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PSP Reception Lukewarm in US? 594

There are plenty of interesting takes available on Sony's new media/game console. The neat tricks seem to be the most popular. An Anonymous Coward writes "A blogger figured out how to batch convert e-books so they can be read on your PSP. Check out the guide here for a complete walkthrough on this method." Meanwhile, RyuuzakiTetsuya writes "PSP Vault has a great story on how to Use Non-Duo Memory Sticks on a PSP! The process involves using an adapter that's meant for a Sony Ericcson phone." Via Joystiq, a way to get Tivo content on your PSP. Out in the real world there is already talk of the opening weekend sales. Doomstalk writes "According to IGN sales of the PSP have been lukewarm, with many outlets selling as little as 10 out of the 80 units they received." The PSP is currently burning up the charts in Japan, though, where the console has been out for a while. Early adopters on a holiday weekend may not be the best yardstick. Official numbers from the first weekend of sales likely available on Monday.
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PSP Reception Lukewarm in US?

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  • DS Buyer Regret (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BunnyClaws ( 753889 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:56PM (#12056949) Homepage
    I think a lot of people are suffering from buyers regret after purchasing the Nintendo DS system. I imagine after more games are released sales will increase for the PSP.
  • Supply vs. Demand. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sanityspeech ( 823537 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:58PM (#12056962) Journal
    From the IGN article:
    I work retail, and our store received 60 PSP's and sold 10 the entire day. Outside of hardcore gaming stores, I was curious to find out if that was just an anomaly, or the standard. I actually had many people come up and talk to me about it, but balked at the price of $249.99.
    This is a classic case of supply exceeding demand. Just knowing that Sony is willing to go for such a price point was enough of a turn-off for me. For that price, I am willing to wait a year or two before getting one.

    ...from the psp-stands-for-pretty-steep-price dept...

    You can say that again.
  • by LokieLizzy ( 858962 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:00PM (#12056972)
    it's not surprising that these things aren't selling like hotcakes. What with the 18-29 crowd buying their iPods and flashy digital cameras, not to mention required payments of the rent (or tuition if you're in college), food, and *life*, it's hard for the average Joe or Jane to choke out an extra 250 for a system which can't do half of the things it's advertized to do without pumping out another 80 dollars for a couple of games, or a larger memory chip.

    The thing's far too expensive to justify whatever niftiness it may hold.

  • by LokieLizzy ( 858962 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:02PM (#12056996)
    of seeing the word "blogger" everywhere?

    "A blogger figured out how to batch convert e-books so they can be read on your PSP."

    I mean, I like embracing new words as much as the next guy, but from the elections (where "blog" was the word of choice for the media), to talk of the PSP, I just don't *need* to see that word everywhere

  • by Zetta Matrix ( 245803 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:07PM (#12057023)
    At $249.99, there better be a handful of games I just can't live without. For me, there are none. This changes with the introduction of new titles and price drops on the PSP itself. At $149.99, I could see buying it for only 2-3 games (with the expectation of more).
  • by LokieLizzy ( 858962 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:08PM (#12057025)
    I enjoyed every part of your review - until I got to this:

    "(Please continue to keep Terry in your thoughts and prayers this holiday weekend as she and the family suffers through this tragic time.)"

    Might I ask *you* to please keep this propaganda (garbage) out of a thread for discussions about a *portable gaming system*. If you want to get political, submit a political story. If you're here to game, then bloody well game.

  • by DemonWeeping ( 849974 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:12PM (#12057052) Homepage
    The PSP would be a fantastic handheld with it's brilliant screen and fantastic hardware... ...except... They need to make UMD-R. Seriously. I am not going to pay 50%+ more (versus SD) for a 1G Memory Stick Duo that will not work in any other device I own just so I can carry around some extra media. Come on Sony. Didn't you learn your lesson about propriatary formats yet?
  • Re:DS Buyer Regret (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dustinc20 ( 573679 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:16PM (#12057071)
    Sheeple, who feed off on sony's products no matter how they suck? I LOVE my DS, I went to get a PSP, saw someone playing it, and decided not to. I have the $$$, but load times, battery life, and freakin 50$ a game is discouraging me. Its the principle that they do this because they KNOW those who want to be hip will buy one. Sure the screen looks nice, but looking pretty isnt what makes a game to me. I saw someone say on penny arcades forums they plan to never leave the house with this, so battery life isnt important. I take my PORTBALE device with me on the way to school, play in between classes. His logic amazed me.
  • by Stalyn ( 662 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:23PM (#12057103) Homepage Journal
    Tokyo is one of the most expensive places live (actually the most) yet everyone there has some new fangled phone or electronic device. The success I think on the PSP has less to do with economy and more with culture.

  • by nate nice ( 672391 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:30PM (#12057145) Journal
    "Until I played Lumines for one minute on a PSP at my local gaming store. The sheer (sic)addictivness of this game alone makes me (sic)desperatly want a PSP..."

    Your feelings are confused right now. You're not addicted to a game after playing it for 1 min. The feeling you have is called *impulse* and is the worst feeling a consumer can succumb to.
  • by otis wildflower ( 4889 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:31PM (#12057146) Homepage
    ... thanks to Sony's choice to proprietarize the UMD rather than just using a mini DVD in a caddy. I can pretty much guarantee that nobody's gonna rebuy movies for this thing, at least in the US. Yeah, you could put movies on a mildly less proprietary Memory Stick, but teens aren't gonna have the $$$ for tons of 512MB sticks..

    Of course, the geek bandolier squad will come out with the whole 'single purpose devices are better' argument, and I'm sure plenty of geeks and game fiends will buy the PSP and only play games on it. For me, though, $250 is a bit rich for that, and the so-called multifunctionality is a bit of a snow job due to Sony's longstanding format nonsensicality.

    I just want to see Apple take that gorgeous LCD and wrap a star-killing PDA phone around it, using a scaled-up iPod mini look with touchscreen. Something with internal disk, HWR, 3G, voice recognition (for bluetooth headset/handsfree dialing etc.), the works. Adding the ability to run Dashboard apps even if you don't use a PPC full-blown OS X env would be super kewl.
  • Re:DS Buyer Regret (Score:1, Insightful)

    by JackAxe ( 689361 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:33PM (#12057160)
    Speak for yourself. I love my DS.
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:40PM (#12057187) Homepage
    It doesn't need more than 32 megabytes of storage space. It's a gaming machine. If you think of it as anything more than a gaming machine, you've bought into the marketing. That's the same marketing that used ROB to get the NES into electronics stores.

    The PSP is a gaming machine. It's not a video playback device: when was the last time you bought a movie on UMD? Would you be willing to buy a moving on UMD knowing that it would look terrible on a full-sized TV? Where would you even get a movie on UMD?

    The PSP is a gaming machine. It is not a web browser. Whatever you may have heard about it's browsing capabilities, the screen is tiny and has low resolution compared to a laptop, and it has no text input. Browsing on the PSP would be painful.

    The PSP is a gaming machine. It is not an MP3 player. The archos Jukebox and iPod are MP3 players. If you want an MP3 player, you can get a CF-based one for 40 bucks these days. The PSP hasn't the on-board storage or the battery life to be a primary MP3 player. It can do it, but don't expect to throw out your current one just yet.

    The PSP is a gaming machine. If you believe otherwise, you've bought into the marketing hooks. The only systems right now that can claim to be more than just gaming machines are your PC, any PS2 or Xbox that you use as DVD players, and the N-Gage (which is a halfway descent phone). But even those are basically just gaming machines.

    The PSP may be capable of being your personal organizer. You may theoretically be able to run your 802.11b home automation equipment with it. You might be able to use it as a teleprompter, a floor wax, or to make Julianne fries. But the fact is that nearly everyone who buys one will use it as a game machine. Pretty much like all the other gaming machines in the world. Period.

    That's not to say that it is "just" a gaming machine any more than a Ferrari is "just" a car, or a 6' plasma screen is "just" a TV. But don't expect the 6' plasma screen to improve your love life, and don't expect the PSP to do anything but play games really, really well.

    And yes, we should all keep Terry Pratchett in our prayers. That poor, poor diskworld...

  • by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) * <> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:47PM (#12057223)
    the DS really doesn't have any games going for it right now either. The only way I could justify it was by reasoning that Advanced Wars DS will be out for it soon.

    I agree, I think the only reason why Nintendo released the DS when they did was to get a jump on the PSP. I know I am going to get a DS because:
    A.) There will be a new Mario for it
    2.) Animal Crossing
    D.) CastleVania (oh man, it looks good)

    I am really intrigued that the PSP is looking more like a portable entertainment device than just a game machine but there's no compelling software yet. It was also cool at one time that the PS2 had iLink and USB. That went nowhere fast.

  • Gamegear (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:49PM (#12057232)
    say... doesn't the PSP remind you of the Sega Gamegear?

    That didn't do very well neither.
  • by halofan_sd ( 683327 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:52PM (#12057250)
    Tokyo is expensive to live in, but people in their 20s-30s still live with their parents, and there's no stigma as in the states. So I would think the young people have more disposable income there.
  • Re:DS Buyer Regret (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MattyCobb ( 695086 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:54PM (#12057258)
    or perhaps people like me love their DS and don't see any reason to buy another more expensive portable system. Espically one with unholy load times (for a portable anyway) and less battery life.
  • by idlake ( 850372 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:07PM (#12057335)
    I didn't find any of the games that were available in the store compelling. Add to that a high price, long load times, and a proprietary disk format, and it just doesn't add up.
  • by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:11PM (#12057350) Homepage

    I just picked one up at Target today; wow, it's got an incredibly nice screen, and Twisted Metal rocks as always. But immediately I've got some slight complaints:

    No AAC audio support for music files? The hardware can clearly do this, as it can decode AAC audio in the context of an MPEG-4 file. This seems like straight peevishness on Sony's part to cut out iTunes AAC users. On the other hand, I knew I should have probably ripped all those CDs as .mp3.

    To get the unit into "USB Disk" mode, the user has to go to System Settings and put the unit into USB Connection mode. This seems overly complex. It might be better if the PSP just automatically opened a connection when it sensed a USB cable present -- that would open up all sorts of cool auto-sync possibilities i.e. the iPod.

    But these are minor complaints. This unit rocks, the UI is well thought out, and the MPEG-4 video playback (which is what I was mainly interested in) is gorgeous. Nice job, Sony!

  • by waynelorentz ( 662271 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:16PM (#12057369) Homepage
    A good point about the culture. Also, remember people in Japan pay a lot in rent, but not so much for decorating their homes as Americans since there's less home to decorate and culturally they don't hang as much crap on the walls. I think they're more apt to dispose of their disposable income on gadgets.

    That said, in my time in Tokyo I saw exactly ONE Playstation Portable. This was about three weeks ago. A girl was playing Lumines on the subway. I was sucked in just watching it and the next day I plopped down my credit card at Yodobashi Camera.

    They seemed to be selling well, though. In the time it took me to decide which games to buy with it, they sold three other units. And this was four months after the initial release. Make of that what you will.
  • What I think no one has stated loudly enough is that in the US mobile gaming is a kids-only affair. Japan is a land of long train commutes and small living quarters that lends itself nicely to a concept like the PSP with its adults-only price tag. In the US the car culture and the "Everything is Big in America" don't lend themselves well to adult portable gaming. They lend themselves to huge-ass TVs to plug consoles on (which helps explain why it's the country where the X-Box has seen the greatest success).

    So the PSP won't be a dismal failure, but Nintendo will most likely end up selling more machines in the US thanks to its more kiddy-friendly price tag and image (so that stereotype might be useful for them in the end...).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:32PM (#12057451)
    A family is dealing with the certain death of their daughter.

    She died years ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:34PM (#12057459)
    Playstation Twos have been out for years now, everybody's got one. Alright, so here comes a portable PS2...

    My question is, where are kids going these days where there aren't any A/V inputs? PS2 portability was [] already [] achieved [] before the PSP.

    Take all the 8-15 year olds in America, subtract the kids with TVs in their bedrooms, subtract the ones with A/V inputs in their parents' SUVs, subtract the ones with LCD extenders for their PS2s, and who do you have left?

    The remaining 8-15 year olds go places, reluctantly, but they don't have 250.00 dollars to spend on a console they already own (and games they already own) except around birthdays and Christmas.

    So that leaves the 16-25 year olds, but these adolescents don't play video games in the backseats of their parents' Volvos or at Grandma's house like 8-15 year olds; they play the classic PS2 on the big TV in the apartment/dorm/house they almost never leave. Furthermore, I suspect they're even less likely to be duped into repurchasing their 300 to 500 dollar software collections.

    So this PSP thing makes a fancy gift, but I just don't see anybody running out in a frenzy to snatch one for themself. Sales will pick up around the holidays, but Sony should not expect kids in Springfield, Santa Barbara or Scottsdale will react like kids in Tokyo.
  • Re:The PSP had a (Score:3, Insightful)

    by waynelorentz ( 662271 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:58PM (#12057551) Homepage
    They say that timing is everything. I think the PSP might be a good example of this. It should have been released before Christmas when people were ready to spend money, not in the heat of tax season when people are worried about their financial future. Sony probably couldn't make enough units to feed both Japan and the United States, and chose not to take a dump in their own backyard. But it might bite them in the end. I got my PSP in Japan a while back, and I love it. But I can understand why some people are hesitant.
  • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @10:48PM (#12057828)
    From the summary:

    The PSP is currently burning up the charts in Japan, though, where the console has been out for a while. Early adopters on a holiday weekend may not be the best yardstick. Official numbers from the first weekend of sales likely available on Monday.

    Translation: As a former editor of the Slashdot games section, I spent hundreds of dollars on a PSP last week and feel the need to defend it in a front page article. :)
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @01:04AM (#12058363) Journal
    I had mod points, but this was too stupid to just mod down.

    The XBox isn't that big, and you don't have to have room above it to open the CD slot. You can tuck it under something and still have access to it.

    All these people say "Wow, it's big" and sure, it's slightly larger then some game systems have been in the past. But it's hardly bigger then the original Nintendo, it requires a lot less space above it then the Game Cube (not to mention any of the older systems like the Genesis, SNES, etc,) And it's only an inch wider then the PS2.

    Saying "I don't have room for that" when you DO have the room for the game cube is just a load of crap.
  • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @01:21AM (#12058429)
    I don't have any issues with the PSP technically, and I almost picked one up last week. $250 is just too rich for my blood for a portable. I do own a DS, and I felt much better about that purchase because not only did I get Super Mario 64, but I was able to play all of my vast library of GBA games on a brighter and clearer screen.

    Personally, I'm waiting for Grand Theft Auto to come out before I decide if I want a PSP or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 27, 2005 @01:31AM (#12058465)
    No kidding. How can they even have the gall to use the term "Universal" in their media format when it's anything but?

    If you're going to call a media format Universal, it better have, at a minimum:

    1. R/W support. None of this read-only shit.
    2. FULL specs available. Preferrably an IEEE standard.
    3. Standard IDE/SATA/SCSI/USB or IEEE1394 interface devices for reading/writing the discs.

    But of course, companies love to keep a stranglehold on their technology, so they won't do this, and it's doomed to fall into the same pit of failure as minidisc.
  • by bluk ( 791364 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @01:34AM (#12058476)
    Comparing the two launches is somewhat unfair. Nintendo DS launched in the US first with fewer numbers than the Sony PSP (~500,000 DS units versus 1 million PSP units on the first week). You already had Japanese importers buying their PSPs for outageous prices ($400 or more in some cases on eBay). Nintendo launched near black Friday and led up to Christmas which helped it out a lot. Really it will be interesting to see whether the DS or the PSP has more lasting influence.
  • Re:EB Games (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 27, 2005 @01:56AM (#12058541)
    Obviously this is subjective to locale.

    In Manhattan they are sold out all over. I got one but haven't cracked it open yet.. waiting to see if i get a new job with a hefty commute.

    Places like NYC are going to compare a lot more to tokyo and thus have the higher quantity of the PSP's sold.

    It seems to be a solid unit but how many NON kids need a gaming portable when they only commute by car?

    I think that in markets where bus and train travel is frequent, you will see the PSP flourish. In places where it is mostly car.. not so much. Some people will get it if they fly a lot.

    I have an ipod and have no aspirations of using the psp to play music.. what's the point.. the video is great for downloads but the media needs to cheapen up. The umd movies will be worthless unless they somehow release a player adaptor that will let you watch them on a regular dvd player or allow you to output the psp to a television.

    Add in the PDA funtionality and a web browser.. it becomes a different ballgame again.
  • by fr0dicus ( 641320 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @07:49AM (#12059392) Journal
    This thread is quite amusing. I got myself a PSP a couple of days ago (although I'm in Europe, so I got a Japanese one), and I've yet to get a game for it yet. First thing I did was rip Star Wars to a 512MB MSDuo. Fantastic, and apparently it's not a media player, but a gaming machine! If this isn't a media player then I can only imagine how good the games are.
  • Re:EB Games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @09:32AM (#12059571) Journal
    I'm not surprised. The game console is $249, has a short battery life, and does not have the creativity and uniqueness found with the Nintendo DS. I may be a Nintendo fanboy, but I really think that if someone wants to compete with Nintendo in the handheld market, they need to take things such as price and battery life into context.
  • Not kid friendly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maynard ( 3337 ) <j.maynard.gelina ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday March 27, 2005 @09:51AM (#12059616) Journal
    Well, I'm no Sony "loyalist". I bought this thing because it does stuff that the other handhelds can't. I've been waiting for a unit with this kind of screen quality and raw CPU power for several years. So I've never bought a Nintendo handheld simply because it doesn't do what I want, not out of like or dislike for Nintendo products. And I bought this on features alone, not love for Sony (who are just another company with some good and some bad products).

    That said: I'm 37, not 10. If I had kids there's no way I would buy this thing for them. It's not just the price, but the thing is quite delicate. Between moving parts for the optical drive and the large (do NOT drop!) screen, there's no way this thing could survive the kind of damage a kid wealds. And just the image of this thing in a sandbox makes me cringe. For the 6 - 12yo crowd, yeah the GBA looks very durable and cheap enough to replace when the kid runs it through the washer or steps on it.

    I actually feel fairly confidant that the PSP will do well enough among the 20s - 30s crowd to build a successful market. Next Christmas will be an important test of its viability. With a decent title selection and a drop to $200 it should sell well. If not, well I may have made a bad long term purchase. We'll see... --M
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @12:09PM (#12060115) Journal
    If you have enough room for a TV, game cube, and a stack of games - you have plenty of room for the Xbox.

    Your analogies are just stupid. Comparing a few inches under a TV compared to a *car*? A huge ass TV in a tiny bathroom? Your point is lost in these really terrible comparisons.

    And your point about fitting two Game Cubes in the "volume" of the Xbox? Wtf?

    If you have enough room for any TV, you have more then enough room for the Xbox. We're not talking about a 10 foot projector screen here - we're talking about a small box here. It's not that big.

    You can go on and on about how you can't fit it in a *room* but there's no way to validate such a thing. You probably just hate Microsoft and so you're trying to say the entire system is shit because it's a couple inches bigger then the Game Cube.

    ps. Not that it matters, but the Game Cube isn't nearly as powerful as a game system. You also can't mod it in order to upgrade the drive and install emulators, media players, and all sorts of cool stuff on it.
  • by earthbound kid ( 859282 ) on Monday March 28, 2005 @12:14PM (#12066348) Homepage
    I own Polarium. It's ok, not great. I did all the puzzles, but then I was left with just the challenge mode, and I'm not very good at that. It's race against the clock, which ends up being more of a race against your inaccuracy with a stylus. Oh well.

    I'm living in Japan though, and I think someone, somewhere in Nintendo HQ decided this is the month to alleviate the no games problem (at least domestically). You mentioned Meteos, which shipped to raves, but there's also a couple short but good games that just came out, like Yoshi's Touch and Go and Pac-Pix. If you want a Bejeweled clone, Zookeeper's been out for a while.

    Touch Kirby's Magic Wand just dropped and based on reviews, it's the first original, full length game for the DS. The concept sounds pretty solid-- tap Kirby to make him charge, draw rainbow tracks to direct him on the screen, tap enemies to stun them before you kill them. It's definitely in my mental shopping cart.

    Coming soon is Electroplankton, a crazy art-music project which I absolutely must buy based on the Game Developers' Conference demo, and Nintendogs, a DS tamagotchi with which to keep one's girlfriend or niece busy.

    With software for the DS finally in stores or there soon, my problem has become which ones to get and when. My current plan is to get Pac-pix tomorrow then Electroplankton when it comes out, then Kirby, then possibly Yoshi. Who knows, I may even try Nintendogs after that.

    It may sound strange for me to start with Pac-pix, but I've already enjoyed doing the demos in store and something about it really appeals to me. Yoshi got good reviews, but I wonder if it isn't just too short for me. Pac-pix should be short enough for me to beat it but long enough to be interesting, making it a good reintroduction to a system I largely put down after beating Mario 64 twice.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.