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Richard Kain

Member Since 02 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Today, 12:39 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The Death of the PSP

20 August 2014 - 10:06 PM

He said the console was a mistake. It sold over 80 million units. Give me a break.

Give you a break? Give me a break. It's a gross oversimplification to conflate hardware sales with how well a system was designed.


The Playstation 1 and 2 were both two of the most commercially successful systems of all time. And neither one of them was designed very well. The quality of a system has almost nothing to do with that system's commercial success. This principle has held true for almost every home video console. Better designed and/or better performing systems do not necessarily win out in the marketplace.


And even if we take your flawed premise at face value, you are still ignoring the relative commercial success of the PSP's. It's closest direct competition at the time of its release was the Nintendo DS. How well did it fare compared to that system's sales? The PSP was notorious for being sold at a loss when it was introduced, despite it's $250 USD price tag. And it was also notorious for having one of the lowest software attach rates, thanks to rampant piracy on the system. Both of those factors are directly linked to Sony's decision to incorporate optical media into the hand-held.


"Mistake" is being generous. The PSP was a débâcle in the market. 80 million units or not. And the lack of success for Sony's hand-held line is only emphasized by the current struggles of the Vita. The Vita is arguably superior to its predecessor in every way, and yet it's still languishing.

In Topic: The Death of the PSP

19 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

Seriously, read past the first sentence.


Building a hand-held video game system that used an optical disc medium was a bad idea. Using a proprietary memory format for it was a bad idea. Packing it with "features" and releasing it at such a high price point as a consequence was a bad idea. The PSP was littered with bad ideas. And while Sony was able to sustain their hand-held longer than anyone else had against Nintendo, they never saw the kind of success and profit from it that they had hoped to. It was a bad idea.


The only reason it worked out for them at all was because of the unexpected success of one game from a third-party developer/publisher. If not for Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise, the PSP would have been even more disastrous. But that one franchise helped to bolster the PSP in Japan, and led to a lot of other Japanese developers supporting the troubled hand-held.


I never said that the PSP was a bad system, far from it. But it was a very troubled system, and most of its troubles stemmed from Sony's inability to understand the hand-held market. It was a rookie effort from a company inexperienced in the market they were venturing into.


Thankfully, the PSP was able to enjoy significant and longer-lived development support thanks to its success in Japan. This has made it a must-have collectible for any fans of anime and Japanese-styled games. (especially JRPGs) I own a PSP and more than 80 games for it. It is a solid system, and well worth owning and playing. It simply wasn't a well-thought-out hand-held.

In Topic: The Death of the PSP

18 August 2014 - 03:08 PM

I'm thinking about pick up another one, which model is the best? I really don't care for emulation or anything, I just want to play the UMDs.

If emulation isn't an issue, than the PSP-3000 is most likely your best bet. The 2000 is commonly cited as the best for emulation, as it is slimmer than the 1000, has support for component-out video cables, and can still have custom firmware installed. But for what you're looking for, the 3000 will be just fine. It's likely the most common model at this point, and it will play your UMDs, no problem. It is also slimmer and lighter than either of the previous models.


The PSP-GO is pretty nifty too, but does not have a UMD drive, so it's digital-only releases for that.

In Topic: Cheap PS Vita Games Thread

18 August 2014 - 03:01 PM

Well, in all fairness, the Vita has sold fewer units in the two and a half years it's been available. The Dreamcast sold 10.6 million units from November 1998 to March 2001, when it was cancelled. The Vita's moved about 8.6 million units from its December 2011 launch to now.

This is a common misconception in video game history. Many gamers think that the Dreamcast was discontinued due to weak sales and overbearing competition from the Playstation 2. In actuality, the sales for the Dreamcast, especially in the US, were very strong in its time on the market. The downfall of the Dreamcast had nothing to do with the system itself, but with Sega.


While Sony is certainly not immune to the kinds of mistakes that Sega fell prey to, their circumstances are drastically different. A major factor with the Vita is whether or not its currently being sold for a profit, and how well the Vita TV performs. If the hardware itself is presently profitable, it may still be worthwhile to continue selling it. While they may not be making stellar margins, having product like the Vita on the market helps to expand the reach of the Playstation brand, and promotes access and use to PSN. For a larger company like Sony, those factors could very well be worth the expense of continuing to produce the Vita.


This would also explain Sony's recent push to make the Vita ecosystem a playground for smaller indie developers. High-profile big-budget games are a gamble on a system like the Vita. Reaching out to indie developers costs Sony peanuts by comparison. Pushing digital indie releases for the Vita allows them to continue expanding the handheld's library with minimal cost and risk to themselves.


As always, the biggest stumbling block for the Vita is the bloody expensive proprietary memory format.

In Topic: The Death of the PSP

15 August 2014 - 09:07 PM

The PSP was a woefully inappropriate system riddled with all kinds of questionable decisions on the part of Sony. As a handheld system, it was a huge mistake.


That said, as a hardware platform and game system, it was actually pretty great! I would strongly recommend that any classic gamer pick one up. There are plenty of solid games for it, and right now in particular is the perfect time to get most of those games on the cheap. The option of purchasing most of those games either physically or digitally only sweetens the pot. I firmly hope that Sony continues maintaining legacy digital support for the PSP for as long as possible.