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PSP Not A Sellout Hit

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the lumines-lumines-lumines dept.

Portables (Games) 241

MilenCent writes "We're starting to see our first mainstream media reports on the PSP's (lack of) sales performance, from the Seattle Times: "But while Sony is touting the rollout as a success -- and many retailers did sell their entire stock -- the event might not have been the complete blockbuster that was expected." In summary, the article says that more systems were sold than not, that dedicated gaming stores were more likely to sell out than department stores like Target, and that the biggest reason gamers didn't pick it up is likely its price -- which wasn't helped by some retailers' sale condition that customers also purchase games, which could raise the price to nearly $350. Will demand pick up once the unit is out there and seen by people, or will it take a price cut before the system sells satisfactorily?"

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Not surprising... (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091188)

They bundles a ~$180 piece of equipment with a crappy carying case and a tiny memory stick and added $70 to the price. There's at least 30 of them in the case at the local WalMart here, but most people I know are waiting for the non "Value" Pack version to come out.

Re:Not surprising... (4, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091261)

I agree.'s game bundle, for instance, comes with five games: Wipeout Pure, Twisted Metal, NBA, Ape Escape, and World Soccer Tour. This is the only way you can buy a PSP from The problem is that I can't imagine any single person wanting all five of those games.

Re:Not surprising... (4, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091326)

The WalMart in Hudson MA has a full case of PSPs and there's a big sign on the window: "Due to extreme demand, PSP sales are limited to one per customer."

The guy I talked to said they've only sold 10-12 so far, out of their initial shipment.

Re:Not surprising... (1)

blueskatz (241135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092947)

Our Wal-Mart here in Lewisville (just north of Dallas) had those signs up too, even though they had around 25 PSP's in the display case. I went back a couple days later and the signs were gone, but not the PSP's.

Oh well, I'll get one once the price goes down.

Re:Not surprising... (4, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091450)

I was in my local Target last Friday afternoon and overheard two of the clerks talking. Out of the 100 they received, they had sold 3.

Re:Not surprising... (1)

Jumbles (862156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092618)

Yeah Everywhere I looked the PSP was in some kind of stupid Bundle, Im just waiting for the PSP to be sold by itself, I do not want to have to buy extra crap I dont want

What do you guys do all day? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091200)

Dupe []

Editors ... why not browsing Slashdot with ALL stories listed on your homepage so you'll catch this kind of crap?

cost? (5, Insightful)

negative3 (836451) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091201)

I think the PSP is very cool, but damn is it expensive! Think about it: $250 for the thing, $50 for a game. That's how much a PS2 costs! I can't see paying prices on par consoles even if it is the greatest handheld gaming platform ever.

Re:cost? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091286)

Do you remember what the PS2 cost when it was released? Early adopters obviously are having no problem swallowing $250 for this while the rest of us can wait as the price drops.

Re:cost? (2, Interesting)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091331)

Actually... the PS2 is $100 cheaper than that.... and that's the new slim one even.

Even though I'm a 20 year Nintendo customer, even I can see that the PSP is not a commercial failure like people are saying now. It isn't the New Crack that most magazines and newspapers made it out to be, but it's no N-Gage either. I think this is yet another example of over-hype and too-high-expectations.

Re:cost? (1, Insightful)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091670)

Nintendo fan here, too. I made it a point not to buy into the hype, and repeatedly cited the overhyped flaws and high price as reasons I'd wait a while before thinking about buying one, but a friend convinced me to buy one, and I'm very impressed with it. Square button feels fine, UMDs stay where they should, and I have just one stuck subpixel. It's easily worth my $250. While I wouldn't have paid more than that for it, it feels like a much more expensive piece of equipment, and I wouldn't argue with all the people claiming that Sony is taking pretty big losses on each unit.

I think word of mouth and impressed friends of owners will continue to increase sales numbers for a while before any price drop happens.

Re:cost? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091818)

It's only 185$ in japan, and it kind of stings that sony thinks we'd pay 65$ more because we're "stipeh amewicas".

Re:cost? (1)

roche (135922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092286)

I find it amusing everyone complaining about the price. Most of these people are the same ones that are willing to throw down 400-500 dollars for that top of the line video card when one that goes for 150-200 would work just fine.

Re:cost? (1)

darthtrevino (812116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092471)

Because you know them?? You should make generalized statements like that. I think the PSP is damn expensive for a handheld and I won't consider it for a while. As far as computer gaming goes, I also have an older-Dell computer that doesnt see much gaming-wise. Consoles are far more cost-effective than PC upgrading.

For $350... (2, Informative)

KinkifyTheNation (823618) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091208)

.. you could buy a regular console and still have plenty left over.

Re:For $350... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091274)

Seriously I like technology, but that price range is way out there. How about releasing them in different colors too.

Re:For $350... (4, Funny)

Palshife (60519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092040)

I could decide against buying a car because I could buy a banana and have plenty left over.

Re:For $350... (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092524)

It's more like not buying a Ferrari because you can get a family car and have enough left to feed said family.

Games (3, Informative)

sycomonkey (666153) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091226)

Having good games other than Lumines might help. Also, having games that don't cost $40. The DS at least had backwards compatibility on it's side, which is probably why it did so well despite also having a weak launch lineup.

Re:Games (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091397)

Speak for yourself - I like the launch titles. Particularly WipeOut and Twisted Metal - I've always been a fan of both of these series on the PS1. Plus, DarkStalkers was one of Capcom's best 2d street fighter clones. Any Playstation fan is loving the launch titles - they're remakes of the PS1's greatest hits. While the PS1 games like WipeOut and Twisted Metal didn't get the kind of massive hype-machines associated with them that Nintendo branded or X-box titles get, these are incredibly good games (well, TM2 got a bit). Still, I'm waiting on the Armored Core title to come out before I consider buying one.

Re:Games (4, Interesting)

tepp (131345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091547)

I'm a PS fan, but these are not the games I'd buy.

I'm a female gamer, and I prefer games with stories, games with plots and twists. I loath straight out racing games and "sports" games. I don't like fighter games either - too much boring button mashing. I like games that make me think, games that rely on figuring out solutions rather than memorizing "super combos" or memorizing a track.

Plus, the price of the system is a bit high for merely a portable system!

That being said, I would've bought it had it only had Katamari Damacy on it! The ability to roll stuff up while on the bus, or at work.... mmmm. Rolling.

Other PS games I would've paid for - and bought it for - any Final Fantasy game, including FF strategies and other older ones... any Silent Hill game... any Grand Theft Auto, or Prince of Persia (1 or 2).

Re:Games (1)

lysander (31017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091615)

Katamari Damacy might be tricky, since the PSP only has one analog-ish stick.

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to write a NES/SNES emulator for it. It'd be especially cool to have those old games working with wireless two-player action.

Re:Games (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091736)

That is one good thing about the DS...the pseudo-announcement that Katamari Damacy is coming to Nintendo handheld sometime in the least according to Nintendo Power. []

Re:Games (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091866)

WipeOut isn't quite a straight-out racing game (like Need for Speed) - it's more like a cross between Podracer and Mario Kart.

But yeah, they should've gotten Final Fantasy Tactics or something to appeal to a wider base - most of their titles are action titles. I think that launch list might be to distance themselves away from the GBA, which I found pretty terrible for action titles. Most of the original GBA games I encountered were either time-wasting puzzlers or time-wasting treadmill RPGs (or remakes of classic platformers). Advanced Wars is nice, but takes too long for me to really enjoy.

My GBA was a horrible disappointment - I pretty much ended up sticking to Mario Kart and Monkey Ball Jr. because of the weak library. The PSPs library is far more to my liking.

Still, I'm waiting at the edge of my seat are some real PC strategy games on the handheld - like StarCraft, Z, X-Com, or Orion 1 or something - the NinDS would be ideal for such titles.

Re:Games (1)

owyn999 (856162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091995)

I don't know if you have heard but there has been an announcement from Microsoft corroborated by IGN that Age of Empires is on it's way to the DS... Now all we need is some Starcraft especially when Nintendo drops the bomb with saying we are enabling our Internet connection in the DS with this game.... could you see 16 people in the same building beating on each other zerg rushes and all...

Re:Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091977)

I'm a female gamer, and I prefer games with stories, games with plots and twists.

I'm a female gamer


I hope you're prepared for the thousands of lonely nerds about to look for your contact info.

Re:Games (1)

tepp (131345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093108)

Heh, I already found a geek of my own to love. :)

The only problem is sharing the XBOX. So far, I'm winning this war by getting home first and loading up The Sith Lords before he can put in Halo 2... but it's a close call.

I probably should have married a non-gamer, as we're going to have words next week when Midnight Club 3 comes out so close to the next Spliter Cell....

My Checklist Before I'll Buy It (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091235)

1. Max price of $150.
2. No more ninja star discs.
3. No more nubs falling off.
4. Square button no longer sticking.
5. Square button sensor under Square button and not to the right of the Square button. It's only one of the most used buttons.
6. No more dead pixels.
7. More games that I'd actually want. So far - none.

Think that about sums it up. If all those get cleared up, then I'll think about getting a PSP. Until then, I'll stick with my GBA SP, which already has games I enjoy for it.

(It's worth noting that I'm also not getting a DS, either.)

Re:My Checklist Before I'll Buy It (1)

CYDVicious (834329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092028)

I'd like to also add to list to make it a top 10: 8. Higher Refresh Rate 9. Relocate the analog a little higher up on the unit. 10. Homebrew application

Re:My Checklist Before I'll Buy It (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092641)

As far as I know, numbers 2 and 4 have already been covered before it was even released in America, and number 7 is a matter of preference-Lumines, Ridge Race, and Wipeout Pure are all getting excellent reviews.

Re:My Checklist Before I'll Buy It (2, Insightful)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093375)

6. No more dead pixels.

So you're never going to buy a laptop? It's also worth noting that my GBA SP has a dead pixel, but I just sorta accept that...

Price kept me away (1)

radiopillows (802594) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091275)

I like the PSP. If they released one that was just the unit and a memory stick, I'd get that in a heartbeat. I don't intend on using the included Sony accesories (Logitech has much nicer ones)so I'd rather not pay for them.

POS? (-1, Flamebait)

EGaming (694500) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091295)

Am I the only one who thinks it's junk? It's not the price, I wouldn't buy it even if it was $20. Maybe $15, you know, for parts and to "play" with.

Yes, I wanted a PSP (4, Interesting)

rocjoe71 (545053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091319)

Sure I wanted a PSP, but there was so much hype about the waiting lists and how hard it was going to be to get one leading up to March 24th that I didn't bother looking because I figured I wasn't going to get one if I did.

On the bright side, lower than expected sales usually leads to price cuts so I'm glad the big hype machine failed.

Re:Yes, I wanted a PSP (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091367)

I went into EB about two weeks before the PSP release to buy Xenosaga Ep. 2, and the cashier was harassing me to pre-order. When I responded with my typical "I don't pre-order *anything*" comment, he went on and on about how I'd never be able to get one for months after they came out if I didn't pre-order right then...

I've since been back to the store to taunt him.

Re:Yes, I wanted a PSP (1)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091517)

I was at EB yesterday and they are sold out and have a ton of pre-orders awaiting their next shipment, so if you plan to only shop at EB Games, then he was mostly correct...

Re:Yes, I wanted a PSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091590)

Sure not being able to find them at EB for months is one thing..

You can still go to 100 other places to get it easily with out waiting months.

Re:Yes, I wanted a PSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091777)

They were probably either late pre-orders (after the store was allocated its shipment) or the store wasn't actually allocated a lot to begin with. I know my store didn't sell out at all...we still had as of yesterday people with reservations who had yet come to pick them up (some who paid for it in full before hand...go figure).

Its a common practice for game stores to tell customers that they won't get the game or system or whatever unless they reserve it. We were told to tell people asking about the PSP that we only had one or two left when we had more than that.

The main thing about the PSP is that people are interested in it until you tell them one costs $250 bucks. You wouldn't believe have many people think even 150 bucks is too much. Everyone has probably gotten used to the cheap prices of the regular consoles and the DS.

Re:Yes, I wanted a PSP (1)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092454)

I had the same experience at Gamestop. So later that day when I was in Target, not only did they have plenty of PSPs, but also a good selection of games available.

I've never pre-ordered anything and have always been able to purchase something on release day that I really wanted it.

When Game-store employees start harassing about pre-ordering, I have found pulling out my credit card (or cash) tends to end the conversation. In my PSP situation, the clerk went into bashing the portable and all of its hyped-flaws. I didn't feel the need to continue with him.

Sell Out (5, Insightful)

Botia (855350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091321)

I find it funny that there are complaints about supply when they sell out and worries about systems failing when they don't sell out. How does a gaming system manufacturer win?

Re:Sell Out (3, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093233)

I find it funny that there are complaints about supply when they sell out and worries about systems failing when they don't sell out. How does a gaming system manufacturer win?

Probably by neither over-promising nor under-delivering. It's really not all that difficult.

Sony apparently assumed from their experience with the PS2 that they wouldn't even be able to produce enough units for the demand no matter how many they made; that there was simply an insatiable demand for the PSP. Obviously, they're learning that that's not the case. Hopefully, this will be good for gamers in that:

a) they will tighten their QC (no doubt some people, like myself, are staying away partly due to the screen issues)
b) a non-value pack will be released at a lower price... $150 is the maximum I would ever pay for a handheld and if Sony wants to keep the value pack on the market they're gonna need to cut it by $50 too, IMO

I'm interested in the PSP but not for $250 and not with this obvious dead pixel problem. Sony just completely over-estimated the handheld market, IMO - it is not the same as the home console market in terms of what people are willing to pay, the build quality people are willing to accept, and the types of things people want to do with a portable game machine.

(Oh, and Sony also needs to admit that it is a portable game machine, not a half-baked multimedia "swiss army knife" that does nothing particularly well.)

btw, I will take back some of my comments if Sony's rumored UMD burner in the PS3 turns out to be fact.

$249 is too much (5, Insightful)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091332)

I'll save another $50 and buy an Xbox 3 this Christmas.

$249 is a lot of money to some people.

Re:$249 is too much (1)

xyu (556711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091706)

I'll save another $50 and buy an Xbox 3 this Christmas.
Do you know something that I don't?

Re:$249 is too much (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091862)

The consensus is the Xbox 2 (not Xbox 3) will be out this November. However, it will probably cost at least $100 more than the PSP.

nah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091336)

I'll buy one when I can get a mod chip for it.

Re:nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091542)

I know you're probably not serious, but really, what good would a mod chip do you? The games aren't region locked like PS2 games are, so you don't need a mod chip to play imports. And there is no way to write a UMD disc so you can't play pirate copies. Maybe you could net boot or load off a memory stick, but with no way to get the data off a UMD disc and onto a PC (currently), that wouldn't work either.

Re:nah (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092663)

Maybe you could net boot or load off a memory stick, but with no way to get the data off a UMD disc and onto a PC (currently), that wouldn't work either.

And it didn't occur to you that this is where modchips come in handy?

Sexy Portable? (1)

Dash'n'SlashDot (841636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091366)

With a price point like that, you really have to wonder what one has to do to gauge a portable's sex appeal. I mean, did they put a few on street corners and see how many men(or ladies) picked one up and took her home for an hour or two?

bad ideas for launch (4, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091377)

In order of biggest problem to least, IMO:

1) LCD quality control & dead pixel policy. Horrid.

2) Only selling the 'value' pack. Worst. Idea. EVER. There is already a great selection of third-party add-ons which make the 'value' pack absurd.

3) High price of games. $40-50 per game. Ouch.

4) No demo units in stores. You want to sell a $250 machine? Have demo units.

5) Some stores selling only bundles. Out of the 5 stores I went to opening day, only 1 was doing that in the Seattle area (KB Toys).

6) High price of UMD movies (when they arrive). Silly; they shouldn't try selling UMD movies to the public; this should really be targeted at rental places, especially airport locations.

All these problems aside, most of this can get better, if not much better. Quality control will increase over time, and they're already addressing the dead pixel policy. Hopefully they'll come out with the base edition, sans 'value' soon. $50 in third-party add-ons goes a long way.

The biggest hope I have is that they'll either change their business model, or make a PSP-like PDA platform with a modular bay where the UMD drive is. I live in breathless anticipation.

Problem of perception (4, Interesting)

igrp (732252) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091698)

You raise some very interesting points.

3) High price of games. $40-50 per game. Ouch.
Personally, I think that is going to be Sony's biggest problem down the road.

If you think about, $40-50 isn't really that much money for a game you'll get countless hours of enjoyment out of. Well, at least if you're a working adult, it isn't. That's especially true if you compare it to a night out a the movies or a decent meal for two. Both of those will cost you around, or upwards of $50. That is not how it works in the real world though.

Few people think rationally about a product's price tag. And people perceive $50 to be a lot of money (and rightfully so). Dropping fifty bucks on an item you need is okay, wasting fifty bucks on an item you know you or somebody else will enjoy (say a Christmas present or - to stay on topic - even a video game that allows you and your buddies to kick back, watch a football game and play before and after) - sure. Selling the idea of spending $50 on an item you're only using to amuse yourself for a short period of time is a whole lot harder because it doesn't quite feel right.

If games were, say, $30 a piece, it would feel more like picking up a CD on your way home after work. Something most people wouldn't feel guilty about at all - after all, you're rewarding yourself and it's "just $15". And whilst $30 is certainly more than most people would pay for a CD, it doesn't feel wrong for a portable video game because most average middle-class Americans still perceive $30 is "inexpensive", whereas $50 is still an investment of sorts (think about it: don't think twice before you hand someone a $50 bill whereas handing someone a $10 just feels natural).

Add financial constraints to the mix ("gotta pay the bills"), and $50 just doesn't like your getting your money's worth. Sure, a lot of hardcore gamers won't mind plucking down $50 for a game. But that's not necessarily Sony's target audience -- if they want to be profitable, they need to target a broader demographic. And a $50 a pop, people will think twice about buying your product. These days, very few people make $50 impulse buy decisions...

Re:bad ideas for launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091905)

1) Sony's whole attitude towards customers are times is their own worst enemy.

2) The "value" pack was a stupid idea. Not only were the included accessories cheap (of course) but people don't want them. A lot of people want to wait until its just the system itself (although it won't be around 150 bucks like people also think it will either).

3) The high game prices certainly won't attract too many out of the Game Boy Advance crowd with its cheaper games. But there are a lot of console players who have never used a handheld and have no problem shelling out 50 bucks for a game and then trading it a few days later for 20 bucks. So far that is what most of the PSP buyers at my store have been like.

4) There are no demo units, true. I am not surprised though. We were never told a word about demo units, and quite frankly my store wouldn't have the room to put one anywhere. Also, the nice and flashy look of the PSP with its big screen would easily be so screwed up by little kids playing it all day because they're parents dropped them off at the store. It would be ruined and look like crap before its all said and done.

5) We didn't sell a bundle except for the value pack. There are some people though who didn't have a problem spending 350 bucks for the system and two games (or one memory stick). I upset one customer who planned on using it for playing MP3's when I told him it would be far cheaper just to buy an iPod. You could probably buy an iPod and a PS2 and come out cheaper.

6) The whole UMD movie idea is silly. It hasn't quite hit people either. Alot of people have the impression the PSP plays PS2 games and DVD movies.

And once one is saying anything about what Nintendo will do next with the true successor to the GBA. I seriously doubt Nintendo will let Sony best them with the PSP. We will see what happens though.

I will have bought GTA, 3 times (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091929)

This will be the latest incarnation [] I will have to dole out money for. If they do not make next generation platforms interoperable with last generation games I am going to build a mame/emu cabinet [] in my home and in my car for roadtrips and city camping and never buy a game again.

Re:I will have bought GTA, 3 times (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091981)

I'm tellin' ya - if someone can make the PSP run MAME, it's all over for Nintendo for me, no matter what their next-gen mobile platform is like. That'd just be too sweet for words.

Re:I will have bought GTA, 3 times (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092603)

Except nintendo has a patent on emulation on handheld video game platforms. So don't expect it coming out on the PSP without some lawsuits and shennanigans.

If you want emulation(NES, SMS, some MAME stuff), you're better off with an SP(or DS, but really) and a flash cart.

Re:I will have bought GTA, 3 times (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092785)

Think outside the box. There are systems not made by the big three. The GP32 can run MAME.

Re:bad ideas for launch (1)

Merk (25521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092082)

There's also the reported problems with the square button. If they couldn't get that right, it makes me wonder what else they got wrong. I'm tempted to get one, but I think I'll wait for a hardware respin, assuming there's enough demand for that.

I also wonder if some enterprising person will manage to put games on the memory sticks. The proprietary-CD-thingy seems like an awful mistake to me.

Re:bad ideas for launch (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092229)

I'm told the square button problem was fixed for the US launch; I've not heard anyone reporting that problem exists with the US machines.

I was thinking about the UMD, and everyone has a problem that it's not some other format, but think about the specs of it for a bit: 1.8Gig, and very small (smaller than miniDVD - a miniDVD disc is wider than the PSP is; and some are complaining that the PSP is too big already). The MiniDisc format holds 1Gig, 80% less than the UMD. I dunno what the power requirements are of those two formats, but that's a LOT less capacity, so the MD is out. What else could they have used?

I don't see anyone bitching about the format of Nintendo DS cartridges, so WTF?

I think Sony's new leadership is definitely a good sign, and even before that, they had already decided to open up their audio platforms to play mp3, which is a great sign. I'm hoping that new mindset, and the new leadership will combine to someone realizing that opening the PSP to running apps off the memory stick would be a fantastic thing.

They also have an opportunity to sell quite a few Sony-priced UMD-R drives for computers, if they have enough vision to do so. Plus the market for UMD-R discs. I smell profit here, and I'm hoping Sony does, too. Time will tell...

Re:bad ideas for launch (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092952)

The sticking was fixed, but the sensor is still not alligned so the square button is still less responsive.

Re:bad ideas for launch (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092990)

They also have an opportunity to sell quite a few Sony-priced UMD-R drives for computers, if they have enough vision to do so. Plus the market for UMD-R discs. I smell profit here, and I'm hoping Sony does, too. Time will tell...
This will never happen. If people can actually write to those discs, that opens up the door for modchips and piracy. Note how it took Sony a few years to grudgingly admit that MP3 players might be something that they ought to sell -- and that is only because others were filling the market quite nicely. They took the "If you can't beat them, join them" option -- but it took several years of trying to beat them.

I cannot see a 3rd party releasing a UMD-R drive anytime soon, and Sony WON'T be the first. In this case, there will be no "them" to beat.

This is surprising? (5, Insightful)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091395)

I completely agree with this. I was surprised when i went around town doing my normal errands the day after release and saw 15 at best buy, 50 at walmart, etc etc etc. I mean, i'm in a pretty hefty geek town.

GameStop and EBGames both told me "Pre-order, or you're not getting one until the 22nd century." If that was the case, then I must still be dreaming.

Truth be told, I think the DS sold out for the reason everyone thought it would. It was different. It came froma company that traditionally gets things right the first time.

The PSP is nothing "new" and comes from a company with a bad track record of first releases. I'm pretty sure most people, myself included, said they'll wait for the bugs to get run out of the first run before investing.

Re:This is surprising? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091597)

Well, technically this wasn't(unlike the DS) a "first run", it's been out in Japan for a few months now(unlike the DS, which actually hit NA a few days before Japan). They worked out some issues before the NA release. Not defending Sony or anything, but calling it a "first release" is a bit misinformed.

Re:This is surprising? (1)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091693)

OK, this is true, and I did know this. I also know that Sony refused to fix issues with the early run of the Japanese PSP, so the informed consumer probably did know that there could be problems going into the initial launch.

It seems Sony has made a habit of releasing to Japan first, ignoring all the feedback the Japanese consumer report on a product, and release the same think to North America. Only after North America slams the product do they take action.

Re:This is surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091679)

Truth be told, I think the DS sold out for the reason everyone thought it would. It was different.

Coming out in November (in the US) didn't hurt sales, either.

Re:This is surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091714)

of course there is also the fact that:

1) Nintendo is the king of hand helds.
2) DS came out before Xmas
3) PSP costs $100 more than the DS
4) PSP games cost $10-$20+ more than DS games
5) DS backwards compat. with GameBoy Advance

All the extra things the PSP can do? Who the fuck cares. If you want to play music you'll probably need to buy a much larger memory card (another $100-$150).

Who the fuck wants to buy movies that can only be watched on the PSP? Thats the most retarded thing ever.

Re:This is surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091734)

hey, if you think about it Nintendo has never released anything broken, ever. I guess that says a lot for the official Nintendo seal of quality. While originally created to stop people from selling Nintendo games without Nintendo's permission its still there today and carries a different meaning. It says this thing is guaranteed to be 100% bug free.

Re:This is surprising? (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092373)

Not only that, but it seems to be the status quo now where a new system's success is measured not by if it sells out in major outlets, but rather how quickly. Even the very day of the PSP launch, the mass media was producing stories saying that by noon, many retailers still had plenty of systems left? Excuse me? Still?

If these units where anything other than a video game system that sold out, most folks would stop to ask themselves why a particular retail chain didn't do their market demand research before placing such a miniscule order. They'd also ask how a company could spend millions or billions preparing for a product launch and then somehow simply forget a few zeros when they told the manufacturer how many to produce.

I tell you why the PSP didn't sell well. People are sick of the artificial scarcity tactic. The last five video game systems to be released all carried the same spiel and nobody's buying it anymore. They know full well that two or three weeks from now, you'll be able to waltz into any Walmart and grab one out of the dozens in stock.

the problem (2, Interesting)

muel (132794) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091561)

When the PSP first hit, I was inches away from buying one. The launch lineup was pretty damn nice, and I felt like this thing had some serious developer support. Then I looked at the list of upcoming releases and gasped - what a barren wasteland! I didn't see a single upcoming game with any buzz around it that didn't have the word "PORT" written all over its face. Grand Theft Auto and Gran Turismo are probably the only interesting titles, and they're basic ports, and they aren't coming out for monnnnnths. I see no reason to pay $350 for only two exciting games right now (WipeOut and Lumines). I figure, if I'm gonna pay that kind of cash for two games with no guarantee for future quality, I'll buy a fricking DDR setup for the house. For now, I'm waiting to see if other quality titles come out of the woodwork, and judging by sales, enough other hardcore gamers are in agreement.

A season for all things (5, Insightful)

superultra (670002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091562)

A main reason why I think the PSP hasn't done as well as expected is that it's the wrong timing. Summer is _the_ season for portable game machines, because parents buy them for kids when they go on trips. At the EB where I worked, we would have to put the gameboy section at the front of the store come every May.

But the PSP doesn't really hit that crowd. The target audience, 18-40 males, doesn't have a summer off (or is driving when they do). The PSP might perform better come winter and Christmas, particularly if they drop the price $50.

Re:A season for all things (1)

nunchux (869574) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093142)

Well, college students do have the summer off.

Anyway, Christmas is the only time you can really pull off the massive-rollout-with-shortages-and-screaming-and-c lawing fans campaign... Which is often more media hype than anything else, and of course has everything to do with parents wanting to placate their kids. In March, the need to get-the-new-thing-right-now isn't there... And a purchase like the PSP can wait a week or month or two.

I expect the PSP to do well and for the platform to last, but expecting the rollout to be bigger than the Beatles is just folly.

Maybe the market they target doesn't have the time (5, Insightful)

eamonman (567383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091582)

I like Sony. Have for years. I even got to see and play with an import one back in November. However, I don't have the time for the PSP. Sony talks about opportunity gaming, where you play something because you have time in between things to stop and play with {X}.

But you know what? I don't have that kind of time. I can't play my PSP when I'm stuck in traffic (I tried to with my new cell phone, but that was rather risky). I can't play my PSP at work (well, I could try). I can't play my PSP playing basketball, or golf or whatever. And I suspect that other 18-39 year olds that have jobs may not either. And by putting it at a price point so high that you really have to have a lot of 'opportunity' times to play. Unless they market this to kids, but somehow those commercials don't look kiddy to me.

I do have time when I get home however. But then, why would I pay money to look at a small little screen when I can just watch DVD's on any of my TVs. Or play my PS2.

They should really try to market to kids. Hell, when you have no job and people are driving you to places you don't really want to go to, there's opportunity-time galore.

Re:Maybe the market they target doesn't have the t (1)

timetokill (830909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092729)

I'm pretty sure when they said, "Opportunity Time" they meant "Loading Time," because based on the games I've seen, once the thing is done loading everything, your "opportunity time" is all but spent.

Picked one up afterall (1)

octover (22078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091611)

I picked one up after all. The price was kind of high, but I dig the value pack. I wouldn't want to carry around the PSP without something to protect the screen, and really a 32MB card is perfect for good starter memory card. I haven't decided if I will buy any bigger ones for media. Spider-man 2 was the perfect price, included. I won't be buying any UMD movies, I'll pay $15-25 for the movie on DVD that I can watch with other people on the TV. Maybe if I could get a bundle of the movie on DVD and pay a few bucks more for the UMD perhaps. As it is I am much more likely to lay down money for memory card(s) convert my DVDs for portable viewing (probably only when going on vacation).

When I decided to buy I was at Circuit City, they would only sell it with Twisted Metal. I just wasn't that interested in it, so I went next door to Target where they had probably two dozen units. I ended up back over at CC since Target had sold all their copies of Lumines though.

Re:Picked one up afterall (1)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091659)

I was actually pleased with the value pack as well. The case and the memory card are nice. The extra video is fine. It's not a huge deal to me. My only gripe is that they didn't have a playable demo disc with it which was disappointing.

$149 (1)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091708)

Personally I will consider getting a PSP when they sell for $149 and the 1st release has been tested out. Also, the games would need to drop to at least $25. I'm sure this will happen sooner or later, right now I will let the "early adopters" empty their wallets and do all of the bug testing. I'm sure these will sell very well at Christmas.

Complaining About Ports? (3, Insightful)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091749)

As a Nintendo DS owner AND a PSP owner, I find it ridiculous that people are complaining about the PSP only having ports and that being the specific reason that it sucks.

Has anyone really noticed the majority of the DS library? Super Mario 64, Warioware (pretty much a port), Ridge Racer, Tiger Woods, Madden. I mean aside from Yoshi Touch N Go and Ping Pals, Nintendo doesn't exactly have a ton of original non-port stuff either.

While everyone complains about ports, I wonder how many people will run to stores and pick up DS when Ocarina of Time ends up hitting it, or when GTA hits a PSP. Face it people, sure we love original games like Lumines, but really the majority of games you purchase for handhelds are portable versions of your favorite home games. Slightly tweaked, but still great games.

Re:Complaining About Ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12091813)

except for the fact that the gameboy advance can't exactly port cube games all that well, but the PSP CAN port PS1/PS2 games pretty well..

The DS has more games look at some of the stuff out in Japan and give it another few months then you'll see.

I'm trying to figure out what game Nintendogs was ported from? Hmmm..

Besides it looks like most people here aren't complaining about that AT ALL..

It looks to me like most people are complaining about the PSP costing $250 dollars plus $40-50 dollars per game and another $150 for a decent sized memory stick.

Re:Complaining About Ports? (1)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092098)

Nintendogs is just a knock off of Dogz and Catz on the PC ;)

I totally think there will be original games for both. Nintendogs, Kirby Touch! and Meteos to name a couple. But what DS games are people really waiting for? Gasp. Mario Kart and Animal Crossing.

People have gotten so accustomed to the GBA that they totally forget that a ton of GBA games are just ports of SNES games.

A ton of DS games will be ports of N64 games, and I can see a lot of PSP games being ports of PS1/PS2 games no doubt.

The price is definitely high, but then again you're getting a PS2 in a handheld, not an N64, and not a GBA. I'm really really surprised they didn't push to $300 at first. But I'm sure people will get their wishes shortly and a price drop will happen. Hopefully games will get cheaper as well. I think we've all been very spoiled from the wonderful price drops of GBA games to a standard price if $19-$22 new, that's for sure!

Re:Complaining About Ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092414)

Yeah but these days NES and SNES games are like.. nosalgic.. they're actually pretty fun to play again.. some times its nice to get away from the millionth quake clone

Re:Complaining About Ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092456)

i no rite the reason i got my advance was because it DIDNT have 3D games

Re:Complaining About Ports? (1)

timetokill (830909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092800)

You act like using a franchise more than once means it's the same game. It's not. People anticipate Nintendo making gameplay changes that make the games fun. No two Mario Karts are the same, for example.

Re:Complaining About Ports? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093014)

If I hadn't already posted in this discussion I'd have modded you Troll for calling Wario Ware a port. Sequel? Yes. Port? No. It has the framework from Wario Ware but the actual gameplay is vastly different, mainly because of the input methods. A port is a game that's modified to run on different hardware and you need to be braindead (no Terri jokes please) not to notice the differences between Wario Ware and Touched. SM64DS is an enhanced port, Ridge Racer is a port, Asphalt is a port but WWTouched is an entirely different game.

Re:Complaining About Ports? (1)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093452)

My bad. I have Wario Ware, I've played the hell out of it, I've opened up all of the extras. I guess I called it a port because it didn't do anything remarkably new except for using the stylus, a majority of the games were the same, just, well, modified to run on different hardware. Instead of pressing a button for the light gun, I'm tapping on clay pigeons. Instead of using my controll pad to tilt something, I used the stylus. Anyhow Twisted! should be a blast. A little tough with the DS but fun.

PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (2, Interesting)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091957)

Someone posted on the PSP message board what seem to be legit sales information from the Best Buy stores in his area (NJ)

Here is the link: ard=918340&topic=20123040 []

..and here is just the store name and the number of units they had in stock at these particular stores (as of 3/30/2005 10:19:01 AM)

400 - HOLMDEL NJ 8
344 - PARAMUS NJ 8
457 - ROCKAWAY NJ 37
472 - UNION NJ 2
473 - E HANOVER NJ 10
475 - BRICK NJ 31 31
887 - PARAMUS NJ 3

So not one of those stores sold out according to this guy. More detailed information can be found at the link above (although he didn't format it worth a damn)

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092216)


Location Avail On Hand Total On Hand On Order In Transit Current Sell Avg. Wk
Unit Sales Avg. Wks
of Supply Calc. Wks
of Supply

OK Two things.
1.-a gamefaqs thread is definetily not a very strong source to quote.
2.-Avail on Hand On Order In transit. is a very confusing label for an order. It means they are either in the store, on the warehouse or in transit either means they are currently being shipped from Japan (or wherever they make Psps) or they are currently being delivered to another place (another store perhaps), plus the date of the order suggest is from an incomming batch not a current one.

Anyway you have got nothing.

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092486)

a gamefaqs thread is definetily not a very strong source to quote.

As opposed to the elaborate list of sources that you cited in your original post, right?

Avail on Hand On Order In transit. is a very confusing label for an order.

That's because they're six different labels, idiot. Didn't you wonder what all those extra numbers were for?

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092629)

I agree about gamefaqs not being the best place for good information but it seems like he got the information from somewhere. From what I could tell, it should be formated like this:

If the information is valid you can just go by the first three columns

Location: 400 - HOLMDEL NJ
Avail On Hand: 8
Total On Hand: 8

That seems easy enough to me. I've never worked in retail but if the total on hand is more than the available on hand couldn't it be exchanges for units without dead pixels/broken/etc?

Where are you getting the date of the order? I posted 3/30/2005 because that was when the message was posted. I think it's current information and has nothing to do with an incomming batch.

...and I didn't say I had "anything" at all. I was just sharing what seemed to be legit info (in my opinion, I just thought it was a tad more creative than the average gamefaqs poster could come up on his own)

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092834)

Why are you even arguing with this guy? Look at his post history [] ; he's obviously an idiot.

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092220)

its interesting brick sold 31, pretty sure this is likely because of the fact that Brick is the only BestBuy in the area, while those other stores have another best buy within 20-30 minutes away. Also brick has practically nothing to do durring the winter, the area is really a summer area only booming durring the shore months.

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092682)

Actually, if I'm reading it correctly, the Brick store has 31 PSP systems in the store, left over from the launch date. The only store that has more units on the shelf is Rockaway. The guy was posting that information to show the initial poster how many units each store in his area had sitting there, waiting for someone to pick up and buy.

Re:PSP Figures from Best Buy in NJ? (1)

Randar the Lava Liza (562063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092939)

I know the Woodbridge store sold out (I live in Woodbridge and tried to get one two nights ago). Union had a ton in stock still as of last night.

Personally I LOVE my PSP. It's gorgeous. There's only two good games though, and I didn't want to buy it in a bundle so I got it from Best Buy. Only Lumines and Wipeout Pure are worth purchasing though.

-sigh- the psp crusade. (1, Flamebait)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12091984)

Seriously guys, you are taking this too far. It seems slashdot is in a holly crusade to make the psp look like second to dirt. First the dead pixels issue (heres a hint: 80% of the people wont even notice the dead pixels and YES sony is fixing them) , that article about "retracting new users" because someone disassembled one. (big deal!) the other "lukewarm welcome" what are you talking about? the system sold out in several stores. (the DS didnt sold out in any store here or in Japan that I know of) there were people freezing in the cold to get one, there is a strong following for the psp. Weither you like it or not.

The only real "crime" the PSP has commited is to become a BEATING competitor for the Nintendo handhelds (yes the PSP has more sales than the DS) so what? the DS still has enough sales to keep Nintendo not worried and working on DS games (And even GBA) besides (and Ive saying this all year) the PSP is not meant for kids, so thats a huge target that N is still strong for.

Besides why the heck are you worried about the DS? Nintendo for better or worse is releasing a new handheld by the end of this year. So the "handheld king tittle" remains to be disputed.

Re:-sigh- the psp crusade. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092247)

I'm pretty sure the DS sold out in a lot of stores in japan. There were tons of pre-orders so nobody was in a hurry to wait in line to grab one when they didn't have too..

On the other hand PSP had very few units to sell and NO PRE ORDERS so the ONLY way to get one was to wait in line in the freezing cold.. FUCKING DUH?!?!

The DS sold out ALL of its units when it hit the shelves in the US.

Show me the numbers where the PSP is selling more than the DS? The DS will have sold over 6 million by the end of this month. How many has the PSP sold?

Re:-sigh- the psp crusade. (2, Funny)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093056)

Keep in mind that slashdot also had an article about Dead DS Pixel issue and what Nintendo was going to do about it. 1451248&tid=207&tid=137 []

It's hard to tell which system will end up winning in the end and there is so much contradicting information that points in one direction or the other that our best bet is to wait and see...and in the meantime, buy whichever system you prefer (or better yet, if you can afford it, buy both!)

Japanese Retail Favors DS []
Sony almost sells out of PSPs on the first day []
NDS Launches in Japan (Gamers sleep in due to bitter cold) nt=1 []
DS reaches half million mark in just four days in Japan []
DS Half a Mil and Climbing []
Nintendo Expects Five Million DS Systems []
PSP Launch: Retail Report []
PSP Launch: Hot or Not? []

It's like:
The DS is what the Japanese want not the PSP!!!
PSP almost sells out the first day in Japan!!!
NDS launch sucks in Japan!!
NDS sells 500,000 in four days in Japan!!!
NDS expects to sell 5,000,000 by March 2005!!!!
PSP launches in US, stores selling out like crazy!!
PSP launch...not as sold out as people thought!!!

"Mortal Kombat for Sega Genesis is the best game ever.
I disagree.....Mortal Kombat is a good game, but I think Donkey Kong is the greatest game ever.
Donkey Kong sucks!
You know something? You Suck!"

Living in a vaccuum (1)

lezerno (775940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092023)

Me: 40 something would never buy one, don't play games, love tech so I know all about the PSP. Nephew: 16, has game boy, xbox, Halo addict, has rich parents. We were watching NCAA basketball game and PSP comercial comes on. He turns to me and asks what the comercial is about. I am shocked that he hasn't heard of it. Give it some time and it will be flying off the shelves.

Woooo expensive! (1)

whitetiger0990 (852580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092391)

At a bestbuy near me they had bundles ranging up to $480! I mean... who really needs a napster gift card thing with it. When they lower the price, get more games, lower the price of the games, solve the problems I've been hearing about it. THEN maybe I'll buy it.

It sounds like I'm waiting for the ideal communism.

Yet another platform to buy for (1, Insightful)

cjmnews (672731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092453)

Yes the price point is a bit high.
Yes the bundle pack makes it more expensive.
I think that the game prices are right along the prices for other platforms. I don't see why people would complain about that.

The problem I have with it is that there is no compatibility with anything. If you get one of these, you can't play games from other platforms.

My PS2 plays PS1 and PS2 games, and has the eyeToy accessory. My Gamecube plays GC, GBA and GBC games. The Gameboy Advance SP plays GBA, GBC, GB, and e-reader games. Heck even the DS plays GBA games too.

I'm not saying that I don't want one, just pointing out it is a system that does not really have any compatibility with anything else. Kind of like the xBox. It's hard to justify purchasing a system that only does one thing, especially at that price.

Sony doesn't understand the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092593)

Sony isn't trying to produce a decent "portable gaming device" they're trying to produce the "walkman of the 21st century"

Personally I buy gaming devices to play games on; not to watch movies on or to listen to music. I want to feel safe that even if I loose it I can replace it (at $450 canadian I can't), and I want to be able to [after an hour and a half commute to work in the morning] play games on it on my commute home at night (which you can't with the poor batery performance).

When sony understands the "portable gaming market" it may stand a chance of releasing a successful device for it.

$99 The sweet spot for ANY videogame console (3, Interesting)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12092707)

After > 20 years in gaming, I've learned a few lessons:
a) Early adoption is just a hip factor. Other than being first and hip the oportunity cost is negative. As you grow older it's easier to have a console accumulating dust. I'd rather have a $99 idle console than a $399 one.
b) Optical media based-consoles actually improve in quality as iterations of the hardware are released.
c) Maturity of the Software Lineup. Why? Well.. when a console reaches $99 it's probably in the last year of its lifetime and all the greatest hits are out around $20. Not only that, there's no complains about weak 1st gen lineup or lack of knowledge from the developers (ahem.. PS2, GC, DS...)

I'm actually waiting for the PS2 and Xbox to hit $99. On each instance I'll go with $300 and pick up the 10 best games of each console (good games are timeless). I might actually save some money with the XBox (other than Halo/Halo2 they might not reach 10 must have timeless titles).

Re:$99 The sweet spot for ANY videogame console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12092938)

b) Optical media based-consoles actually improve in quality as iterations of the hardware are released.
That's not always true. For example, Nintendo has removed the progressive scan outputs from recent Gamecubes and SEGA removed the ability to read ordinary CDs from later Dreamcasts (which affected things like Bleem!)

Re:$99 The sweet spot for ANY videogame console (1)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12093267)

My original post refers to quality (yes, I'm thinking Sony as I write this)

And yes, I do agree with you. Newer Xbox iterations are harder to Mod and the dreamcast was crippled.

I don't see the rationale for Nintendo to eliminate the PScan from the GCube.

On the same token, newer PS2s have the Ethernet port built-in, 2nd gen and up xboxes have the revised controller and the newest probably have the fire hazard bug corrected.
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