December 28th, 2007
A few months back Itagaki-san (Techmo) shared his opinions as to why he believes the PSP has not been as successful as it probably should’ve been. Basically he said that Sony should have tried to attract GameBoy Advance owners from switching over to the DS.
I think that he proves a good point. The GBA was well known for its more ‘hardcore’ gamer games like Fire Emblem, Metroid, Advance Wars, Final Fantasy and Castlevania. This falls right in line with the PSP which is suited towards the gamers that like these games. The PSP’s software line up reflects this.
Unfortunately Sony dropped the ball and for no apparent reason slowed all advertising of the device in almost every region worldwide. And with this slump in marketing (as well as the mass market DS games that started trickling out) Sony allowed the PSP to be trampled on by the DS.
Despite this in the past year Sony has put its ‘clever pants’ back on and has made a few wise choices regarding the PSP. These choices teamed with some great software is helping the PSP start fresh and finally live up to its potential. So I want to reflect over the wise moves that Sony has made this year to help put the PSP back where it belongs.
Although they didn’t cut the almost useless multimedia features and opt for a more cheaper console. Sony did slim down the PSP not only in size but also I price. Currently the PSP is sitting comfortably between the $AUD250-$300 price range which is a very attractive price point when you consider that its only $50 more than a Nintendo DS.
But what I think makes the PSP even more attractive to any hardcore player is the price of the games. Great games like Ridge Racer 2, Lumines, WipeOut, Syphon Filter, Tekken are all down at the cheap $20-30 price range. It certainly makes DS games look like a rip off. I mean what would you rather LocoRoco, Tekken and Syphon Filter or Elite Beat Agents?
Sony have bought in a similar pricing model to hat it has with the PSP. Once a game doesn’t need to be full price, it isn’t. You can see this with PSP games across the board. There is a good balance between the $20-$70 where you hardly ever need to pay $70 for a game unless you are buying it within the first month of release.
When you compare this to Nintendo’s dated pricing model then the PSP is more so at an advantage. Its rare to see anything beyond Petz Vetz and Brain training below the $35 price point. Yet if you compare the software out right the PSP’s games cost more money to make and take advantage of greater technology. Basically you are getting technically better software for a cheaper price.
Strong Software Line up
When people talk about buying a PSP they say that they don’t want to because it has a laughably weak software line up. This might have been true a few years ago but its certainly not true anymore. If you compare the software line up of games for the hardcore player of the PSP to the DS then the PSP comes out as a clear winner. In the past half a year Elite Beat Agents and Zelda: PH have been the only major software titles for this audience. Yet there has been a plethora of great games for the PSP, all released in the past few months:
- Disgea Hour of Darkness
- Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
- Castlevania Dracula X Cronicles
- Wipeout Pure
- Syphon Filter Dark Mirror
- Silent Hill Origins
- Rachet and Clank
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
And down the track theres God of War, FF: Crisis Core, Gran Turismo, FF:Dissidia, Star Ocean and more.
These games scream appeal to the GBA crowd or the hardcore gamer. I don’t know how any self respecting player can go pass Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions and Castlevania Dracula X Cronicles.
Not only is there that strong line up of UMD games you can now download old PSone classics onto your PSP. Now admittedly the line up isn’t that strong yet but there are still a number of great titles that are worth snatching up. You can download them directly from your PC as well.
Its pretty obvious that I am hyped up about the PSP but I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for a good reason. The console is moving from strength to strength and still somehow is overlooked. I just can’t understand how people can be overlooking such a good deal.