Can a PSP Sequel, Lower Price, and Hot Titles Help PSP?

June 9, 2007 at 11:01 pm 1 comment

Like our great friend Brandon Spencer said, the PSP is clearly the most advanced handheld system ever made. With support for numerous file formats, a sexy widescreen system, a gaming and multimedia disk worth just over a gig, support for peripherals, and more megahertz than any other system before, it’s true. Now, though, Kotaku’s evident rumors of a “PSP Lite” (a slimmed down version with flash storage worth 8GB, all speculation, though…) seems more and more a reality. Many have dubbed 2007 as “The Year of the PSP” (including myself) because of killer software, peripheral extensions, and new technologies like VoIP making their way to our favorite device. The truth is, though: how much can a sequel, lower price, and numerous hot titles help sales?

Nintendo was a bit threatened by SONY from the beginning–their handheld rumors and final release of the PSP was a bit of a shock. Nintendo knew how their consoles sold: killer apps, revolutionary hardware, and portability. It’s how the GameBoy became the most popular device in gaming, and how they aimed to make the DS. The DS Lite was much sleeker, contemporary, cheap, and simple–nonetheless, it sold millions in its first week and helped Nintendo to achieve the gaming throne, even over that of the venerable PS2.

What SONY failed to do was get out of their launch week–which was filled with good games and promises for the future–and create truly killer apps that would have longevity and prove the PSP successful. 2007 brings that mentality: Ratchet & Clank, MGS, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Monster Hunter 2, possibly Crisis Core, and maybe even Oblivion Travels are all deemed to be killer apps in their own right. MGS and MH2 have all shown that–achieving some of the best PSP sales this year.

And suddenly, a lower PSP price of $169 make it more attractive to buy a PSP–it convinced people to get out of their shells of purchasing a $250 device without any single good apps and try it out.

None of this can be as big as a “PSP Lite” or “PSP2” could. Increasing capabilities, pushing a flash device, allowing for a sun-resistant and brighter screen, and bringing built-in peripherals could make or break the future of the PSP market. Indeed, it’s a risky fortune; many disappointed ex-PSP owners are afraid that there’s no reason to go back to PSP-land being that SONY will yet again forget about killer apps (like the much delayed Gran Turismo Mobile) and software (paging for digital distribution software!). At the same time, if killer apps, software, and a price nowhere north of $170 accompany a sequel, it could really prove SONY’s longevity in the market. With sales yet again slowing, it’s worth a try.



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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. littlevish  |  June 10, 2007 at 12:55 am

    For $170, I would probably buy a new one. My wifi is broken, but at that price I might upgrade to a PSP slim, and keep my other one, hoping for a homebrew exploit on 3.30.


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