While the original PlayStation Portable was by no means a failure, it clearly was not perceived as a runaway success by consumers and publishers alike. First off, the device used a proprietary disk-based format, with no internal memory, that proved to be an inconvenience for most portable gamers. Perhaps the biggest killer to the platform of all was the rampant piracy which put off a slew of publishers from developing for the system to begin with. However, hopes are high for the successor to the PSP.
According to the analysts of the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research firm, Sony’s Next Generation Portable will easily surpass the sales of the predecessor given that Sony learned from the mistakes made with the PSP and because the original portable was not that successful outside of Japan to begin with. According to EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich:
EEDAR has no doubt that the NGP will be successful in Japan. In Japan the PSP currently has the second largest active install base and is on track to become the fifth bestselling home or portable console of all time in that country. The key to the NGP’s success, however, will come down to the adoption rates in the much larger North American and European markets.
As for resolving previous mistakes with the PSP, the analysts point out that long-term success is key to achieving larger lifetime sales numbers:
Observers tend to forget that the PSP was incredibly successful at launch in NA, selling more units in its first year than the Nintendo DS. Long-term, however, concerns about Sony’s digital strategy, lack of publisher incentive and piracy, ultimately resulted in a decreasing support from third-party publishers and a reduction in retail shelf space. EEDAR believes that the aforementioned problems of the PSP era will be resolved with the NGP.
Without a doubt, Sony has already addressed several of the problems of the PSP with the design and unveil of the NGP. However, as stated by the EEDAR analyst, it will most likely all come down to the price-point of the NGP.