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Sony drops PSP Go to $199 after struggle to fight iPod

updated 07:55 am EDT, Mon October 25, 2010

PSP Go price cut to 199 in US in iPod fight

Sony today confirmed late rumors and dropped the price of the PSP Go to $199 in a likely bid to fend off the iPod touch. The cut from the original $249 is taking effect in both the US and Japan (at an equivalent of $207) and will take effect Tuesday, October 26. It came less than a year after the new version went on sale.

The company didn't provide a direct explanation for the cut but timed it just as it entered a holiday season with competition not only with Nintendo but with Apple. Until the NPD stopped reporting sales figures in public, Nintendo DS sales had been dropping along with Sony's in a slump that has been credited both to economic worries but also the presence of the iPod touch. Apple has increasingly promoted the iPod as a game system and has gone so far as to claim that it has been outselling both the DS and PSP lines combined.

The new PSP Go pricing makes the handheld less expensive than the $229 iPod and holds twice as much at 16GB with a larger, 3.8-inch screen. However, Apple has continued to claim a faster processor and now has a higher resolution display and cameras, all of which have led to more visually intensive games as well as more general-purpose apps.

Sony had originally designed the PSP Go with the iPod touch in mind as it dropped physical discs and put an emphasis on Internet based game downloads like the App Store. However, the high original price, along with game titles roughly four times as expensive as iOS equivalent, had led customers to either keep to the cheaper original model or to switch to an alternative. Sony also faced a backlash from its legacy of game retailers who in some cases would refuse to stock PSP Gos in retaliation for the lost software sales.

The company has recently tried to spin the lack of sales by characterizing the PSP Go as an experiment rather than a successor. However, the performance and the price drop may also be to help clear the path for an Android-based PlayStation phone that may be the true successor.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. sammaffei

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004


    PSP Go = FAIL!

    your comment

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Yes and No

    The problem with the PSP Go is not the device itself, but that of the Sony mentality...bear with me.

    If Sony wanted to do the "Apple thing" and go to fully digital sales, they would have done much better...including allowing trade-ins of customers' UMDs for a download copy of the game. Apple's customers have adapted to the fully digital format with ease.

    Unfortunately, Sony half-assed this idea without giving full support to the digital games. I expect Sony's games to be more expensive, because they are "real" games versus most of Apple's games being more homebrew (that is changing as the big names get involved). But Sony's games should still be cheaper since there is no physical media. Also, only a SMALL portion of the games are being sold as digital downloads. If Sony will not/cannot provide ALL of their PSP games via download, then what is the point?

    Finally, the price of the Go! was simply too expensive for the (highly proprietary) hardware. I realize a part of this is the terrible exchange rate between the U.S. and Japan, but try explaining that to a kid who can pay $169 for a standard PSP with more capabilities and the same ability to download the PSP Go! games.

    As for me? I would buy a PSP Go! today IF and ONLY IF Sony provided downloads for their entire game line. As it is, I will pass...

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Dec 2007


    Well, of course

    Because *anything* that other gaming companies do is in response to the iPod Touch. Right, MacNN?

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    re: Well of course

    Yes, I too love these twisted, skewed headlines. Everything any electronics manufacturer does would be in response to some Apple product whether it's an iPod, iPhad, iPone, or Mac.

    So if Apple drops the price of the iPod, would that be to fight the PSP? or NDS? or some other mp3 player??

    The world does not revolve around Apple products.

    F uck Apple.

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