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Sony Reportedly Ends PSP Go Production

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-use-throwing-good-money-after-bad dept.

Sony 47

Sony's PSP Go launched in late 2009 to mixed reviews and tepid sales. A little over a year later, Sony announced the portable console's successor, the NGP, leading to speculation about how long the PSP Go would last. Now, a report out of Japan suggests production on the device is winding down. Sony responded to inquiries about the report with vague PR-speak, but a UK retailer confirmed that they wouldn't be receiving replacements once their current stock ran out.

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47 comments

Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878138)

Good riddance. I could never see the rationale behind the PSP Go; why pay extra for a version of a handheld console that actually offered less functionality than the original? The online Playstation Store still has issues with the range of titles available (though this is improving), pricing structures (likewise improving, but only slowly) and user interface (where it is a long way behind Xbox Live and the App Store).

The weird thing is, however, that despite facing ridicule in its early years, the base PSP has gone on to be a curious kind of success story. With almost 70 million units sold worldwide and some impressive games sales figures, it's basically the first non-Nintendo handheld to achieve any real degree of success (even if it does lag a long way behind the DS). For comparison, Sega's Game Gear managed around 11 million units and the Atari Lynx a paltry 5 million - and the poor old Nokia N-Gage apparently only managed to attract around 3-4 million side-talkers. Weirdly, the PSP is now acting as the main competition to the 3DS, which it is now outselling on a week by week basis in some markets (with the PSP's lower price tag undoubtedly helping). It certainly helps - particularly in Japan - that the PSP has become the successor to the PS2 as the title that picks up the quirky and interesting low-budget games, particularly RPGs.

The irony is that having seen the PSP turn into a late-cycle success, Sony look set to kill it off with a successor at exactly the wrong moment. Latest sales figures indicate that had Sony left the PSP alone (while killing off the PSP Go like the irrelevance it is), it could have seriously hurt the 3DS's prospects in Japan - which is only one market, but nevertheless an important one. The 3DS is vulnerable right now - its launch games lineup is weak and its 3d effect is is impressive at first glance but everybody I know has turned it off after a day or two at most due either because they get headaches or because it's just plain distracting when trying to play games - it's still worth seeing, but you might as well just see it on a friend's console for half an hour rather than fork out for your own.

Keeping the games flowing onto the PSP for the next 18 months or so (capitalising on the weak 3DS lineup for the next 6 months) and keeping the spotlight within Japan on it could have denied the 3DS a convincing foothold and increased developer nervousness about jumping to a new platform. However, by putting out a new platform of their own so soon after the 3DS - and one which, judging by its specs, will likely cost even more than the 3DS (ouch), Sony are exposing themselves to exactly the same risks. A $350 NGP (number entirely hypothetical, but within the bounds of possibility given the spec) with another Lumines + Wipeout-style launch lineup (not to disparge Lumines, which was great) would really struggle in the present economic climate. It does make me wonder whether they learned anything at all from the harm that the high initial price of the PS3 did them. I wonder if it's their piracy-paranoia driving the switch - the PSP has been "unlocked" for a long time (as has the DS).

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35878208)

I could never see the rationale behind the PSP Go; why pay extra for a version of a handheld console that actually offered less functionality than the original?

It all makes perfect sense. The PSP Go is Sony in a nutshell, combining their two favorite activities - over-charging for hardware and stripping out functionality.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879614)

I came here to say the same thing. Sony just followed their standard produdct practices. The "original" PS3 had features like OtherOS and PS2 emulation, which the newer Slim Version did not have [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878266)

Well, not exactly *Less* functional.

It also had 16 gigs of onboard flash RAM and bluetooth connectivity. Also talked to SIXAXIS controllers(and DS3 controllers). That coupled with TV out made for a pretty interesting gaming experience.

As for the 3DS, they really dropped the ball, with the PSP as aged as it was, they should've moved swiftly and introduced the PSP's successor years ago. the psp is a pretty competent device, I love the platform(DS is also incredible; good time to be a gamer IMHO).

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878876)

TV out was crap though (unless they changed it for PSPGo), as it would not fill either dimension of the screen, had a thick black border all around.

Having to choose between the baked in flash (which can be mitigated with memory sticks)+Bluetooth (If they had made the TV output actually good, the Sixxasxis could have been cool, but otherwise) and being able to play the large volume of UMD only games... Yeah I'd take the latter.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878978)

TV out was crap though (unless they changed it for PSPGo), as it would not fill either dimension of the screen, had a thick black border all around.

That depends on whether you use a composite video or component video hook-up, as well as the resolution of what you display. And whether your TV or receiver can scale the signal, of course.

I've watched UMD movies played on my PSP and displayed on the TV, and it's subjectively as good as a DVD.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35891608)

IIRC, games would render at a certain resolution within a very large black border, using such a small part of the screen that none of the scaling modes in my TV could make a dent in the border that much. I think I read they treated UMD movies differently, but never had the slightest interest in those.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35892180)

I didn't say good, I said interesting :)

But the issues you outline keep it from being enjoyable. Putting a proper scaler for output isn't too hard or expensive these days. I certainly hope they learned their lesson for the NGP.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878302)

OTOH, the PSP Go was actually portable, as opposed to the original PSP.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878324)

How is the original PSP not portable? Mine went with me on any number of transatlantic flights, Eurostar trips between London and Brussels and domestic UK rail trips. The battery life was only enough for about 70% or so of a translatlantic flight, but you could always carry a spare battery if you wanted to. Its weight wasn't really a problem either - compared to the likes of the Game Gear (and even the original Game Boy) it was positively svelte. If anything, I found the DS harder to use on the move, because the stylus controls could be a bit of a pain if you were in a slightly unstable environment (such as a plane or train). I've not taken my 3DS on a plane yet, but I tried it on a train journey and found it very hard to keep the 3d in focus in a moving carriage (though of course, I haven't used the 3d mode for weeks now).

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881272)

If anything, I found the DS harder to use on the move, because the stylus controls could be a bit of a pain if you were in a slightly unstable environment (such as a plane or train).

UGH! I've had the same problem with stylus-heavy games. Knights in the Nightmare and The World Ends with You were both unplayable in a car/on a plane.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35878378)

the PSP has become the successor to the PS2 as the title that picks up the quirky and interesting low-budget games, particularly RPGs.

That comparison doesn't hold, since the DS picks up just as many (or perhaps more) quirky and interesting games as the PSP.

The ps2 was the nr 1 choice for the niche gamer (shmups, srpgs, quirky jrpgs, etc). The PSP just doesn't compare. In fact it's closer to the original xbox; better graphics than the competition, but lacking n everything else.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878398)

The DS did for a while, but the number of games coming out for it took a nose-dive as the 3DS approached. The PSP is now pretty much uncontested in this space - and the only real reason why it wouldn't remain so is the fact that Sony intend to replace it - with a console that will be more expensive to develop for.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35878478)

Weirdly, the PSP is now acting as the main competition to the 3DS, which it is now outselling on a week by week basis in some markets (with the PSP's lower price tag undoubtedly helping).

Thanks to CAPCOM for releasing Monster Hunter Portable 3rd on the PSP. Considering the success of the series in asia, I'll even claim that if CAPCOM doesn't release a MH on the 3DS, that will pretty much secure NGP's future; if on the other hand Nintendo secures a MH for the 3DS, the NGP is dead. Pokemon and MH on the 3DS, that would impossible to beat. The most sensible thing for Sony to do now would be to buy out CAPCOM, as crazy and depressing as that sounds.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878516)

Yeah, Monster Hunter is a huge part of the PSP's late-life success. Though curiously, the Wii version doesn't seem to have anything like the same degree of traction. Actually, I suspect that's why the 3DS wouldn't, in reality, benefit from a Monster Hunter game as much as you might think.

My understanding is that the big appeal of the PSP Monster Hunter in Japan is its online play. Online play across Nintendo platforms - be they normal consoles or handhelds - is a bad joke. The 3DS really is no better in this respect. So would a 3DS Monster Hunter have the same kind of appeal, in a world where everybody is locked into a friend-codes system? Probably not...

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35878848)

MH Tri is not friend-code based. And the japanese version is actually superior, as it allows for ~10 players per city instead of just 4. It has been pretty popular there AFAIK, although they really seem to prefer portable MH games than console ones.

Your comment on the online gameplay being tied to friend codes is actually moot, as the system doesn't really tie the developers to use it. The 3DS has an unified friend code system, but just like MH Tri didn't use friend codes, they could skip it on the 3DS as well. It is just a matter of Nintendo having a bad idea, and developers accepted it blindingly. Oh, and the 3DS allows for (local) multiplayer without requiring everyone to have the game cart. Tell me which other system dared to do something similar? I bet Sony will require you to buy like one copy per pair of friend you wanna play with on the NGP, or some other nonsense.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878954)

Ok, that's a fair clarification. I'd just never personally come across a game on one of the current Nintendo platforms that didn't insist on friend codes for online functionality.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

starfire83 (923483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35889700)

XSeed can be given some credit here, too. They're re-releasing older, good RPGs with some graphical updates - Ys 1-3, 6-7, Lunar and others.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879236)

See here's the problem, you actually used the PSP for games.

I bought an original PSP, and realized that video games are for children and I wasn't so much interested in the small overpriced disks.
but... there was some non-game software available (translator stuff, dictionary, simulators, etc.)
And it had a 1Seg TV attachment ! (here in Japan), which could not only let you watch TV, but record and play it back later as well!
And it had a very nice GPS reader + Map Software (same as car navigation because.. sony makes those)
And.. it could play videos you converted for it (by handbreak, etc). for many hours on the plane, etc.
And.. the music player wasn't too bad...
And it has the photo viewing feature...
And newer versions had Skype!

So... the PSP Go is the same, but smaller and more compact. In fact, it had a nice attractive clock display mode when you closed it - and (at least in Japan), there is a stand available to put it on your counter or whatever to have the clock display nicely while it recharges when you're not using it.
And it had bluetooth too...

HOWEVER... if you had actually used it as a video game machine and bought lots of UMD disks, yeah, you were pretty much fucked. A lot of games weren't available, and those that were you had to buy again, and... yeah the downloads are unbelievably slow and touchy, and... you have to update the OS when it tells you to, or you can't download anything new, and that is also slow as hell.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879742)

Problem is lack of games. I WISH I could buy some fun games for the PSP, but all they do is re release driving games, that suck on the PSP or FPS games that also suck badly on the PSP. They treat the PSP as a 13 year old kids device...

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880730)

Why buy an IPad when you can be a laptop for cheaper and better specs? Because it's trendy. The difference, Sony doesn't have the sheep herd like Apple does.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881034)

If we learned anything from Nintendo's Virtual Boy, PS3, and all other systems which are falling behind or failing, A system will fail or not achieve as much success if the populous does not find the content to be as exciting or original enough to buy. IE: Why buy this piece of crap when we already just bought the same piece of crap from company X a few months or years ago? Playstation Move looks alot like the Wii (imo). Virtual Boy just didn't have the right content to launch on a wide scale. Hopefully if Sony wants to compete, they need to make people excited about dropping 200+ dollars on a piece of hardware and software in which will go out of date in 3-6 years from now.

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (1)

Your_role_model (2055188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35892610)

Agreed. Getting the PSP Go was probably one of the worst decisions I have made in recent memory. I decided to buy one because I have never owned a PSP, so I laid down $200 for a used one about a year ago and since then it has probably accumulated about 6 hours of playtime. The design just isn't as comfortable to play on as the original PSPs (I've tried my friend's), which is a huge downer for a handheld device. And along with what you said, the PSP Go does not really have any new technological innovations that merit such a high price and at the same time even has less functionality. It was a huge purchase mistake on my part and anyone that praises the PSP Go for any "innovations" simply does not know what they're talking about. Never again will I buy a device without checking reviews...

Re:Kill it with fire (but keep the base PSP going) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907724)

" I could never see the rationale behind the PSP Go; why pay extra for a version of a handheld console that actually offered less functionality than the original?"

Then you are an idiot that believes everything you read on Joystiq...

The PSPGO has plenty of features and functionality that the PSP3000 doesn't have.

16GB of onboard memory
Better display
Bluetooth (supporting data tethering and audio)
InGame XMB
Hibernate game feature
MUCH faster game loading
Better battery life (no UMD to spin)
Better reliability (no moving parts).

I swapped my PSP3000 for a PSPgo, it's WAY better, so in a way I am thankful that are plenty of clueless idiots that DO believe what they read on Joystiq.

And nothing of value was lost (2)

MZeora (1707054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878146)

The PSP Go was a frakin' horrid piece of hardware that wasn't worth the plastic it's frame is made out of.

Honestly though, it was just a bad product that took out features from the original from attempts to close and kill out the home-brew (pirate?) community.

Fatal Error (4, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878240)

The hardware is beautiful but the marketing strategy was epic fail.

YOU CANNOT STORE GAMES.

It's download only, but you only get 16GB. And you could buy PSP games for the price of those super-mini not to mention empty memory cards.

They had a hard time selling them, because they had a hard time explaining why the normal PGP was better.

EPIC FAIL.

Re:Fatal Error (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878862)

They had a hard time selling them, because they had a hard time explaining why the normal PGP was better.

PGP?

EPIC FAIL.

Glad you admit it.

Re:Fatal Error (1)

starfire83 (923483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35889744)

The biggest problem with the PSN store is that there's no price deprecation for PSP titles (PSX and mini-games have their own pricing scheme). You will pay full price for a 5 year old title and, frankly, that's a bit ridiculous. If the titles were rare titles, sure it'd be worth it than hunting it down on eBay at a premium but for yearly schlock like Madden and shit? Screw that!

Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet age (5, Funny)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878374)

Subject says it all. The fact that one of my friends managed to break his Sony TV today just mounting it to the wall is proof enough that their hardware is cheap shit, not withstanding my 2 PS 2s that died within 100 days of release and the fact that they didn't stand behind them. Ever since I've stopped being a Sony fanboi sucking on SCEAs tit, my (electronic) life has improved immeasurably, Fuck Sony, I hope the company as a whole will quickly die a horrible, shitty death and I will watch the satisfaction of watching their stock price sink lower and lower until it hits 0 as they continuously fuck over their consumer base until nothing is left .

Oh btw, did I mention?

Fuck Sony.

Re:Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet (3, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879104)

I find a pleasing symmetry between your user-name and the sane, calm, utterly harmless tone of your post.

Keep up the good work!

Re:Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879650)

Subject says it all. T

Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet age (

What the fuck does your title says? in your race for the first post you only wrote a lot of nonsense. Can yo please calm down and rephrase your rambling so that we can understand it?

Sheesh, we should strive to leave this kind of nonsense to Digg, youtube or the like.

Thank you.

Re:Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879752)

Here:

>Fuck Sony, they are a has-been in the Internet age

Re:Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880586)

I like one product by Sony, Sony Vegas Pro and it's side kick DVD Architect pro. I along with everyone else was mad about sony rootkit, but regardless I love vegas and I hope Sony recovers from this fukushima / nukequake shit.. Until you can provide a NLE / Audio editor equal to it, your opinion is simply uninformed, retarded and bullsht..

Re:Fuck Sony, they are a has been in the internet (1)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881356)

Sony's stock has been on a relative rise since 2009, going from 19-30ish.

The fact that your friend broke a tv mounting it to the wall means that your friend doesn't know how to wall mount a tv.

The original PS2 warranty was a full year, so you would have gotten a replacement. Of course, the PS2 didn't have internal storage, it used memory cards, so you didn't even lose anything if your system broke (except the 2-4 weeks while Sony attempted to fix your system before sending you a new/refurbished one). Today, a used PS2 will come with a 30 day return it if you don't like it clause and a 90 day warranty. Thats not bad for a $60 electronic device. You can even add a year long warranty from squaretrade for maybe $10.

You are a bitter, lying, pathetic person. Snap out of it before it causes you health problems.

NGP (1)

ChocNut (791621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35878868)

Saw this coming the day I first set eyes on it. Slide-out design is awful. The NGP looks great - hopefully they will allow you to clone the ps3 video-out wirelessly to play games in close proximity to the console. My guess is this is what nintendo have up their sleeve for the wii2.

Had to cancel my credit card (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35878974)

My 8 year old son got a PSP Go for Christmas from his aunt. I used my credit card to put $40.00 on it so he could buy some games. He bought for $100.00 because my credit card information was stored on it, and it couldn't be removed. There was some option to reset to factory settings or something like that, I didn't try that because I figured it would erase the $100.00 worth of games as well.

So I had to cancel my credit card to prevent anyone who got his hands on the PSP Go from buying stuff on it.

No more Sony for me.

Re:Had to cancel my credit card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879340)

You're incompetent.

Re:Had to cancel my credit card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35883004)

You're a troll.

Re:Had to cancel my credit card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880110)

My 8 year old son got a PSP Go for Christmas from his aunt. I used my credit card to put $40.00 on it so he could buy some games. He bought for $100.00 because my credit card information was stored on it, and it couldn't be removed. There was some option to reset to factory settings or something like that, I didn't try that because I figured it would erase the $100.00 worth of games as well.

So I had to cancel my credit card to prevent anyone who got his hands on the PSP Go from buying stuff on it.

No more Sony for me.

Sony is shit. What you described is not one of the reasons they are shit.

Credit Card information is stored with your account. Resetting the psp memory would do nothing. If you want to erase your credit card information, go to your account settings, where you can most certainly do it. Not to mention available parental controls that would solve that problem.

PSP vs 3DS (1, Interesting)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879240)

One thing people forget is that, for a growing number of games, the PSP is also capable of 3D via setting the display to red-cyan anaglyph images.

Of course, this is a 3rd party feature that can only be used on hacked PSPs last I checked, but it's not like that's very hard.

Too bad, I like mine (1)

DG (989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879464)

My wife bought me a PSP Go for Xmas when they first came out.

I like it - nice and compact, doesn't need a stack of discs to work, nifty form factor, great screen, and a whole bunch of cool games.

I never understood the virulent hate for this system - I enjoy mine.

DG

Re:Too bad, I like mine (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879882)

People dislike it because it sold for about 100 dollars more than the standard PSP, and not only did it not bring anything new to the table, but it was functionally inferior. Yeah, it didn't need a stack of discs to work, but neither does the original model - they all have access to the same online store, only the "classic" design has access to an even greater library of games thanks to the magic of physical media, and generally at lower prices.

So what? (1)

DG (989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880646)

So you pay a little more for the compact form factor and the associated cost with miniaturization.

There is value to smaller. Maybe not enough value to justify the price premium and lack of physical media for you... but hey, that's a design tradeoff and not everybody has the same wants and needs.

The tradeoffs can certainly influence the decision to purchase one model over the other - but HATE? That's just silly.

DG

Re:So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35881126)

So you pay a little more for the compact form factor and the associated cost with miniaturization.

No, you pay a lot more for a device that's cheaper to manufacture.

They couldn't figure out how to include retailers (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881180)

it was pretty clear from the get-go that retailers were going to get the short end of the stick with the PSP Go. They make money on software, not hardware, and the PSP Go doesn't need boxed software. They tried selling download keys in plastic cases, but there isn't a retailer alive dumb enough to fall for that. I remember the PSP Go kiosk at Best buy was just an empty PSP Go, no games :). The rumor was the only reason they had it was Sony threatened to stop shipping PS3s to them if they didn't. The retailers killed it dead.

Re:They couldn't figure out how to include retaile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35883120)

They tried selling download keys in plastic cases, but there isn't a retailer alive dumb enough to fall for that.

*cough*MicrosoftWindowsAnytimeUpgrade
*cough*MicrosoftOffice

Re:They couldn't figure out how to include retaile (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35883930)

Sounds a lot like selling iPods to me. Person buys an iPod from the retailer, they buy iTunes cards from the retailer. Optionally they can just buy stuff straight from Apple with their credit card. The retailer basically only gets money from the initial sale of the iPod. But the retailers haven't killed the iPod yet. What made the PSP Go so different.
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