PSP in a Pickle
It has recently been announced that Sony will be promoting a PSP bundle entitled, the PSP Giga Pack. The new promotion is priced even higher than the standard PSP price at $299 and includes the 2.0 firmware update making it difficult-to-impossible to play homebrew software or emulators on the PSP.
Now, let me ask you a little question. If you were on the fence about picking up a PSP before, maybe because there wasn't really anything in the library to motivate you, would walking into a store and seeing a new higher price be enough to spur you on and reach for your wallet?
There is reason to suspect that the new higher price is to compete with Apple and their new video-playing iPod. Sony has said time and time again that the PSP isn't a video game machine but a multimedia device. Well, they are partially right, it isn't a video game machine; not when the library is so devoid of original ideas and compelling gameplay. As a multimedia device, it barely passes the test of MP3 player and video playback is a joke unless you employ 3rd party tools (which are better than ANYTHING offered by Sony) or choose to purchase UMD movies.
If Sony LOWERED the price, it would have more units in the hands of consumers who would then buy games for it. Games are where Sony makes the money. (Sony makes tons of money off of UMD movies too, but I'll give the general populace the benefit of the doubt and pretend that people overall are too smart to buy such trash.)
As it turns out, Sony CAN'T lower the price any more. They are already throwing money away with each unit and moving production to China to cut costs.
Now they've got themselves in a pickle: can't lower price, GBA and DS are kicking it's ass on the games front, Apple scooping up people interested in mobile video. That leaves the PSP in an awkward situation with very few strengths except a bunch of old PS2 ports.