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The PSP is terminal. Pay your respects while you can.

[Note: I’ve only used this picture as it makes me laugh. It has no bearing on the words that follow.]

A quick check on the most airtight and in-depth research tool known to man (ahem… Wikipedia) shows us that the PSP has had 16 full-price (i.e. not Minis) releases in 2010. Add in the missing Everybody’s Tennis, 2010 FIFA World Cup and Invizimals and that figure is brought up to 19. We think there are more releases, but we can’t remember them right now.

Regardless, this is a very small number of full-price releases for the handheld. 2009 saw – again, according to the bastion of accuracy that is Wiki – around 84 games of the non-budget variety brought to PSP. 2010 has seen a reduction of releases around the 77 per cent mark. That’s massive, and it’s massive all in the wrong direction. The DS may be slowing down, sales-wise, but it’s had far, far more big releases for it this year than Sony’s competing machine.

What does this mean, then? Is it just a slow year for the machine? Probably not. Sales are down, software sales have been down for years (ah, piracy) and the public’s (and the press’s) interest just isn’t with the console anymore. A year like this has been inevitable for a while now. Has the gap been filled by Minis releases? Again, probably not. They’re still not cheap enough or popular enough to really be a force on the PSP, and the plethora of tripe released under the banner just doesn’t fill me with any confidence about the viability of the platform. It does, of course, need to emulate the iTunes model a bit more. 59p games are where it’s at.

I’m painting a doom-and-gloom picture, but that’s because this is where we stand. Peace Walker was one of the best releases of the year – on any gaming device – but it’s not enough. If anything it’s part of the final flourish – the last hurrah – before we consign our PSPs to the Console Graveyard (“cupboard”). I’ll be sad to see it go, but looking at it from an objective viewpoint I’m finding it hard to see any other outcomes here. If PSP makes a comeback in 2011, it’ll be bigger (and better) than Jesus.

These thoughts came about in the wake of comments from Bob McKenzie, senior VP of merchandising for GameStop, who was speaking to Eurogamer:

“I think Sony did a great job two years ago in terms of coming out with a pretty good line-up of PSP offerings and I didn’t see that breadth of titles this year… And it’s still pretty meaningful to consumers.”

It’s an obvious thing for a marketing manager to complain about, that much is true, and arguments put forth by gamers definitely have a point – it’s not like the PSP received much support or shelf space from the biggest videogame retailer in the US. But GameStop have no control over what games are released on PSP, and the fact so few have come out this year does point to something of a slow, lingering death for the handheld.

I’m a big fan of the machine – I still play it regularly and this year has seen at least three fantastic games come out (Ghost Of Sparta, Peace Walker and Valkyria Chronicles 2). But to go from around 84 releases in 2009 to around 19 this year… well it doesn’t make us hopeful for the future. Hopefully the heavily-rumoured PSP2 will be revealed at some point in the near future, so we have something to look forward to while we watch our once-beloved original incarnation slowly bleed out on the carpet. It’s a sad day when the realisation sets in, but we’ve come to accept it: the PSP is terminal.

[via Eurogamer]

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  • Geebers

    Sad, But True (in the Metallica style)

  • David

    Tbh PSP is the both one of the best and one of the worse handhelds ever. I’ve had one since 2005 and looking at my games list, I’ve bought all of 2 games that aren’t launch titles, bringing the total up to 6. That’s really poor and it’s all down to the absence of a second nub. Hopefully the much rumoured touch pad for a PSP2 will solve that problem opening the console up more. The rest of the console is actually pretty good, if not always easy to organise and lacking in format support. Improve those small things and anything else will be a bonus.

  • Axe99

    Aye, the PSP is, in my opinion, the best handheld yet released to market. It might be worth noting that this article relates primarily to the US and not the global market. The PSP is muddling along a little better in Europe, and is actually still pretty solid in Japan. That said, it’s time for a PSP2, with dual-sticks (and indented thumbsticks while they’re there). However, while the DS still has more high-profile games, even with its relatively slim pickings, the PSP still has more games I want to play.

  • Emma Fowler

    Please don’t let it die… I love mine. And hate it too. Sort out the battery life, give us catridges instead that don’t get damaged (and will help battery) and keep the films coming please. I’m stuck in bed a lot, and have to confess that I use my DS more. A lot of high profile games like the Lego titles are simply better on DS, as the money is spent to ensure the game is produced especially for the hardware. That said, some titles are amazing on PSP and look much better. Metal Gear and Kingdom Hearts are hardware sellers in our house, but both of these are on Nintendo within next year. Sort it out Sony. Give us a new handheld at a reasonable price, and don’t just fob us off with minis. Some of us don’t want ipod style nonsense games, but proper lovely things. We know you can do it, look at Peacewalker…

  • DareDevil

    i neveer seen so stupid opinion in my entire life, and wikkipedia is the worst place to get information about games.

    there is at least 173 games out for PSP in 2010 at this moment(according gamerankings)

    and more than a half is “full-price”

    dont believe me ?


    ps. sorry for my bad english

  • Ian Dransfield

    I just did a check of Gamerankings and found it to be 28 fully boxed releases this year, and that includes a number that came out in the US and not over here.

    True, that’s more than I originally said. But it’s both a lot less than last year and isn’t 173 games.

  • DarkDude

    in this list are 72 games released in UMD format (not minis) in 2010.

    i probably forgot many games of course

    1. 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, 2. Ace Combat: Joint Assault, 3. Armored Core: Last Raven Portable, 4. Armored Core: Silent Line Portable
    5. Army of Two: The 40th Day, 6. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable, 7. Cladun: This is an RPG, 8. Dante’s Inferno, 9. Dead or Alive Paradise, 10.Despicable Me, 11. Disgaea Infinite, 12. DJ Max Portable 3, 13.Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, 14. echoshift, 15.EyePet, 16.Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake, 17.FIFA Soccer 11, 18.Gladiator Begins, 19.God Eater, 20.God of War: Ghost of Sparta, 21. GTI Club Supermini Festa!, 22.Gundam Assault Survive, 23.Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley, 24.Hexyz Force, 25.Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip, 26.Invizimals, 27.Iron Man 2, 28.Kenka Bancho 4: Ichinen Sensou, 29.Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, 30.Knights in the Nightmare, 31.K-On! Houkago Live!!, 32.LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, 33.LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, 34.Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, 35.Major League Baseball 2K10, 36.Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, 37.Metal Slug XX, 38.MLB 10: The Show, 39.ModNation Racers, 40.Monster Jam Path of Destruction, 41.Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess, 42.Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, 43.NBA 2K11, 44.NeoGeo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting, 45.Ninja Katsugeki: Tenchu Kurenai Portable, 46.No Heroes Allowed!, 47.Patchwork Heroes, 48.Phantasy Star Portable 2, 49.Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, 50.Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
    51.Puzzle Chronicles, 53.Qix++, 54.Shadow of Destiny, 55.Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable, 56.Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, 57.SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3, 58.The Eye of Judgment Legends, 59.The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, 60.The Red Star, 61.TNA Impact: Cross the Line, 62.Toy Story 3, 63.UFC 2010 Undisputed, 64.Valkyria Chronicles II, 65.What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?, 66.What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord?! 2, 67.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, 68.Yakuza Black Phanter, 69.Ys Seven, 70.Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki: Alternative Saga, 7.Ys: The Oath in Felghana, 72.Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman

    and 2010 not over yet!

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