The PSP Go may not use the UMD format, but there will be full retail games available for download on the PlayStation Network. And as an interesting addition, the news doesn't end there.
Apparently, "sources close to game development" for Sony's nifty new UMD-less handheld have said that Sony wants them to make smaller, "non-retail" games and applications . Such pieces of software would be priced considerably lower than the full titles on tap for the PSN; they'd fall somewhere between two and six dollars. The only major limitation for designers is the size: the files can't be bigger than 100MB, but Sony still says that in terms of creativity, there are no restrictions, so 2D titles and "non-game applications" are very possible. If you want to learn more, Sony will supposedly reveal the details of this process at GamesCom, an event that will take place in August in Germany. The good news is that these games and apps may be available to new adopters of the PSP Go (set to launch on October 1) by the fourth quarter of 2009. Said SCEA's Al de Leon:
"We are making a concerted push towards expanding the content available on the Store, particularly with the demand for digital content that will spike when the PSPgo launches this fall. This push includes new titles that are also launching on UMD, PSP catalog titles, PSone classics – double to nearly 60 titles — and PSN exclusives. The goal with this move, is to support development of smaller titles from a broader range of developers and publishers. As part of this effort, we’re also streamlining the development process, including concept approval, licensing, and publishing."
The possibilities of the PSP Go really are impressive, but it's up to Sony and developers to fully realize said potential. The more they can do with this little device, the better the chances are that it'll be a rip-roaring success. Just remember, the current PSP model – the PSP-3000 – won't go away; it will continue to be sold alongside the PSP Go if the latter isn't your cup of tea. It ain't for everyone, you know.