Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sony to retire the PSP in Japan

After 10 years since its announcement, Sony is finally calling time on the PlayStation Portable in its homeland, with sales down to around 1,500 a week, supplies will end this month, with Europe stopping later this year (America is already a PSP-free zone). I picked up one of the first 1000-era imports, and still use it today (with just the one battery change), which makes it the reason for this blog I guess.

Over the years, there's been a Monster Hunter edition, God of War, Final Fantasy, and endless limited editions in Japan, plus the 2000 slim and 3000 lite models, as well as the infamous PSP-Go, which is pretty cheap on eBay if you have a big digital collection. With over 2,000 games released, there was definitely something for everyone.

Early releases sold well globally, and around the Monster Hunter era (2008-2010), the PSP dominated Japan, outselling the DS regularly.

1. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 2005 7.59m
2. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite 2008 5.42m
3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 2006 4.94m
4. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 2010 4.87m
5. Daxter 2006 4.13m
6. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters 2007 3.69m
7. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition 2005 3.61m
8. Gran Turismo (PSP) 2009 3.13m
9. God of War: Chains of Olympus 2008 3.13m
10. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII 2007 3.11m

Figures: VGCharts

The PSP sold 80 million lifetime, with 20 million in Japan alone. It is still going in Europe via the budget E model, and games still continue to flow in Japan (with the odd western release). While Sony can only dream of those game and hardware numbers for the Vita, today is a very different world, so there's little point in comparing them. Looking on the brighter side, my top PSP memories are:

1. Unboxing and playing WipeOut Pure on the go, with lashings of DLC.
2. Playing PSone games out and about
3. Multiplayer Pro Evo tournaments
4. The epicness of Crisis Core
5. Playing all the Japanese games(import) and demos (download) via the joys of proper region free
6. Playing PSP minis like Velocity and Gravity Crash and watching them grow to become Vita Ultra hits.

Sony is offering trade-ins for the Vita in Japan, but those with extensive UMD libraries will have little option but to cling lovingly to their PSPs, and stock up on cheap spare units. Feel free to share your PSP memories here, or grab the E1000 while you can.


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  2. I played God Eater Burst on PSP. The main reason of me becoming GE fan :D. Well I hope i will be able to carry on the sequel on the evolved platform(Vita). I hope Bandai Namco localize it sooner. Of course, other than GE, i played number of psp games such as MHFU, FF: Dissidia and KH:Birth by Sleep to name a few.