Mixed fortunes for PSP

Sony’s PSP surged to the top of the weekly hardware charts in Japan this week, but Media Create’s official figures show that the picture is far from rosy for Sony’s enduring handheld in its homeland.

The PSP-3000, complete with UMD drive, shifted 71,186 units last week – beating the Wii (57,349), PS3 (35,156), DSi LL (30,418) and DSi (27,292) in the process.

However, it was a less successful week for PSPgo whose 2,027 sales leave it rock bottom in the charts, lagging behind the DS Lite (6,574), Xbox 360 (4,622) and PS2 (2,580).

Sony remains coy about the PSPgo’s overall performance since its arrival last October. It didn’t release any specific PSPgo sales numbers in its recent financial report, but declining PSP sales were pinned as the main cause behind the firm’s $1.3bn year-on-year revenue decline.

Critics have slammed the machine on many levels. Some retailers expressed concern about the machine’s lack of physical media drive, a move they saw as a threat to the boxed game business.

Others have criticised its 225 RRP while some have slammed the price of games on PSN, a point perfectly illustrated by the recent release of Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars on iPhone. The game will cost you 5.99 on Apple’s App Store. On PSN it currently retails for 29.99.

In a further indication that uptake may be below what Sony had hoped, despite claims to the contrary, the publisher recently extended its PSPgo Rewards promotion that entitles new owners to choose from one of three games for free upon purchasing the machine.

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