Sony: PSPgo's Failure Was a Success

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Sony: PSPgo's Failure Was a Success


Consumers may not have taken to the PSPgo, but that's just fine with Sony.

Sony's PSPgo, released in October 2009, got rid of its predecessor's physical UMD drive and went digital download only for game purchases. Though official sales numbers have never been released (which should show us something right there), they're presumed to be less than optimal. Sony believes that this lack of sales means the handheld was successful.

Wait... what? That's according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president and CEO Andrew House, who told MCV that the whole point of the PSPgo's release was apparently so Sony could learn. "One of the reasons we launched PSPgo was to understand where consumer behavior was going," he said. "We were getting signals from consumers that this was the kind of device that they wanted. But we need to recognize that consumers like their packaged media library."

He also stated: "It was introduced in a mature life cycle to learn more about what the consumer wanted and we've definitely learned a lot. Is that measured by success in sales? I don't think it is." So basically, the PSPgo's failure to sell matters not due to Sony's successful learning experience. I hope it wasn't a too expensive one.

I'm not totally buying this. Large companies don't develop major products just to see if people will buy them, they do it because they want to make money. While this may or may not have been what happened with the PSPgo, House is indicating that it pretty much didn't sell, and Sony giving away 10 free games with the system seems to be a sign of this as well. But, according to House, this just means that consumers aren't ready to go fully digital yet, right?

To an extent, he might be a horse with the blinders on, because the PSPgo is afflicted with more than the lack of a physical media drive in my personal view. For whatever reason, games bought online shamefully cost the same amount as their physical in-store counterparts. The PSPgo was, and still is, priced at $249, a very expensive price point considering its capabilities. These two facts probably kept more PSPgo systems out of gamers' hands, rather than purely because of the focus on digital distribution. But hey, at least Sony sees the product's launch in a positive light.


Yeah, and the Jaguar/Lynx/Nintendo Glove were such successes as well...?

Possibly Sony should have listened to customers main wants: Backwards Compatibility, Non-monopolising systems and a decent Sonic game again?

Or at least affordable?

Well... at least they're optimistic...

Meh, I still don't regret getting my PSPgo. It's conveniant and nice and just plain works for me. I couldn't have asked for more.

I found my PSP painful to play and eventually sold it and I don't want to waste whatever the Irish price is on something I already had a bad experience with when I could buy an iphone for just a little bit more and get a lot more functionality

I actually supported its attempts to go Digital, im all about the..Digitalness(?).

i think they are just saving face, kinda like how i buy something really expensive by still say it was worth the purchase...Like The PSPgo actually..Hmm..

Well its useful on Holidays.

Actually most criticisms I've seen are similar to mine, that digital distribution is bad for the consumers.

The PSPGo failed I think because there were physical media alternatives like the regular PSP and DS. I don't think the majority of people will fully embrace digital media until they have no choice, and I am hoping this is a sign consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers here and how while digital distribution is great for corperations, it's not so good for us consumers.

WHen it comes to portable games isn't download only better? That way you don't have to carry around games with you? IT's the fact that the PSN is way overpriced that puts off consumers as well as the fact that PSP Go is crazy expensive.

Leave it to Sony to tell you failure was their goal.

I knew Sony was a pretentious group that never shouldered any fault (ever since they blamed the poor sales figures of the PS3 on "society in general" (load of shit, the point is to CATER TO CONSUMERS not the other way around idiots)) but I never expected them to come right out and say "failure is success"

What a load of shit.

Sooo... the PSPGo was pretty much just a great, convoluted, expensive social experiment? If the PSPGo wasn't so damn expensive, I might even have bought one. That, and if the store had Lumines. Which it doesn't. Grah.

Yeah, and the Jaguar/Lynx/Nintendo Glove were such successes as well...?

Possibly Sony should have listened to customers main wants: Backwards Compatibility, Non-monopolising systems and a decent Sonic game again?

Or at least affordable?

Sony? Listening to their customers? I don't think so. Took them years to drop the price on the PS3, despite ranking last in sales in North America and possibly other places as well. Even the regular PSP is too expensive for the games. I mean, take a look at Nintendo. I hate to compare the two, but the DS has a strong lineup of DS games and even GBA games to back it up. The PSP has a bunch of ports of PS3 games that don't work at all and a price that's unreasonable. The PSPgo was a horrible decision in every sense and if anything I guess I would call it a success the same way they were: Because it was such a terrible decision that in the future they will never do anything like it again.

Failure = Success? Does...not...compute *head explodes*

I was talking to someone who works at my local GAME store about the PSPGo and she said that it was gathering dust. At this moment in time, I don't think digital-distribution only is the right path to go down.

Eventually all games will probably be digital-distribution only, but I always like to have my games on a cartridge/disc.

Failure = Success? Does...not...compute *head explodes*

Not that difficult to comprehend. If it had been selling like hotcakes, sony would have a new money maker. Since it didn't, however, they've taken the data that they needed to produce what would sell better. In essence, Sony just pulled a Xanatos Gambit wherein either outcome, be it selling well or bombing, was favorable. Looking at the size of the company, it isn't hard to see that, relatively, they didn't spend that much money on this product. In the long run, this keeps them from going down a potentially bad development path.

Honestly, I think Sony might not be such an embarrassing disgrace is they just stopped making their products so damn expensive. If it hadn't been $250, maybe people would have bought it. The learning experience they should take home from this is that people aren't always willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a new piece of equipment just because it's new and shiny.

Plus, I can't really imagine anyone who owns a PSP wanting to go through the process of downloading all of their games when they already have them on those UMD disk thingies. Because then it's not just wasting money on a new PSP, but it makes the money they spend on the UMDs wasted as well.

Sort of plausible. There wasn't much difference between the PSPgo and PSP 3000. The hardware architecture we're identical. Just a slim'n'digital version of PSP 3000.
But saying it out loud just looks like an excuse.

Right. PS3 is now making a profit and they go claim PSPgo was a marketing experiment or some sorts? Get the hell out of here, seriously now. Any survery or some method could get the same results.

For whatever reason, games bought online shamefully cost the same amount as their physical in-store counterparts.

The majority of the cost of a game comes from R&D. Mass production is a relative pittance.

It is like that program in school where dumb kids get to move up a class despite failing anyway because the class as a whole did well. Failure can't equal success because what is the point in even trying.

Wow - that thing's HELLA expensive - can't you almost buy a PS3 for that?! Geez...

Hey, if its digital distribution was handled by Steam, with all their crazy offers and all, then it might have been a good idea to go digital, but using it as a system to extort more money from your customers, grabbing all the store, transport and manufacturing fees whilst simultaneously removing the second-hand market is pretty much just a dick move.

Competition! Choice! Accessibility! Freedom! Versatility! All key facets of the digital age, and all seemingly ignored by this gadget :/

At my college, the people majoring in business tend to be idiots. I'm pleased to see that this trend appears to be universally true...
And I hate to state the obvious, but data at this cost is a laughable success. A focus group, or just hiring a bunch of kids to look at forums to see what customers want would have been the wiser course of action.


For whatever reason, games bought online shamefully cost the same amount as their physical in-store counterparts.

The majority of the cost of a game comes from R&D. Mass production is a relative pittance.

What about the shop's profit and transport costs? Sony's basically looking to get a bigger slice of the profits through its system, rather than providing a fair service to its customers. Avoiding the store's overheads is THE KEY POINT of digital distribution :/

its sounding like they will be certain to stay with physical media for the next playstation

I think Sony is in denial here... And now they got that stupid Move thing comeing out...

Yeah, nice spin.

I'm glad you have that much money to throw around Sony. :/

The only thing I regret about buying my Go came two days ago. I couldn't pre-order MGS Peace Walker and get a sweet bandana *sad panda*

Screw charities or yknow helping people just throw moneh away to "see" and "realise" something was a bad idea.

I didn't buy a PSPgo for many reasons:

1) Too damn expensive. A full PS3 costs only about fifty bucks more.
2) I already have a PSP, and I never buy new versions of the same hardware I already own. For example, I still have a 2004-model DS and I have no intentions of upgrading until the next generation.
3) I like physical media, I like having a box for my games, I like inserting a physical object into my PSP, and I like going to the store to buy my games. Screw this digital crap unless its many times cheaper and more convenient.
4) I BOUGHT my F**king games already, I don't need to buy them all over again. Do they think I'm an idiot?

...The audacity is so amazing that I can't even make jokes about it. The entire joke is that they had the balls to say such a thing. Sony is basically telling people that they pretty much designed the PSPGo with the intent to fail, just to gather market data that was pretty obvious to everybody but Sony. Here's a hint, it probably involved the fact the thing cost almost $100 more than a PSP-3000

Nobody at Nintendo would ever dare say the Virtual Boy was a success, not even the guy who made it (not that we can ask him mind you)

well I hope they learned from this experiment

My BullSh!t detector is going nuts here.......

Yeah, and the fucking LSAT I took yesterday was a success too. It shows that I probably can't go to law school. I feel like a fucking success.

You are allowed failure to let you grow, to learn, to make a discovery. But that doesn't make it a success. That's loser-talk, Sony.

...yeah, I'll let you keep thinking that Sony.

To some extent, sure, I guess in whatever viewpoint they have the PSPGo was a "success" in that it showed what people want. Whatever.

But did you really have to open you mouth with that? C'mon, better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're a fool than opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

The biggest hurdle to digital distribution is retail price. People don't understand that bandwidth actually costs more per unit than printing out millions of discs, manuals, and dust covers. So if you try to act all excited while telling people "YOU'RE NOT ONLY GOING TO PAY MORE FOR THE HANDHELD, BUT THE SAME PRICE FOR GAMES! YYYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAA!!! RIIIIIIIDGEEEEE RAAAAAACCCCCCCEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" you're just going to have people, at best, confused, at worst, shitting all over you.

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