Independent retailers have sharply criticised the proposed price point for Sony’s PSPgo and indicated it could result in them not stocking the new handheld.
Speaking to Edge, Chips’ joint managing director Don McCabe said: “The price is too expensive. You need to see some sort of revenue streams coming off the back of these machines, otherwise from a retail point of view it’s just not worth it.
“Sony will need to come up with some sort of mechanism so that if we’re going to sell the machine it’s beneficial to ourselves and to our customers.”
While the device has yet to receive an official RRP in the UK, Sony has declared it will cost $249 in the US and €249 in Europe. MCV has previously reported that UK retailers such as GAME, GameStation and Gameplay are already promoting PSPgo for £230.
“We can’t see where that price justification comes in when effectively it’s a lighter, slimmer PSP,” said McCabe. It’s got a bit more memory, but memory’s not that expensive. It can’t handle UMD so part of the mechanism disappears, so where does that price come from?”
Grainger Games director and head of purchasing Chris Harwood added that the current PSP models are “struggling”, even with a price point of £129, and that the indies’ efforts to push the handheld with bundles have been fruitless.
“The PSP just seems to have died as a format really,” he said. “Nothing sells at the minute on PSP.”
“Right now, I can’t see any justification for stocking it,” said McCabe. “Certainly I’m not getting the response from consumers. Normally, potential first adopters are on the phone within seconds of it being announced. I don’t have a single pre-order for PSPgo.”
Both indie bosses revealed they are reluctant to stock the PSPgo when it launches on October 1st. Harwood explained that Grainger will “probably” support the format, but will do so cautiously.
“I think we’ll have to stock it just for the customers that want it,” he said. “For something like a new console we have to give the customer the option. We’ll probably still have the PSPgo, but we’ll start with a small campaign, and then stock them as we need in very little numbers.”
McCabe added there is a “distinct possibility” that Chips stores will not be stocking the new handheld, unless consumer interest increases significantly.