The worst kept secret of E3 2009, Sony's PSP Go, is preparing itself for a European launch on October 1st, but it took time out from its busy schedule to visit Stuff towers today so we could tickle its D-pad and compare it to the PSP-3000.
As you can see above, Sony's new PlayStation handheld is about 50% smaller and 8cm narrower than its predecessor. This is partly because it's swapped the bulky UMD drive for 16GB of flash storage, and adopted a new slider design that makes it look remarkably like Sony's ill-fated Mylo messenger.
It's comfortable in the hand, with your forefingers wrapping around behind the screen to grip the shoulder buttons – though there's disappointingly only one analogue stick, and it's still in an awkward place for your thumbs.
The PSP Go uses the same slick XMB interface, though there's now a PlayStation store icon where you can log-in and download games directly to the console. Sony is also rumoured to be launching a subscription-based games rental service when the PSP Go launches, but these are just whispers at the moment.
The Go's browser rendered Stuff.tv reasonably well (see below), though without a touchscreen navigation feels more than a little clunky. The 3.8in screen is also smaller than its predecessor's 4.3in number, but has the same 480x272 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio.
So while it's not a radical reinvention – and an OLED touchscreen would certainly have gone down well – the PSP Go still looks a powerful pocket gaming adversary for the Nintendo DSi. We'll bring you a full review and video very soon (also see our E3 hands-on with the PSP Go), but while you're waiting scroll down for more pics and full specs.
Screen 3.8in (16:9), 480x272
Connectivity Stereo Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Memory Stick Micro, Analog video out
Formats supported MP4, H.264, AVI, JPEG, MP3, WAV, WMA, ATRAC3, TIFF, GIF, PNG