Netherlands Retailer Drops the PSP Go
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Costly and compatibility-conflicted, Sony's PSP Go marries design elegance and disc-free gaming with worrisome pricing and upgrade uncertainty.
Nedgame says the biggest reason it won’t carry the PSP Go is the price of 249 euros ($250 in the United States), which isn’t justifiable when the existing PSP-3000 costs 169 euros ($130 here). The retailer also knocked the PSP Go’s smaller screen size, at 3.8 inches compared to 4.3 inches.
But there’s another, more obvious reason behind the decision. Because the PSP Go has no optical media slot and the games are download-only, Nedgame would essentially be digging its own grave by selling the handheld. Sure, the retailer could sell game vouchers, as GameStop does with the download-only Patapon 2, but no physical media means no used game sales. I’m not familiar with Nedgame, but at least in the United States, used games generate monster profits for Gamestop.
Meanwhile, Eurogamer’s Spanish-language Web site is reporting a rumor that several retailers in Spain won’t support the PSP Go for similar reasons.
GameStop is selling pre-orders for the PSP Go, so it seems the retailer is willing to support it. However, after the handheld launches on October 1, it should be interesting to see how well GameStop promotes the PSP Go, and how the retailer treats downloadable titles. We could see more incentives for buying games in the store, such as the early demos offered for Patapon 2. I’d like to see frequent buyer discounts and some way to let shoppers come in, try the title out and then buy it using an in-store kiosk.
Whatever happens, I don’t think banning the PSP Go from store shelves is a good idea. Customers who want it will ultimately find a way, and retailers will have burned bridges.