Someone over at one of the Japanese Sony stores was mumbling earlier this week about how the future was looking pretty bleak for the PSP Go. Sony at last officially confirms to Japanese tech wire AV Watch that the electronics/console giant will indeed be officially discontinuing production for the UMD-free PSP handheld which launched to relatively muted fanfare back in October 2009.
Naturally Sony is refocusing their production resources to the upcoming "NGP" (Next Generation Portable), though the company notes that the current PSP-3000 handheld (often known as the "PSP slim") will still be manufacturered and supported in the meantime. Sony still doesn't have a launch date set for the NGP in any market, after all.
Revealed a few years back as what Sony itself billed as their "worst kept secret" for their E3 presentation as a result of press leaks, the PSP Go catered to a more casual gaming crowd which Sony felt would be more interested in mobile gaming-style digital download titles. The PSP Go thus spurned the UMD drive of its predecessors, which helped make it lighter and smaller, but also limited its software support to digitally distributed titles on the PSN. Even now, not every game you might be interested in will always have a version you can just download off PSN.
It didn't help that Sony went all wishy-washy on us over the PSP Go pricing during its final months of active duty; first they lowered the price, then they shot it right back up again, leaving it more expensive than the PSP-3000 models which enjoy better software support.
Sony isn't letting the lukewarm response to a UMD-free PSP get them down, however. The NGP will leverage a flash card solution as the media of choice for its software.