Mobile gaming has seen a lot of refreshes over the years. And while Sony considers themselves much of the driving force behind those alterations to the industry, many would point out that it’s a combination of all the major players in the market that are altering the landscape. Newcomers like the iPad (which just builds off the success of Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone line-up) are showing that people are changing their view on how they want to go about their mobile gaming endeavors. And Sony is ready to “reinvent the wheel,” more or less.
UK Sales Director for Sony Europe, Mark Howsen, recently told MCV that Sony is planning to “reinvent the whole PSP model.” Apparently the company as a whole sees that people are willing to pay a high-end for their hardware, but are far more willing to pay less, or even nothing for their software. This goes hand-in-hand with what Apple has shown with their App Store, as the hardware isn’t necessarily cheap (with its varying models), but the software that powers it can feature games that are free, but rarely ever reach somewhere near $20 or higher.
Sony is looking at new business models when it comes to not only the PSP itself, but also the distribution of the software. This tells us that they’re still looking at digital distribution, and not at the physical media. So, are we going to see hardware akin to the PSPGo? Or, will the PSP 2 figure out a way to capitalize on that digital distribution, much like Apple and Android have in their mobile markets, without completely disappointing its customer base, much like the PSPGo has? Time will tell, and while we imagine the PSP 2 will be a powerhouse in its physical capacity, it’s going to fall back on software. As it always does. Do you want physical media back? Or are you happy with digital distribution?