updated 09:20 am EDT, Thu October 8, 2009
PSP sales triple, PSN downloads double
The launch of the PSP Go last week shot Sony's total PSP hardware sales up 300 percent in the US, according to the company's local communications director Patrick Seybold. He wouldn't break down the ratio of the new PSPs versus the old, UMD-supporting PSP-3000 but told Gamasutra that it was evidence of "strong" interest in the handheld system as a whole, not just the new model, over the first few days. The PSP-3000 is normally $200 in a bundle with one or more games and is widely assumed to be the backup choice for those who consider the $250 PSP Go too expensive or limited by its download-only catalog.
Regardless of the mix, Sony is also known to have seen a smaller but still significant boost in the UK, where hardware sales jumped 120 percent. This was just "in line" with predictions.
PlayStation Network downloads also saw a boost of about 200 percent in the US at the same time as the PSP Go arrived. The increase was helped both by PSP Go owners needing to download their first games as well as the simultaneous release of many previously UMD-only games through the online store, where every PSP owner could download them. FIFA 10 Gran Turismo were helps for UK sales, but primarily in UMD form.
A sales boost is critical for Sony as it has not only usually been outsold by the Nintendo DS series but has faced a competitive threat from the iPod touch that has led it to criticize Apple's business model even as it risks losing additional sales.