I got a Sony PSP for my birthday last year. It is a stunning device. As gorgeous as the iPod and does some things much better. Many things hamper the PSP though – lousy content, incredibly punitive pricing, expensive storage.
It’s a little rich though reading studio execs pointing the finger at Sony. The pricing for a movie ($20 bucks and upwards) is a joke when it really only works on a PSP – same for games. The PSP should be packed with mountains of cheap storage and I should be able to download movies to watch (I can here, but still at crazy prices). It should be a combination of Tivo and NetFlix to go.
Studio execs probably have better market research than I do, but here is a fact – three of us on a recent international flight were watching movies on our PSP. My Powerbook’s battery life sucks that much. I want to watch more movies on my PSP – and TV – so, rather than telling us what you think we’re doing, enable us to do what we want to do.
What hampers the Sony PSP is old thinking and proprietary ecosystems. I think Sony is just starting to get the PSP’s potential as a network device. iPod’s success comes from its inherent simplicity as a network device – and bear in mind it has no network functionality but the PSP does. Without iTunes, it’s pretty much useless. Ironically I can connect my PSP via WiFi and other means directly to the network but the lack of cheap masses of storage and the complexity of downloading and ripping stuff is a serious drawback.
Apple commoditized content and built a community around that content – it then made buying and storing it incredibly compelling. Until Sony does the same, PSP can’t succeed on the same scale – and success is nothing to do with UMD.