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Sony axes PSP Go after short-lived attempt to topple iPod

updated 08:05 am EDT, Wed April 20, 2011

Sony cancels PSP Go months ahead of NGP

Sony on Wednesday confirmed rumors that it was stopping PSP Go production. The company in a statement said it had 'completed' production and was only selling remaining stock before it disappeared entirely. Firmware patches and repairs would still go on, the company told Impress, but the focus was on the NGP's release at the end of the year.

The Go first shipped in October 2009 and was conspicuously designed as an answer to the arrival of the iPod touch, whose Internet-based game economy was already cutting into PSP game revenue. It scrapped the slower and bulkier UMD disc drive in place of 16GB of built-in flash memory and the usual Memory Stick slot. Instead, it relied solely on downloadable games. The slider design also was meant to make it more pocketable and appeal to those who liked the iPod for the smaller size.

The Go never reached the sales volume of the regular PSP design. Apart from Sony believing it deserved a "premium" $250 price, the newer PSP was locked out of most of the catalog from before it was launched and didn't necessarily get downloadable versions on time. Sony even faced pushback from retailers that wanted to force it to use a traditional business model; it had already been selling coupons for individual games in stores as a way of appeasing chains like GameStop.

The iPod touch has been helped as a game device both by using more modern hardware than the PSP but also by having a business model that encouraged much lower prices on games, where even professional titles cost $10 or less versus the $40 for a full PSP game. As a smartphone-level platform, iOS has also been much more capable for web browsing, media playback, general-purpose apps and other devices that save gamers the trouble of having to keep multiple devices.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +1

    If Sony hadn't killed off the PSP Go, then the

    next iteration of the iPod Touch using an A5 processor would have destroyed PSP Go sales. I doubt the PSP Go hardware would have been anywhere near as powerful. Apple could possibly stick an HDMI-out port on the Touch and make it all the more compelling a buy.

    I still thought the PSP Go was a pretty slick device, but Sony can't afford to be absorbing losses over a lost cause.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +1

    Lesson learned

    Making product based on impulse is just not a good idea.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +2

    Throw At Wall, See What Sticks

    When nothing sticks, throw at trash.

    We'll see if they learned coffeetime's lesson.

  1. dpicardi

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2006

    +1

    there were a lot of mistakes

    in the PSPgo not the least of which was that nearly all existing games you bought for your PSP were worthless on your new PSPgo. I know that killed off any chance of me buying it...and I'm sure I wasn't alone. They had a horrible business model to entice existing PSP owners. Moreover, half the games you wanted to play were never made available in dl form. There should have been a simple redeemable way to transfer your exising UMD games to downloads.

    Lastly, you can't charge the same amount for a downloadable game period. UMDs have a resale value. The downloads do not. Downloads should be AT LEAST $15 cheaper than their UMD counterparts.

    Sony was stupid and greedy. A very bad combination.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Dec 2007

    0

    RIP

    I guess Sony should leave the download market to the babysitting devices, right? ;-)

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