Somewhere around last year, the older of my two little brothers got a big present for Sinterklaas. (A traditional Dutch holiday, Santa Claus is based on it.) A PSP:Go. I wasn’t there when he got it, but I’m sure he was excited as hell about the thing. At least, until he could figure out how to go online with it and couldn’t get any games on the system.
After a visit from me, during which I found out why the PSP wouldn’t connect to the wireless router (the switch on the PSP wasn’t turned on), he finally could go on the PSN Store and get his games… Or at least, he thought he could. All he could get were demos. The free game they gave away back then somehow didn’t apply to him, so he ended up with nothing. With no credit card or PayPal he couldn’t get any games on it. He pretty much forgot about the whole system.
Because I often buy stuff online, my mom passed on the PSP:Go to me instead. Maybe I could at least get some use out of it. That way the purchase wouldn’t have been entirely pointless.
So I took my new PSP:Go home last night, hoping I could buy games with PayPal and download them unto the system.
I almost immediately ran into the initial problem of finding out that you need to get rid of the original account on the PSP before you’re allowed to enter the PSN Store with a different one. In fact, I wasn’t entirely sure why I wasn’t allowed to enter the PSN Store with my new account and why it wouldn’t save my details until I checked up with Google. The system is far from intuitive and doesn’t really give any instructions on how it works. It just assumes you immediately understand the entire thing. I don’t. I just got it. Most people would call me tech-savvy. I’d really hate to see what those poor souls would go through to get this thing working.
Anyway, I get rid of my little brother’s account, make a new one and enter the PSN Store. I browse the games that are currently available for download.
Now, let me just link what I think are the must-haves for the PSP. The ones in bold are actually in the store.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Crisis Core
Parappa The Rapper
Tales of Eternia
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear Acid
Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
Mega Man Powered Up
Monster Hunter Freedom Infinite
Prinny: I Want to be the Hero
Most of the actual lengthy good titles aren’t even on PSN. With the exception of Monster Hunter. Even weirder, why is Mega Man Maverick Hunter available for download when Powered Up isn’t? They’re both remakes made in the same style. Also the fact that the bigger Final Fantasy titles are missing is just crazy. Heck, the service barely has any RPGs up for download, despite half of the PSP’s library being RPGs.
This gets even worse with the PS1 games up for download. They’re regionally done. so Europe gets about a quarter of what’s out in America. Some of the releases are just as strange as with Mega Man. Crash Bandicoot 1? Yes. Crash Bandicoot 2? No. Crash Bandicoot 3? Yes. This is just too inconsistent. What is the point of not releasing the middle game of a series?
After the initial rage at lack of games (and they keep saying it’s the PS3 that has none!), I tried downloading a game…. Except I couldn’t. It doesn’t accept PayPal. Only credit cards or prepaid cards.
Wait, prepaid cards? Like what Microsoft and Nintendo are doing? I had never even seen those things in stores before. The Microsoft and Nintendo ones, sure. I wasn’t even aware Sony was doing the same thing. After looking around on the internet, I found out most people had problems getting these cards. Apparently most stores don’t even stock up on them. So either I’d have to order cards online using PayPal, or I’d search around for a store that does carry them.
Luckily, I found a store. I’m pretty sure it’s the only one in the city, but I found it. I bought a point card, rushed back home, loaded up my PSP:Go and downloaded Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Estimated time: 2 hours. It wasn’t kidding either, it really took 2 hours to download the game, after which is began installing it which added another good half hour to the waiting time.
When that was finally done with, I had about 40 minutes left before work. I decided to quickly start the game up and see what it was like. Sure, it’s Metal Gear and chances are the entire time will be one massive cut-scene. Still, it’s my new toy and I want to play with it while I still can before heading off and being a proper adult again.
After selecting New Game, choosing a control scheme and starting up the game…. it starts installing again. Another half hour gone. I haven’t even seen 10 minutes of the game and it was time for me to go already. 10 minutes isn’t anywhere near a save point either, so there’s nothing to do but turn the PSP off and go to work.
I had 3 hours to play a game. Somehow this wasn’t enough to even see 10 minutes of them. What?
This isn’t how handhelds should work. A handheld is something for on the go. Heck, it’s in the name of the system. PSP:Go. You shouldn’t spend 3-4 hours just getting the game to start up. I can understand the download time, but the install times? Also, where the hell are all the games? Why aren’t they on the PSN Store? I know Sony has said themselves that the Go was a massive failure, but that doesn’t mean they should screw their customers over by not releasing anything on it. I’d happily buy a whole bunch of games if they were released on the system now that I have one.