Hi there... here is my theory why Sony didnīt be really successful up to now - and why it was lots more successful than it should have been. Opposite to many other opinions I will NOT say, lack of homebrew is a problem. (of course I love homebrew) Please read and tell me what you think:
1) Bad bad relationship to customers
This is the most important point of all points. This is also the point, Sony chiefs do not want to hear or think about. And - itīs also the point Nintendo is doing right, in my eyes the main reason for Sonyīs bad and Nintendos good success.
What a company always needs to be successful is some magic key: TRUST - this means, the people should have a positive idea of the companys philosophy and also feel treated and seen in a positive way. What does that mean ? Well, it means that the customers should have the feeling, the company does want to enjoy them, wants to offer them pleasure, giving them a nice time and NOT just to earn money. The content has to be first priority, NOT economics. Also the customers want to be treated as people worth to be trusted - company and customer have to be friends, not enemies. People behave just as people behave towards them and as they are treated to be. Nothing else.
Some people always argument, that the masses do not have any morale. Of course THIS IS NOT TRUE. They DO have such a thing. The proof is Nintendos success, just to mention one example. But thinking "React as Do" is also a morale, a justice one.
Sony arranged to disturb this relationship massively by:
- Offering a player for self-made videos but in downscaled resolution on the one hand
- Offering extremely over-priced UMDs using full resolution on the other hand
- Offering video streaming just in connection to expensive hardware
- Releasing firmware updates obviously just to block exploits
With these steps Sony gave the customers the feeling to be cheated, rooked, bleeded and exploited (nice pun, eh?). People ask themselves: Why should I pay such a lot of money for a video on disc ? Why do they offer us a video player on one hand but block full resolution on the other hand ? This MUST be greed, obviously. If this is no greed, what else is it ????? The problem with this UMD Video stuff is NOT that they donīt sell but that this tactic destroyed the realtionship between Sony and customers intensively. People ask themselves: Why should we be honest to them if they treat us like idiots, like dumb money-donkeys ?
Even more a problem is, that Sony stays on this line - later we get Location Free presented which is the same in another color. Again people feel pissed of and ask themselves WTH in what way Sony sees their customers.
Sony shouldnīt wonder at the results. It is their OWN fault.
2) Create a multimedia portable machine but not using it
The other important point, but not so important, is, that the PSP is NOT only a handheld but itīs some kind of a portable computer. Sony could have made it in another way, but they decided to implement such options like music player, video player and browser, so they THEMSELVES got into distance to a simple gaming handheld console. You should never awaken desires you donīt fulfil later on.
They did the first step but NOT the second one which would mean either to implement all kind of applications and tools into firmware (as we see in homebrew scene) or/and supporting app coding and selling officially. So people feel extremely animated first and then marooned.
Look at Nintendo. Why do they have such a success ?? Many people say, reason are the amazing, fresh games for this console. But I say, this is not the main reason. Nintendo did all things right which Sony didnīt.
- It created some intimate, personal realtionship by using a simple and unspectacular design.
- It created just a gaming handheld, nothing else. People donīt expect anything else than nice games, Nintendo is giving them games - and this doing well.
- It does not use a single word to piracy - no "security" updates, no silly "anti-piracy" or "anti-homebrew" statements. Although piracy for DS is very easy and can be done by everyone.
- Games are about 25% cheaper than PSP games, so people get a much easier feeling when they buy games - Nintendo seems a lot more fair to the customers in comparison to Sony.
As you can see, itīs NOT the hardware or the game content, the magic key are the concept and marketing, the companies image and the relationship between company and customer. Nintendo users feel pleasured and relaxed. They buy to game, they buy games and play.
Many PSP users feel a bit angry from the beginning on. This is the heat the scene is living from. Sonyīs way is stimulating the scene. It creates a challenge, it provocates, there are hurdles to be taken and thatīs why we have the scene.
And now to come to the final question, why Sony seems to be successfull anyway, maybe not now, but maybe tomorrow. Itīs simply because they are too stupid to create a good protection. Homebrew and piracy are the factors giving real power to the PSP. Why do you think PSP sells so very very well but games and videos do NOT AT ALL ? Compare to Nintendo game sells. The numbers are lightyears away from each other. The reason is: people buy PSPs but donīt use it in a way Sony wants them to use it.
On the other hand, look on ebay. It seems, PSP games and videos sell better and better from day to day. Take a look at ebay - on European and US site there are more games in PSP section than in DS section - and you wonīt find ANY game not being sold - of course for lower prices as in stores, BUT not as low as one might think.
As long as there are geniusses like Booster, DarkAlex, Jonny and so on (sorry there are too many of them) PSP will live and these people are responsible for any success the PSP will have in future. The day those coders and s wonīt find any way to bypass Sonys protections will be the day we can count to the death of PSP.
Thank you for reading and comments welcome.