Sony Continues to Bungle the PSP Line - Flips the Proverbial Bird to US Customers

Bill Loguidice's picture

In an effort to goose sales of the PSPgo - which any way you look at it, has been an abject failure for Sony, even regularly placing last in weekly sales in Japan (yes, even behind the Xbox 360 and PS2) - Sony has taken positive steps by lowering prices on a batch of top titles and offering free games for new purchasers of the system. But hold on a minute, in a stroke of corporate bravado the likes of which we haven't seen since the news first broke on the BP oil spill, Sony is only offering new purchasers of the system in the US just three free games only days after offering UK buyers 10 free games. See anything wrong with that math?

Of course, none of this addresses the more serious issue of a justification for the PSPgo's existence in the first place, since it's more expensive than the regular PSP model with fewer features. However, I know I would have been more likely to purchase one with an incentive for 10 free games, along with the reduction on the other top hits. As it stands now, because of their unbalanced generosity towards one territory over another, it all remains too much to swallow. Way to go Sony! Maybe you'll get it right with the PSP2, unless Nintendo and Apple obliterate you in the marketplace first with their next generation of handhelds that will release earlier and almost certainly with better software support and marketing. Maybe by then you can give UK buyers 20 free games and US buyers 6 free games to really push your sales over the top and continue to foster good will for your brand...

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I am surprised that it is

I am surprised that it is selling that poorly. It sounds like a winner to me - smaller, lighter, don't have to carry around discs or cartridges.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Price is the biggest obstacle, among many
Catatonic wrote:

I am surprised that it is selling that poorly. It sounds like a winner to me - smaller, lighter, don't have to carry around discs or cartridges.

Price, price, price. The US version of the PSPgo is $220 - $250, with no way to play UMD's or transfer your pre-existing collection. Fine, but the PSP 3000 is $170, and it does all the same stuff and more, including letting you play UMD's. See the problem? The PSPgo should be $150, then it would sell far better. Besides that, a lot of the PSP platform's thunder has already been stolen with the rise of Apple and the continued dominance of the DS. There are great, great games on the PSP, but releases have been few and far between. That's why I'm saying that Sony is going to have a real problem with the PSP 2. By then, Apple will have had the iPhone HD (or whatever it will be called, including the equivalent iPod) and Nintendo the 3DS out for some time, so Sony again will be behind the curve with a likely too pricey PSP successor. They really dropped the ball with recapturing momentum with the PSPgo. It just made things worse.

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I didn't think price alone

I didn't think price alone would cause such a problem, but maybe so. I hear that when a system's price drops to $199 the sales can double overnight. (iPod touch for example)

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
PSP causes
Catatonic wrote:

I didn't think price alone would cause such a problem, but maybe so. I hear that when a system's price drops to $199 the sales can double overnight. (iPod touch for example)

In this case, the number one cause was price. It's hard to argue it wasn't. Secondary was lack of a UMD/UMD transition plan, no compelling reason to buy one over the PSP 3000, proprietary connections, competition from Apple (something that the original PSP didn't really have), etc. The secondary reasons you can order any way you want. Bottom line, they add up to an undesirable product. With all that said, the original PSP models are still overall successes - no denying - but they never reached their true market potential for a variety of reasons, one of which was lack of regular game releases and another being a misguided focus on UMD movies early on.

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
If anyone is in the market for a PSP with UMD

There's one on offer from me!

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