The new Sony PSP Go is a “dud” with GFK sales data showing less than 1,000 units have been sold during the first week. This is despite consumers being lured with a free version of Grand Turismo worth $79.
In comparison Nintendo sold over 100,000 units of their new Nintendo DSi handheld in the first month. Described as overpriced at $450 even before it was launched, the new PSP Go has also been rejected by retailers such as the high profile gaming chain EB Games because of a decision by Sony to cut out the sale of games via retailers.
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Instead Sony Computer Entertainment is trying to force consumers to go online and buy games direct from Sony by eliminating the UMD slot in the device.
The failure by Sony to attract interest in the device follows a major press conference and extensive marketing for the device.
Sony, who has a reputation for price gouging in Australia with their Playstation products, has been slammed by consumers for not cutting the price of the device. One consumer wrote in response to a story on the PSP Go in the Sydney Morning Herald “Typical Sony greed. US$199.00 for the PSP Go, Vs A$450.00 is just gouging consumers. I hope Sony suffers. The PSP Go should be priced at less than AUS$300.00”.
Haven Tso of NSW wrote “Seriously the PSP Go is an unreasonably expensive piece of hardware. In the past they said that the PSP was expensive because of the UMD drive, now with it gone and with all the electronic components such as hard drives gone… they are selling a piece of updated hardware without backward compatibility at nearly double the reduced price PSP 3000. What was Sony thinking? People who already have a huge library of PSP games they will have to buy most of them back again in digital format. So why bother? And also why bother forking out another $450 to get an additional unit when the current PSP 3000 is not broken”.
In contrast to the PSP Go sales dilemma, Sony’s new Slim PlayStation 3 console, which costs just $50 more than the PSP Go, has been selling more than 10,000 units a week since its launch on September 3.
Michael Ephraim, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, who swears blacks blue that his Company does not engage in price gouging despite a falling US dollarand cheaper manufacturing costs said in a phone interview from London with the Sydney Morning Herald that the weekly sales figure was “not under 1000 but it’s slightly over 1000”.
He said Sony considered the release of the PSP Go a “soft launch”, noting that some major retailers such as EBGames had refused to stock the handheld.
According to the head of Chips, the largest independent games retailer in Britain, told GamesIndustry.biz he was “99.9 per cent sure it’s going to fail miserably”.