It was a pretty big surprise to find last night that the PSP Go had been announced by way of clever marketing by Sony, or by an unintentional leak. The latest episode of Qore featured an interview with Veronica Belmont and John Koller talking about the PSP Go in some detail.

It’s basically exactly what everyone predicted, no second stick and no touch screen, and with 16gb on memory. Plus of course the sliding screen. I have to say that even though I expected it to not have a second analogue stick, it’s like they’re teasing us by putting the start and select buttons where they are. I mean they could have easily put a second stick there and put the start and select buttons above them where they would traditionally be.

Overall I’m impressed with what we’ve seen so far but at the end of the day, it’s still a PSP so there’s not a lot new to shout about here beyond the aesthetic changes and the lack of UMD.

It’s pretty clear that Sony have learned from pricing themselves initially out of the market with the PS3 and as such are going with the cheapest hardware they can get with this release, while still making the biggest impact possible. I think they’re doing a good job of this. I also hope the price is around what Nintendo are doing with the DSi because any higher than £150 and I’m not really too interested. I mean I could buy a big memory stick for that price to go in my existing PSP plus a couple of new games probably.

John Koller also announced GT for PSP (wahoo!) and a new metal gear game both of which are great news. But also interesting was that he mentioned having back end stuff that they are going to enhance the Go with. Does this mean better PSN integration and maybe even trophies? I hope so. I also hope they can squeeze in in-game XMB onto this system to give it something that the original PSP doesn’t have as a cool showpiece, as well as being functional.

Finally, I hope that this premature announcement was intentional because if Sony don’t have any other surprises at E3 then they could find themselves in trouble. One final thing about the PSP Go. We know that they will continue to sell games on UMD, but what are they going to do about allowing people to get their current UMD’s and future ones onto their PSP Go’s? And what will they do to prevent people from renting UMD’s and copying them to their new systems? Or trading in UMD’s that they’ve copied to the flash memory. I’m sure they wouldn’t be dumb enough to allow either of those things.

But I also hope that they come up with a workable solution, such as using the PC media manager to rip UMD’s to your computer via your old PSP, and from there to the PSP Go. If the solution is to use a kiosk at a store or simply to not allow old UMD games to be copied to or played on the Go would be very weak to me, especially as I own 10 PSP games currently and don’t want to re-buy them.

So in conclusion, the stuff we’ve heard is very encouraging, if not a little obvious. But regardless, I’m excited about the system and those two games, and I’m hopeful that Sony will have yet more big announcements at E3 on Tuesday.