The PSP Go was only officially announced today, but Sony is wasting no time in letting this year's E3 attendees get their hands on it. Sprinkled liberally throughout the dozens of PSP stations at Sony's sizable E3 booth are a number of stations at which the PSP Go (which we found surprisingly comfortable, even when using the oddly positioned analog nub) is being used to showcase upcoming games. One of those games, which we had an opportunity to check out, is Little Big Planet.
The E3 demo version of LBP features only two levels: a story-style offering titled Gift of the Grab and a surfing minigame. Gift of the Grab, which may or may not be featured in LBP's all-new story mode, has a distinctly antipodean theme, sporting kangaroos with pouches that you can jump into, koalas that climb trees when you grab them, and boomerangs that spin around really quickly so that you can use them to launch into the air. The level didn't really look any different than those on the PS3, and areas where you're supposed to place stickers (as well as the usual selection of switches, levers, and the like) were clearly visible, even on the PSP Go's relatively small screen.
Sticking with the "down under" theme, the surfing minigame saw Sackboy stepping onto a surfboard that rocked on a pivot as he moved between the front and back. Staying on the board was easy, because although there were waves in the foreground and background, none of them appeared to be having any effect on the board. Even the giant shark giving chase didn't appear to pose a genuine threat, though its appearance certainly added a sense of urgency. The goal in the level was to collect point-scoring orbs, arranged in wave patterns throughout the level in such a way that you have to jump up and down to reach them. If you fall off your board, or fail to collect enough orbs while staying on it, it's game over.
It's unclear at this time exactly how level creation and sharing will work in the PSP version of Little Big Planet, but the impression we were given is that it will be as close to the PS3 experience as possible. With that said, the demo version on show here is plagued with some pretty excruciating load times, which appeared to be even worse on the original PSP systems than on the Go. It's still early days though, so we're hopeful that those will improve when LBP--which doesn't currently have a release date--arrives in stores and online.