The latest PSP the PSP Go is quite innovative in its approach to the game market. With this console you don’t buy any more games from a retailer but directly from a Sony on-line store you access thanks to the device WiFi capabilities.
The retailers are then deprived from the game sale revenue which is quite dangerous for specialised retailers. The risk is that those retailers will then recommend to their customers other version of the PSP [or worse a Nintendo] so they can get a little revenue in the future from their customer.
It is the right of Sony to upset its channels, but from a customer perspective the value proposition isn’t so attractive either: the games are at around 20€ compared with physical ones at 40€. What Sony seems to forget is that consumer game library are at 55% second hand games. A gamer owns an average 8.2 games per console and out of these 4.6 are second hand. (source FNAC Head of Gaming interview).If you finish or get bored by a game and want to resell it for a new one there is no way to do it.
Furthermore PSP GO games are very expensive compared to the iPod Touch [5-9€ per game], which is now positioned as a gaming platform by Apple.
OK you may not have the same gaming experience but it is competing in the same space.
Benefits for Sony are to have a direct link with its consumers, and fight piracy. But does it worth it? Wouldn’t have it better to wait for a really next generation PSP to implement this new business model? Trying to make PSP and PSP Go business models working along each other is pretty strange and risky.
PSP Go seems just to achieve to upset retailers and consumers at the same time … for little gain … so far.