Sony’s PSP-Phone Idea Not So Ideal

While a lot of people are currently gossiping about the new handheld coming out that is the PSP-Go, Sony is bringing in a development team to assemble a new device that combines the gaming capabilities of a PSP with the cellular hardware of a Sony-Ericsson Phone. So in other words, they are going for a PSP-Phone. So why make a gaming handheld that can also make phone calls? That’s because of they’re trying to take a shot at a potential market that is currently in favor of the iPhone.

That’s right. Sony is making another iPhone rival. While I don’t really have any details on what it will do. You can imagine playing your games like a PSP on a device that can do just as much as your cellphone. To be honest, I am quite curious at how well they blend. I use a Sony-Ericsson phone myself, and I’d like to say that I am happy with it. In my opinion, it feels more comfortable than any Nokia phone I have ever used.

But, if you ask me about Sony’s new idea, I’ll say my opinion that this device is good “in theory”. The first reason why I think this is not a good investment because this is exactly what Sony has been doing for quite a while: making the wrong investments. Think about it. Why did Sony invent Sixaxis? The Nintendo Wii. Why did they offer PSN Free? Xbox Live. Why did they show their own motion control at E3? Project Natal. You sort of get the psychology behind Sony’s investments.

The second reason is that Sony is simply doing this model because they are so paranoid. Although for this, I can’t completely blame Sony. Almost everybody is afraid of Apple’s success, so it’s just natural for people to bring out some heavy contender. Usually, these companies observe the trends that occur with these Apple success stories and try to use that as a springboard for a competitor. What Sony did, however, was jump the gun and head straight for development. I don’t think one year of iPhone gaming trends is enough for Sony to draw conclusions on how their business model should be done right.

The last reason is quite possibly Sony’s ultimate weakness: Pricing. A PSP game is normally priced at the $25-$35 range, while iPhone games average at $10. Also, if the PSP Go’s price is truly jacked that high, imagine when that is fused with cellular capabilities. In other words, it won’t be cheap. I find it really hard to believe if Sony can actually bring these high-profile games to a dangerously low $10. With all these Sony royalties pissing the minds of developers and publishers, it’s almost impossible.

Although, most of these would be the case if Sony tried to place itself head-to-head with the iPhone market. Maybe it would do a lot better as being just a PSP-Phone hybrid, something like the N-Gage, only better. But to put itself in a market which they hardly even grasped, it’s almost suicide. I truly feel sorry for Sony as they are currently on a sinking boat. Already losing over a billion dollars on the PS3 and making whole developments (like Sixaxis) go completely to waste. If Sony keeps up this kind of investment, it’s only a matter of time before they finally throw in the towel. You don’t put out a fire by adding more fuel into it. But who knows, I might be wrong. It is still a bit too early to make such judgement, but I’m simply drawing mine from what Sony has been doing so far. If you guys have your own opinion, feel free to leave a comment!

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~ by Ian on June 30, 2009.

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