Going, going, gone. Or another story on how Sony sucks eggs.

The only reason I am posting a link to this story from the escapist is because their content is always well written, provoking thought, and of course entertaining. But really, do we need another “Sony lost, blah, blah, blah …” story?

Only the Game Boy kept Nintendo in the race, while Sony led two hardware generations. It seemed immovable.

Then, a series of events brought Sony crashing down to earth. Microsoft released the Xbox 360 at the end of 2005 and enjoyed a full year as the sole next-gen console. When the PS3 eventually arrived, it did so practically in tandem with the epoch-making, zillion-selling, game-changing Wii.

On the handheld front, Sony’s attempt to remove Nintendo from its portable stronghold was equally disastrous. The PSP went head to head with the DS and came off far worse, hitting 50 million unit sales earlier this year as its rival reached 100 million.

Then the iPhone came along, but we won’t talk about that.

The article then goes on to talk about how news of the PSP Go was leaked prior to E3 and explains that third parties could give a rats ass about Sony. All true? Probably.

I did a write-up on this many moon ago; will have to see if I can dig up the original article. If anyone wants to write about Sony’s struggles, just lament back to the days of 3DO. The hardware was ahead of its time, and the price point was into the stratosphere as far as the average Joe was concerned. Oops, Sony failed to learn from history.

Playing second fiddle to Nintendo’s DS variations probably sucks for Sony, but when you consider the number of PSPs sold is 50+ million, that is a lot of opportunity to make some money. Even if the PS3 stays in third place for the remainder of this hardware generation (however that is defined) at some point I assume that Sony wins the high-def format war. Sony gets a little slice of paradise every time you double dip and purchase a Blu-ray upgrade to your DVD library.


2 thoughts on “Going, going, gone. Or another story on how Sony sucks eggs.”

  1. 50 million is good but DS sold much more in the same time period and iPhone/iPod Touch has approached 50 million in two years.

    There’s already speculation about the PSP2 chips. It would be from the same IMG family of GPU cores used by iPhone, Pre and others.

    So if iPhone is being sold at a subsidized price of $200, what is going to be the price of the PSP2, especially when they’re charging $250 for what is now 5-year old technology in the PSPGo?

    It’s going to come down to whether people are willing to pay more and carry another device (along with its own chargers, cases, earphones and other accessories) in order to play “real” or ports of console games.

    The Escapist article mentioned PSP versions of LBP, Assassin’s Creed, Motor Storm. Of course GT Mobile will finally come out as well. So these will all be $50 games which should offer more hours of gameplay and better graphics (for now) than most iPhone games, which top out at $10.

    But at $50, the competition for these PSP games isn’t just iPhone games but console games going for $60 at release. These will offer more hours, better graphics and audio, better control schemes.

    A game like GT Mobile would be a good demo to show off the PSP but would you buy it instead of GT5 (whenever the full version comes out) if you’re only buying and playing one?

    I thought about picking up a PSP to mess around with Madden but I have a short commute that I drive and the times I’ve flown, I’d rather watch movies or listen to the iPod or just sleep. I’m probably not a mobile gamer either though, because I don’t play games on the iPhone much.

  2. wco81 – The only reason I have not preordered a PSP Go is because I assume a PSP 2 is lurking in the woods. Not sure that I really want to spend $250 if a new platform is just a 6-9 months away. If we were talking 18-24 months, I think I could justify $14/month.

    I do not agree with the point about the cost of the games. Current PSP games are $29.99-39.99 depending on the publisher (i.e. EA Sports titles are always $39). Current PS3 games are normally $59.99. A $20-$30 gap is a significant difference. If the PSP games go to $50 then of course you have a point – is it really worth spending that much for a portable version of GT?

    I just do not recognize the iPod as a gaming platform. Sure it works for quick 10 minute pick up and play games, but can you honestly tell me that iPod gamers are going to flock to Star Wars Battle Front, Final Fantasy, GT, and God of War type games? These things just will not work on an iPod. Something like golf would be fine, but even my current favorite Pangya would have to have its controls stripped down to work on the iPod.

    So while the prices of the hardware are similar, the PSP is a gaming platform first, while the iPod is the home of media and throw away games are an afterthought.

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