it has, why would they go to this much of an extreme instead of attempting a better solution? It would be like the DSi coming out, and not having a cartridge slot for DS games. I like digital downloads, but I also like having physical copies of my games in case something were to ever go wrong down the line.

The library also leaves a lot to be desired. The PSP is essentially a portable Playstation 2, but perhaps a little too much like its big brother. There are a ton of ports on the system, and not enough platform exclusive content. It should be noted, however, that the PSP truly shines when it gets a game that is exclusive to the system. Crisis Core, LocoRoco, Ultimate Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Patapon, Mega Man: Powered Up, and Dissidia are all wonderful titles that you can’t get anywhere else, and really show off the power of the system. The closest comparison to that philosophy would be the Wii: Weakest when it does ports, strongest when it does (most) exclusives. Unfortunately, exclusives are infrequent, and there are only a small handful of developers seemingly brave enough to continue making games on the system.

The PSP does excel with RPGs and classic gaming compilations, however, and Fry’s Electronics and Amazon still carry UMD movies, which are ridiculously cheap these days. So if you want to build a movie library for your PSP, the choices are somewhat limited, but you can still have a fairly generous selection of older titles.

So I look forward to the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet next month (And eventually, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep), even though I can’t seem to find any indication as to what medium these will be released on. It would be a shame if the recent release of the PSPgo signified that all of the older system adopters are going to get shafted upon these releases. Perhaps we can download it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to.

It would be a shame if I have to update my old PSP to my “Archive Library”. I’d have no interest in rebuilding my library for the new version, and who knows if all of my games would be supported in the first place? I don’t think the introduction of the PSPgo was well thought out, nor will it be as well received as Sony may hope.

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Filed under: psp gaming