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Why do Sony NEED to give away PSPgo games?


Sony will soon implement a scheme whereby anyone who registered their PSPgo after 1 April 2010 will be able to grab themselves (or digitally grab them, at least. Digi-grab) ten games for the system. Now they’re not just talking the off-cuts of the PSP’s catalogue, a bunch of minis or some other rubbish you just don’t want, no. While the full list isn’t yet available, names mentioned in an MCV article include the likes of LittleBigPlanet, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Gran Turismo and the really-very-new FIFA World Cup 2010. Which is a good thing, right? Right.

But does this mean the PSPgo is now a system worth buying? You get ten free games, and even if I was to artificially knock their prices down to today’s standards you’re still looking at £100+ of free stuff. This is undoubtedly a Very Good Thing. But I can’t help but be suspicious of Sony for even feeling they have to offer this package – we all know the PSPgo hasn’t sold very well and I’m pretty sure I know why that is: it’s too expensive and the digital-only system actively limits what PSP games you can and can’t have.

Buying into a PSPgo, even with ten free games, is an interesting situation to get yourself into. If you find you don’t like any of the games, there’s no returning or swapping them. If you play through them and decide you want to use them to help fund the purchase of another game via trade-in or eBay sales, you can’t. You’re stuck with what you have. And you’re stuck with how you have to purchase new games, with only the PSN available for your shopping spree – and the less said about the hilarious pricing of new games on there, the better. Why a game that doesn’t need to factor in packaging and distribution costs or the mark-up a shop puts on its price to make some profit costs more than a shop-bought copy of a UMD-based PSP game we will never be able to understand.

But maybe Sony will get their act together – I believe there’s an ad campaign to launch around the time of this promotion, so the increased focus the company are putting on the console could mean a change in strategy when it comes to the games. Could. Maybe. Possibly. I don’t know. I just hope I’m right, because £32 for Chinatown Wars when it came out – when you could buy it from any number of retailers on UMD for £20 – was an absolute joke. No wonder Sony have to give away free games.

[via MCV]

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  • John Malcolm

    Yes, the PSPgo is very much overpriced. I can get any game I like for my PSP 3000 (so long as it’s actually available for the PSP – but you know what I mean) but if I had a PSPgo and could only get the games that were available on digital download I’d feel ripped off. What’s happened to this Sony will trade in/transfer/somehow get you the games from your old UMDs? The UMD format may be a failure generally, but for the PSP it’s still the way to go.

  • Mark H

    The two biggest problems that hit the PSPgo in the crotch on its first day out of the stable was.

    Price Far too high.
    Lack of games to download (improving on PSN)

    PSPgo is a very very good handheld theres so much you can do with the thing, if those two main problems had have been adressed before it was released Sony would have had a much easier time of things.

    Price wise I know it could’nt have been as low as the Nintendo DSI but the price it did come out at was out of the range of most people and being the price of a big Console was just crazy, I know SONY is a BIG brand name but they need to start re-thinking thier pricing.

    Add onto the price the lack of games, you could have gone out and bought UMD’s for a few $’s £’s or whatever and it was a fraction of what PSN is asking for games, they still have some games on PSN for £31 ?? come on £31 thats too dear for something with no physical form or shipping costs.

    Hopefully Sony will make its next incarnation Affordable to all ie; more family affordable and with ALOT more games, Handheld wise the DS seems to be the most value for money, I have a PSPgo and looking at Nintendo’s offerings If I was strapped for cash then Nintendo would get my money.

    I seriously Doubt sony will stop charging a premium for new handhelds tho and thats where they will go wrong again.

  • Sam Vernon

    I dont have a PSPgo. But in my opinion i would go for that deal. Ten games for free when you buy a PSPgo is somthing i cant refuse. i would get one. but just one catch, I have no more money left! 🙁 i spent my money on the new exclusive game Modnation Racers which is an impressive game from United Front games. Getting back to the PSPgo situation, i think Sony has made a bad move in my opinion. But its a helleva deal for on the go gamers around the world.