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Sony's Dyer: The PSP Has Problems, We're Fixing Them
Sony's Dyer: The PSP Has Problems, We're Fixing Them
May 21, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

May 21, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
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As part of a new Gamasutra feature interview, The Sony Situation: SCEA's Rob Dyer Speaks, Sony's senior vice president of publisher relations for North America candidly admits the problems the PSP platform faces.

While it still sells extremely well in Japan on a weekly basis, sales in the U.S. have fallen dramatically. More troubling is that software for system almost never shows up anywhere near the top of the charts. The last PSP release to enjoy a top 10 placement on the U.S. NPD Group chart was August 2009's Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Our analysis suggests that DS games currently outsell PSP titles 8 to 1.

Alongside Japanese-developed upcoming hits like Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Square Enix's Final Fantasy Agito XIII, as well as the games of EA Sports -- a stalwart that is usually the last to abandon a dying system -- Dyer promises "A lot of the stuff that will be announced at E3 we're very excited about, because they are huge titles."

Dyer freely admits that piracy has had a profound impact on the system: "That's been the biggest problem, no question about it. It's become a very difficult proposition to be profitable, given the piracy right now."

However, he promises that Sony has developed technology which will "slow down the piracy in the first 30 to 60 days... There's some code that you can embed that we've been helping developers implement in order to get people at least to see a 60-day shelf life before it gets hacked and it shows up on BitTorrent."

Moreover, he says, "the category shrunk inside of retail." However, Sony has turned its attention to that problem as well: "We're going to fix retail. First party has done a great job of getting some campaigns in place to do that."

"We will have a good line-up this year. And hopefully, by virtue of that, we'll carry through to next year as well," says Dyer, not commenting on Sony's handheld plans past this point -- although a PSP 2 has been widely rumored to be in development.

You can read more of Dyer's thoughts -- not just on PSP, but also DLC, working with small PSN developers and major publishers, and the future of the PlayStation Move motion controller -- in Gamasutra's latest feature, The Sony Situation: SCEA's Rob Dyer Speaks, live now.


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Comments


Matt Matthews
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I still expect that Sony will announce a successor device to the PSP sometime this year, and the comments about the PSP releases through 2011 don't necessarily contradict that. Rather, I see the PSP as a platform and I believe future hardware iterations are likely to be able to run the same games (to be precise, those downloaded through the PlayStation Store).

Fiore Iantosca
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The question is, will the new iteration of the PSP be backwards compatible? If it's not, I will have ZERO desire to get it. The PSPGo was a complete JOKE

Anthony Gowland
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Just yesterday I blogged some thoughts on how Sony could save a little face with the PSPGo

http://www.mainlyaboutgames.co.uk/2010/05/how-sony-could-save-som
e-face-with-the-pspgo/



To me it seems that Sony expected to release the PSP and it all be good, rather than releasing it and having to do further work to make a success.

Rev. Stuart Campbell
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Another giant load of bullshit from Sony about piracy? Who could ever have imagined, eh?



http://wp.me/pObMd-pB

Andrew Vanden Bossche
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How does piracy affect hardware sales? And piracy is utterly rampant on the DS as well. Piracy just seems like a poor scapegoat and it certainly doesn't explain the difference between sales numbers in Japan and the west.

Christopher McLaren
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If it looks like it is failing then they will probably release some new iteration of PSP just to enahce interest, either that or drop prices dramatically.

R G
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Piracy is worse on the DS on the PSP, but then again I know many people who just use their PSP as a portable emulator.

J Bernard Moore
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Not sure the PSP is the problem as much as the marketing behind the device. It has always been a good little handheld. Just never positioned properly.

Ujn Hunter
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As a happy PSP owner with multiple systems (PSP-1000 & PSP-3000) & around 40 PSP UMDs, I won't be purchasing a PSP2 if it does not support physical media. Hopefully Sony is smart enough not to make another "Go" mistake.

Eric Smith
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Unless they plan to start forcing developers to provide downloadable versions of their titles on the PSN, I could care less. I wasted $250 bucks on the PSPGo, and I can't even sell it for half that price.

Fiore Iantosca
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I am in 100% agreement with Ujn.



Kids today have no CLUE on the perils of all digital download.

Alan Youngblood
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It's not rocket surgery Sony: release more awesome PSOne classics for the PSN Store. Many are as good or better than the production values of recent PSP games. This is such a no-brainer that it is insulting to PSP owners (and PS3 owners for that matter) like myself that you haven't yet.



Here's a list for starters(they need to be in ALL regions, not just Japan or EU): Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Einhander, Suikoden II, Chrono Cross, FF9, Megaman Legends 1 & 2, Colony Wars...man the list just goes on.



Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like the work to get a lot of great PSOne titles on the PSN Store for PSP's usage is drastically easier than anything else that will encourage purchase of a PSP (perhaps even a PSPGo) or use/software sales.

Fiore Iantosca
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"it is insulting to PSP owners (and PS3 owners for that matter) like myself that you haven't yet."



Yes, that seems to be Sony's mantra the past 5 years or so.

Paul Lazenby
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Too little, too late. Sony is non-factor in the mass market for portable. Maybe they'll do better next round.

Jeremy Reaban
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The trouble is, it's not up to Sony to release PS1 titles (or PSP titles) on PSN. It's up to the third parties. For whatever reason, they have little to no interest in doing so.



While I guess Sony could pressure them, if they don't want to do it, they don't want to do.



Then again, even Sony doesn't have all their PS1 titles up on the store. But still, the recent Square FF9 on PSN stories have shown all it really takes is the desire of the 3rd party...

Victor Boone
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I owned a PSP once.................once!

Ian Uniacke
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PSP is dead. Sony has to face facts. Further investment will just lose them more money.



1) Piracy is a weak excuse compared against the DS which is reported to have the most piracy of any platform.

2) In this comments thread alone I have seen no less than "3" different desires for the PSP (download only, backwards compatibility umd support, PS1 classics). Way to fragment your already small audience Sony. Any PSP2 will undoubtedly piss off at least one if not two thirds of their existing audience...and no one outside of the existing audience will care less about a PSP2.

raigan burns
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To reiterate what others have said: how can you claim "piracy" as an excuse when it is much more rampant/prevalent on your competitor's system?! That's willful stupidity.



100M Ton Bara Bara, Yuusha No Kuse Ni Namaikida, and Yuusha 30 are some of the best games of the past few years.. how can the system they were released on be failing?!



Pull your head out of your ass Sony.


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