It’s been two months since the PSPgo was first announced and two months until it launches. But we don’t yet have a price in Australia. Why is that?
So we asked Michael Ephraim, head of Sony Australia’s PlayStation business, what their plan is for the PSPgo launch.
“Because of the fluctuation in the exchange rate, we’ve decided to hold off on our announcement until closer to launch date. We will probably make that announcement [soon]so we can start working with retailers and preorders and those things. You are definitely going to see a premium price on the PSPgo as it was announced in Europe and the US.”
In the US, the PSPgo will be $249 compared to the standard PSP price of $170. Given that the PSP currently retails here for $300, we asked Ephraim if he thought AU$400 was a price point they wouldn’t want to go over.
“Well, we want to bring it in as cheap as we can, that’s always our objective,” he replied, letting it fly straight through to the ‘keeper with greater ease than his SCEE colleague, Andrew House, managed a few weeks back..
Retailers traditionally sell gaming hardware at cost price (or thereabouts) because they know they can make money on software sales. But the UMD-less PSPgo is all about digital distribution, meaning those retailers Sony needs to sell the hardware won’t be selling any software for it.
It’s a fine line Sony is treading, and Ephraim is all too aware of how such a device may affect their retailer relations.
“The whole entertainment category is moving towards digital. It’s clearly an evolution, the only question is the speed of that evolution. But even though there’s a lot of noise about it, the numbers are still low. PSPgo is our foot into the digital category. PSPgo will sit alongside the PSP-3000, so we’re clearly saying that it will appeal to a part of the market that is digital-savvy – they’ve moved on from packaged goods to digital. It is definitely our step into that category.”
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the PSPgo. Is it an attractive upgrade for existing PSP owners? Or if you don’t have a PSP, is the idea of a digital-only device appealing to you? And, crucially, how much would you be prepared to pay?