Wednesday, September 23

Verdict: PSPgo Will weather the storm

When the PSPgo was officially revealed at E3, it was hailed as the next step in the evolution and enhancement of how gamers buy and play there portable games. And although for now, the PSPgo is the one platform that demands its users purchase all games available via digital download, it certainly won't be the last. In fact, the PSPgo is where the future leads; not only for handhelds, but inevitably, for all the home consoles.

So when I heard retail chains from Europe to Australia are boycotting the PSPgo, I was a bit weary, not surprised but weary. First it was the Dutch retailer Nedgame, now EB Australia has joined the fray. They've decided not to house the handheld, giving various reasons for their refusal, ranging from pricing and the fact that they won't be able to sell games for the portable device. But what the retailers fail to realize is that history will repeat itself.

The music industry is the perfect target to draw comparisons from. It was a nasty war being fought, ironically, a war Sony Music was also a part of, a war, they, and all the other Record labels lost, because they were on the wrong side. Everything was racing down the digital path. iTunes was coming into it's own, rhapsody came to life, and so, brick and mortar outlets began closing down. See, these companies should know by now the consumer is King, and they love convenience, and naturally gravitate towards the medium that saves them the most time and money.

Dutch retailer Nedgame, and EB Australia will face identical results if they don't find ways to innovate their frail business and stay ahead of the curve. Instead of boycotting the PSPgo, said retailers should work with Sony, looking for ways to make everyone happy. Unsurprisingly, they chose the losing path, and, will end up paying a hefty price. In the words of industry analyst Michael Patcher:

"Consumer electric stores sell refrigerators and not food, everyone sells iPods and not the music for them, this position is just ridiculous."

You're right Patcher, I feel the very same way.

09/23/09 Ernice Gilbert

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