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Sony: "Focusing On Younger Audience" Is Key For PSP

Portable gaming is big but perhaps the targeted audience for such entertainment is - or should be - younger than the console fan base.

After admitting that the consistency of quality PSP titles should've been better over the years, SCEE boss Andrew House told Edge Sony will now promote their handheld device to a younger demographic. Sure, we've seen some amazing PSP games in the past year or so (including Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker) but House says the PSP is aging; i.e., it has a different lifecycle than the home consoles. So now, the time has come to dedicate their marketing to an audience that tends to play mobile games:

"What is now a key emphasis for us is focusing on a younger audience who are the prime audience for a dedicated gaming device with deeper, more immersive content: they may have less disposable income, but they've got more time to play.

We're looking to mine that content library which we've assembled over the last few years and restructure the value-proposition. [The budget Essentials range] in its first couple of months since launch has been a phenomenal success on two fronts - not just in actual sales, but the uptake there has been on overall PSP software which has seen a knock-on effect."

In short, Sony wants to "breathe life into sales of the hardware" and to do that, it seems they want to aim at the same group that helped make the Nintendo DS the most popular game platform of the generation. This is interesting considering we might be very close to a PSP2 unveiling; perhaps they're only referring to the first PSP while its on the downhill part of its lifecycle. Then they'll start over with the second portable...?

Tags: psp, psp games, sony psp, psp younger gamers

8/23/2010 8:55:26 PM John Shepard

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Comments (43 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:32:13 PM
Reply

Awesome

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 8/23/2010 9:32:33 PM

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Snaaaake
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:53:07 PM
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I see kids holding a PSP everywhere I go and it's everyday.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:24:01 PM

I've never seen one in anybody's hands.

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fluffer nutter
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:19:02 PM

You'd see them if you traveled a lot. I see them quite often.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 3:01:55 AM

They had them when I was still in college, I was surprised I never saw any.

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MyWorstNightmar
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 12:42:26 PM

I see kids holding a DS everywhere I go and it's everyday.

It is an extreme rare occurance to see a PSP. In fact I may have never seen one in the hands of someone younger than 30. DS's are everywhere though.

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dkmrules
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 2:43:33 PM

Yep DS and ipod touch..... Then again Nintendo and Apple have actually worked to gain mindshare .

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NonProphet
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:59:50 PM
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I definitely agree that portable gaming is generally for a younger audience. I remember when I was a kid I had a gameboy and took that thing everywhere. But now I do all my gaming at home on the big screen. I bought a psp but sold it after a couple months, I just never played it. Kids get dragged all over the place so its good if they have a portable game system to keep them entertained. Adults on the other hand either have smart-phones they can play games on, but also read for pleasure more when on the go.

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Vitron
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:00:52 PM
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Well duh...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:26:31 PM
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First of all, why talk to Edge? Second, Sony I love ya, but you guys are a tad slow on the uptake. With a PSP2 around the corner, you are just now understanding this?

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 9:57:39 AM

No, this makes sense. Sell the PSP heavily to the younger players, cheap games ($9.99) for some of the games at that price is a steal, pure and simple. Then in about a year's time release the new PSP2 at a higher price, drop the PSP1 to a lower price, and get kids onto the PSP conveyor so that in a few years they will be upgrading to the PSP2.

I like the price point of the games, but it's kind of sad that they have to go so rock bottom in the US in order to try to attract people back to actually paying for the games that they play instead of stealing them. Truly, if you look at PSP hardware sales vs software sales in the US and compare that to Japan, or even Europe, it's quite clear that something is going on in the US beyond high DS sales. The DS sells like hotcakes in Japan, but PSP software sales are still strong. The US and to a lesser extent Europe, are badly affected by software piracy. In Japan software piracy is quite uncommon. It shows up in the game sales.

Pitching the PSP at a younger audience with cheaper games might help build some useful habits so that when these younger gamers buy up to the PSp2 in due course, they will be more likely to stick with purchasing in stead of stealing their games.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:32:49 AM

Piracy for the PSP is an absolutely huge issue in North America. I knew a ton of people in university who stocked up massive amounts of pirated games on their massive memory cards. One guy I lived with had 50 illegal games on his 3 memory cards. And they are extremely accessible with lots of online support for illegal activities. Entire websites help people run these games with ease.

I'm sure you could google it and find tonnes of support for pirated PSP stuff. I personally don't download illegal anything, music, games, movies, etc. I only purchase things I like, anyways, and typically, I just enjoy supporting what I'm a fan of. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer to feel good about my collection.

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Mamills
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:43:25 PM
Reply

they r right, cuz im older and walking around with a separate device just to play games no longer cuts it for me. (I got sh!t to do)

but if i had a device that did it all, (Like the iphone, i have my ff titles on it) this wouldnt be a problem, so until they release a psp that has a phone n everything built in this is the the best option for them.

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main_event05
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:46:23 PM

I've been saying apple and sony should have teamed up at least for a limited run a long time ago. but both are way overprotective of their properties, especially apple.

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Mamills
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:35:43 PM

ye they should have, but its always politics.
this is sony's best option though, market the psp to the younger crowd. cuz i know a lot older people like me who couldnt careless about handhelds and its mainly because who want to be walking around with all these devices on them.

we older gamers need a single device that does it all and right now its the iphone.

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main_event05
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:48:26 PM
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Yea, they've been saying that. that's why they have that kid from role models doing the kevin butler thing. too bad i've only seen 2 new psp spots on the tele (<-- lol) not counting the one with him and butler.

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Kangasfwa
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:18:46 PM
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I guess this explains why Sony went with that little loud mouth.

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dkmrules
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 2:47:06 PM

F**K Marcus those commercials are annoying as heck!

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TheCrazyMerc
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 12:21:33 AM
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I do see PSPs in hands a lot, but to tell u the truth its mostly been DS lately...Hmm, I only wish to see in their gaming hearts that PSP does have a great library of games!

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JDC80
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 1:22:51 AM
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I'm planning to get a new PSP(the Madden 11 bundle) cuz the one I had for five years stopped working on me. I used my old PSP for mostly as a music player and play the games while I'm at bowling between turns. I wouldn't mind using the new one to download those PS classic off PSN.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 1:36:26 AM
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I think that they should expand their focus to include the younger gamers, rather than focussing exclusively on them. Remember the PSP truly is a portable console, not a system like the DS that lends itself to younger, simpler gaming. I hope that they can really capture the whole market segment with the PSP2, offering all sorts of games for all ages.
Peace.

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Robochic
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 2:30:04 AM
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i love the psp but i can see where they are coming from, from a marketing perspective. I do see alot of kids/college students with a psp where i live but they are on the bus alot so they need something to tie them over.

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___________
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 3:37:21 AM
Reply

what!
sony still dont get it!
kids dont give a sh*t about the PSP, kids are on nintendos machines.
when will sony get this through their thick skulls?
if sony want the PSP to sell as well as the DS, than all they need to do is release a PSP2 that makes the 3Ds look like a last gen machiene and release some new IPs for it!
i could literally count the amount of must have PSP games on one hand!
tis why i got rid of mine, all of this year theres only one game i want for it GOW GOS.
one game, ONE FOR THE WHOLE TWELVE MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
now if thats not pathetic than i dont know what is!
the only thing more pathetic than the PSPs lineup is the playstation moves launch lineup!
whos going to spend 100+ bucks on a peripheral so they can play sports champions?

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Wissam
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 5:34:23 AM

I am struggling to know what's wrong with you. I never read anything optimistic from you.why.

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___________
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:59:14 AM

how can i be optimistic about this?
i go on long trips and would like a propper gaming unit to take with me on said long trips.
for example im going to Hawaii at the end of the year, its a 10 hour flight so what am i going to want to do on said flight?
play kids games, or play a propper adults title?
ive said this many times if i want a kids game ill go buy a nintendo system thats what there for!
sonys platforms are for adults, not kids so stop trying to change that!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:39:14 AM

You are obviously unaware of the games available on PSP. I would love to know what those games on your one hand are.

Either that, or I'd love to see a picture of your freakish 30+ fingered hand! I hear the circus calling!

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___________
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 @ 8:18:56 AM

R&C size matters, GOW chains of olympus, resistance retribution, syphon filter dark mirror and last but not least syphon filter logans shadow.
there the only must have PSP games ive played, most PSP games are crap downscale versions of multiplatform games or crap downscale versions of ps3 exclusives.
i did not buy a psp so i can play slightly different versions of ps3 games!

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JackC8
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 7:12:36 AM
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I kind of have to chuckle at them saying the PSP is "aging" when they just came out with the Go less than a year ago. If they would have given their customers what they wanted, the PSP would be thriving. But instead they got all excited about the profits they'd make by eliminating physical media.

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Amazingskillz
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:32:04 AM
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This clearly indicates that Sony still does not know what the hell they are doing with the PSP. First the GO now this. I echo Mamill. I want a PSP bad but I aint carrying around that and a phone. To divert the focus to kids is real stupid. The problem with the PSP is there is no FREAKIN phone on it! Sales will skyrocket if they put even the most basic phone on it. What are they gonna do, dumb it down and drop the price. I am disappointed reading this article.

Last edited by Amazingskillz on 8/24/2010 8:33:13 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:00:38 AM

NO, you're wrong. This is the perfect move to position the PSP as a less expensive portable gaming choice. Sony kept the PS1 when PS2 launched. It simply became the less expensive PS choice. PS2 did the same thing with PS3. Now Sony is repositioning the PSP as a more casual machine with less expensive games and more targeted at kids and younger gamers who are more 'casual' gamers. The next step is to introduce the new super-duper PSP2 which will be more expensive and more aimed at the early adopters and hardcore players. It's simple progression.

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gumbi
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:32:31 AM
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I think it's a good idea to try and include younger gamers in the audience, but please Sony don't shift your focus, just widen it.

Every kid under 15 that I know who's had a PSP has cracked the screen. Literally, every one. It's not exactly a huge sample, I only know 4 kids who've had PSP's, but what am I supposed to take away from that? Especially considering two of those four kids also have a NDS that is still going strong. It's almost always the same cause too, pockets. PSP's are not pocket friendly, they bend, twist, and crack. Every adult I know who owns a PSP still has it in near mint condition.

I don't know if this is maybe an unfair judgement, I know kids are generally harder on just about everything. I just feel like the whole design and feel of the PSP was tailored to an older audience (by older, I simply mean past adolescence)

Then again, perhaps the unthinkable is truly happening, I'm getting old.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:04:11 AM

That's one of the benefits of the PSP Go, it's smaller, and I believe that the screen is more robust. The thing is, any portable device with a large screen is vulnerable. Sony needs to address this with the PSP2.

Gorilla Glass anyone?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:43:26 AM

I don't think it's the size of the screen. I think it's the covering. The reason PSPgo is so durable is because it slides shut. The DS also closes shut. The original and majority of PSP's constantly have it's screen out in the open ready for anything to attack it. It only takes one bad drop on something awkward to break it. If the screen was protected, it wouldn't be an issue.

I say leave the screen size where it is, but allow the PSP2 to flip or slide shut.

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Amazingskillz
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:49:45 AM
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You are not the only one getting old G.

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Amazingskillz
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:58:25 AM
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The truth of the PSP matter is this. Its a little embarassing for a grown man to be carrying around a handheld game because it can be perceived as juvenile. However, if there's a phone on it that totally changes the perception. It's now perceived as having a superpowered gadget i.e. the iPhone. People will be curious and envious at the same time. All the while you'll be having a blast owning it.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:27:52 AM

Dude, I'm 44 and there's lots of things that I can do that are perceived as juvenile. Thankfully, I'm past caring about what others think.

I know what you mean, but to be honest, I don't find the games on mobile phones come anywhere close to competing even with mediocre PSP titles for entertainment value. I think people who are too proud to be caught playing a handheld video game should wake up to the fact that someone else's problem with them playing a game, isn't their own problem, it truly is someone else's problem.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 10:46:08 AM

Truth, Highlander.

I'm much younger than you in my mid 20's, but I carry my PSP around from time to time. Truthfully, I'm never embarrassed about it. My wife is, sometimes, lol, but not me.

I just tell people I'm a bit of a dork and proud of it. There are other aspects in my life to balance the dorkiness out, so judgers can eat my shorts. ^.^

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main_event05
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 5:30:47 PM

I think that some hand helds carry a certain stigma, i.e. DSs would be more geared towards kids, and PSPs, while not more expensive, certainly looks more expensive and advanced, would be more for adults, plus it has skype and all the other goodies.

i want one now.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 6:44:14 PM

Amazingskillz,

And why do you think that?

I'm 57 & I play any one of my 5 PSP's while sitting in the frigging laundromat waiting for my washers & dryers to finish.

"F" what anyone thinks!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/24/2010 6:44:55 PM

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LightShow
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 11:40:58 AM
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i'll dust off my Go! when they release pokemon for it. until then my little sister will keep playing little big planet on it.

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main_event05
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 8:32:55 PM

Pokemon on the PSP? great as that sounds you'll have a better chance of smuggling snow cones in Hell.

mmmmmmmmm, snow cones

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 2:25:36 PM
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Trophies. Be the first to offer trophies on a handheld. Sync them with each users PSN account like they do with the PS3.

Why are they sitting back on this goldmine waiting for Microsoft to do it?

Trophies equals less pirating and more sales. Simple really.

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Amazingskillz
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 @ 1:43:50 PM
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@ Bikersaint - Yeah you're right. I shouldn't really give a fu.. You've got 5 PSP's damn sell me one!

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