are the professional analysts whose job it is to research, keep track
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simply lets the analysts offer their thoughts directly to you. Each
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with their fellow colleagues'.
The Sony PSP has
been out for over two years, and has sold over 24 million units. Yet
sentiment for it remains mixed: Gamers and developers appear to put up
with it, but not clamor for it. And a recent rumor has it that one
major retailer even threatened to stop selling it (if Sony didn't
initiate a price cut, which is did this month). At best, it's been
characterized as a mediocre success.
We asked David Cole of DFC Intelligence, Ed Barton of Screen Digest, and Mike Wolf of ABI Research:
are your general thoughts about the Sony PSP? Do you rate it as a
failure or success? Or do you have mixed or neutral feelings about it?
do you think Sony and developers could do to improve the PSP platform,
to generate more excitement for it among developers, gamers and the
industry overall? Or do they need to?
do you forecast will happen with the PSP platform throughout this year,
especially in relation to the PS3 (the fact that Sony plans to
interface the device more with the console)? And rumors of a price cut
and second generation model?
David Cole, DFC Intelligence
General thoughts about the PSP:
My feelings on the PSP are mixed: It has shown there is demand for a
more high-end portable system. The portable market has room for two
competing portable systems. We forecast that over the next five years
dedicated portable systems will sell just as many units as the new
console systems. However, the PSP could really use a new model.
has been the secret to Nintendo's success. When GBA sales slowed,
Nintendo introduced the GBA SP, which addressed many of the system's
problems. Ditto introducing the DS Lite last year to improve on the DS.
Much will depend on how much emphasis Sony plans to put on the system
going forward. Do they really want to put in the effort to continue to
build the base?
On generating more excitement for the PSP platform:
The portable market has been a challenge for third party developers and
publishers. The business model is very tight. Nevertheless, publishers
are already enjoying some greater success on the PSP than they ever did
on Nintendo portable platforms.
the market is showing that you must develop a game specifically for the
portable platform and not just repurpose console [i.e. PS1] games. The
challenge is this is likely to take a high-end budget, probably around
$5 million. I think the real issue is developers need to make a full
commitment [to portable]. An example of a great job rethinking a
franchise for the PSP was the recent Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters.
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Forecast for the PSP this year:
Interfacing a portable device with a console system can be overrated.
As for price cuts and a second generation model: I think a new form
factor is needed more than a price cut.