Sony will apparently cut the price of its PSPgo system, by far the least successful version of its portable game system. But even at a cheaper price point gamers will likely have difficulty justifying the purchase.
Reuters reports the price of a PSPgo will go down for $249 to $199 in the coming days, which would put it on par with the price of a regular PSP.
It’s a move in the right direction, but this is an extreme example of too little too late. At $249, the PSPgo is the second most expensive gaming system on the market, only behind the PS3. The Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, DSi, and DSi XL are all cheaper. And some argue the PSPgo has less functionality and value than any of its competitors.
The PSP family as a whole has been successful, reaching unit sales of more than 61 million over the last six years. It has been a profitable enough venture for Sony that it’s widely believed the company will announce an official successor to the device within the next year.
However, the PSPgo has been the stand-out failure for the product line. It has a smaller screen size and no input source for physical PSP game discs. That means people who had an older PSP and a collection of games cannot play then on the new PSPgo, and those new to the PSP brand cannot play back-titles on the system unless they’re re-released digitally over the PlayStation Store.
Because everything is controlled through Sony’s first-party storefront, gamers can’t buy used games, take advantage of sales, or sell back games when they’re finished with them.
It was certainly a risky attempt at innovation – a game system that is powered exclusively through digital downloads, increasing battery life and giving gamers the peace of mind of never having to worry about losing a game.
In the end, though it’s just a bit too far ahead of its time, and a minor price decrease will do very little to change that.