SCEE chief Jim Ryan says a sub-£90 PSP will grow the platform’s audience and draw in the younger consumer.
A new-look PSP was unveiled at Gamescom last month. As well as a fresh design, it omits the wi-fi functionality and has a new budget price.
“You will see the audience skew younger,” said Ryan. “At €99/£89 it will make a great Christmas gift. It’s a device to play UMD games. It’s all for the audience. If we are going to take PSP very young – teens and much younger – they are happy to just play the game. If taking wi-fi out is the price to pay, we’re happy to. The €99 price tag is a real barrier that we’ve got under which will help us lift off.”
Sony has been surprised by PSP across Europe this year, with gamers responding well to the budget range of games and a lower price.
“We delivered very well on the Essentials software range,” he added. “Having a catalogue of high quality PSP games for £9.99 gave us a kick-start. It’s very successful across UK, Europe and emerging markets.”The new PSP will also prime a new generation of handheld gamers ahead of the similar-shaped high-end Vita, added Ryan.
“PSone fans upgraded to PS2, and the first adopters of PS3 were PS2 owners. So the form factor might speak to that, but it happens regardless. PlayStation has an army of followers.”