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Zune & its impact on PSP's identity crisis

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Rocky Mountain News recently sat down with senior marketing manager and friend John Koller about the current state of the PSP, and how it faces an identity crisis. "We looked at (the PSP)... as a strong portable game system with multifunctional limbs... It's still a gaming system at its heart." The article notes that Sony wanted to highlight the games of the system first and foremost, and with an excellent library of launch games, the gaming critics and community at large embraced the handheld.

However, with a lack of consistent high-profile original games for the system, many PSP users demanded the media functions of the system to be up to snuff. With the failure of UMDs, and cumbersome media restrictions, the PSP has failed to reinvent itself as a defining media platform as well: "The PSP consumer has turned out to be a different consumer in many ways than what we have targeted," Koller admits. By focusing on firmware upgrades, the upcoming GPS and camera peripherals, Sony has a chance to redefine itself. Some other highlights of the article include:

  • As mentioned before, Sony is working on a DRM that can deliver video and music to the system. They are considering how to deliver content, whether it be through Connect, or even a third-party service.
  • "Future iterations of the PSP are likely, Koller said, but Sony is counting on the current version to be around for 10 years, much like their consoles. Sony typically releases a new console about every five years, while continuing to support previous models for another five years."
  • While Nintendo will be Sony's direct competitor, Microsoft's upcoming Zune appears to worry Sony. "I am assuming, we are assuming, that the Zune will eventually have game play," Koller predicts. He expects Zune to have "a huge impact" on the industry.
[Thanks steve, Via Kotaku]

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