The company posted a message on the European PlayStation Community Forums announcing that the service will be discontinued at the end of next month. Go!Messenger is an instant messaging program for the PSP, developed in conjunction with the BT Group and released as a free upgrade as part of the 3.90 PSP firmware update. Go!Messenger makes use of the Go!Cam, a 1.3 megapixel digital camera that mounts on top of the device to allow for videoconferencing between PSP users and also with PC users who have the BT Softphone 2 software installed. Go!Messenger was only released for European PSP models, although U.S. owners can add the software manually if they have firmware version 3.90 installed.
Despite being free and bringing "innovative communications features" to the PSP, Sony said that just over a year after its February 2008 release Go!Messenger had failed to achieve the critical mass it was after. "The Go!Messenger service will be withdrawn by BT and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEE) from 31 March 2009," the company said. "Although it proved a popular concept, achieving a significant number of registrations, it didn't gain the number of regular users that BT and SCEE were aiming for."
Numerous sites have reported on the story but the actual message making the announcement on the Sony forums appears to be gone. We've dropped a line to a Sony rep seeking confirmation and will update when we receive a response.
UPDATE: Despite the missing announcement, SCEE Public Relations Manager Nick Caplin said that Sony will in fact be shutting down Go!Messenger as announced, telling us, "I can confirm that Go! messenger will no longer be available to PSP users from March 31st."