The Future of PSP/PSP Phone/PSP2 Game Pricing

Having watched the PSN store closely for most of its existence, it is clear there is a new trend emerging that will be important for the PSP2 and PSP Phone, as and when they become established.

It isn't rocket science, but the roughly observed trend is:

Launch at full price (£32.99 is common)
Reduce price a month later (£22.99)
Call a sale a further month later (£13-15.99)
Release as "Value" some six-ten months on (£7.99)

So, the hard core fans rush out on day one and pick it up. Cost concious buyers are sucked in the next two months at the right bite point and, finally, everyone else gets tempted in due course.

Two things will be interesting to watch. Pro developers like EA/Ubisoft are manipulating prices on the iTunes store to get more prominence for their games. Near a big selling season, prices tumble. With the PSP2 and PSP Phone stores being all-digital, will they play the same tactic considering the more traditional gamer that the consoles are aimed at.

Secondly, with typical iPhone game prices for more 'hardcore' games being around the £6 or £7mark - how will the publishers justify charging £20+ for a PSP Phone equivalent? It'll be fun to watch the justifications start, especially with deeper iPad/Android 3.0 tablet games that run around £10-11. Ultimately, new game prices have to come down, even if they are made up for by charging for add-on content.

Finally, I wonder with this always-on connectivity that we're seeing. Will more games be released as free trials with unlocks to get people playing first and then paying up as we see on lots of Xbox 360 titles?

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