The PSP Is Dead, Long Live The PSP

The PSP turned five today. For some, it was cause for celebration, but in light of other events taking place this week, I'm not in such a joyous mood.

Why? Because the PSP's fifth birthday might also be one of its last.

Nintendo's continued dominance of the portable market outside Japan (not to mention a lack of consistency in the quality of its software) has been squeezing the life out of the PSP for years anyway, but this week's announcement of the 3DS – a device with yet another highly marketable Nintendo "gimmick" – has surely sounded the death knell for the PSP. If it couldn't beat a DS, there's no way it can beat a DS that does 3D.

I won't waste your time going through the reasons why the PSP finds itself in this position. The UMD, battery life, the price, the lack of quality titles (Japan's love of Monster Hunter aside), you've heard it all a million times before. And the PSPgo? Buyers are ignoring it for a reason. Short of it is, these days the PSP is - Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and more Monster Hunter aside - almost irrelevant.

Yet despite all this, I think the PSP has been a success. And a great one at that.

Sure, around the console's launch there were predictions it would kill the DS, but realistically, as Nintendo's first genuine competition in the handheld space for over a decade, the PSP didn't need to win. It only needed to survive. To get its foot in the door, get a portable brand out into people's heads. A handheld D-Day, if you will. Establish a beachhead before pushing inland later.

And it has. Nintendo no longer has the portable market to itself, people know the PSP brand and think of Sony as a company that developers and supports multiple platforms, handhelds included.

Now all we need is to see that push inland. To see Sony respond to Nintendo's 3DS announcement with one of its own. New hardware, PSP2, a new generation. And, like Microsoft - that other recent newcomer to a gaming market - did with the 360 over the original Xbox, make that second machine a genuine competitor.


Comments

    "The PSP Is *probably* Dead, Long Live The PSP"

    A cookie for anyone who knows where that reference comes from :)

      Is it that Blackadder show?

      I don't use my PSP, i'm too scared to take it out as it costs quite a bit so im scared i'll lose it, but its handy when on holidays and such. It basically stays at home most the time and because they have more games and better graphics my computer and PS3 get more attention

      Fantastic series ;)

    Lack of quality titles? Are you insane?

      I agree, there's some great games on the PSP

      Well, like, compare it to the DS, or any other current gaming platform... even the iphone.

      I think he means theres no real system sellers i mean seriously when was the last psp game that got an outstanding review, according to metacritic its only got two games that score above 90 and ones a port of a ds game.

      Its not whether the console has a lack of quality titles but rather the perception people have on the console that makes it lag behind competitors.

      Personally I myself haven't touched my DS in well over a year, so for me handhelds have reached their usage age.

      He said the consistency of quality software. There are great games for the system, they just didn't come out often enough.

    Sorry, but the idea that the psp is dead is a crock of shit. lots of psp's are being sold. it's like saying the amount of ps3's and 360's compared to the wii, means those platforms are dying.

    With peace walker, and other things, my psp is not getting any rest any time soon. Doesn't matter what you guys type, Nintendo releases/sprukes, nothing.

    @Wangtacular
    'Lack of quality titles? Are you insane?'

    Name them, then compare them with the DS's quality titles.

    BRING ON PSP2

    I think the major problem with the PSP is the lack of the second analog stick, with playing the dualshock or Xbox 360 controller, some people (like me) find it hard to adjust to using either the d-pad or the analog stick. I think if Sony opens up to take consumer advice and either make one final hardware revision or tweek one of the current line ups to what the consumer really wants and we could see a truly epic handheld console.

    I suppose my suggestions would be updated graphics and the second analog stick.

    "And, like Microsoft – that other recent newcomer to a gaming market – did with the 360 over the original Xbox, make that second machine a genuine competitor."

    But please sony, no Red Ring of Death on for PSP2.

    i wont say lack of quality titles but lack of innovative titles made exclusively for psp. most of the games were ports of ps2 versions or water down version of ps3 n x360 titles. i had ma psp for 3 months and got really bored. graphics were xciting at the start but taking bak to reality, its really jsut a ps2 that i had for 10 years ago now i can take it anywhere.

    patchwork heroes anyone! that game is da bomb!!

    I feel sorry for the people who buying a piece of junk like DS and write the PSP off as a joke.

    I also feel sorry for Sony, for not making the PSP some watered down portable device thats just a piece of plastic with a screen and then over time, release a new SKU here and there adding a feature that should have been included all along.

    Maybe next time... yeah, maybe next time they won't make a device that is far superior in all ways to its more successful and popular rival. Next time SONY - *don't* give the consumers what they deserve! YEAH

    Isn't this a premature thing to say seeing as the PSP has recently had the biggest slice of the Japanese 'pie' that Kotaku keeps showing month to month?

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