updated 06:15 pm EDT, Tue June 8, 2010
Sony exec says PSP Go wasn't about sales
The PSP Go was an experiment to see where the mobile gaming industry was going, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe head Andrew House claimed on Tuesday. He justified the handheld to MCV as a way to "learn more about what the consumer wanted" rather than as a replacement for the original model. While House admitted the Go faced poor sales, he contended that the sales themselves didn't matter as much as the lessons learned.
"One of the reasons we launched PSP Go was to understand where that consumer behavior was going," he explained. "We were getting signals from consumers that this was the kind of device that they wanted. But we need to recognize that consumers like their packaged media library."
The Go is widely acknowledged as being Sony's answer to the iPod touch and iPhone, both of which depend solely on downloadable games to add to their collections. Much of its struggle in the market has been attributed not just to the inability to download games already purchased on UMD but incomplete or absent online releases. Its $250 price also put it well above the $200 or less regular PSP.
Sony is known to have lost mobile game revenue to Apple last year based both on its aging design and on the prices of the associated games. Whether a download or a UMD, new PSP games often cost $30 to $40, or at least four times more than a typical iPhone or iPod game. Titles for Apple's platform aren't often as complex but can be more technically advanced through newer hardware.
A PSP sequel has often been rumored by may not ship until 2011.