Longtime reader, contributor, and friend of CG, wco81, posted a link to this article which points out PSPgo flaws compared to Apple’s iPhone/iTouch platforms. You guessed right, price point of games is a central issue.
Sony says serious gamers will always prefer pushbutton controls to a touchscreen. I think they’re right. I played the sword-and-sorcery game Hero of Sparta on an iPhone and on the PSP Go, and it was no contest. Whether running from enemies or slaying them, it was easier and more fun on the PSP. But the PSP version cost me $6.99. The iPhone game is priced at $1.99. PSP games often cost more. The iPhone version of Madden NFL 10 costs $9.99, but the PSP version is $39.99. A Sony official said that the PSP version has a lot more features; I’ll take his word for it. Still, few consumers will long tolerate such a price gap.
I mostly agree with the overall point of the article, gaming is more fun with buttons, but Sony is screwing itself in a big way by pushing proprietary memory sticks and pricing points that a multiple times more expensive than games on Apple’s portable gaming platform.
There will always be something said for Nintendo and its Mario experience, but why not look towards what EA and others can do on the iTouch? I just do not see how some of the more “serious” games (sports, rpg, platformers) can work on the iTouch, but I also do not see Sony’s higher prices being sustainable for long.
Another problem for Sony is that the negative news just keeps rolling in; stories like this one from the Australian edition of PC World are a dime a dozen.
In a span of four years Sony squandered its position as console leader and is quickly make a run at making its PSP platform (Go or regular) an also ran in the probably gaming market. While I believe Sony can recapture console market share and its leadership position, I am not so sure about the future of the PSP. While I have been an adamant supporter of the PSP, I have grown weary of the lack of direction and the price point of the games.