Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PSP2 Rumor Roundup & Analysis

One possible PSP2 configuration
The rumor mill has been grinding out factoids like crazy lately about the PSP2, so I thought I'd round up all the rumors and season it with some analysis and some inductive reasoning.

This article is a an interesting roundup of one analyst's thinking. He makes a lot of good points about the PSP's history, though he fails to mention they have sold over 55 million units. Not bad at all, just not anywhere near the DS line's 125 million units. The PSP has also been plagued with piracy, which has kept developers away, and the launch of the PSPGo didn't help matters either. (Retailers hated it because they couldn't sell software for it.)

Based on various reports (here, here, and here) we are likely to see the PSP2 shipping next fall. The usual pattern is to show the machine publicly at E3, where you announce the ship date and the price. If you're aggressive about the release, you start showing the machine even earlier, like at the Game Developer's Conference (though you probably hold off mentioning exact specs or pricing). If you want to hit the ground running, you've been seeding key developers with advance hardware units and early dev kits for at least a year ahead of time. Which is just what the rumor mill has been saying; developers have had it in their hot little hands for months.

What also seems to be clear is that the hardware design isn't yet locked down. There are still battery and heat issues to take care of, so the final spec is not yet complete. Here's what seems to be pretty sure, though:
  • Higher resolution screen (at least 1" bigger also), so that they can say HD (which leaves them some wiggle room, as there are several resolutions that qualify for that title)
  • Dual analog controls
  • Physical media (yes, it won't be download-only)
  • Backside touch controls
  • More powerful graphics/CPU than a 3DS or even an iPhone 4
 It would be a big break with the past if Sony decided to court small developers and independent developers, but given how the iOS market has progressed it would certainly be a smart move on Sony's part. Sony would be really smart if they opened the device up to other applications besides games, and made it a music player and video player, with a slick online store that sold all sorts of media. Don't hold your breath, though.

Price? I'd guess somewhere between $249 and $349 depending on many factors, such as the 3DS price and how it's selling, and exactly what hardware is in the PSP2 and how much Sony wants to profit on the hardware.

I think that Sony has a good shot at a reasonable chunk of market share, IF they really push the downloadable content angle and create something that resembles the iTunes store in its ease of use and breadth of content. Both Sony and Nintendo have to realize the reason Apple is grabbing their market share is not the hardware, it's the business model. I fear neither Sony nor Nintendo will be able to deal with the forces that prevent them from adopting the Apple model, even in part. I hope that they will be able to.

No comments:

Post a Comment