Sony's PSP $500? Atari CEO Thinks So

Sony’s PSP $500? Atari CEO Thinks So
Atari’s CEO Bruno Bonnell is guessing that the PSP will retail for $500. If you haven’t followed the PSP, it’s Sony’s entry into the handheld gaming market and it’s a cannon aimed right at the heart of Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance.

The PSP is a slick-looking device with a larger screen than the GBA. It’s a 4x3 inch widescreen that can also display movies played on Sony’s proprietary UMD discs. It’s almost as powerful as a PS2, but it’s still something of a mystery device. Since it has to spin a disc for games and movies, battery life could be short, possibly in the 2-3 hour range. Parents, you can almost hear it now: “Mom, Dad, we need new batteries again!”

Most industry watchers think the PSP will retail somewhere between $249-$349, so Bonnell, with his $500 prophecy, is playing the part of the crazy old uncle you keep locked in the attic. Who knows? Maybe Bonnell is crazy. Maybe he’s crazy like a fox. Maybe he’s crazy like a fat and shiny red fox that gets turned into a fur coat for some snooty Baroness. You go, Bruno!

$100 for the SP was plenty for me. Its the right price point IMO for that. Regardless of the Sony name if the PSP does come out at something like $300 then thats going to be a major knock against it. I mean yea it will have a nice big screen(for a handheld), and be pretty powerful but man that much for a system that may not last longer than maybe 3 hours before a recharge?
If both the price and charge time pan out I think SOny might be walking into a product blunder here.

The big thing, too, is the whole portability factor. $100 is the limit I’m spending on something that I might easily drop down the stairs or knock off a table and break. No way would I drop $200-300 US for something I’d be afraid to actually move around and use. So there goes the portability, and if that’s the case, why not just put that money into a proper console system? That’s the good thing about the GBA–it’s cheap and fairly easy to replace in case of accident, smashing the thing against the wall in a fit of Metroid-induced rage, etc.

Does anyone seriously believe the target competition for the PSP is the GBA?

Sounds more like they’ve always been aiming for something that’s closer to Sharper Image than Toys R Us.

I wouldn’t buy one myself for much the same reason everyone else has given, primarily being the price. But before Dave Long comes running in with a hard on for yet another anti-sony story, most of the price-point reasoning given in the posts above applies to the DS as well.

The general public wants their handheld games cheap and simple.

Of course it is. Sony wants to wrench the handheld monopoly away from Nintendo.

There’s a difference between entering the handheld market and targetting the GBA. Even in the most conservative estimates on the PSPs pricepoint, as well as the features included, it’s targetting a market above that which the Gameboy Advance enjoys dominence in.

Frankly, I can understand why Sony doesn’t want to compete directly with the GBA directly by releasing a unit with similar features and pricepoint, as the GBA is simply too entrenched in what could be called the low-end handheld market where people see such devices are more akin to a toy than an electronic device like a PDA.

It would be silly to suggest that the handheld market doesn’t have the capability to contain more than one level, much like cellphones come in a variety of levels, from the cheap simple phone and nothing more all the way up to expensive and complex PDA/phone combos.

I would imagine, Sony is hoping to capture the market of people looking for something more advanced and complex than the simple GBA because they feel that portion of the market, while probably smaller, is more open to a new player.

Now, while I can understand what Sony might be thinking, I’m still not convinced it will work. But that’s for the market to decide.

Well, the Gameboy is probably targeting 14 and under, and the PSP is going for the 14 and over crowd I’d guess, so in that sense they’re not competing. There’s no doubt in my mind that Sony wants a big share of the handheld gaming market that Nintendo owns right now, though.

You don’t own a Digital camera? An MP3 player? A Palm Pilot? A decent Cellular Phone? A fancy diamond encrusted pocket watch? ;-)

But I agree with you, this thing is sounding way too expensive even at the conservative estimates to be anything more than a niche product. The battery life issue, if that’s true, makes it even more bizarre.

I’d never pay more for a handheld than I would for a regular console machine. I doubt I’d be willing to pay over $100 for any handheld, for that matter. You can talk about high end vs low end handhelds all you want, but its the quality of the games that make it a good buy more than the quality of the hardware.