By Jared Newman | Monday, October 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm
A year after launching the ambitious but unsuccessful PSP Go, Sony has offered a price cut for the handheld gaming device.
The PSP Go now costs $200 instead of $250. That’s still $30 more expensive than the PSP-3000, which could probably use a price cut itself. Given the price of Sony Memory Sticks, the PSP Go no longer seems like a raw deal, but it’s still a tough sell compared to the $150 Nintendo DSi, or even the $229 iPod Touch.
The PSP Go is Sony’s attempt to get away from packaged media, thereby beating the used game market and piracy. Of course, those goals have nothing to do with what consumers want, and the Go’s perks over the PSP-3000 — a smaller, lighter build and and 16 GB of built-in memory — previously weren’t enough to justify a much higher price tag, lack of support for the physical UMD format and smaller downloadable game library. A $50 price cut might help.
Sony hasn’t revealed any sales figures specifically for the PSP Go, but the device is widely believed to be a flop. In March, tracking firm Media Create estimated that Sony sold 23,455 PSP Go units in the first three months of 2010, compared to 70,342 average PSP sales per week. Also in March, Gamasutra estimated that Sony sold between 6,000 and 10,000 PSP Gos in the United States.
With a lower price, the question now is whether Sony will treat the PSP Go like it has a future. Lately, the company has tried to put some marketing weight behind the PSP, with a campaign that uses the same tongue-in-cheek humor as the popular fictional executive Kevin Butler. None of the videos promote the PSP Go specifically, and many of them don’t show it at all.
So is the $200 price tag the start of a big PSP Go push, or just a way to get people to buy the things, period?