Thursday, June 10, 2010

The PSPgo: successful despite poor sales

Despite poor reviews and sales figures, the PSPgo is an important step in Sony's handheld future.

Industry Gamers recently quoted SCEE president Andrew House as claiming the PSPgo was a 'test' for a future handheld strategy.

This makes a lot of sense. Every indication is that the gaming industry is slowly but steadily moving towards digital download platforms - all the major consoles have had some degree of success with download platforms, the iPhone has been a raging success in the gaming market, and there's even examples of cloud computing technology in development for gaming.

Is the market ready for a complete switch to a digital download platform? Not yet, as the sales of the PSPgo indicate, but in stating the obvious, R&D spending is for the future, not now. If you consider the PSPgo as a public test of Sony's R&D, it's actually a smart move. The vendor is preparing itself for the future, and has released a console early to gain solid feedback on what it needs to do next time.

As House said in his Industry Gamers interview, the point of the PSPgo was to understand where consumer behaviour was going. If indeed the time comes where digital downloadable games becomes the default with handhelds, Sony might well be better placed than chief rival, Nintendo.

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