The Fall Of The PSP In America Due To Piracy, Says Sony

The Fall Of The PSP In America Due To Piracy, Says Sony

The PSP may rule the roost in Japan, but in the US of A, it’s enjoying a less comfortable last place spot, selling but a fraction of its direct competitor. What the fall off and what’s Sony doing about it?

Sony’s Rob Dyer tells Gamasutra that rampant piracy of PlayStation Portable games is the system’s “biggest problem, no question about it”. Dyer says that the PSP maker has a plan to combat that, that it “will be able to, not stop, but slow down the piracy in the first 30 to 60 days from a tech perspective”.

“There’s some code that you can embed that we’ve been helping developers implement in order to get people at least to see a 60-day shelf life before it gets hacked and it shows up on BitTorrent,” Dyer tells Gamasutra.

He’s also “not going to bullshit you” that the PSP hasn’t had the greatest line-up recently, but that “huge titles” are in the works and will be on hand for E3. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Resident Evil Portable and Toy Story 3 are just a few of the bigger games hinted at in the in-depth, worth-a-read interview.

The Sony Situation: SCEA’s Rob Dyer Speaks [Gamasutra]


  • I’ve seen some people that have a few snes games on their PSP and some other homebrew programs, but come to think of it, I’ve never seen a pirated PSP game ever. I think people aren’t buying the PSP in America because the alternative is just so much better.

    • Exactly. I know some people with PSPs who don’t even OWN PSP games, they just bought it to play PS1 titles etc.

      • I never thought about it in terms of PS1 games, when I said alternatives I was referring to the DS and iphone. I got a PSP a long time ago and for the most part, it’s a good system, but as soon as I got a DS the games library instantly was quadrupled. So now i have enough options to not need to pick up my psp for a long time.

  • Go watch the latest episode of ‘Bonus Round’ over at They will tell you why the PSP isnt selling.

    Or, Ill sum it up here. . .
    People dint want a full blown console on the go, a portable playstation. They want a hand held. They want quick fix gaming like the DS and iphone. Jump in, play a game for ten minutes, jump out.
    People dont want a full blown console experience on a hand held. Thats what actual consoles are for.

    • Your point seems to be more about the games than the actual hardware. While there have been a fair number “console ports” released for the PSP, there have also been a fair number of handheld-focused games too. Is it actually a bad thing for a device to support both types of games?

  • I think the piracy is somewhat Sony’s fault.

    They offer a small selection of older PS1 titles when that system had some great games I would love to play again, but simply cannot.

    My PSP is using the latest legit firmware, and I regularly wish it wasn’t not so I could pirate PSP games, but simply for the emulation possibility.

    The thing is, when you already have a hacked PSP for running emulators, it’s a much smaller jump to just download a legit PSP game too.

    I think better support for their back catalogue of games would mean more people willing to have legit PSPs, Both the PSP and the DS suffer from a ton of shovelware on them, I think nintendo simply have the market demographic who are more likely to buy that shovelware (which isn’t a slight at DS owners, plenty of them are discerning gamers who want proper, fun, games. But you probably couldn’t sell “Imagine: Ballerina” on PSP)

    What I find interesting, is here is sony admitting “yeah, you can pirate on things other than the PC, and it can harm sales on those other platforms just as much”, but in one months time we will have another publisher coming out with DRM even worse than Ubisoft’s current offering, claiming piracy is killing the PC gaming industry, but consoles don’t suffer from this at all.

  • Okay, time to ask the dumb qestions…

    “There’s some code that you can embed that we’ve been helping developers implement in order to get people at least to see a 60-day shelf life before it gets hacked and it shows up on BitTorrent,”

    Now, they have code they believe will stop hackers for 60 days… that’s fine, so the hacker breaks the game and posts it on BitTorrent, a second new game comes out, if they know what to do to break this new code string after the first game, it’s not going to be 60 days again… True?

    Now, if this bit of code is unique and thus will mean 60 days for all games, then why don’t they extend the length of the time lock, if it was as simple as that, or why don’t they add 10-20 unique code strings, to beef up the length of time it will take to crack it…

    • I think what they’re saying is that they assume it will take hackers 30-60 days to break their protection, not that Sony will be able to lock the game down for that period of time. If they were able to somehow lock down a title from being hacked for a certain period of time, I don’t see why they wouldn’t choose to lock it down for good with the same tech.

      I’m certainly curious about the process that locks the games down, in that wouldn’t it be easier and quicker for a hacker to hack a second game once they’ve worked out how to do the first? They’d have had to come with with something pretty special to guarantee the same amount of lock-out time for later releases using the same tech.

      • I will be so amused if this is another ‘always on internet connection’ thing. That would take hillariously bad and triple it in portable console context.

        I’d be suprised if the DS wasn’t pirated just as often. Well… by anyone between the ages of 14 and 40. The R4 is almost ubiquitous in some circles. I’ve been yelled at by stingy people because i don’t have one on several occasions.

  • Piracy is a joke on the PSP. I have friends who buy all thier games and consider themselves to be ‘anti-piracy’ but still pirate on the PSP because… its the PSP. Its like the PSP is so closely associated with piracy now that one feels stupid if thier not doing it.

    • Totally! Piracy is just an excuse, and a bad excuse at that. Take the Wii. You can’t say that piracy has hurt game sales for the Wii, even though I’ve seen more pirated Wii games on the net than any other current console. Not that I pirate my Wii games…

      Same goes with movies. Dark Knight was a great example of how piracy will not prevent a really good movie OR game from making lots of cash.

  • I think the DS is much more susceptible to piracy. It’s just so easy on the DS, and the games are quick downloads. So I don’t think that’s a very good excuse. Hell, I didn’t pirate any games on my PSP because buying them seemed like an easier option (I had real slow internet).

  • i hadn’t hacked my psp3000 because i heard it wasn’t hackable at the time and seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

    i want to do more with my PSP. crazy features are always welcome in my book.

    • Just to clear everything up for everyone.

      The psp 3000 is hackable , so is the Go.
      They just cant do all of the things that the psp1000 & 2000 can do.
      The Go is the only psp to date that you cant pirate games on.

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