The state of PSP is rather confusing at the moment. On one hand, it is meeting extraordinary sales in Japan, being the top selling system in the territory for the last few months. On the other hand, disparaging software sales in the West have caused major publishers and developers to speak against the platform. New Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida talked with GI.biz, and although he admits shortcomings, is confident about the platform."It's too early to make judgments," Yoshida says about the three year old handheld. "We know there's a lot more that we can do, and with the massive growth of the industry we understand that third party publishers have so many choices, many more than they have resources. Sometimes we struggle to convince them to put more resources into the PSP."
Yoshida views the DS not as PSP's rival, but as a different kind of product altogether (not unlike comparisons between the PS3 and Wii). "We've always thought that the PSP as a platform is standing on its own - there's no direct competition, although some people think that the DS is its rival simply because it's portable, but the positioning and the main user base are totally different."
While Sony may be struggling to convince third parties to work on PSP, Yoshida promises continued support for the handheld. "So we continue to support the platform, and we've been doing really well with first party software, and I hope that more developers and publishers see some of the things that the PSP can uniquely offer to them, and its reach into consumers' lives." See the full interview here.
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
6-17-2008 @ 10:23AM
It's a good thing that sony is still continuing the psp the psp rocks still lookn forward to new firmwares.
6-17-2008 @ 10:56AM
I agree with Andrew. It's a good thing Sony have realized the psp is still alive.
I also agree with the fact that the DS and Psp should not be direct rivals, due to technical differences and contrasting uses between them. You dont rival them with phones.
I also agree that milkshakes are weapons of mass destruction, in the wrong hands :P
6-17-2008 @ 10:56AM
I think one of the problems with the PSP is that it is targeted at male teens and above... who are some of the worst people for illegally downloading games. On the other hand the DS is targeted at all age ranges, with a large portion of the owners of a DS not having any idea how downloading a game would work. One reason why there is so much pirating on the PSP
Note: This is just speculation, I have no facts to back up what I said. Oh, and before anyone accuses me of being anti-Sony I've owned all Sony consoles and no MS/Nintendo consoles so if anything I'm a Sony Fanboy.
6-17-2008 @ 11:26AM
Ninjakamster (PS360 FTW!) said...
I think your post is pretty accurate.
6-17-2008 @ 12:27PM
That's right, nothing to back up what you said.
The fact that the DS has, regardless of the teen male/adult target demographic of the PSP, found its way to what is almost certainly MORE teen and adult males due to much higher sales across the board, pretty much blows your theory out of the water.
And again - NO EVIDENCE EXISTS that directly shows that piracy is the only - or even main - reason that PSP software sales have tanked. For one thing, it's been that way almost from the beginning. The PSP game sales have almost constantly struggled against the DS, PS2, 360 and other platforms even early on. Also, Nintendo much more aggressively targets ISP's of pirate DS games on share systems like eDonkey/eMule, sending warning emails out en masse to every IP they find sharing their games. Sony could be helping themselves by doing that.
Piracy is a meaningless scapegoat, anyway. You're not going to shame the CEO of Piracy and have them issue a policy change to eradicate it, but you might get Sony execs to wake up a bit and promote the PSP, localize more Japanese games to the USA, etc.
6-17-2008 @ 12:36PM
I fit into the demographic you suggested. I don't download games, but I've imported most of mine from Japan and Korea. I have no idea what the number are on people who download or import games, but I'm sure I'm not helping to break the trend of reduced software sales in the West. T_T Looking at the games I have, there's only one that isn't a port but that's a result of the games I happen to be interested in....
I'll get the North American version of Yggdra Union, though. I think one of the Star Ocean ports is coming out in North America as well (I'm not entirely sure, but that's in my memory).
6-17-2008 @ 11:19AM
Hopefully this means we will see the announcement of another syphon filter game. I love this series on the PSP. I have to agree with Poozle. I think he nailed the part of the reason that software sales are so bad. But I honestly think there is another reason. I have a number of friends with PSPs and we all used to game online with each other until one thing happened. We all bought PS3s. Since then we never play online with the PSP we just play PS3. As a result of this I've bought fewer an fewer games for it. So I think there might be some competition between the two sony systems.
6-17-2008 @ 11:28AM
Ninjakamster (PS360 FTW!) said...
Even though the PSP already has many great games already out I'd spent the rest of the system's lifecycle playing, its sad to hear there's almost nothing coming out for the PSP in the next few months here in North America.
Its also strange in the XMB we have the option for the camera but Sony won't release it here, I dunno why they don't use remove the option from our XMB. : /
Is piracy really causing that much trouble for software sales here? Any statistics?
6-17-2008 @ 12:21PM
'..."It's too early to make judgments," Yoshida says about the three year old handheld.'
I think this basically says it all, unfortunately.
6-17-2008 @ 2:17PM
I agree. At 3 years, you should be hitting your stride.
6-17-2008 @ 12:27PM
I think Gumby is right, my freinds all used to play on their psp's. Even kids with wii's and X-boxes played a lot of psp games. Until they got PS3's. My freinds have barely touched their psp's since then
6-17-2008 @ 3:44PM
It's good to know that a few good games will be available on the Sony PSP this year. It’s very annoying when the Nintendo DS gets all the good games and the PSP gets all the bad games.
So far Pangya PSP, Phantasy Star Portable and Brave: A Warrior's Tale has been announced to be released to the Sony PSP system this fall. Plus the PSP GPS is finally available and Sony Mail is still headed for the PSP indefinitely. I’m all for the PSP System. The only problem that I have is that Sony PlayStation does not seem to have the ability to be as proficient and up to par as Nintendo is. Nintendo is a very EVERONE type of company while Sony seems too geared toward a TEEN and MATURE crowed.
Nintendo has what it takes to appeal to everyone; children, teens, adults and even the elderly while Sony seems to a very close minded company. Sony really needs to strive to make the PSP enjoyable for everyone.
Currently the PSP has very few descent RPG’s. There are few good games on the PSP such as Jeanne D’ Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. On the other hand the Nintendo DS has The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Final Fantasy III, IV, Children of Mana, Luminous Arc and many, many others. The PSP really needs to improve in this department and many others.
I really like the PSP and hope that it will improve over time. So far I’m all set to buy Brave: A Warriors Tale for the PSP this August and I hope that another LEGO Star Wars game will come crashing on the PSP this September when Star Wars The Clone Wars comes to Cartoon Network.
Another factor is that the PSP lacks social games like Animal Crossing and MySims. It'd be very nice if Animal Crossing and MySims would mosey on over to the PSP and give us some joy.
6-18-2008 @ 2:55AM
Surely there is a better example than Children of Mana!
6-17-2008 @ 11:52PM
You would expect the President of Sony to make such a statement. He's certainly not going to say that Sony will decrease its support of the PSP. If he did say something like that PSP sales would immediately dry up, even in Japan. At the current time the PSP clearly plays second fiddle to the PS/3. Just look at where Polyphony Digital's priorities are.
6-18-2008 @ 1:25PM
I'm not a developer or a game industry professional, but...
I think one of the problems is that there is simply too much competition for the attention and efforts of game developers. If the PSP were easier to develop for, perhaps more similar in coding to the PS2 or PS3, then perhaps it would easier for developers to spend a little more time porting their new releases to the PSP in return for whatever money they make from that port, or even to knock off some PSP-exclusive titles as filler between PS3 releases (like God of War). (I, for one, have no problem with ports: I don't have a PS2 or PS3 or Xbox, so for me the PSP is my main gaming device, therefore I need ports to be able to play anything like what the more serious gamers get to play.)
Maybe if Sony did something to help developers create titles for the PSP -- provide some kind of dev-kit to speed up the process, or reduce licensing fees to make the bottom-line better for the developers -- then the PSP would be a more attractive system.
I think another issue is the comparison between the PSP and the DS for portable gaming, even though the devices may very well be geared toward different consumers. It reminds me of the PS3/Wii battle at release: while the PS3 was clearly more powerful and hi-res, the Wii just seemed more cute and more fun, and therefore was the much greater success (at least in the beginning). In this arena, the DS has the touch-screen feature that allows unique gameplay (like the Kirby game where you draw levels/supports/barriers/etc, or the Brain Age games where tapping the screen is just faster than hitting the correct button), whereas the PSP is still all about button-mashing (which is absolutely not a problem).
One other thought: I've used my PSP for everything it can do -- games, video, pictures, music, and Internet -- and find it very useful in all these uses. But, with the proliferation of other gadgets that serve similar purposes -- MP3 players for music and video, cell phones for music and pictures and Internet -- people don't think of the PSP as such a multi-purpose device. I think Sony should make the PSP a bit more friendly for these other uses (two quick suggestions: 8GB of built-in memory for music & video storage, and a UMD-burner so users can put their own music & videos on their own discs) then advertise the hell out of it. And it wouldn't hurt to bring some of the things that the PSP is clearly capable of doing -- camera, Skype, GPS -- to further distinguish it from the DS.
That just my $0.02.