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Sony Handhelds Portables (Games)

Sony Reportedly Ends PSP Go Production 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-use-throwing-good-money-after-bad dept.
Sony's PSP Go launched in late 2009 to mixed reviews and tepid sales. A little over a year later, Sony announced the portable console's successor, the NGP, leading to speculation about how long the PSP Go would last. Now, a report out of Japan suggests production on the device is winding down. Sony responded to inquiries about the report with vague PR-speak, but a UK retailer confirmed that they wouldn't be receiving replacements once their current stock ran out.
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Sony Reportedly Ends PSP Go Production

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  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @05:09AM (#35878138) Journal

    Good riddance. I could never see the rationale behind the PSP Go; why pay extra for a version of a handheld console that actually offered less functionality than the original? The online Playstation Store still has issues with the range of titles available (though this is improving), pricing structures (likewise improving, but only slowly) and user interface (where it is a long way behind Xbox Live and the App Store).

    The weird thing is, however, that despite facing ridicule in its early years, the base PSP has gone on to be a curious kind of success story. With almost 70 million units sold worldwide and some impressive games sales figures, it's basically the first non-Nintendo handheld to achieve any real degree of success (even if it does lag a long way behind the DS). For comparison, Sega's Game Gear managed around 11 million units and the Atari Lynx a paltry 5 million - and the poor old Nokia N-Gage apparently only managed to attract around 3-4 million side-talkers. Weirdly, the PSP is now acting as the main competition to the 3DS, which it is now outselling on a week by week basis in some markets (with the PSP's lower price tag undoubtedly helping). It certainly helps - particularly in Japan - that the PSP has become the successor to the PS2 as the title that picks up the quirky and interesting low-budget games, particularly RPGs.

    The irony is that having seen the PSP turn into a late-cycle success, Sony look set to kill it off with a successor at exactly the wrong moment. Latest sales figures indicate that had Sony left the PSP alone (while killing off the PSP Go like the irrelevance it is), it could have seriously hurt the 3DS's prospects in Japan - which is only one market, but nevertheless an important one. The 3DS is vulnerable right now - its launch games lineup is weak and its 3d effect is is impressive at first glance but everybody I know has turned it off after a day or two at most due either because they get headaches or because it's just plain distracting when trying to play games - it's still worth seeing, but you might as well just see it on a friend's console for half an hour rather than fork out for your own.

    Keeping the games flowing onto the PSP for the next 18 months or so (capitalising on the weak 3DS lineup for the next 6 months) and keeping the spotlight within Japan on it could have denied the 3DS a convincing foothold and increased developer nervousness about jumping to a new platform. However, by putting out a new platform of their own so soon after the 3DS - and one which, judging by its specs, will likely cost even more than the 3DS (ouch), Sony are exposing themselves to exactly the same risks. A $350 NGP (number entirely hypothetical, but within the bounds of possibility given the spec) with another Lumines + Wipeout-style launch lineup (not to disparge Lumines, which was great) would really struggle in the present economic climate. It does make me wonder whether they learned anything at all from the harm that the high initial price of the PS3 did them. I wonder if it's their piracy-paranoia driving the switch - the PSP has been "unlocked" for a long time (as has the DS).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @08:25AM (#35878974)

    My 8 year old son got a PSP Go for Christmas from his aunt. I used my credit card to put $40.00 on it so he could buy some games. He bought for $100.00 because my credit card information was stored on it, and it couldn't be removed. There was some option to reset to factory settings or something like that, I didn't try that because I figured it would erase the $100.00 worth of games as well.

    So I had to cancel my credit card to prevent anyone who got his hands on the PSP Go from buying stuff on it.

    No more Sony for me.

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