PSP minis are supposed to introduce bite-sized iPhone-esque games to Sony's handheld. While minis feature small file sizes and reduced functionality, they certainly don't carry smaller price tags. The first batch of minis have all been priced between $4.99 and $9.99, making them no cheaper than the average PlayStation Network exclusive. Which sounds like the better deal for $9.99? Yet another version of Tetris ... or the 3D online multiplayer shooter Syphon Filter: Combat Ops?
Even worse, many of these minis are priced higher than their iPhone counterparts. While Hero of Sparta costs $1.99 on iPhone, it costs $5.99 on PSP. Fieldrunners costs $2.99 on iPhone, but $6.99 on PSP. We chatted with SCEA's Eric Lempel to talk about the lack of apparent value in the minis program. He explained that Sony has no hand in determining the prices of minis. "As far as pricing goes, the publisher of the title sets the pricing," he explained. When quizzed if publishers were allowed to create a $1.99 game on PSP, he told us: "Yes, absolutely."
Lempel agrees that publishers must seriously think about the kind of prices they're setting on the Store, to ensure their content offers the same value as other PSP titles. "I think they have to carefully look at that, carefully price their content. Minis was intended to be something a little different and we wanted to see a lot of different types of content through minis. If it's not priced correctly, consumers may be turned off at the proposition and say 'I'd rather just go for this kind of stuff instead of minis.'"