Rumour: Is EB Refusing To Stock The PSPgo?

Sony's PSP revision, the PSPgo, is all about digital downloads rather than packaged disc-based games. So what does Australia's largest games retailer do when it can't sell the software to play on a new hardware device? It looks like it doesn't sell that new hardware device.

We've heard that EB Games is refusing to stock the PSPgo in Australia.

If you go the EB website you won't find any mention of the handheld, despite its launch date being next week. If you call your local EB store—and we have spoken to several Sydney stores in the last 24 hours—you'll find the PSPgo is not in their system. We even spoke to one rival retailer who urged us to preorder the PSPgo from his store because "EB aren't stocking it."

Yesterday we contacted EB's head office to verify the rumours. We were told EB would not be commenting on the PSPgo.

Today we spoke to Sony and received the following statement from an SCE Australia spokesperson:

In relation to our business and the launch of PSPgo, we are already experiencing solid support for launch day on October 1 in Australia. Retail support of the PSP platform, includes both PSP-3000 and PSPgo. Many retailers will choose to range both PSP models side-by-side, as we continue to offer expanded choice for the consumer for the handheld device platform. As with any new product, there will be continued discussions with retail partners to continue to expand reach over time in line with growth of the entire PSP platform.

SCE are also committed to delivering more PSP content including strong IPs like Gran Turismo and LittleBigPlanet this year, plus increased networked services and applications for the platform such as the Digital Reader service which will launch with Digital Comics this December. In 2010 users will also be able to enjoy access to a Video Delivery Service.

The spokesperson informed us they could not comment on another company's business and thus could neither confirm nor deny EB's support of the new handheld.

If the rumour is true, why would EB refuse to stock the PSPgo?

Traditionally, gaming hardware is sold close to cost price. The retailer makes its money on the sale of software. With the PSPgo, those retailers are no longer selling the software.

Sony has perhaps factored this in to the hefty price tag on the PSPgo, supporting retailers with a higher profit margin than typically found in other hardware. But it seems EB isn't biting.

Secondhand sales are a huge part of EB's business. With the PSPgo, they miss out on that too. Other retailers, with less invested in the sale of secondhand games, might not be so concerned.

On the other hand, games publishers see secondhand sales as sales lost to them. With the PSPgo, they don't have to worry about it.

But someone still has to sell the hardware. Looks like the road towards digital distribution still has plenty of twists and turns for the industry to negotiate.


Comments

    I heard this too a few weeks back. It makes sense for EB to ignore it.

    Infact it makes sense for everyone to ignore it because it's an overpriced and gimped PSP. Buy a 3000 and be happy.

      how is it gimped exactly?

        Analogue stick on the wrong side, smaller screen, inability to play existing PSP library, less battery life, unable to have homebrew on it (which allows you to rip your own UMDs and run off the memory stick), costs an arm and a leg .

        All the good features of the PSPGo like PSP Minis, Downloadable games will still work on the PSP 3000 – So what’s the point of the Go?

        It's gimped because it can't play UMDs. It's basically the same scenario as if Sony had decided to make the PS3 Slim not play existing PS3 games.

        It's all well and good to move to digital distribution, but cutting off your existing user-base is a really bad move (and this is coming from someone who doesn't have a PSP). I feel sorry for anyone who's been supporting the system for years only to be slapped in the face with the Go.

        "Hey guys! Buy this new version of the PSP, it's great! It's so great it won't even play the PSP games you've already paid for."

        Oh yeah I forgot to add, you can't choose where to buy your games, how much you pay for them and importing? Forget about it.

        Pay Sony whatever they want to charge on their store and that's it.

        Not exactly floating with loads of net bandwidth either...

    Ouch. That's gotta smart.

    I wonder if they'll accept pspGo's as trade ins in the future? More to be made on the resale;)

    I'm surprised Sony doesn't sell the PSP Go online, why stop with the software.

      EB's own business model has been waging war on software makers and distributors for years and is the main driving force behind the move to online distibution.

      They are just high rent pawnbrokers. The sooner they are made redundant, the better it will be for software developers and consumers alike.

    My EB said they're not getting any in because no one really wants one.

    eb have always sucked. they are an over priced bully store

      Overpriced? Absolutely. Bully store? No way.

      Look, EB is a good store because A: they usually know about games, B: they get the best preorder things, C: they have lots of old stuff in pre-owned, and D: they have good locations.

      Look, they aren't Gametraders, who beat EB in price, availability of old games, and knowledge, but they have their own area of the market.

        Bully store? Definitely. They've either heavily undercut rival retailers or simply bought them here in New Zealand. They now have 100% domination in brick-and-mortar stores dedicated to gaming. They will willingly sell games/devices at a loss and do everything they can to kill the competition simply because they know it will pay off in the end. They can afford to because they're a massive multinational company.

        I'm surprised they haven't got to Mightyape, but I suppose that's because they can't compete with online retailers yet. I buy from the online retailer because they offer slightly cheaper prices if you preorder, woohoo for paying $340USD instead of $360USD. I wish we were getting the $250USD RRP here.

        +1 for Gametraders. I actually prefer to go to Gametraders because they're way cheaper and they actaully give a rat's ass about the things they're selling. I've been to some EB games and I can instantly tell that they person behind the counter is only working there because they're paid to do so and that's the only reason they're working.

        I for one, am boycotting the PSPgo. Why pay $450 for a handheld console that doesn't play it's OWN library of games and costs just as much as a PS3 Slim?

      Everyone always rips on EB for being overpriced. Ever tried asking them to price match? Every EB store I've been in will match price with another retailer. If your gonna pay the marked price no questions, you deserved to get ripped off.

        EB price match with no question asked? You've gotta be dreaming. IN 2008, Dick Smith was selling EXIT 2 (PSP UMD game) for $5, and EB refused to price match. In the end, I went to Dick Smith in the Eastern Suburb to get one for the advetised price, which is $5.

    Im guessing that the psp go wont sell well becasue you can just use your old psp and with 8 - 16 gig memory stick, can just download the games without having to pay $400+

    Bitter tears, EB. Fortunately JB and GAME are not being so childish about it. As for the price point, real portability is worth a lot to some people. All the other PSPs have been too big, whereas this one is truly pocket sized. The PSPgo-exclusive save state feature is also a godsend.

      How is not stocking a product that won't make much margin, or appeal to a mass market, being childish? In fact, that seems like good business acumen. Why stock a product that the company believes will not make them enough gross profit to make it feasible?

    I work for an independant games retailer and I am questioning if we are going to stock the new console. Despite what a lot of people believe, consoles make us about $1-$10 in profit if we are lucky. We might be lucky and make some profit on a game or two, but if we have a console where we can sell absolutely NO games for it, what do we do? If people have problems with the console, have difficulties using the online store, they will come in the store and use our time to help them. Is this actually worth it if we only make $2 or so?

    Even if they make sony points cards, they usually are only a few cents profit, so this doesnt actually help us at all. It's good to see though they plan to keep the current 3000 model in circulation though.

    Nobody is being 'slapped in the face' by Sony with the PSP Go. You're not forced to buy it, and if you've got an existing PSP and you want to play your UMDs, keep your existing system. It's not rocket science.

    The Go is a better proposition for new users. And it won't be long before digital distribution is the norm, so you better get used to not benefitting from retail price wars.

      How exactly is it a better propersition for new users? I'd say it's the complete oposite

        I meant that it's a better proposition for new users than it is for existing ones, not that it's a better proposition than the 3000.

        However as someone that doesn't have a PSP (damn thieves) I'm not sure whether I'll go for the cheaper price and bigger screen of the 3000 or the lighter weight and smaller size of the Go. Probably the 3000 cos then I can still download to that if I want, while saving the money too.

      This is obviously a test to see whether Digital Distribution IS the future. Firstly not all people have broadband connection, and secondly I know a load of people who prefer hard copies of their stuff, and, additionally, I know a lot of people who prefer to buy using cash, or just over the counter. Additionally, retail wars are a great thing for customers. Wars mean competition, which mean cheaper prices or better deals.

      I don't see devices and consoles like this becoming the norm. I think that there'll be a time when all games are available concurrently via DLC and hard copies on every console, not just on Steam and PC DVD.

    EB games is the dirtiest, money grabbing game store we have. New release and second hand titles are marked up waaaay higher than other retailers. I never buy any games from them period. Now there trying to cry foul when for years they've been scamming gamers. i say, SCREW YOU EB!!!

      Marked up? What bullshit! Eb games sell all of their new releases at RRP, and everyone else marks down

    Why can't Sony give retailers codes much like Wii Points or XBLA Points that allow the user to download the particular game they want? That way, the retailers can still make a profit and problems like these can be avoided.

    They could activate the codes like they do with the Apple whatsamahcallits upon purchase.

    I hope that it's true EB are refusing to stock it. Good on 'em, I say.

      I'd say Tyler addressed this point in an earlier comment.

        No he didn't David. How dare you bald face lie to our faces like that. Not cool man. </3

    I too work for a independant games retailer. While we don't necessarily like the growing popularity of digital distribution of games it's getting fairly obvious that the internet will be a very popular medium for distribution of media in the near future. Possibly to the point where a small business can't sustain itself on the sale of software. While it doesn't affect our business model greatly at the moment, it has been discussed that a further reliance on hardware sales, and larger range of gaming hardware, may be the way we'll have to go if the worst case scenario eventuates.

    While it may seem like an obvious choice to not stock a console such as the PSPGo as a retailer, I believe that you're only denying yourself sales, not punishing the manufacturer. If someone wants to buy a PSPGo, and they can't get one from EB, I'm pretty darn sure they'll just go somewhere else.

    Personally I'm going to buy a Go whenever they do the first price drop (still siting on an old 1000 myself). The whole umd/no umd thing doesn't really bother me as I'd only be buying brand new games on the Go. New digitally sold games are always cheaper than store games, at least that's what past experiences have taught me.

    I'm also really fond of the convenience of simply not having to go to a games store which involves much wasted time and money I could be putting towards other things. (especially since I buy games frequently each month)

    I haven't bought a single game online that's been anywhere near as pricey as their retail counterparts thus far, as long as that is still the case with the Go then I see the device as nothing but a good evolution for the platform and hand held gaming in general.

    The death of physical media is inevitable, Sony has simply realized this fact and so anyone whose stuck in 'the old ways' is just going to have to deal with it.

      I'm afraid not. the fact of the matter is, there will always be a mental barrier for people to pay for digital downloads. Not only would Sony have a monopoly on digital sales (less competition = potential for price gouging), but brick and mortar stores lose incentive to discount physical games (usually to make room for new stock)

      Compared to services like iphone apps that only cost a few dollars per game, no one in their right mind will pay $40 (conservative estimate) for PSP downloads, no matter how polished. Inability to play your UMD library also stinks.

      The kicker is that the thing is now only $50 less than a PS3 slim. Digital distribution will someday eclipse our current system, but it will be due to devices like the iphone/cheap itunes apps, NOT ones like the PSPGo.

      actually, sony is reportedly NOT budging on RRP for their PSN games catalogue. with retailers i can still get at least 20 or 30 dollars off the RRP on launch days due to the competition. but PSN is essentially a monopoly service to the PSP Go platform, so there isnt any incentive to give you any lower prices at all after they have locked you in.

      in fact i would not be surprised if we started to see higher than retail prices on the PSN as compared to their brick and mortar counterparts. while digital distribution will eventually phase out physical media, the GO will be a failure of a device by itself.

    Great, am happy they are not selling it.

    p.s too much bitching about EB.

    p.p.s game may be no more in 6-12 months time.

    if we're discussing 'rumours' ;o

    oh need a better tip your editor function btw ;o

    Let's also not forget that by bypassing the retail industry the PSPGo, relies on the strength of the Australian Playstation store's content, which currently is extraordinarily poorly stocked especially in comparison to the other countries' stores.

    Still, you have to question the logic of releasing a system that depends on downloads in a country without any sort of unshaped download system.

    downloads cost more as it is now, they better do something, I cant see why ps2 games cant run on psps, i guess well have to wait and see, this article is way off confirming a flat out refusal, I bet they wont turn down a peorder for a pspGO if I put the cash up EB/gamestop can blow me they are the cancer of our malls they are not about hardcore gamers at all

    I haven't bought any games retail for about six months now anyway, i get everything from digital download, shops like EB will have to look towards the future or risk closing down.

    Just for the record, I can guarantee that GAME stores won't be stocking the PSPgo either.

      And how exactly can you guarantee that GAME aren't stocking it.

      I know for a fact that my local has a few ordered and are certainly getting them in.
      Call any store and they will tell you the same.

      Hell, check the dam website. game.com.au its in the list of ads at the top of the page.

        Might be doing it on a state or region basis, but I know that the three closest stores to me aren't getting any, since I know staff from all three.

        They're all giving me the same story - they don't want to sell the PSPgo because of the lack of profit margins in the console itself, and the fact that there are no games to sell.

    Why does anyone use EB anymore? I got sick of new releases being sold out in the first week but 'hey you can buy a second hand copy for $120'. Now I just take the 2 min walk to Target/Big W/any store that doesn't sell secondhand games and buy a new copy for 20-30% less. Funny how those stores always order enough copies to cover demand.

    What the staff say and what is actually happening are too VERY different things.

    GAME are stocking the Go. Emails were circulated a few days ago internally confirming it. One more thing we do better than EB.

    EB won't stock the PSPgo because it's contradicting everything that they stand for. EB sells GAMES, and consoles, yes, but by promoted digital downloads it's taking away the money EB makes from people buying PSP games. Plus the amount EB would make from each PSP sold would be next to nothing so it's useless for them to stock it.

    i just found out about psp go about 10 minutes ago, at first i was crazy for it, but then, after a few minutes of rummaging through sites, i realised that you can't buy packaged games for it. This sucks. Sure it has quite a bit of memory. But that's only so you can have games, music etc. on it. In my opinion, it's not worth it, i'll definnatly be getting a psp 3000 than wasting my money on this, sure it's a pretty good product, but it's not my way of gaming, and im sure others will agree.

    Yeah - I think EB is right not to stock the PSP GO! I have had my "PSP 3000" for a year or two now - and then all of a sudden out came the PSP GO. It had no backwards capability for the UMD - the battery life was low - it seemed to be built all wrong - the PSP Go is just a silly idea all round. Who wants to buy a system where you have absolutely no choice of games - except the minimal amount available on the PSN store? I love the PSP 3000 though, play it all the time.

    I have no idea what "Gametraders" is? - I do prefer EB Games to the other game shop in my area - "Game" however. EB is always cheaper, has a much wider variety, the people in my local shop are really friendly and there is a huge selection of secondhand games (which Game seems to lack). Game is not a bad store, but I do prefer EB.

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