The much touted Sony PSP Go, which EB Games is refusing to stock, has finally been launched in Australia with a retail price of $449, this is $167 dearer than the same product in the USA after currency conversion, and $150 dearer than the Nintendo DSi.
A Sony insider has told ChannelNews that the reason for the high cost is that Australian retailers have demanded a higher margin than what US retailers are getting.
In an effort to lure consumer to the PSP platform which has less than 10% market share up against the hugely popular Nintendo DSi which has over 80% of the market, Sony Computer Entertainment is giving away Gran Turismo.
For retailers like EB Games, the big issue is the decision by Sony to stop the sale of games for the PSP Go via retailers. Instead consumers who buy the PSP Go are set to be forced to download games from the Sony Network site which could add additional broadband costs at 0.15 cents a megabyte if users exceed their broadband plan.
Currently there are only 17 games for the PSP Go online with Sony claiming that more will be added. Nintendo are offering over 930 games for the DSi which sells in Australia for $299 some $150 cheaper than the PSP Go. Many of these games were developed for the original DS handheld console.
In addition, current PSP owners who want to upgrade and have already purchased games for their PSP 3000 will not be able to use the games on the new model instead they will be force d to buy new content from the Sony network.
The decision by Sony to scrap the UMD drive found in previous models and instead offer a 16GB drive and access to a download site has created furore on PSP forum sites. SCE Australia are saying that the addition of the Grand Turismo software is worth $79.