Retailers Concerned About PSP Go!
Pretty soon, everything will either be wireless or digital and there will be no need for any physical format. We'll just put something on our heads and every last form of entertainment on earth will blast into our brains at the speed of light. ...and then we'll all die from a hemorrhage and maybe God will let the human race try again.
But the point is that with electronics going digital at a rapid rate, retailers simply have less to sell. Take the PSP Go!, for instance. The lack of any physical software will definitely put a hurt on a retailer's bottom line and further, it completely erases the possibility of a second-hand game market for the new handheld. Let's not forget that a gigantic portion of GameStop's profit comes from the used game department... And according to Sankaku Complex citing Itai News, many stores are worried about this new and unwelcome development:
"With this PSP Go and its download only system, is Sony saying they don’t need us in the retail distribution channel? We’re no use to them? But we’re business partners aren’t we? Shouldn’t there be some way we can improve distribution? If they go ahead specialialist shops are going to be in trouble. My own motivation is really suffering from all this uncertainty.
Has the time come for us to have to think of getting out of the business completely?"
It's a problem, certainly, but one must always find ways to adapt in this ever-changing world of electronics entertainment. The only problem is that such stores may really become obsolete when all the rest of the software goes digital, which may be inevitable but it certainly isn't something I personally want to see. You're already going to see the demise of brick-and-mortar movie rental stores thanks to Netflix and other digital download services, so might there come a time when GameStop fails to exist? It almost seems impossible to us veteran gamers...
6/8/2009 Ben Dutka