Go Figure: Sobering Numbers For The PSP

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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 came out today for the PSP: did anyone notice? There doesn’t seem to be too much buzz about this game, which is hardly surprising given the latest figures for Sony’s struggling portable game console. According to NPD, Sony sold 100,100 PSPs last month. That’s 1/4th the amount of Nintendo DSs sold and a 42% drop from January 2009. Amazon.com’s sales charts support these troubling figures. As of a few hours ago, here are the sales ranks for some PSP products in Amazon’s videogame department, which includes all gaming hardware, software, and accessories:

  • PSP-3000: #125
  • PSPgo: #413
  • PSP-3000 Gran Turismo Bundle: #596
  • SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3: #338
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus: #183
  • Resistance: Retribution: #339

The PSP-3000’s ranking on Amazon isn’t that terrible: the highest ranking Nintendo DS—a Cobalt Black DS Lite—currently sits at #110 on the same chart. The newer PSPgo, though, isn’t moving much. On the PSP software side, the just-released SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 is getting trounced by the 2-year old GoW: Chains of Olympus (albeit selling at a bargain price of $12.23) and neck-in-neck with the 1-year old Resistance: Retribution.

I’m not trying to rip the PSP here. I’ve been rooting for it ever since I pre-ordered one at Gamestop back in 2005. Both the 3000 and the Go are well-designed pieces of hardware despite the controversy over the relevance of the UMD format. The PSP is selling better over in Japan and its life-date-date sale figure (over 56 million sold worldwide) is nothing to sneeze at. But even raving PSP fanboys have to admit the numbers are really ugly. According to numerous reports, a PSP-4000 is in the works. Will it offer enough to save Sony’s portable game business?