Arstechnica: PSP Go launch nightmare for consumers, Sony

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by jaw04005, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    From Arstechnica,

    PSP Go launch has become a nightmare for gamers, Sony
    By Ben Kuchera

    Sony's DRM hurts the free-game program given to European PSP Go buyers, and a Sony exec explains why the UMD exchange program has been scrapped. The company is still insisting that it plans to take care of its loyal customers, but the PSP Go's early days have been nothing short of a disaster.

    Managing a download-only console may prove harder than Sony first imagined. If you are a European customer who purchased a PSP Go, you were given a voucher for your choice of three games. The problem is that many gamers use their PlayStation 3 to download PSP content, and Sony locked the downloads down to whatever system customers use to grab the content. That means that if you used your PlayStation 3 to download the games, you're out of luck. This isn't the only issue to hinder the PSP Go's momentum.

    Gamers are complaining about this issue on the official PlayStation boards, and Sony released a statement about the problem. The solution? There isn't one. A community team member had this to say, "If you download your games to your PS3 first and then attempt to copy the game across to your PSPgo via USB cable you will receive [an] error. We're still investigating this error, so for the moment if you have not yet redeemed your voucher, please redeem and download your games via your PSPgo only. We're still coming up with a solution for those who have redeemed the voucher and are now receiving the error message, and we'll update you as soon as we have a solution for you.”

    What's amazing about this is the problem only effects Sony's most valuable customers: early PSP Go adopters who already own a PS3. Instead of rewarding the behavior the company has tried to encourage—sharing content between the systems —gamers are left with free games they can't play, and no timeline for a solution. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem plaguing the PSP Go.

    The phantom UMD trade-in program

    Back at E3, when we first played with the PSP Go, we were assured that there would be a program where gamers could get some use out of their existing UMDs if they upgraded into the PSP Go. "It doesn't make sense to leave [PSP owners] behind. We're going to have a program put into place that will allow that person to become part of the digital lifestyle. We'll have details closer to launch," Sony's director of hardware marketing John Koller assured us.

    Now the system has launched, and Sony has admitted there is no plan to allow customers to trade in their existing games for downloads. Although we were told that by launch we'd know what we could do with our UMDs, everyone was hoping the answer wasn't going to be "sell them to GameStop." So what happened?

    "There weren't digital rights secured for all of this stuff, at no cost," SCEA director of PlayStation network operations Eric Lempel told Joystiq. "So, [there are] lots of legal issues we'd have to get through to get a lot of content cleared. And also, we'd have to protect that content. So, with a good technical process so you can't pass around the UMD or do something else with it.”

    The problems couldn't have been new as Sony explored distribution as they developed the PSP Go, nor are they surprising, so why did the talk of a trade-in program ever begin?

    "On the loyalty side, we do lots of things for our loyal users," Lempel claimed. But that claim doesn't really hold water. Sony promised a UMD program that never surfaced. It reworked the cabling and power system for the PSP Go to make sure none of your existing peripherals would be able to work on the system. The Pro Duo memory sticks used in the PSP, which is a Sony standard, have been ditched. Players will need to buy an M2 Micro card for the PSP Go if they would like to expand their storage. The M2 is, of course, another Sony standard.

    Looks like it's time to rebuy your memory sticks as well.

    In terms of taking care of their loyal customers, Sony has locked down the PSP Go with all new media and standards; every customer, no matter what other Sony products they own in the PSP line, will start from zero.

    The system is receiving an icy reception

    Destructoid's Jim Sterling posted a long, expletive-filled rant describing his frustration in the first few hours of PSP Go ownership. "I have been in my house for an hour... an hour... and I have done nothing but download, rip, copy, install, update, install, rip, copy, install, install and install," he complained. "I just want to play some videogames! Sony, why won't
    you let me play some videogames? I promise I'll try to be a good person from now on. Do you want me to go to church?”

    To his horror, after the Media Go disc installed both Quicktime and an update to Adobe before allowing him to install the actual software, the program needed to be updated before he could use it to manage his content.
    Complaints have also been heard about the PSP Mini program. At the moment, the selection of games consists of many ports from the iPhone, although the PSP versions are significantly more expensive. Sony also does not allow Minis to use any online features, which means no updates. If a game is launched with bugs, the bugs will remain.

    The guys at Penny Arcade likewise didn't mince words. "With the DS, there was confusion about the purpose of the device —the functionality was so broad that it was difficult to discern their motive," a recent update read. "With the PSP Go, the purpose is clear, and in review after review one sees the case built: the system is a campaign of aggression against both retailers and consumers.”
  2. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    As I have said before, you would have thought Sony would have learnt a few lessons about biting the hand that feeds it with complacent greed and self irreverance. Looks like they have not.
  3. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2005
    Pretty much all the retailers (Gamestop, Saturn, Media Markt...) where one would go to buy video games here are not stocking the Go. Not a good sign at all. If I wanted one, my only option would be Amazon.

    As a current non-psp-owner, the main thing that's keeping me away from the Go is the region restriction. The German PSN store is severely crippled "to protect the children".
  4. txa1265 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2002
    Corning, NY
    Apparently they have a nearly inexhaustible supply of hubris. ;)
  5. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    In comparison to this mess, it looks like Apple - by accident or design - stumbled onto the ideal download-only game device & delivery system.

    Hassle for consumers. Antagonism for game retailers. Expensive games... Not good.
  6. Antares macrumors 68000


    I still don't understand what would be the incentive for any retailer, especially a game focused retailer, to sell the PSP Go. Game focused retailers make most of their money from game sales with a minor amount from accessories and then the systems, themselves. The PSP Go, and really any digital download only device, effectively eliminates their most important revenue stream.
  7. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Hopefully someone will hack the PSP Go to make it useful. Then maybe I'll look at it.

    As it is, digital downloads are proclaimed to be the future of gaming, but every company trying to utilize it locks it down too hard. You can't let your friends borrow it, you can't transfer it to a new device if you buy one, and you can't trade them in or buy from a brick-and-mortar stores, which will lead brick-and-mortar game stores to boycott the device.

    The only one who has done it well is Apple, but they've got a unique situation. They can sell it with a contract, leading brick-and-mortar stores (aka AT&T stores) to be willing to stock it, and it follows your iTunes account & phone number, so you can transfer it to a new device.

    I really wonder what Sony is going to do about the PS3/PSP DRM problem. I don't think Sony can strip the DRM off the downloads they've already given out, can they?
  8. txa1265 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2002
    Corning, NY
    Just wondering ... *other* than the illegal uses that make up 99% of what so-called CFW is used for, exactly what would this 'hack = useful' entail?
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    That's probably one of the big reasons why they aren't selling them.

    I saw a Go today. I don't normally see PSPs in public but some girl had a white one at a bus stop. Juz ayin.
  10. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    im really enjoying mine, but if i bought it before the Warning, i would have fallen fowl of the Download Problem, as i only have a Mac, so cant use Media Go, so was planning to use my PS3 as my PSP Go Manager, sadly the free games cant even be downloaded onto the PS3 once downloaded on the PSP.
  11. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Ehh, maybe. You’re forgetting that most of these retailers also sell PSN cards so that’s an additional outlet. Many parents aren’t going to let their kids and teens use their credit card for PSN purchases.

    They’re not stocking it because they don’t think it will sell, not because they’re afraid it will sell and hurt their traditional business model. A sale is a sale. Not to mention, they can up-sell you accessories and warranties while you’re at the store also.

    If they were worried the Go would be a tremendous success, Best Buy and GameStop would be clamoring to offer PSN game codes on their respective Web sites like Amazon is currently doing.
  12. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Of the various outlets fow which you can proquire games here in my nearest town, only one is actually stocking the GO!

    I would truly buy one if it was not so vastly limiting and if it made me feel like I owned the game I had just paid my hard earned money for, and not just paying expensive 'licencing fees' to hire it for a duration.

    So drop DRM, reduce online game prices so that they are compareable to online sales of UMD and allow some form of trade back system for users who finish games. Add native Mac support to your managment software too and finally reduce the price so that it was sub $200.

    Do that and I'll buy right now, but until then.... Pass.

    No matter how pretty you are PSPgo! It's just not enough to mask your severe hampered functionality. I have plenty of pretty ornaments that I don't need another.
  13. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    I see a million stores around here selling them. The few EB's nearby have said it's been relatively popular actually, though I don't think the PSP sells all that amazing anyway. I noticed Sorny is selling a bunch of game cards so you can enter the code on PSN to redeem the game. Mostly newer (ie. GT or Motorstorm) or hits (ie. God of War, Daxter).

    I still want one :(

    The Ars article is interesting, and makes me cringe a bit for uncle Sorny but one beef: Jim Sterling whines about EVERYTHING. Have you ever listened to him on their podcast?
  14. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603


    Aug 20, 2005
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    ^Indeed, in my area the things are selling out and being stocked on the regular...although I don't agree on how Sony is treating the go..I still want want.

    For the record: Don't mention anything Sony and quote Jim Sterling...the guy is a goon and a constant whiner.

  15. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2009
    ouch, glad im getting an old one then lol, still dont see whats so wrong with the etho's " if it aint broke, dont fix it " why couldnt they just make it UMD compatible while still allowing software download from the store, never seen any issues with that so far, well, not like this anyways

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