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October 20, 2005

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.


At October 20, 2005 1:44 PM, Blogger Karmakin said...

50 bucks, but it comes with a 1GB memory stick. Mind you, what the hell is that good for if you don't hack the system really.

At October 20, 2005 5:10 PM, Blogger hater2win said...

You can downgrade firmware version 2.0 to 1.5, so yes, you could run homebrew on it.

At October 20, 2005 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hm, some of these arguments sound like similar ones heard over the Xbox. . .

"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)"

much like the xbox? the PSP is great at playing emulated games, watching movies (im not talking about UMD's). Which is the same reason some buy the xbox. now im not going to fight their psp game selection, however the xbox does not seem to have much more appealing games either. . . so what do we do with both these systems? get third party stuff and make it do what we want it to do.

"They are already throwing money away with each unit and moving production to China to cut costs."

again, sounds like we are talking about the xbox here. but with big companies like MS and Sony, they can afford it. Need we forget, Only Nintendo is a true console (or card) gaming company. thus i dont think we need to worry about how much money they lose. unless your worried about the price of longhorn/vista.

at the end of the day, i cant say i want a psp more then a ds, but i cant pick on it either because of what i have seen it can do.

cant i just have both?


At October 21, 2005 3:32 PM, Blogger Kamalot said...

Celsdogg, GREAT letter!

I think the main point is that you didn't see Microsoft coming out with HIGHER priced bundles when they wanted to increase their market share.

Xbox also has had a steady release of games coming out for it. There were lots of non-exclusive titles that ran across all 3 consoles. No so with the PSP.

Also, as an emulation device (which I'm all for) the PSP has LOTS of potential. The problem exists that Sony keeps thwarting homebrew developers and emulation players by updating the firmware. Newer games require the firmware updates too. This makes the PSP good either to play new games OR homebrew.

I know you CAN switch the version of the software back and forth, but the whole thing is a Pain In The Ass. It isn't like the Xbox where I can boot to a custom dashboard, play N64 emulation and then put in a brand-new Xbox game to play with no hassle.


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