Game Shops Rage at Sony’s PSP Go

makoto-psp.jpg

The news that Sony’s PSP Go will dispense entirely with the traditional physical distribution of games and other content in favour of digital delivery, not even including a disc drive, has filled game retailers with terror and anger, for they see the writing on the wall.

Plenty of those involved in the retail trade have expressed consternation at the move, and a representative voice is heard from one shopkeep below:

“With this PSP Go and its download only system, is Sony saying they don’t need us in the retail distribution channel? We’re no use to them?

But we’re business partners aren’t we? Shouldn’t there be some way we can improve distribution? If they go ahead specialialist shops are going to be in trouble. My own motivation is really suffering from all this uncertainty.

Has the time come for us to have to think of getting out of the business completely?”

Some retailers seem to have deluded themselves into thinking they are partners and not merely a distribution channel for products…

2ch is unsympathetic to the plight of these poor shopkeeps being ground underfoot by the wicked giant Sony:

“There’s no need for them so there’s no helping it.”

“You’re not needed.”

“Amazon’s there too, there’s no need for retail shops.”

“If your shop can take orders 24/7 and deliver to the customer’s home in 10 minutes I think there may be demand for you.”

“There’s just no need to buy games at shops anymore. You can order games online with free delivery and check they are in stock. Second-hand titles aren’t that cheap anyway, either.”

“If you’re going to sell downloads at least drop the price $15 or so…”

“It’s true that the age of physical retail is over, but it is also true that the PSP Go isn’t going to sell well.”

“Hurry up and change occupations…”

“What’s this going to mean for kids on their birthdays? Before it was ‘Here son, open your present!’, now it will be ‘Here son, let’s download together!’”

“This is the end of the market for used games.”

Via Itai News.

Clearly, consumers are not entirely ignorant of the fact that this represents the fulfilment of the long held wish to eliminate the market for second-hand games… However, otherwise it does not seem likely that many will mourn the loss of grubby little game shops and overpriced retail chains.


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    138 Comments
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    Avatar of onitake
    Comment by onitake
    21:39 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    sony won't stop psp3k distribution and umd releases. the psp go just offers an option for those who don't want to walk the extra mile.
    besides, umd, like any motor-driven storage, is a piece of shit. the drive drains the battery even faster than it does with just running the game.
    many releases support memstick installation now, or you can get yourself a hackable psp and dump the umd yourself. i did so with all of my games, actually. don't carry a single umd around any more.

    Avatar of Shuu
    Comment by Shuu
    19:41 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love the image.

    Makoto <3

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:47 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol at any retailer that deals in solely PSP products. i mean, seriously, if you're an intelligent business owner, you'd have all sorts of additional products to cover the fact that you won't be selling any PSP Go games.

    i live down the street from a local video game retailer, no connection to any large-scale, nationwide chain, and his shop is the largest and most popular game retailer in town (Gamestop is practically empty), and i doubt he gives a shit about sony's new portable console and it's download-only game distribution system.

    if sony doesn't feel like using you to sell their games, just sell other forms of entertainment media. it's that easy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:33 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    fuck amazon! and anything alike
    i prefer buying hand to hand
    it feels better buying when u can actually test the things first hand

    Comment by Yangth
    13:57 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Retailers may be obsolete in the coming years. Online distribution/download even helps to get around issues with limited product availability. Hopefully, you can still get pre-order goodies (by mail?)! And if any gamers out there (or anybody in general) does not have internet access, evolve and get some dammit >_< stop livin under that rock and join the rest of society!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:30 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I like my privacy. No ISP, no cable, no landline (cellphone is via pre-paid card).

    I like being able to walk into a store, plunk down some cash, and take away my newly-purchased game or movie, without being profiled, catalogued, info-matched, and sold off to the highest bidder.

    The happy-go-lucky "Hey, Amazon/Craigslist/eBay, here's my credit card info, send me some shit!" crowd clearly is "livin' under a rock" and not paying attention to computer security / corporate malfeasance / identity theft news.

    (The sad part is that while it's technically possible to have what I would consider reasonably-anonymous-and-secure on-line transactions, there are sufficiently powerful commercial and governmental interests opposing that, that I don't think it will happen.)

    And by the way, typing comments into a forum via the Internet -- which you and I both are doing -- is not "join(ing) the rest of society!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:53 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You shouldn't forget the reliability issues with the 2 things that matter here. A hardware failure can wipe out all the games you have bought and with digital copy only policy that can meen a lot of money wasted.

    And second the sony network security. I don't want to use some company network and give them my personal information. Heck I have enough understanding about how internet works to NEVER GIVE CREDIT CARD INFORMATION to any internet service. That's just begging some asshole to steal it and use it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:25 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Isnt it so that at PSN you buy the right to downoad it? So all you need to do is remember youre account name and download the things you bought again with the new hardware.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:50 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah...I would assume that they have the info on their system as well as SEVERAL backups so even if there's one failure there would still be a record of what you'd purchased so you can re-download.

    And the kid working at the retail store may be good enough to memorize your CC#, should we have been living in fear all these years? Do you really think Sony is going to be hacked every week or something? Someone steals your # from them you just get your card reissued. It's really not a big deal.

    Avatar of Reichi
    Comment by Kyo
    13:53 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmm... nice idea. P:
    Though it'd be nice if they put the disc slot in, for the UMDs of the original.
    Although wasn't a different company creating a download-only system as well? I remember reading that somewhere...

    Comment by Yangth
    14:00 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, it's called the Zeeboo, and is developed and released exclusively in South America. Article on gamasutra.com: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=23776

    Avatar of fxc2
    Comment by fxc2
    15:43 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Piracy Station Portable. No need for you.

    Comment by Ueberdart
    14:36 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The electronic distribution has already started some years ago. I think valve was the first. For me its frightening, as it is for the game retailers. As log as it is on pc, the system is still open. On consoles, specially providing only download the whole system will be a closed shop, so no more 2nd hand games, no more possibility to play Japanese or us games, since the distributor will decide what you gonna see.

    I will actively boycott Sony from now on. The started the region code, an now this. The same will happen to DVD too and maybe also to music.

    Means for the customer, higher prices, more restrictions, no more sales and so on.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:34 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    how gives a F**k sony said the PSP 3000 is going to sell right along side it so they will still have that plus there are too many otaku out there who want the phisycal content so they'll still buy the UMD's too

    Comment by Riiku
    21:02 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thats like buying thin air

    Comment by RabbitFly
    18:08 08/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who ever made these complaints shouldn't be working in retail, as he or she clearly knows nothing of the market.

    First of the PsP doesn't sell games, anyone that works in retail would know this and should not be bothered much about this. If anything it would make his or her job easier.

    Second of, he or she is totally missing the point entirely. From the very beginning of this generation the issue between Sony and Microsoft has been disc based vs download based. Microsoft are saying that there is no need to have a HD disc format on their console cause they think downloads is the future. While Sony Decided to make a 50gb disc that would make downloads mute by todays technologies.

    Forget wether or not we as gamers have sympathy for the vampire that is GameStop and similar companies. Wether this person actually works in retail (if he/she does then he/she should get fired)or wether this person is just trying to start a flame war I don't know. Either way this person clearly doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:59 08/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    When I buy a game I want to pay for the game. Not the GS employees, not their rent, not for the cost of the truck shipping it to the store. For ED games, even if they sell the game for the same price that means more of the money will go to develop the game, making it better (supposedly).

    GS will only survive if it has some benefit over electronic distribution, like great service or super knowledgeable employees that can direct you to just the kind of game you are looking for based on your tastes and hahahahahaha yeah whatever. They simply don't care, and have had it way to easy for way too long.

    And don't forget that 2nd hand games take a huge chunk out of developer profit, meaning lower quality games.

    And don't forget that while in downtown USA there are lots of game retailers, Electronic distribution allows some hope of selling games in like 80% of the rest of the world where there is no such distribution. Like all of China, India, Russia, South America, etc... Where they (we) couldn't even buy a legal copy of the game if they wanted to. Zeebo is doing it, and with a 3G chip of all things.

    Perhaps if GS was a little progressive minded they could become an "Electronic Download" store the way iTunes store did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:44 08/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good. The less people working in retail, the better for their sanity.

    Comment by Awesome Fool
    06:15 09/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't get what the problem is, they'll still be selling the normal PSP's right?

    Awesome Fool
    http://www.project-natal.com

    Comment by name
    16:19 09/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    o jesus christ stop your winging.
    there just worried now because there going to loose alot of money and will now have to drive BMW's instead of lambos you poor babys.
    seriously game retailers make 80% of there money on preowned games and retail games.
    example EB games on release of resi 5 they had it for 120 AUD jbhifi had it for 85 AUD.
    eat lead the revenge of mat hazzard on release EB 100AUD jbhifi 65AUD.
    crysis on release EB 100 AUD jbhifi 90AUD.
    i hate big companys because they completly rip you off.
    and another reason i bought sonic unleashed the guy told me if you dont like it bring it back in 7 days for a FULL REFUND so i did that 4 days later and he would not give me a refund.
    you cant offer someone something than refuse to give them it i should call consumer affairs onto them because thats illegal.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:00 05/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Think of it economically. Lack of physical media reduces jobs, meaning more unemployed, and cuts production costs while simultaneously reducing the value of the product, except that Sony has absolute control of availability. Charging for each independent download earns Sony more money, so they will, even if you have an account and have already paid for said game. Sony hardware has had a lot of problems lately, with the PS3 and PSP experiencing technical problems that could easily result in the loss of many games. Sony will charge you for each download because it will net more money. This also means that all of our funds, which would be spent locally otherwise, are sent directly to Sony, well away from the damaged local economy.

    Second, Sony will phase out the PSP if the Go is successful because it will save on their costs. All they have said is that they will initially support both consoles at once. They are testing the waters to see if the new system will sell. If it does, no more PSP, no more UMD's, and get ready to buy all of your beloved old games in digital format, if Sony bothers to distribute the programs. For even more info on Sony's evil in this regard, consider how they stated they would allow us to gain programs for all of our PSP games free on the Go, then reneged on the offer at the last minute.

    Third, if the Go works, other companies will have to compete in the same manner. In other words, all major systems will have to go digital in order to match Sony's savings. This means that every video game you actually physically own will rapidly become obsolete. This means that retailers that specialize in Video Games will either have to change product, or cease operation. More unemployed people. More weight on the World Economy. Admittedly, it's not like everyone and their mother works at a game store, but still. Ultimately, hard copies will become a ridiculously overpriced niche item, likely sold only at very expensive sites in bootleg format or in limited runs at conventions.

    Finally, in terms of availability, good luck with the local censors. No imports not supported by the local hardware, and unless you read the language, no reliable imports, period.
    This is bad. Just because it makes things easier to get a game does not mean it is a good thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 09/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Retailers will have absolutely nothing to worry about because the PSP GO will be an epic FAIL! Sony has NEVER listened to it's customers, for years we've been asking for dual analog sticks on the PSP, three versions later NOTHING! We want a built in camera, touch screen technology, 3G support ect and again NOTHING! I as well as many many many other people are not going to spend money on yet another version of the PSP that offers nothing new and looks like a flip up N-Gage. Get with the times Sony!!!!!!

    Comment by xtheB
    08:54 09/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I couldn't care less about retailers. Time is moving on, we can't be stuck in the same time forever, the world is digitializing, accept it and move to another aspect of business. I am looking forward to see my games arrive on download, much easier, faster etc.

    Comment by Gian
    02:10 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The biggest problem i see is that (very probably) games will be available only at one source, Sony online store.
    Now the people can check different stores seeking for the best price of a game, special discounts, etc. When you have one store you have very few possibilities: pay the price, not pay the price, wait (probably) a lot of time waiting the price to drop.
    I see often stores that don't change prices for games of many years old, often RPGs and so on. I fear that we will be more restricted than before.
    Another thing i'll never accept is that already the price of the games contains a percentage of money that sony (as all the other console manufacturers) receive automatically for each copy sold. I'd like to pay more the console and pay the games less (and i say also, more proper) as in the PC market.

    Comment by shalala
    04:59 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Here son, let’s download together" hahahahaha.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    23:01 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    then those shops needs to catch up with the times rather than whining about it. maybe offer some sort of download service through the net or something...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:09 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not surprised at all. It's a Sony, the overlord of draconian business practices. They forced Lik Sang to go out of business for importing Japanese PSP into Europe. And those guy were buying legit PSP and boosting sale for them. So why would the game retailers think Sony consider them as partners? Once Sony has no more business with them they will be thrown out like garbage. While I have to agree Sony makes good products most of the time, they have zero corporate responsibility and accountability. They terrorize people with potential lawsuits from their big-name Jew lawyers. I hope they go out of business soon.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    As opposed to Microsoft (actually run by a "big-name Jew") becoming dominant?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:01 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    At least Bill Gates is a philanthropist who donates billions to charities and scholarships every year. All Sony cares about is making profits and running down competitions. And Microsoft is getting curbed, while Sony is running out of control. Not that Microsoft is a lot better, it is just the lesser of the two evils. And I don't want Microsoft to become dominant. Why can't we just have a game console maker who makes good products AND doesn't treat people like dirt?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:03 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, if you're robbed, you'd feel better if you knew a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the money would go to a charitable cause / tax write-off?

    Comment by Baka
    06:31 07/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm for downloading games only if I can get Japan Titles in the US. if not, no PSP go or download style consoles.
    I'm not for second hand games since I don't sell anything for the nostalgia of after a few years popping it back into a system and playing it again. it's entertaining.
    All media retailers are overpriced, and too many people just keep handing out money for the merchandise anyways. so I don't blame Game Stop, I blame you people that keep giving them money when you know you can find it on Ebay or Amazon 10 times cheaper.

    Comment by weee
    13:30 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    with the products (games) not passing through the middleman (retailers) the products can be bought cheaper!! retailers are not partners their leeches!!

    Comment by Lotus
    13:24 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ok i have a question. Did anyone fucking watch e3 2009 or am i the only who read and heard that they will be selling the psp 3000 along with the psp go. so if im thinking right there is still gonna be hard disk copys so its pretty much the same as the new dsi. which is mostly download games and flash card games or what ever you want to call them. so i say this whole issue is doing nothing but making sony looking like a bad guy thought i wish they do lower the price on the psp go. there will still be people buying the psp 3000 and buying umd copys of the game so people look up the info first before talking about shit you dont know all the facts on . (Im talking to the mom and dad game companys and gamestop which should know better. plus we all know this 20 percent for a trade in game crap is a rip off in its own so they cant talk)

    Avatar of Reichi
    Comment by Kyo
    13:55 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Somebody actually put that a couple posts up, though it was brief.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:22 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ‘Here son, let’s download together!’

    Comment by LemonMango
    10:23 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm pretty sure they're not doing away with UMDs. The PSP Go! will dispense with physical copies, yes, but they're not stopping their distribution. The PSP Go! is not replacing the PSP.

    Comment by Arehexes
    10:48 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah sony said it will be sold with the 3000 side by side.

    Comment by RanmaSyaoran
    10:18 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They COULD just set up download points in store ¬_¬

    Or is that too simple to think of? xD

    Comment by gundamjehutykai
    10:38 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I doubt the PSP GO will take off in japan tho. From my understanding, it's impossible to play monster hunter on it properly!!

    Probably more of a western thing...

    Avatar of mechwarrior
    Comment by mechwarrior
    10:31 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The last comment is right. With this "download to play" model, it basically means there is no value to the game once its completed (no matter how many multiplayer options they add, it will still get boring after awhile). What that means is that you can no longer sell the games you dont want anymore. This also means that prices will inflate, instead of deflate. It's happened with CD's before P2P showed up, its happening now with Bluray with no competitor around. Now with digital downloads, you dont own the game anymore, you're just renting it from Sony.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:09 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    People have already been burned by this model, in regards to music.

    People who bought licenses to songs from Microsoft lost the ability to re-download those licenses when they changed music players, had a hardware failure, etc., because Microsoft made a business decision to close down the licensing servers. (I believe that was fraud on the part of Microsoft, even if the EULA allowed them to legally do this.)

    http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/006844.html

    The same thing can and will happen with downloadable licenses for games.

    When Final Fantasy XXXV comes out, you know it won't be long before you can no longer (re-) download Final Fantasy XXXIV. Companies hate it when their toughest competition comes from their own products.

    I've seen multiple posts here, reading, "fuck GameStop". I don't know why that is, from a customer perspective. I've bought a few used games and anime DVDs from them, and not had any problems (perhaps the comments were posted by unhappy _employees_ of GameStop).

    Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

    The existence of used consoles and used games helps keep down the price of new items -- this is a benefit to the consumer.

    If anything, I'd say, "fuck Sony!" -- I won't buy into this no-media plan, and I won't give them any money for their consoles.

    That's also my policy for PC games which require on-line activation, or an always-on Internet connection. I won't buy 'em!

    Having said that, I am okay with requiring DVD #1 to be in the optical drive when I start the game. I protect my game DVDs with those "condoms" (clear plastic anti-scratch covers which attach to the DVD and stay attached, even when the DVD is in the drive).

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    10:33 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It does however, cut down on resources in order to make those fucking useless methods of storage.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    12:45 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It cuts down but it doesn't mean the price will go down. Companies will still charge you the full price of a game now (30-60 bucks) because each download is supposedly a brand new game.

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    10:31 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anything that can be digitized should and WILL eventually be digitized. Deal with it.

    Avatar of Sora.vi
    Comment by CKraCKset
    10:02 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what a bout those without a computer or internet isnt sony shutting out some people from its distribution sector with this

    Comment by infamous butcher
    18:39 08/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do you or anyone commenting here realise if you dont want to get a psp go you dont need to. Its being sold along side the psp. 50 million would still buy physical media, and however many that buy the go wont. If you dont have an internet connection and you buy a go, it serves your dumb ass right. No one is being shut out. The psp will be supported along side the go. DID ANYONE HERE F#@!ING LISTEN DURING E3? It doesnt look like it. Also half the people here need to go back to school and learn how to speek english, I can bairly understand what half these people are trying to write.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:09 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    People without a computer or the internet aren't worth catering to in the first place. They'll never cough up all that extra money in DLC...

    Comment by sleepy
    09:37 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The retailers have no right to babble about this. "Bussiness partners" it seems. I wonder how Sony will react, or will they completely ignore it?

    Comment by liveevil
    22:02 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's a Japanese thing. I've seen similar scenarios in some anime. Can't remember though which.

    Comment by heyjey
    09:42 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    tsskk... game retailers, the least kind of thing I worry about. Honestly, I feel SO much better not having to go all the friggin way to a game store just to buy or rent a game! waste of time.
    This is excellent news to me, and couldnt care less about retailers myself.

    Comment by Ivory
    09:34 06/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't care, i'll still buy it anyway






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