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Sony Playstation Portable to dethrone iPod?

updated 09:45 am EST, Thu January 6, 2005

Sony game device vs. iPod

Sony entry hand-held gaming market as the "world's gotta-have gadget," according to a report from CES after the US debut of the PlayStation Portable, which is already fetching more than twice the US retail price of $190 on eBay. The Age reports that Sony may have "outgadgeted" Apple: "The 18 by 8centimetre device - feted with a coming-out party at the Hard Rock Casino - can store and play music, display photos and even play movies. It's also capable of wireless connections, and can hook into a PC with a cable. An attachment - sold separately, of course - also powers it into a camera. So much is packed into the PSP that many experts believe Sony is suffering a loss with each unit sold." Sony says it expects to sell 3 million units by this summer.

by MacNN Staff





  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do you really want to...

    carry all of your music around on little discs? Part of the appeal of the iPod is the fact that you pick up one little box and its all there. As a music player, the PSP simply reverts things back to 1999. Plus, how many times have we seen these "do-it-all" devices fail. Sure, people in theory want everything and no limits in their devices, but in practice, the majority tend to stick with simplicity.

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    missed it

    I don't think the millions of people who buy iPods want all that c***. Apple already got slammed for the iPod Photo and what percentage really use their iPods as travel disks? They want a music player. People do all kinds of things like exercise, shop, work(?) etc while listening to music but watching a movie on a crappy little screen? Or gaming, can't wait to see Call of Duty on that unit. I bet the photos are jiffy too gotta have a real big CCD in it for that price, and if Sony loses only a dollar on each they're forcasting a $3 million loss on it by the summer, oh, they'll make it up on volume right, but how many iPods sell a month? The Age is trying a little too hard to make news.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    video game business model

    sell the hardware as a loss leader, make it up with the software licensing. standard procedure, been in place for a decade or more.

    as a video game system, i'm waiting with baited breath. but for a music system, it may be limited, but it'll still get used. for one thing, it'll probably support music (mp3) playback through the memory stick only, so you've got the standard flash player limitations. that said, if i were running out the door and wanted to bring something on the plane, i'll probably grab the PSP if i wanted to bring only one device along.

    battery life will probably be very limited, especially compared to newer ipod models.

    if it can get over the battle with nintendo ds, i think PSP will sell if only for the fact that it's supposed to be priced at $199.

  1. iomatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree.

    Outseat the iPod? What, with memory sticks and proprietary MiniDiscs? C'mon! I agree with cmoney here.

  1. mitchell_pgh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm not going to be blinded with my Pro Mac attitude to say it could never happen, but I think the size of the iPod still makes it a good choice over the PSP for many people.

    The iPod does so well because of simplicity.

  1. chabig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can connect with a cable!

    "...and can hook into a PC with a cable."

    Hot damn! Sony is brilliant! I can't believe anyone else thought of this killer feature first.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ooh! let me guess

    Is this an "iPod killer"?

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    new threat

    at first glance this looks like a worse threat than the psp. i spy a scroll wheel!

  1. JacquesDav

    Joined: Dec 1969



    But does the PSP crush ice, can it fluff my pillow, or trim my nails? Come on Sony, you've left out the really important stuff...

    Seriously, I've seen the unit (in images) and 18x8cm is a fairly large for a hand held device. It certainly can be hand-held, but I can't fathom Sony trying to pawn it off as a "Pocket Playstation". My pockets aren't that big! The other issue is the multi-functionality. While it may seem a good idea, the expression, "Jack of all trades, master of none" seems appropriate here.

    The PSP may indeed sell well in the under 18 crowd, which has oodles of pointless disposable income, but I also have disposable income, and none of it would go to this product. It lacks elegance, simplicity and intrinsic usefulness, and I don't find it particularly well designed on the aesthetic level. I love movies, but I'll be damned if I'm going to hang around at the mall giggling and tittering with "my peeps" at the latest teen flick on an 10cm wide screen.

    It'll sell, and probably quite well, but I don't think it'll ever reach the stratospheric heights of both sales and as a cultural phenomena that the iPod has attained. And truth be said, this is the flattery of imitation released a litte too late. Apple is probably well on in the design of its next "big thing" by now, and Sony, among other, will be scrambling to have their own versions of that in the months and years following that annoucement.

    At this stage of its history, it isn't really a case of Apple simply being more clever than the others (although it is) it is that Apple has to maintain the public perception of being more clever.This way it will continue to reap press accolades and impress the vast majority of computer and electronics users who still aren't Apple users in the hopes of converting a few percentage points of them them, at least partially, into part of its customer base.

    Still, if anyone has the wherewithal to be a worthy rival to Apple, it is more likely to be Sony than anyone else. I'm not putting down the PSP simply becuase it is easy to do here among a friendly audience, but I don't believe this is product will turn out to be everything Sony is hoping it will.

    That's all...

  1. WyvernSpirit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Missing the point

    I think people are missing it. I do not think it will affect at all (or very little) iPod sales. It may "do" better then the iPod, but it won't be because it can play music. This man in particular is interested in the gaming features. It is the only reason for me to get it. The DS is not enough for me, this system looks to actualy be as close to what I want as can be expected (although Turbo Graphics 16 had what I wanted, a game system that used the same discs in the console as the portable).

    This item is for a different market then the iPod. And , of course they are losing money on it, as mentioned in an earlier post, that is standard in the gaming industry.

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