I was mentioning 18 months ago my doubts on the PSP Go Strategy.
I thought it was upsetting both retailers and consumers. Retailers couldn’t get the games revenue and the consumer couldn’t buy second hand games.
Sony officially announced the end of the PSP Go’s manufacturing.
Apparently, my analysis was right. Resistance to change was too strong with too few incentives.
Sony seems still to struggle with the sales of its PSP GO. Sony is now offering 10 free games to download for every PSP GO sold. The games offered are not casual games but big franchises like Assasin’s creed, FIFA football, etc.
> the PSP GO promotion
As I was mentioning in an earlier post, this is really difficult to change a business model which has been successful. Second hand games and (unfortunately) piracy are the biggest block stoppers for this change to happen.
Sony should have double thought this evolution by imagining a less aggressive change. One could imagine to be able to transfer one game from one console to the other or to a kiosk that would enable retailers to sell at their own price ‘second hand game licence’. It would have been a smoother transition path and would have helped to keep retailers in the loop as retailers are the main console prescribers.
According to Gamervision Sony is about to relaunch its PSP GO very soon with a marketing “blitz”. Sales haven’t been good at all, and it isn’t a surprise if you have read a previous post in this blog.
Let’s hope that Sony will explain clearly the benefits of a console with which you cannot play second hand games. And the explanation needs to target both consumers and retailers.
This proves once again, that a business model change is always difficult to manage. And Sony is no exception.
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.