Sony have responded to concerns from retail about the inability to sell PSP Go games, which are download only.
Andrew House, SCEE CEO, said "There are other ways in which retailers can participate in the model. I'm a firm believer in things like vouchers and cards at retail – other ways in which you can turn essentially a relationship with a network into a sold good at retail. We'll explore all of those options."
This is the first indication we've had from Sony that they want to get retailers involved in PSP Go games sales. Traditionally there has been very little margin for retailers on gaming hardware. The retailers as do the manufacturer (like Sony) make most of their revenue by selling software. It therefore makes sense that if Sony expects retailers to push their new hardware they will have to give something back.
Andrew House went on to point out that Sony have "...for years pursued a by and large network only (game sales) model, but it also does an enormous business in network access cards available at retail." If this is true, are they saying most PS3 owners buy their games through the PlayStation network, surely not?.
Earlier this month Lisa Morgan CEO for GAME seemed unfazed by the demise of UMD games for the new PSP Go. She said that they (GAME) were not worried about digital distribution of games, "Regardless of all of these things that are evolving in terms of distribution streams, customers will tell us the way in which they want to shop. Today, customers predominantly want to shop in our stores and a growing number want ecommerce".
As the GAME group (GAME, Gamestation and Gameplay) are the biggest games retailer in the UK, it would not be any surprise if Sony had already tipped them off about what would happen with PSP Go games sales. Without GAME onside the PSP Go could be dead in the water, sunk before it had even got to its launch date. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall at that meeting!
If you were thinking that the release of the new PSP Go would trigger a price reduction for the PSP 3000, think again.
The Sony CEO seems to be happy with both prices, "I think we're comfortable with where the prices are sitting right now. There's still a lot of growth in the market that we can see, just based on the existing pricing model"
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