Could Sony’s PSP drop to $150 when it launches in the U.S.?

Sony surprised a lot of video game industry analysts yesterday when it announced that the PSP would launch in Japan this year and for a sub-$200 price, but that hasn’t stopped the analysts from continuing to predict that the PSP’s U.S. launch in March might be pushed back several months to June or later. Still the price point did manage to get the analysts to be a little more optimistic about what the PSP price might be when it eventually does launch in the states:

Regardless of whether the PSP makes its U.S. launch date, the system will arrive with momentum on its side. Traditionally, when Sony has launched hardware in Japan, it offers a moderate price reduction when it brings the device overseas. When the PlayStation 2 launched in Japan, for example, it carried a price tag equivalent to $360-$370. When the PS2 hit U.S. shores seven months later, it sold for $299.

So, could Sony plan to launch the PSP in North America for as low as $150? It’s certainly possible – especially if the system does get delayed. If it does launch for under $150, expect the gaming world to go into a feeding frenzy.

“The pricing decision is going to depend on what features get delivered in a high quality way,” said Taylor. “If the product delivers a really high quality video and audio experience, then I don’t think they need to drop down to the DS [price] level. If, on the other hand, it’s going to be just a game machine, I think they’d be well advised to drop the price.”

I’m not as sure that the PSP’s ability to play movies and music is going to be as important to its sales as these guys suggest—that’s mainly because I couldn’t care less about that aspect of it myself—but I’m hardly your typical gamer. I do agree that the PSP would do well to have a killer app shortly after its launch and that could very well come in the form of a Grand Theft Auto game written specifically for the PSP that is believed to already be in development. If it’s an original game rather than just a straight port of one of the existing games then that could be a big incentive right there.

Assuming, of course, that the parent groups and Senator Lieberman haven’t had everyone at Rockstar Games rounded up and shot by then…

3 thoughts on “Could Sony’s PSP drop to $150 when it launches in the U.S.?

  1. Still, until Sony implements a stylus/finger option that emulates the mouse on a computer, the DS will be the one I buy.  I’m of the opinion that it was sheer genius for them to do this considering not even any of the consoles have implemented a control system that’s nearly as easy to use in shooters and RTS games than a mouse.  Props to Nintendo.  cool smile

  2. I’m not sure why so many people are crazy for the stylus. It’s not exactly the most incredible thing ever. I’m sticking with PSP so I can play more adult games.

    Then there’s the functionality of PSP. It’s an mp3 player, UMD movie player, Video Game Player, Wireless Internet connectibility, prospects for USB GPS/USB keyboards/USB digital Cameras, as well as a DISC based game system to provide ample space(conveniently protected by a plastic casing so it wont scratch), much larger screen with brighter/clearer picture, cheaper games, more powerful processing, and exciting usefull software like World Talk that will translate between many languages, and saves stored on commonly used memory cards available in a wide range of sizes and prices, who could argue with the PSP’s functionality towards an older gamer?

    As for battery life, reports from actual users in Japan say that with graphically intensive games such as Ridge Racer still holds a charge for 3-4 hours, even with sound blaring and brightness maxed. Besides, get a car charger and an extension cord(even dollar stores have them) and you’ll have power pretty much where ever you want in your house so you dont have to hudle by the power outlet with unlimited power. I dont see how anyone could argue.
    -Bobby Chapman
    PS: The value pack would probably be $200 if the basic pack drops to just $150, so I’d still pay $200 for all the extras.

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