PSPgo is ‘almost dead before it has arrived’

The PSPgo is not making retailers happy. Earlier this week, we learned that a major dutch chain was refusing to stock Sony’s latest handheld, and today fellow retailer ShopTo has declared the digital-only format, “Almost dead before it has arrived.”

ShopTo will still be stocking the PSPgo, but has refused to promote it in any significant way.

“We do have it listed on the site, but we are not concentrating any big marketing behind it,” explained store boss Igor Cipolletta. “Sony has decided to cut publishers and retailers for the software of the PSPgo and deal direct with developers, giving them a 70 per cent margin for any items sold on Sony PSN. I believe if they had lowered that to 50 or 60 per cent, and given the opportunity to online retailers, it would have enjoyed greater success and retailers would attempt to promote the console to the market.”

The PSPgo has been boycotted by a number of stores in Germany, Spain and Italy. A few UK retailers have also expressed bitter sentiments toward the new handheld. Industry analyst Michael Pachter has called the actions of retailers “silly” and “foolish.”

“Consumer electronics stores sell refrigerators and not food, everyone sells iPods and not the music for them; this position is just ridiculous,” he declared. 

It looks like this PSPgo business is about to become quite a struggle for everyone involved. I can totally see why the retailers are concerned, with Sony effectively asking them to sell something that represents the end of their existence. Nevertheless, Pachter also has a point and there’s no doubt that stores will still make money from the initial sale of the new PlayStation Portable. They may just be cutting off the nose to spite the face.

What side of the fence do you stand on? Sony or the stores? Or is it a case of whoever wins, we lose?

Jim Sterling