During this year’s E3, Eric Lempel, director of PSN operations, talked about how Sony is trying to jump start mainstream PSN adoption, through the PSP Go.
“The PSP Go really speaks to PlayStation Network; the Go and the delivery mechanism to the device is completely powered by PSN. So we’re saying to that consumer, ‘This unit is just for you, it speaks to your lifestyle and what you’ve been asking for.’ It also helps us push a lot more content through the network for PSP.”
He then went on to talk about the growing concern among retailers, that the PSP Go will drastically alter their business model, and possibly interfere with their Sony relationships.
“[Feedback] has actually been quite positive. Some of the retailers were brought in early on this, and we said, ‘Hey, here’s the direction we’re going with this.’ As you know, there are lots of other devices on the market that just don’t have a software component at retail. So surprisingly, they’re excited.
“So I definitely understand where the question’s coming from and I also thought it would be interesting to see what happens when you say [to them], ‘Sell this but there’s not going to be a software component.’ But there’s still an accessory component and we’ve got a pretty strong accessory line; there will be new accessories planned for Go at some point. So retailers were embracing it and it seems like they’re happy with the product.
“They’re happy with the [model] 3000 PSP as well. Currently we’re also doing a pretty good PlayStation card business with our $20 and $50 cards. Surprisingly, it’s a good segment of our audience that uses cards only… so they can still sell these things. I think in other cases with other digital products, they really don’t have anything [else to sell].”
Do you believe that the PSP Go will be Sony’s first step in the direction of a future where digital becomes the only form of distribution?