The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Go mobile gaming device received a $50 price cut in the United States, as Sony looks to battle Nintendo and Microsoft this holiday shopping season. Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon.com, GameStop, and four other retailers cut the PSP Go price down from $249 to $199.
The price cut likely stems from continued slower than expected sales for the disappointing PSP Go console.
Sony hasn’t released public sales figures, but estimated numbers released from research analyst groups yield nothing but slow sales. The Japanese electronics company released the PSP Go in the United States last October, but has sold less than 800,000 units total since launch. Meanwhile, the Nintendo DS has sold around 3.8 million units total in the same period, while Nintendo has control of mobile gaming.
Sony sold only 79,4000 PSP Go units in August, according to NPD, with 140,3000 regular PSP units sold during August 2009.
Last March, there were rumors Sony would discontinue the PSP Go platform, because consumers have been disappointed with the gaming unit. Along with a high launch price, the PSP Go surprisingly didn’t include UMD disc support.
Sony said the price cuts are normal for the company’s gaming hardware, and had the $249.99 MSRP price tag displayed on its website while retailers lowered the price.
To try and stimulate sales, the Japanese electronics company tested several different tactics to convince gamers to embrace the struggling game console. In the UK, Sony began offering 10 free games with a PSP Go console purchase — and several price cuts.
A price cut makes obvious sense for US and Japanese shoppers, but I don’t know if a $50 drop in price will be enough. The lack of physical media is a major downside – and Nintendo still has a great following with the DS – but there is a new competitor that must be respected. Casual gaming on mobile phones has exploded in popularity, while Nintendo now expects a future gaming war from Apple.