Sony has announced that it will drop the price of the PSP Go portable gaming system from $249 to $199. Even after the price cut, the PSP Go is still more expensive than some of its competitors, like the Nintendo Dsi XL, Dsi and Dsi Lite, but we’re also talking about different hardware.
Now, with the price cut, Sony’s handheld is now just $30 more than Nintendo’s DSi XL, $50 more than the DSi, and $70 more than the DSi Lite. When the new handheld system went on sale last year, Sony hailed it as a step forward in portable gaming. The PSP Go did away with packaged media, instead playing only videogames and movies which were downloaded to the device.
The PSP Go is somewhat unique in the handheld gaming arena. The device features no disc drive. Instead, gamers download the titles they wish to play.
The new price cut is already effective, just check out any online retailer like Gamestop or Amazon and you’ll see the device selling at its new price point. Sony boasts that the PSP has moved 61 million units since it debuted in 2004, but the various DS models have sold more than 140 million units in roughly the same time period, and the iPod touch has sold at least 45 million since its 2007 launch — and that’s not counting iPhones, which play the same games.
Sony’s decision to cut the price of the PSP Go is likely due to its slow sales. In August–the last month in which market researcher NPD reported hardware unit sales–Sony sold just 79,400 PSP units. In August 2009, by contrast, the company sold 140,300 PSP units. And Sony is now targeting sales of 8 million PSP units—including the PSP Go—in the current fiscal year to March 2011, after selling 9.9 million units in the previous business year.
Sony said the price cuts in Japan and the U.S. are part of a regular process of lowering prices for its game machines. The company said it has nothing to say about possible price cuts for the European market.
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