When Sony formally unveiled PSPgo on Tuesday morning, the shock came not from the unusual slider design but the price: £230/$249. "It's a premium line with PSPgo," reasoned John Koller, Sony's director of hardware marketing. "Consumers can trade up from their older model PSP."
Koller illuminated the reasoning behind the price as part of a two model strategy for PSP. While the PSP-3000 model will remain available following the launch of PSPgo on October 1, the latter is being billed as a premium product. The two models offer distinct handheld gaming solutions, one all digital and the other rooted in physical media. Many consumers want hard copies of their games making it viable to continue selling PSP-3000 and UMD titles as PSPgo hits the market.
The advent of PSPgo won't stop Sony from building PSP-3000s either. When asked whether manufacturing of older models will be scaled back or perhaps even ramped up for a month to stockpile units then halted, Koller squashed the thought. "We intend to embark on parallel manufacturing for some time."
"We're looking to the future with PSPgo, but we also want to build the retail side and make sure we're taking care of the consumer today." Exactly how long the consumer of today will demand old UMD-supporting PSP models remains to be seen, though steep pricing of PSPgo may preserve interest in PSP-3000 for some time.