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Sony: The PSP Go Was Kind of An Experiment

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 27 comments

The PSP Go wasn't a success. Sony is giving away free games to try and is more than happy to admit it's an effort to boost sales. This week the company is offering a little insight into reasoning behind the launch of the handheld console.

Amid speculation that Sony will launch a PSP2 at E3 next week, MCVUK asked SCEE president and CEO Andrew House about the success and sales of the PSP Go. House replied that one of the reasons the PSP Go was launched was to see what customers really wanted and because of this, the success can't be measured in sales.

"It was introduced in a mature lifecycle to learn more about what the consumer wanted and we’ve definitely learnt a lot. Is that measured by success in sales? I don’t think it is. One of the reasons we launched PSPgo was to understand where that consumer behaviour was going. We were getting signals from consumers that this was the kind of device that they wanted. But we need to recognise that consumers like their packaged media library."

Though House said it was only one of the reasons for the PSP Go, designing, producing and marketing a product just to see what people want seems like a very expensive way to do market research. That said, at least Sony learned something from the whole thing. Let's hope those lessons transfer to the PSP2!

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  • 3 Hide
    overclockingrocks , June 9, 2010 10:26 PM
    The PSP Go's only failing IMHO was lack of a UMD drive other than that it was a nice little handheld. Has a nice screen built in 16GB memory etc. same form factor with a UMD drive would sell like hotcakes
  • 2 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 9, 2010 10:27 PM
    Experimenting is good. As said, now it's just a matter of whether they can learn the lesson and transfer it to the next iteration. I just want them to open up development more. I don't see why in the world consoles aren't doing it. Microsoft at least has XNA and the developer's club.

    Seriously. You get free games on your console/handheld, with little to no work, and you can even set up a system to make a quick buck yourself. Don't close the system like Apple, just make it user rating/warning based. Should work itself out pretty well.
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , June 9, 2010 10:40 PM
    This goes to show gamers still want physical relevance to their games, aka a disk or something similar.
  • Display all 27 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    Trueno07 , June 9, 2010 10:41 PM
    Couldn't they have just asked up and gotten the same result?
  • -6 Hide
    rooket , June 9, 2010 11:04 PM
    Dear Sony,

    Just because fanboys draw up mock up photos of consoles does not mean that the console manufacturer ever copycats it and releases it as a product. Look how many cool Nintendo DS fan made mock ups are out there and Nintendo doesn't pay attention to them. You hire a designer and pay him to put out a product. This is why the PSP1000 sold so well. It was your own unique design.

    P.S. you already should understand that people also like to modify their device and the PSP Go failed due to the fact that you strong armed it like the PS3 which is also failing.
  • 4 Hide
    tearlach2 , June 10, 2010 12:35 AM
    rooketDear Sony,Just because fanboys draw up mock up photos of consoles does not mean that the console manufacturer ever copycats it and releases it as a product. Look how many cool Nintendo DS fan made mock ups are out there and Nintendo doesn't pay attention to them. You hire a designer and pay him to put out a product. This is why the PSP1000 sold so well. It was your own unique design.P.S. you already should understand that people also like to modify their device and the PSP Go failed due to the fact that you strong armed it like the PS3 which is also failing.

    That is a truly absurd claim. Are you saying that the PSPgo and PS3 are unlike other consoles in this way (they aren't), and that this made up difference is the reason Sony's sales aren't as strong as Microsoft's?
  • 1 Hide
    icepick314 , June 10, 2010 2:05 AM
    no way to transfer current UMD titles
    small screen
    no 802.11g and/or n network

    those are the reason why I didn't jump the bandwagon...

  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 10, 2010 4:39 AM
    icepick314no way to transfer current UMD titlessmall screenno 802.11g and/or n networkthose are the reason why I didn't jump the bandwagon...

    What about being significantly more expensive and the issues with how games and firmware are downloaded?
  • 2 Hide
    BulkZerker , June 10, 2010 4:39 AM
    rocky1234PSPgo failed simply because of the lack of UMD drive it took away the ability for users to play their already owned games from the past PSP's.


    Agreed, no way to download a game you already own onto the system is bogus. They really needed to implement a way to do that. Though I don't see a owner of a PSP-1/2/3000 going out to buy anything other than a PSP2.



    rocky1234 Physical Media storage (screw the download only concept)


    So that 16 gigs of onboard memory don't count? Had they gone the way of Download only from the getgo, and offered a way for a person to DL a copy of a game from say gamestop on a local private network or at the store it would have worked just fine. (Buy the game, wait 5 min, leave the store with the game freshly loaded into your system)
  • 0 Hide
    sanjamal , June 10, 2010 4:50 AM
    I didn't mind the screen size. Mainly, I didn't purchase one out of principle; what kind of company slaps their customers in the face by saying "please buy this wonderful new product" and then also says "oh yeah, you can't play the games that you've already purchased". They might as well have called it the "PSPGoToTheCompetition".
  • 1 Hide
    clivene09 , June 10, 2010 4:58 AM
    So that 16 gigs of onboard memory don't count? Had they gone the way of Download only from the getgo, and offered a way for a person to DL a copy of a game from say gamestop on a local private network or at the store it would have worked just fine. (Buy the game, wait 5 min, leave the store with the game freshly loaded into your system)[/citation]
    Cool idea, but I doubt GameStop would fund the infrastructure for this. Either they would have to pay high bandwidth costs to all stores with a central storage location, or they would have to have storage facilities at all their locations. Unless Sony was willing to provide the infrastructure to them, and other retailers this would be a no go. In the end, many people do really just want something tangible. They don't want to constantly have to worry about how full their memory is, and having to decide weather to keep a game, or lose it for memories sake, and have to spend the time redownloading it later. Most important, and I know that this is part of the reason Sony wants a DL only system, is that people want to be able to retain at least some tangible value for their games after they no longer have use for them.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , June 10, 2010 5:15 AM
    The best thing about the PSPgo is the lack of a UMD drive. They just raped people but not letting them to transfer their UMD to the flash memory.
    16GB is not enough. You're forced to buy their proprietary expensive M2 memory cards (as opposed the half priced microSD).
    They need a second analog stick, and to finally fix that damned horrible battery life.
    No custom firmware either. If given a choice to use custom firmware, even if they couldn't rip games, wouldn't most people take it?

    No, Sony, the PSPgo was a great device, you're just dumbasses.
  • 1 Hide
    HappyBB , June 10, 2010 6:23 AM
    Admit it, PSPGo is a failure.
  • 1 Hide
    Manos , June 10, 2010 8:43 AM
    "we launched PSPgo was to understand where that consumer behaviour was going."

    Yeah they played a bit of Mythbusters right there. Checked if "putting a Sony log onto a brick will work and sell big time to the fanbase" which didnt work thankfully. I bought my PS3 recently but I still feel sorry for the ones that did the first couple of years. Sony needs to understand that the price does matter, specially to the gamer and informed consumer.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , June 10, 2010 10:58 AM
    I think it failed because you couldn't change its firmware to watch Cable TV wirelessly with it.
  • 1 Hide
    eccentric909 , June 10, 2010 1:24 PM
    anamaniacThe best thing about the PSPgo is the lack of a UMD drive. They just raped people but not letting them to transfer their UMD to the flash memory.16GB is not enough. You're forced to buy their proprietary expensive M2 memory cards (as opposed the half priced microSD).They need a second analog stick, and to finally fix that damned horrible battery life.No custom firmware either. If given a choice to use custom firmware, even if they couldn't rip games, wouldn't most people take it?No, Sony, the PSPgo was a great device, you're just dumbasses.


    I agree, I would prefer a UMD-less PSP, however, without being able to transfer and play my already paid for games it wasn't worth it. No way was I going to lose out on the library of games I already own. If I could have say sent in my UMD to Sony, and they provide an unlock code for the downloaded version, I would have went to the PSP2.

    If it had been a launch device, that would have been a big difference to me too. Considering the read times of UMDs is pretty terrible, noisy and also a battery waster.

    IMO, the PSP2 should come in both flavors, one which can read UMD (or something similar) for those that want physical media and one which you can just purchase and download games.
  • -1 Hide
    prrrowr , June 10, 2010 1:59 PM
    I hope Sony trickled-down its very latest Blu-RAY compression technology into UMD form for its new PSP 2. How many GBs would you be able to squeeze into those?

  • 0 Hide
    bildo123 , June 10, 2010 2:24 PM
    I remember my buddy getting a PSP when they first came out, I forgot how much, something ridiculous like $300+. It literally sat there and collected dust for a year and he eventually sold it for half price. Handheld is pretty much done...unless we're talkin about the game.com
  • 0 Hide
    aethm , June 10, 2010 2:33 PM
    I don't know that handheld is done. I just think it needs an upgrade.

    Better graphics
    2 joysticks for christ sakes.
    Download only doesn't really bother me, but it should be cheaper
    More media function.
    Better games!
  • 1 Hide
    dman3k , June 10, 2010 3:32 PM
    So it's some kind of experiment... therefore, those who bought it are suckers! Such a Sony thing to do.
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