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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PSP considered a disappointment by Sony .. new model coming

SONY PSP in trouble

The Sony PSP has lived to reach 4 generations, and has had blockbuster games such as iterations from famours franchises: God of War, Gran Turismo, Metal gear, Final Fantasy, and Grandtheft auto.
However it was never a great winner in terms of sales and definitely not in terms of game sales.
Based on the life-time sales charts, the PSP is currently the lowest performing game console present today, in terms of hardware sales worldwide. It was even beaten by its big brother, the PS3, which came out over 2 years after the PSP.

As for the software side, Piracy has always been the number 1 enemy of the PSP. It is simply too easy to download and store the games online. A great number of people will just search the iso or cso image of the game from a torrent site, download it, and then store it into their hacked PSP unit. Sony has been making some headway into fighting this threat of piracy by releasing new updates in firmware to the device. Unfortunately, the hackers are just as fast in releasing their updated "custom firmware" to counteract Sony's moves. There was some reprieve when the latest model of the PSP (the PSP GO) was released, because until now it has not yet been successfully hacked, at least not in a way that will appeal to the mass users. This victory over the hackers may not be too sweet for Sony though, because the new model itself was a giant bomb in the market. Analysts have blamed the lack of backward compatibility (no UMD) and a high price point as the culprits for the latest PSP's failure.

Bill Glaser, the CFO of Sony, has stated that "PSP was a little bit of a disappointment to us last year". Coming from a big executive from Sony, who is supposed to be spouting cheers and optimism for the company, that is saying a lot. All of this bad news does not dampen the future of the PSP though. 
Sony as a company has a history of supporting their products through extra-ordinary life-cycles, not seen in other manufacturers. The Playstation 2 is perhaps one of the greatest examples of this. Additionally, the PSP still remains as the most technologically advanced handheld device, capable of playing "hardcore"games. The devices of Nintendo, Apple or Android are still many generations behind when it comes to the heavy game library of the PSP (and many may argue they're behind in the gameplay aspect as well). This is due largely in part of the PSP's pedigree, inheriting the rights to play hit PS1 and PS2 game franchises.
For the last few months there have been many rumors and speculation that a real successor the PSP was in the works by Sony, and that the PSP Go was merely a trial run for the company on new approaches and technology. I guess we will just have to wait and see what Sony can pull out  out of their sleeve. As a long time PSP user myself, i am anxious to see where this will lead and what the new device will offer.

(HINT to Sony: Please put a second analog Stick!...so it will be as good as your "other" console)

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