Sony UK to give PSP Go buyers 10 free games

Sony’s showing a little desperation to sell its download-only PSP Go handheld, offering 10 free games to new buyers in the United Kingdom.

The offer will apply to anyone who registered the console after April 1, MCV reports. And actually, the titles on offer look pretty good, including Gran Turismo, LittleBigPlanet, 2010 FIFA World Cup and Grand Theft Auto.

MCV doesn’t specifically say that the deal will only apply to UK PSP Go buyers, but cites Sony Computer Entertainment UK sales director Mark Howsen as its source. Sony has extended other free game offers to PSP Go buyers in the United Kingdom while giving no such love to the rest of the world. At launch, UK buyers got one free game, and anyone who upgraded from an earlier model PSP got three more.

Sony UK to give PSP Go buyers 10 free games

Sony launched the PSP Go in October. It’s slimmer and lighter than other versions of the handheld, and drops the UMD optical format in favor of downloads only. Though not a radical idea in the age of smartphones, it was the first handheld gaming console to ditch physical media entirely. Unfortunately, sales have been dismal, likely because of a higher price than the PSP-3000 and the inability to transfer disc-based games. It probably didn’t help that the Go’s download-only nature was essentially an anti-piracy measure.

The free games promotion is surprising to me. I’d have thought Sony would slowly phase out the PSP Go and focus on developing a next-generation handheld. But if the company’s willing to back the Go with such a bold move, that probably means Sony is not giving up on the Go so easily. Roping people in to a gaming device with no future would just be mean.