updated 12:00 pm EST, Fri March 12, 2010
PSP Go suffers dismal sales vs Apple, Nintendo
Sony has sold just 17,618 PSP Go handhelds in Japan over the past three months, German magazine GameFront and Japanese analyst firm Media Create this week. The Go was not only the poorest-selling model over the period but has seen its sales taper to below levels reserved for previous-generation consoles. At 1,275 units sold in the first week of March, the "premium" PSP has been outsold by the now decade-old PS2.
In contrast, 667,961 of the original PSP were sold in a similar space of time and made it, not the Go, the most successful individual gaming system of any kind in the first several weeks of 2010. However, Nintendo has an overall lead with 703,015 DS, DSi or DSi LL systems shipped in the past three months; its lead has only been diminished in the past week with 42,944 DS models sold versus 64,808 regular PSPs.
US sales are typically higher but aren't directly comparable given data. The NPD notes that 133,400 PSPs and 613,200 Nintendo DS units shipped in February but didn't break down the split by individual models.
The potentially disastrous numbers nonetheless reinforce the importance of Sony's emergency marketing strategy due soon. When originally launched, the PSP Go was positioned as an iPod touch rival that would depend solely on downloaded games and a smaller overall design to carry its weight on the market. Critics and the company itself have acknowledged that uncertainty about content and the decision to promote the Go as a "premium" device worth $250 has led to to the system struggling to find users.
While Apple hasn't broken down handheld device sales by region, the iPod touch and iPhone are both known to have easily exceeded sales of the PSP Go over the same period and have had a number of major advantages over Sony's system, including a lower $200 starting price and games that often cost $10 or less. While the regular PSP costs as little as $170, it lacks internal storage and still involves a costlier game library.
Sony is reportedly considering more dramatic steps to combat Apple, including a PlayStation phone and a hybrid e-reader, netbook and tablet device. [via CrunchGear]
Japanese sales, December 28, 2009 to March 7, 2010