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PlayStation (Games) Sony Businesses Portables (Games) Games

Sony Continues To Lose Ground In Mobile Gaming 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-marcus-is-so-hilarious dept.
donniebaseball23 sends this quote from an opinion piece at Industry Gamers: "On Monday, news came down the pipeline from SCEE president Andrew House that Sony wants to focus on a younger audience for the PSP with future titles. My immediate reaction was one of shock and confusion. After all, in an interview with IndustryGamers at E3, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime noted that, 'the way I would describe the market for the Nintendo 3DS would be the launch market that we had with the Nintendo DS plus the launch market that maybe PSP had.' When your primary competitor is looking to the exact market that you've catered to, why would you abandon that market? There was a time when Sony Computer Entertainment was a trailblazer, bringing things to the industry ahead of everyone else. Nowadays, however, it seems that Sony is content to merely fall in step behind everyone else and simply try hard to not fall too far behind."
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Sony Continues To Lose Ground In Mobile Gaming

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  • Who trusts Sony? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    After their repeated rootkits, engineered incompatibility, engineered obsolescence, higher-than-market prices, and lengthy history of consumer-hostility, why would anyone want to buy a Sony product?

    I sure don't. My house is Sony free. Of course, I have had to side with the lesser of a handful of evils, but that is still better than submitting to Sony.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thestudio_bob (894258)
      I couldn't agree with you more. I have a PS3 which I haven't turned on since January. I tried to make it into a media center, but Sony fought me with constant upgrades that broke media formats, restricted access to the system and basically did everything in their power to ensure I had a miserable experience using their system. Games may look better, but everything I play seems buggy (Granted this falls more onto the developers, but from what I hear, the developers are treated pretty bad as well). I'm serio
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, I haven't turned mine on since I played and beat uncharted 2 in 1 week right after it came out...i think that was sometime back in 2009, and before that i didnt turn it on since i first bought it..2007?

        I have to admit, i do have a sony lcd tv, the xbr 9, better than samsungs offerings (which i really liked before that).

        Back in the day sony was great. TVs and audio receivers that lasted for 10+ years, ps2s that last for 10+ years...Now they are slowly becoming a joke in the industry. the PS3 has so muc

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by feepness (543479)

          Yeah, I haven't turned mine on since I played and beat uncharted 2 in 1 week right after it came out...i think that was sometime back in 2009, and before that i didnt turn it on since i first bought it..2007?
          ...
          Anyone wanna buy an 80GB PS3 with about 10 games and 3 controllers??? $500$ and i'll throw in a blu-ray remote for free!!

          So let me get this straight, you have 10 games for a system you barely played? I play mine all the time and I have 14 games, and no I don't trade them in.

          And you brought a remote for a BluRay player you apparently never turned on either.

          No sir, I'm not buying your story.

          • by Hadlock (143607)

            People buy dumb shit they never use all the time. My buddy has a bookshelf full of his DVD "collection", full of DVD cases with the security/shrinkwrap still on. Sometimes he goes down to movie trading co to trade the "old ones" (which he hasn't watched) with "new ones" (which he won't watch). And then there are all the people who got excited about the marketing for StarCraft 2, plunked down $70 for the special edition, played through 70% of the single player, played four or five online matches, got rolled

            • by feepness (543479)

              Q.E.D. of course he's really that dumb. Which is why he's selling his extensive PS3 investment for half price, because he's vastly underwhelmed with all the extra crap his salesperson convinced him to buy at purchase.

              If he's dumb enough to buy 9 launch titles and judge the system by that, well, yeah...

          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            What's wrong with his story. This is not exactly an uncommon thing.

            I personally own an xbox360 and I have around 20-25 games for it of which I would be lucky if I play it 1 hour a month, I also bought a universal xbox remote which I used for about 30 minutes the day I bought it. I have money and I admit more often then not I buy stupid shit I will rarely use, hell I still have splinter cell conviction and now mafia 2 sitting at home unopened.
            • by feepness (543479)

              I personally own an xbox360 and I have around 20-25 games for it of which I would be lucky if I play it 1 hour a month,

              He said he hadn't turned it on in two years. That's quite different from 1 hour a month.

      • You post a rant like that about Sony and then look towards Microsoft. ??? You must really be a masochist! I haven't seen Sony even come close to Microsoft; after all, Microsoft harmed an entire industry (PC)!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Interesting opinion given that the PS3 is the most consumer friendly of the current home consoles. (Free multiplayer, no region locking on games, user swappable hard drives, open standard controller interface, backup feature).

      Also the PSP is still more consumer friendly than the DSi (no region locking).

      After their repeated rootkits,

      From memory there was one, from Sony BGM, yeah it sucked but people need to get over it.

      engineered incompatibility,

      Please clarify

      engineered obsolescence,

      Yeah 10 years is a pretty crappy lifetime for a home console

      higher-than-market prices,

      I.E. we don't make brittle junk so maybe it co

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I sure don't. My house is Sony free. Of course, I have had to side with the lesser of a handful of evils, but that is still better than submitting to Sony.

      But against Apple, Sony is the lesser of two evils.

      With Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Toshiba I'm paying for a decent laptop based on specs.
      With Sony I'm paying for an over-egineered laptop with some added for brand recognition.
      With Apple, I'm paying for something with a failure rate equivalent to a dell but more expensive then a Sony Vaio.

      At least the

  • PSP titles: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meerling (1487879) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @02:41PM (#33409918)
    I haven't actually had a PSP title for a few years that I actually liked enough to play more than a week. Most didn't even last a day. Going the DS route won't help either. What they really need is good games that people want to play.
    • I got a GBA imagining that similar types of games that appeared on the Genesis and SNES would make it to the system. Things like platformers or sports games like NHL 96 or the FIFA games with the isometric view. Instead the soccer games all seemed like pixelated abortions to me. They decided to make them use a 3d view instead of the isometric view and it didn't look good at all. Even with the DS they still look crap to me. I've always wondered why they just didn't use the old isometric engine that seem

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Martze (1545505)
        3D is always better, for everything, ever. Haven't you heard? Where have you been for the past 15 years? No matter the resolution, or the kind of gameplay, or the art style; 3D is always better.
      • by tepples (727027)

        They decided to make them use a 3d view instead of the isometric view and it didn't look good at all.

        The advantage of a 3D view over a 2D view is that a 3D view can show close-up objects to scale (hence averting the need to artificially magnify them to make, say, a pistol half the size of a person) yet still show far-away scenery.

        • by MikeFM (12491)

          How is using 3D better than scaling? Scaling is a lot less work and looks just as good.

          • by tepples (727027)

            How is using 3D better than scaling? Scaling is a lot less work and looks just as good.

            By "3D" I was including scaling. Mario Kart 64 for N64 and Mario Kart Super Circuit, for example, draw the cars with scaling. (The original uses pre-scaled cels because neither the CPU nor the PPU in the Super NES was powerful enough to scale sprites.) Many of the weapons in the original Super Smash Bros. for N64 are single textured quads as well. It's just that in a pure overhead view, you can't draw both realistically sized heads and pickup items and realistically sized buildings and roads.

    • Re:PSP titles: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:10PM (#33410074) Homepage

      What they really need is good games that people want to play.

      Exactly. The problem with the PSP is that there is almost nothing interesting. There are a ton of solid ports/sequels of PS2 titles, but quality alone doesn't matter when it is just another reincarnation of Tekken, WipeOut, RidgeRager and whatever. I just don't care about playing a downscaled version of games I already played.

      The amount of proper new games on the PSP is vanishingly small and that is rather depressing given that the hardware should be perfectly fine for games like Braid, Limbo, Shadow Complex or whatever interesting stuff makes it to XBL/PSN. It is those types of games the PSP could need more of, good solid 2D/2.5D stuff that is easy enough to play on the get go, but complex enough to feel like a proper game and not some casual mini game.

      I like the PSP hardware, but without games to play, that is worth nothing and in terms of dust collecting the PSP beats even the Wii by a mile.

      • Not going to argue with you there, but this seems like a good of a place as any to point out that Valkyria Chronicles 2 comes out tomorrow, and it's only for PSP. Time to dust it off (when the price drops, anyway).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CronoCloud (590650)

        Here's what I Think Sony did when they began designing the PSP:

        Sony: Hello gamer focus group, tell us what you don't like about the GBA and it's games.

        Gamer focus group: They're shorter than their console brethren and they're often not the same game. Take a look at the GB Tomb Raider..it's a side scroller. They're cut down.

        Sony: So you want games more like those on the PS1/PS2? Okay, Give us a couple of years.

        A couple of years later:

        Sony: here is the game machine you wanted.

        hardcore gamer focus groups:

  • Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Desmou (1608775)
    Don't you need to gain ground, prior to losing it?
    • by grumbel (592662)

      The PSP sold 60million units, for reference, that is more units then either Xbox360(~42mil), PS3(~37mil) or iPhone (~50mil). It of course is still just second place behind the NintendoDS(~133mil) and its game offering can be rather lacking, but in terms of raw sales I would call it quite a huge success.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by flowwolf (1824892)
        The iphone has no buttons. Not a true gaming console. Gaming is secondary. Are you going to count how many TI-86+ are in the wild as a gaming base as well?
        This data just convinces me that the industry manufactured console hardcore gaming market is about to pop. Kinect will sell them another 10mil if they're lucky.
        • No true Scotsman (Score:3, Informative)

          by tepples (727027)

          The iphone has no buttons. Not a true gaming console.

          The assertion that button presence defines a console sounds silly to me. A PC has even more buttons than an Xbox 360 with four controllers plugged into it. So is the PC "a true gaming console" to you? What about mobile phones running Android OS, many of which have a texting keyboard? I'd like to clear up no true Scotsman fallacies [wikipedia.org] and get Layne's Law of Debate [c2.com] out of the way so that we can know what each other is talking about.

          • Re:No true Scotsman (Score:4, Informative)

            by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @07:32PM (#33411336)
            While "has buttons" is a bad criterion, it is true that the iPhone was not designed to be a portable console. This is evident both in the interface (the touchscreen/tilt sensor combination is not very well suited for precise input and control schemes involving more than three or four buttons) and in the fact that at launch Apple didn't allow third-party software, which would be fairly devastating to a console. Third-party software - and thus games - was entirely an afterthought.

            The iPhone/iPod touch/iPad are not primarily intended to be portable consoles. They are, respectively, a smartphone, a PDA and a tablet. They happen to play games and they have accumulated a large library over time (enough to advertise as a feature) but they are no more consoles than the Palm V or the Nokia N900 are. I think that a comparison between portable consoles makes the most sense when all involved devices were designed and intended as portable consoles. For instance, a lot of iPhone buyers bought it as a smartphone and not for its gaming capabilities (although I do admit that the PS3 has a similar problem as some people buy it just as a Blu-ray player.).



            Semantics aside, more relevant to the discussion is that the NDS had easily twice as many sales as the PSP. In fact, the measuring stick would be the original Game Boy series (Game Boy/Pocket/Color/Light). It's widely known as a raging success, having enjoyed good sales on virtually unchanged hardware for a full decade.

            Using Nintendo's 2008 annual financial report [nintendo.com] as a source we see that in 2008 Nintendo has sold about 81 million Game Boy Advances and about 119 million classic Game Boys. Even if we assume that the classic Game Boy continued to get sales it's unlikely to be far above 120 million units today. So Nintendo has sold more DSes in six years than classic Game Boys in twelve years (assuming that all classic Game Boy sales stopped when the GBA was introduced in 2001). The PSP doesn't even measure up against the Game Boy Advance although it's newer and can still overtake it. It's obvious that the NDS fares tremendously better in the market than the PSP does.

            Also of interest are the other figures: As of 2008, Nintendo sold 25 million Wiis, 22 million Gamecubes, 33 million N64s, 49 million SNESes and 62 million NESes. Even allowing for the Wii being new and the N64 and the GameCube being failures, this illustrates that stationary consoles don't sell as many units as portable ones. The markets seem to behave differently, thus a direct comparison between the respective sales numbers may be pointless.
            • at launch Apple didn't allow third-party software

              Apple has done been plenty of launches since then: iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2 ("There's an app for that"), iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3 (faster CPU), and now iPhone 4 (retina display).

              They happen to play games and they have accumulated a large library over time (enough to advertise as a feature) but they are no more consoles than the Palm V or the Nokia N900 are. I think that a comparison between portable consoles makes the most sense when all involved devices were designed and intended as portable consoles.

              If game developers have largely abandoned a portable console (in this case PSP and PSP Go) in favor of a platform that handles gaming well yet is not originally designed as a portable console (in this case iPhone and iPod Touch), then having been originally designed as a portable console isn't much of a bullet point. Besides, e

          • by abigsmurf (919188)
            A gaming console is exactly what the name implies. A console designed for gaming. If you've bought it and don't intend to game, you've probably wasted your money.

            The iphone is a phone, it is designed to function well as a phone and general purpose mini-tablet at the expense of its gaming capabilities.
            • by Firehed (942385)

              Maybe it's more a matter of my usage patterns, but I'd say that my iPhone functions far better as a gaming device than as an actual phone. I don't have huge dropped call issues (but I'm rarely talking on the phone), but I'll use my iPhone to kill a bit of time very often throughout the day.

              The original iPhone was definitely not a device designed for gaming, though it became quite capable at doing so with the second version of the OS which allowed third-party software. As noted above, the hardware improvemen

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:02PM (#33410018)

    Headline should have been "Sony to change focus to younger audience - targets Nintendo's market" - with the submitter's opinion stated *after* the summary of the linked article (start quote at 2nd sentence if you want to be lazy).

    Where does the actual source article say anything about Sony losing ground?
    How does the submitters' description of Nintendo doing exactly the same thing somehow lend support to that story? Sony's story, which is not contradicted by IG in their article, is not dissimilar - they're strong in one market, better than ever, but wish to grow on their weak markets (i.e: focus on your competitors' market for growth, not the market you own and saturated already).

    This summary has almost nothing to do with the linked articles, and it's 90% opinion from the submitter (donniebaseball23)
    I happen to agree with his opinion on both Sony's rationale and their chances, but that's not really 'news' and it misrepresents the actual 'news' part as if this is what something Sony admitted to, or actually stated as IndustryGamers' analysis.

    The professionalism of Slashdot editors... what is the job description again?

    • by N1AK (864906)
      Glad I'm not the only one who read the summary as basically saying: Sony are idiots for doing the same thing as Nintendo. Nintendo, however, are geniuses for doing it...
      • They aren't doing the same thing as Nintendo, they are doing what Nintendo did 5 years ago. Nintendo now is about pushing new technology (3D) and providing a gaming experience which is more clearly distinguished from what mobile phones can deliver.

        Sony are idiots for not using an appropriate strategy at an appropriate time ... they really can't afford to hype 3D for consoles and TV and then pretend it's irrelevant for handhelds, it won't work. Nintendo is going to slaughter them again, this time using Sony'

  • Uh oh! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You better get those PSP sales up, Marcus, or it's right back to the orphanage for you!

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles.jones@nospAm.zen.co.uk> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:19PM (#33410116)

    Nobody I know with a PSP has upgraded to the PSP Go. It just doesn't make sense.

    You can't play a game, complete it then trade it in for another game. The games shops lose and the customer loses too.

    Before launch it was said that you would be able to swap a PSP UMD for a digital version for the PSP Go. This didn't happen, so it made migration expensive if you had an existing UMD collection.

    Another problem is downloads, your PSP Go has to sit there while you download the game, which could be hours.

    • by vakuona (788200)
      Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download. You need to go out and buy a UMD game, or get someone else to deliver it for you. With a decent connection, a download s always quicker and more convenient!
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:45PM (#33410242)

        Yeah a downloadable as a lot of advantages: it can be revoked at will, when you change console you can be forced to pay for it once more. The publisher can also sell it at the same price as the physical media.

        Very convenient indeed.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @05:18PM (#33410740) Homepage Journal

        Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download.

        Because what you call "a decent connection" isn't available everywhere, especially out in the country once the farm chores are done. It's faster to ship a UMD across the United States than to download it over satellite or cellular, especially given that three to six full-UMD games would eat up 100% of the 5 to 10 GB/mo caps that all wireless Internet providers impose.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Downloading is becoming harder and harder. ISPs here in the US are not upgrading jack except for fees and bandwidth surcharges. Combine that with the fact that in general, connections are more saturated making reliably downloading something more problematic, and one finds that a download-only format isn't going to work just yet.

        What I see happening is that future games on consoles will require two things. A cartridge or CD/DVD/BD-ROM which is bundled with a CD key, and a required download to activate the

      • by ookaze (227977)

        Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download. You need to go out and buy a UMD game, or get someone else to deliver it for you. With a decent connection, a download s always quicker and more convenient!

        Of course this isn't really a big problem for the PSPGo.
        One big glaring problem though, often overlooked, is that you need a PS3 to get your games.
        Which is pretty stupid.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      The games shops lose and the customer loses too.

      Luckily, Sony doesn't about either of those groups.

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7NO@SPAMkc.rr.com> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:58PM (#33410304) Homepage

    The PSP's dead man walking state is completely due to Sony's ineptitude. I blame is on corporate ego, after winning two console generations in a row the attitude seemed to be that they could just push their way and gamers would just fall lock step into whatever Sony "blessed" them with, regardless of price, features or support. While pushing all the "features" that the hardcore audience would appreciate, they completely neglected the most important features, games. Gran Turismo portable for instance was demo'ed at the PSP launch announcement and was even featured on the box but didnt ship until last year. The rate of first party titls has been anemic since it launched and the 3rd party support has been shrinking. Piracy can be partially to blame but an equal blame should be laid at Sony's feet for not focusing on the right aspects of the device and supporting it properly. UMD was stillborn, which IMHO was a missed opportunity, I would have gladly paid for a UMD player for the house or car but Sony for some reason chose to keep it locked up deeming the format useless, yet rather than focus on the gaming they chose to advertise it as this do everything media device while basically downplaying its gaming prowess. As a result the much less capable DS has completely buried the PSP despite the inferior hardware.

    I have been trying for months to sell a PSP bundle with over 2 dozen games (admittedly nothing as recent as the last year and a half or so) and cant get any interest at any value more than the joy of taking outside and stomping the crap out of it.

  • There was a time when Sony Computer Entertainment was a trailblazer, bringing things to the industry ahead of everyone else.

    When?
    Please list successful innovations and dates. I'm really curious.

  • I think sony is being rather smart here. We're not far off from the point in which cellphones will provide all the gaming entertainment an adult would want. Buying another $300 gadget just to get better graphics while you're waiting in the airport doesn't make much sense. The only audience that'll be interested in portal gaming in the next 5-10 years are going to be the ones that don't have cellphones... i.e. Kids.
    • by Kenja (541830)
      You can run original playstation games on an Android phone. Frankly, this is more compelling then most portable dedicated gaming systems if you get a phone with a usable gaming interface (you can get a game pad type of slip cover for the original Droid for example).
    • No not really (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      There are two problems with cellphones as a primary gaming platform, one that you really can't fix:

      1) Controls. Cellphones are not well suited to games. The reason the gamepad has endured is not coincidence, it is a good tool for the job. Yes you can add a gamepad, but that makes the phone much larger and people don't like that one bit. While the problem isn't completely unsolvable, it is difficult.

      2) Battery life. When you do anything else with your phone, you drain the battery. There are no new magic batt

  • While I personally never really felt the need to buy something like a PSP their target market seemed very narrow: gullible rich kids/young adults who did not mind being locked into Sony's proprietary formats.

    If they wanted to lock people into formats they needed to put out some very cheap type units. Get the public hooked with a loss-leader or break even type unit that would then have them wanting to buy the high end units.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      *sigh* "locked into Sony's proprietary formats" vs. what exactly? DS with its locked in platform? What mobile gaming platorm isn't locked in?

      Dedicated Gaming devices:
      Sony PSP: Systems Proprietary and not licensed, Games: Pay to develop for / license required
      Nintendo GameBoy/DS: Systems Proprietary and not licensed, Games: Pay to develop for / license required
      Sony PS3 (Disc Content): Systems Proprietary and not licensed, Games: Pay to develop

  • The games out on the PSP just don't play well on a tiny screen. They're designed for a big TV and controllers. When sony shoehorns the game in to a tiny form factor it just becomes clumsy and irritating. In my opinion the DS is no different. Portable game devices with 4" screens have no real staying power.

  • It is all about fun. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bastafidli (820263)
    I quite don't understand people bad mouthing PSP. It is not about size, hardware, performance, but about having fun playing game on the go. I used to be a PC game player. Never had a console. I bought PSP last christmas, just because they are now quite cheap (new ~130, used ~80) and have large selection of good games (for adults), can be used as media player on trip and also go online if needed. Now months later I played it almost every week, multiple days at a time, had tons of fun, own more games than I

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