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Sony Continues To Lose Ground In Mobile Gaming

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the but-marcus-is-so-hilarious dept.

PlayStation (Games) 202

donniebaseball23 sends this quote from an opinion piece at Industry Gamers: "On Monday, news came down the pipeline from SCEE president Andrew House that Sony wants to focus on a younger audience for the PSP with future titles. My immediate reaction was one of shock and confusion. After all, in an interview with IndustryGamers at E3, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime noted that, 'the way I would describe the market for the Nintendo 3DS would be the launch market that we had with the Nintendo DS plus the launch market that maybe PSP had.' When your primary competitor is looking to the exact market that you've catered to, why would you abandon that market? There was a time when Sony Computer Entertainment was a trailblazer, bringing things to the industry ahead of everyone else. Nowadays, however, it seems that Sony is content to merely fall in step behind everyone else and simply try hard to not fall too far behind."

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Who trusts Sony? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33409898)

After their repeated rootkits, engineered incompatibility, engineered obsolescence, higher-than-market prices, and lengthy history of consumer-hostility, why would anyone want to buy a Sony product?

I sure don't. My house is Sony free. Of course, I have had to side with the lesser of a handful of evils, but that is still better than submitting to Sony.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (1, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 4 years ago | (#33410158)

I couldn't agree with you more. I have a PS3 which I haven't turned on since January. I tried to make it into a media center, but Sony fought me with constant upgrades that broke media formats, restricted access to the system and basically did everything in their power to ensure I had a miserable experience using their system. Games may look better, but everything I play seems buggy (Granted this falls more onto the developers, but from what I hear, the developers are treated pretty bad as well). I'm seriously thinking about getting an XBox and I'm a Mac user. Sorry Sony. You've lost in my house.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410308)

Yeah, I haven't turned mine on since I played and beat uncharted 2 in 1 week right after it came out...i think that was sometime back in 2009, and before that i didnt turn it on since i first bought it..2007?

I have to admit, i do have a sony lcd tv, the xbr 9, better than samsungs offerings (which i really liked before that).

Back in the day sony was great. TVs and audio receivers that lasted for 10+ years, ps2s that last for 10+ years...Now they are slowly becoming a joke in the industry. the PS3 has so much potential, why they took linux away from us perplexes me. They were using the thing to freakin research cures for diseases for gods sake!!! and support the airforce, but whatever. it was being used for more than just a kids toy. Technically, they couldve charge $500+ for each to those researchers and made a profit while keeping linux.

In the end, the person running the PS3 show is an idiot and has been for years. With the rumors of sony supporting 3rd party apps it only explains why they got rid of linux -- they can now charge for these supposed apps.

Anyone wanna buy an 80GB PS3 with about 10 games and 3 controllers??? $500$ and i'll throw in a blu-ray remote for free!!

Re:Who trusts Sony? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410714)

I'll give you $100 and pay shipping for your PS3. After all, it is just sitting there. I bet if it was $100 cash sitting there you would have spent it by now so it seems worthwhile. I love it when people say they own a PS3 and never use it. Shows how bright they were. I buy stuff all the time for hundreds of dollars and then just let it sit.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33410840)

I buy stuff all the time for hundreds of dollars and then just let it sit.

One of the selling points of game consoles is "what's coming in the future".

It's fun to imply people are stupid and all, but as a geek/nerd yourself who is sitting in front of a computer right now, you already understand this concept. Pity some ninny modded your post up before he really thought about what you were saying.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (1)

Barromind (783894) | about 4 years ago | (#33410424)

I stopped buying anything sony when all their floppy disks demonstrated to be crap that developed faulty sectors with a hard stare.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (2, Informative)

Sillygates (967271) | about 4 years ago | (#33410582)

That describes all floppy disks.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410622)

You know, Sony doesn't only make gaming devices. Some of their other stuff is actually very good, and the best tool for the job sometimes is a Sony product.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410746)

SONY's crap succumbs to failure, just like any other product. The biggest single difference between SONY and legitimate manufacturers, is that SONY goes out of its way to screw its customer base into compliance with its will. It has no use for a demand-based marketplace, and doesn't belong in an open market.

Re:Who trusts Sony? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410686)

Interesting opinion given that the PS3 is the most consumer friendly of the current home consoles. (Free multiplayer, no region locking on games, user swappable hard drives, open standard controller interface, backup feature).

Also the PSP is still more consumer friendly than the DSi (no region locking).

After their repeated rootkits,

From memory there was one, from Sony BGM, yeah it sucked but people need to get over it.

engineered incompatibility,

Please clarify

engineered obsolescence,

Yeah 10 years is a pretty crappy lifetime for a home console

higher-than-market prices,

I.E. we don't make brittle junk so maybe it costs more

and lengthy history of consumer-hostility

Sort of like Microsoft and Nintendo also.

Seriously Sony certainly aren't saints but I find it weird how everyone just seems to assume they're worse than MS and Nintendo despite the contrary evidence.

Frist PSOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33409908)

Well, duh, Sony's had their heads in the sand regarding their gaming ventures for quite a while. Just look at all the crap going on with SOE. When was the last time any of their MMOs were relevant?

Furthermore when was the last time anybody bought a new PSP? I don't know about you guys, but the few people I know who don't use their cell phone/mp3 player for their 5 minutes of needed entertainment use their DS instead. Me, I just rely on my NeoGeo Pocket. With 2 days of continuous battery life, how can you go wrong? :D

Trailblazer? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33409910)

There was a time when Sony Computer Entertainment was a trailblazer, bringing things to the industry ahead of everyone else

Oh, really? Like what? They over-hyped "emotion engine"? Their "Cell" processors?

Sony didn't bring CD-ROM to consoles, even if it all started as a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES. SEGA and NEC both had CD-ROMs for their respective consoles way before that.

Portable systems? Nintendo was there before anyone else. Portable systems with onboard storage? Nope sorry, Nintendo DSi came out before the PSP Go.

Rumble? Nope, that's Nintendo again. Analog stick? Nintendo yet again. Oh wait, DUAL analog stick? Oh yeah, great Sony innovation there.

So, what trailblazing has Sony actually done for consoles?

Re:Trailblazer? (3, Interesting)

Spyrus (633357) | about 4 years ago | (#33409954)

The PSP was pretty amazing when it launched in early 2005. It's still a neat system. There is a large, diverse library of games for the machine. They've sold millions of units. The only thing they've done "wrong" is to be in 2nd place.

Re:Trailblazer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410030)

Unfortunately, being 2nd place in a market of 2 is to be in last place as well.

Re:Trailblazer? (0, Redundant)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33410062)

And even if you're in last place, you could still have a great device and taking in millions in profit.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | about 4 years ago | (#33410152)

Ha! I'd love to come last if it meant selling 60 million handhelds.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 4 years ago | (#33410472)

Ha! I'd love to come last if it meant selling 60 million handhelds.

While I suspect that the PSP is probably in the black and making money quite comfortably for Sony at this point, I'd be wary of making blanket statements like that in general.

From what I remember, MS are still in the red on the XBox 360, despite the fact that it's been around for almost 5 years and seems to be very popular. (Remember that it's MS's *second* generation console, and one would expect them to be recovering some of the costs of market entry which would have been more tolerable on the original XBox).

Meanwhile, again from what I remember, the PS3 cost Sony an ungodly amount of money to develop, and they lost billions more subsidising the early models that cost more to make than they sold for. This 2008 report [kotaku.com] suggests that Sony may have to sell a *lot* of PS3s just to recover those early costs.

Now they've got the cost down significantly (and sales seem to be picking up as a consequence), but while the cost price now appears to be below that of retail (e.g. cost $250 according to Wikipedia, sold by Amazon US for $300, Amazon UK for the equivalent of US $330), by the time marketing, retailer's margins and other overheads are taken into account I doubt they're making a notable amount on the consoles alone.

Sure, handhelds aren't flagship home consoles, and probably cost much less to develop in general. But I wouldn't automatically assume that having sold 60 million of anything automatically means I'm in profit. Actually, that could apply even if you were the market leader.

More than two (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33410650)

Three different major companies market their respective handheld devices as video game players: Nintendo DS, PSP by Sony, and iPod touch by Apple. The iPod touch runs the same games as the iPhone.

The "open" handhelds such as GP32, GP2X, Pandora, etc., all failed to even get retail distribution in the United States.

Re:More than two (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410796)

Is that 'failed' as in 'didn't come to pass', or 'failed' as in 'they tried and did not succeed'.

Re:Trailblazer? (5, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 4 years ago | (#33410128)

Have you not seen the PSP Go and what a big mess up it is?

This sums it up, paying more and getting less:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2009/10/psp-go-review-sony-is-charging-you-much-more-for-much-less.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 4 years ago | (#33410566)

Have you not seen the PSP Go and what a big mess up it is? This sums it up, paying more and getting less:

Question is how many did they sell? If they sold a metric assload of them (at a profit obviously), I doubt Sony would care *what* the critics thought...

Re:Trailblazer? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410180)

I don't count more CPU power, more GPU power or more storage as bringing things to the industry. It's sort of a given: CPUs and GPUs get faster and better every four to six months, storage capacities keep increasing. No matter who does it, we already know it's going to happen. That's not trailblazing.

- Mattel Intellivision: first console with a keypad
- NEC TurboGrafx-16: first console with a CD-ROM add-on
- NEC TurboExpress: first system to use the same carts as the non-portable system
- Nintendo Virtual Boy: first console with 3D display
- Nintendo DS: first console with a touch screen
- Nintendo Wii: first console with a 3D remote
- Nintendo 3DS: first console with no-glasses 3D display

Those things were/are trailblazing examples. Some of these things didn't fare well, such as keypads (even SEGA tried to bring it back with the Jaguar) and 3D displays (384x224 in only three shades of red inside something that looks like binoculars was far from a good idea). But they were trying something new, things that hadn't been tried before.

What did the PSP bring that was new and unexpected? Adding "feature XYZ in a portable system" doesn't count, just like "doing XYZ on the internet" should not be allowed in patents.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | about 4 years ago | (#33410428)

the Jag was Atari.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33410608)

You missed:
Sega Saturn: First console with a 3D Graphics Processor. However, only just barely, as the PlayStation was released a month later in Japan. This happened in late 1994.

In North America, the Saturn's graphics processor was weaker and the system was $100 more expensive than the PlayStation console.

It was also released with no warning by Sega (they literally said at E3 "on sale today") to which Sony's president gave his famous "$299." speech. The PlayStation ended up launching 3 months after the Saturn, with a host of third-party games and a $100 cheaper price tag.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | about 4 years ago | (#33410414)

I'll agree the PSP was an amazing system for it's time. It failed in many ways though and there have been many "wrongs" done during the life of the PSP. UMD was a bust for movies though they were neat. Not trailblazing. Also the games they released were very rarely well received. Especially during launch period. Not exactly taking the market lead there either. As for trying to create a home console experience in a handheld, well.. I would say the Sega Nomad was a greater success. Not exactly breaking new ground again. They could've blazed trails if they embraced the jail break community. They didn't want to though. I guess if you consider bricking units, legitimate or otherwise, through firmware updates something that they did first; Then certainly they can be pioneers in that aspect of consoles.

Re:Trailblazer? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 years ago | (#33410736)

So, what trailblazing has Sony actually done for consoles?

Sony's innovations aren't really developed with the consumer in mind. The Universal Media Disc, memory sticks, ATRAC-only music players, etc. are all, in varying degrees of blatant-ness, attempts by Sony to drive people into using Sony's own proprietary systems. They announce them as if they're "consumer innovations"; but I imagine the spokespeople have to practice in front of a mirror for a while to be able to keep a straight face when saying that.

You really have to wonder what goes on in the minds of that company's leaders. What other company would develop a PC rootkit and then act surprised when people rebelled?

Well part of the problem (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33411006)

Is they are used to that in the professional arena. Sony has had some great success in the pro world of forcing an all-Sony solution. The best success is Betacam, the professional cousin to their failed Beta consumer format. Betacam SP was the standard to which everything was compared for the longest time. Nearly all TV was shot on it. When digital formats were coming out it was always talked about like "This looks as good as Betacam SP," or "This gives slightly better colour resolution than Betacam SP." Companies would have all Sony cameras, decks, etc.

What the seem to continually fail to realize is that such a thing doesn't work so well in the consumer space. When you are the sole owner and producer of a technology, your competitors will try and make their own. They'll also try and undercut you, which isn't hard to do with Sony. The consumer market is extremely price sensitive, unlike the pro market.

they have a real mentality of "We can tell you what things are going to be," and get surprised when they don't work out.

Oh God! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33411370)

It is sickening to actually see just how many fucking idiotic fanboys are out there in the world.

Someone needs to smack the fucking shit out of you retard.

No kidding (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33410986)

The original PS was a good console not because Sony blazed a new path but because they didn't. Sony put together a bunch of good, largely off the shelf hardware, for a good price. An important factor was using CD-ROM when Nintendo stayed cartridge. While it had loading times, it brought unit costs of the games down a whole lot. The electronics in cartridges ate up a non-trivial amount of the sale price, especially as they got larger. Also the PS was very easy to program for. It has a MIPS R3000a processor, a GPU that works much like PC GPUs, video decompression hardware that works with standard formats (at the time), sound chip very similar to the SNES chip (which Sony made) and that largely worked like more advanced Amiga MOD files and so on. Because the unit itself was a good price, the CDs allowed for good profit on the games, and it was easy to develop for, developers loved it.

The PS2 did blaze more trails, I suppose, with the Emotion Engine, but that was a piece of shit. It succeed inspite of that, not because of it. It was difficult to program for. However the large library of PS1 games helped it sell well and companies target the big platforms. Also the other consoles of that generation weren't great showings. The Gamecube just didn't catch on with many people and the X-box was over a year late to the game, not to mention being made by a newcomer to the videogame market. Plus Sony was able to secure some important exclusives, meaning you had to have their hardware to play some hot games.

The PS3? Well we all see how well that's doing. Sales of the console itself haven't been good and game sales have been weaker still. Many people get them "Because it is a blu-ray player," which is fine and all but games are when bring in the big money for consoles, not the hardware (sometimes that is even a money loser). Programmers are having difficulty using the Cell so often times many SPUs sit inactive, meaning that the game could potentially be better but isn't. For that matter the Cell itself was a mistake they refused to admit. It was supposed to be the graphics chip. However it turned out that it was nowhere near as capable as modern GPUs. Rather than throw it out they repurposed it as a CPU. This also meant they were behind on getting a chip designed for them, and so their GPU is sub optimal (normally you want to share system and video RAM in a console GPU, however nVidia didn't have the time to redo the memory controller when making the RSX so it splits it like you do on a computer).

More or less Sony has fooled themselves as to why they were successful. Had they stuck with the strategy of producing good hardware from available parts, good chance they'd still be on top. No it isn't innovative but that isn't always what you want in a consumer product.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#33411126)

SEGA and NEC both had CD-ROMs for their respective consoles way before that.

Small correction: Sega isn't an acronym. For years I thought the same and wrote it in all-caps, due to the way their logo looks, but then I found my error.

Re:Trailblazer? (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#33411140)

Hands down, Sony's dual analog controller is tops. I'm a Nintendo fanboy, but I have to give credit to Sony for getting that controller done so well. I still use the Dual Shock from the PS1 era. The digital pad is perfect for 2D games like Symphony of the Night, and the analog sticks are very comfortable to use. Nintendo's offerings, like the N64 controller or even the Game Cube one, pale in my opinion.

You're serious? (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 4 years ago | (#33411366)

They pushed 3D gaming hard, their policy of discouraging developers from releasing 2D games whilst providing them with strong 3D capabilities (so strong they forced Sega, who thought 3D wasn't ready yet, to add an additional CPU and create the develpment nightmare that was the Saturn).

Sony brought gaming to a much wider audience than Sega or Nintendo had managed before. Remember the first Wipeout? Remember how wowed everyone was that they could listen to Progidy and chemical brothers whilst they race? Suddenly gaming was cool amongst nightclub going 20-somethings, not just kids and geeks. They created Gran Turismo, a game with a level of depth and wealth of content that no one had been able to match. They pushed Tony Hawk's Skateboarding, gave FFVII a huge marketing pushes. In every area the PS1 was pushing gaming in new directions and providing rich experiences.

Maybe you weren't part of the generation who grew up watching the consoles go from 8bit to 16bit to 32bit but I find it amazing anyone could brush off Sony's acheivements with both the PS1 and PS2.

PSP titles: (4, Interesting)

meerling (1487879) | about 4 years ago | (#33409918)

I haven't actually had a PSP title for a few years that I actually liked enough to play more than a week. Most didn't even last a day. Going the DS route won't help either. What they really need is good games that people want to play.

A general criticism of handhelds. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 4 years ago | (#33410050)

I got a GBA imagining that similar types of games that appeared on the Genesis and SNES would make it to the system. Things like platformers or sports games like NHL 96 or the FIFA games with the isometric view. Instead the soccer games all seemed like pixelated abortions to me. They decided to make them use a 3d view instead of the isometric view and it didn't look good at all. Even with the DS they still look crap to me. I've always wondered why they just didn't use the old isometric engine that seemed to work fine and look good.

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (3, Insightful)

Martze (1545505) | about 4 years ago | (#33410280)

3D is always better, for everything, ever. Haven't you heard? Where have you been for the past 15 years? No matter the resolution, or the kind of gameplay, or the art style; 3D is always better.

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | about 4 years ago | (#33410452)

Luckily for us the winds of change seem to be blowing. There's the new DKC remake and MK remake coming which are 2 1/2d. I like 2D gameplay better in alot of situations and I'm glad things are turning that way

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33410672)

They decided to make them use a 3d view instead of the isometric view and it didn't look good at all.

The advantage of a 3D view over a 2D view is that a 3D view can show close-up objects to scale (hence averting the need to artificially magnify them to make, say, a pistol half the size of a person) yet still show far-away scenery.

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410892)

The advantage of a 3D view over a 2D view is that a 3D view can show close-up objects to scale (hence averting the need to artificially magnify them to make, say, a pistol half the size of a person) yet still show far-away scenery.

You don't need scaling in a 2D game. The real adavntage of "low-fi" 3D gaming is that they are easier to slap together.

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | about 4 years ago | (#33411214)

How is using 3D better than scaling? Scaling is a lot less work and looks just as good.

Re:A general criticism of handhelds. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33411500)

How is using 3D better than scaling? Scaling is a lot less work and looks just as good.

By "3D" I was including scaling. Mario Kart 64 for N64 and Mario Kart Super Circuit, for example, draw the cars with scaling. (The original uses pre-scaled cels because neither the CPU nor the PPU in the Super NES was powerful enough to scale sprites.) Many of the weapons in the original Super Smash Bros. for N64 are single textured quads as well. It's just that in a pure overhead view, you can't draw both realistically sized heads and pickup items and realistically sized buildings and roads.

Re:PSP titles: (4, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | about 4 years ago | (#33410074)

What they really need is good games that people want to play.

Exactly. The problem with the PSP is that there is almost nothing interesting. There are a ton of solid ports/sequels of PS2 titles, but quality alone doesn't matter when it is just another reincarnation of Tekken, WipeOut, RidgeRager and whatever. I just don't care about playing a downscaled version of games I already played.

The amount of proper new games on the PSP is vanishingly small and that is rather depressing given that the hardware should be perfectly fine for games like Braid, Limbo, Shadow Complex or whatever interesting stuff makes it to XBL/PSN. It is those types of games the PSP could need more of, good solid 2D/2.5D stuff that is easy enough to play on the get go, but complex enough to feel like a proper game and not some casual mini game.

I like the PSP hardware, but without games to play, that is worth nothing and in terms of dust collecting the PSP beats even the Wii by a mile.

Re:PSP titles: (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about 4 years ago | (#33410210)

Not going to argue with you there, but this seems like a good of a place as any to point out that Valkyria Chronicles 2 comes out tomorrow, and it's only for PSP. Time to dust it off (when the price drops, anyway).

Re:PSP titles: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410252)

There are plenty of good games that people want to play. Problem is that by that statement, you assume "people" equals "you." You're not the only one out there.

Re:PSP titles: (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | about 4 years ago | (#33410492)

Name the last PSP game that broke top 10 weekly game sales across all systems. I haven't seen one in the charts for months. I didn't think PSP games were still getting made to be honest.
I'm not doubting you could find some in the charts if you went archiving, but I guarantee you won't find a week there wasn't at least 3 DS titles in the top spots.

Re:PSP titles: (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 4 years ago | (#33411378)

Take a look at the Japanese charts and release schedule sometime and tell me the console is dead.

The system is getting more games than the Wii is (although the phenomenal performance of Nintendo published Wii titles more than ensures the Wii is still going strong there too).

Re:PSP titles: (0)

MikeFM (12491) | about 4 years ago | (#33411186)

I almost never use any of my Sony or Nintendo products (well I use the Wii to watch Netflix).

I tried a couple months ago to buy some good Wii games for my toddler and was very disappointed. There were few titles available, they were expensive, and worst - they sucked and were not even playable by a toddler. Using either the Wii or Playstation is difficult for young children. We quickly went back to iTouch/iPad games. There are a lot of toddler games available, many are well made, and they are generally under $5 each. And iDevices are very easy to use even for young children. A six month old can play a game by themselves and by one year they are capable of navigated between apps. My two year old knows how to find videos, music, games, etc and has even recently figured out she can start her music and then switch to her drawing app and the music will keep going.

Myself, I rarely want to sit on front of a tv long enough to play a game and I don't want to carry a game specific device. The DS and PSP have sat in a drawer forever but I use my iTouch and iPad daily. The design also feels more comfortable and the features make gaming enjoyable. And again games are typically considerably cheaper and better made than titles available for the gaming consoles. Especially among casual gaming titles.

So to compete I think Nintendo, Sony, etc need to create a sleek adult, but kid tough, portable that does at least everything an iDevice does, with quality/affordable titles of all types, that is easy to use for all ages. Honestly, I think they've lost and just haven't noticed yet. They'd be better off creating games and accessories that work with iOS and Android devices. A good gaming case for an iTouch will be a real winner. Something with snap-on left and right controls that still leavesit slim enough to fit easily in your pocket. (Have seen several stabs at it but none were well designed.). Would love to see familiar Mario titles.

Hmm (2, Insightful)

Desmou (1608775) | about 4 years ago | (#33409928)

Don't you need to gain ground, prior to losing it?

Re:Hmm (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 4 years ago | (#33410366)

The PSP sold 60million units, for reference, that is more units then either Xbox360(~42mil), PS3(~37mil) or iPhone (~50mil). It of course is still just second place behind the NintendoDS(~133mil) and its game offering can be rather lacking, but in terms of raw sales I would call it quite a huge success.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410430)

Counting just the iPhone isn't fair if you're strictly talking video game systems. If you add in iPod Touch (approx 32 million sales as of 9 months ago... not sure what the latest figures are) and iPad (3 million).... that gives you at least 75 million iOS devices.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

flowwolf (1824892) | about 4 years ago | (#33410534)

The iphone has no buttons. Not a true gaming console. Gaming is secondary. Are you going to count how many TI-86+ are in the wild as a gaming base as well?
This data just convinces me that the industry manufactured console hardcore gaming market is about to pop. Kinect will sell them another 10mil if they're lucky.

No true Scotsman (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33410704)

The iphone has no buttons. Not a true gaming console.

The assertion that button presence defines a console sounds silly to me. A PC has even more buttons than an Xbox 360 with four controllers plugged into it. So is the PC "a true gaming console" to you? What about mobile phones running Android OS, many of which have a texting keyboard? I'd like to clear up no true Scotsman fallacies [wikipedia.org] and get Layne's Law of Debate [c2.com] out of the way so that we can know what each other is talking about.

Re:No true Scotsman (3, Informative)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 4 years ago | (#33411336)

While "has buttons" is a bad criterion, it is true that the iPhone was not designed to be a portable console. This is evident both in the interface (the touchscreen/tilt sensor combination is not very well suited for precise input and control schemes involving more than three or four buttons) and in the fact that at launch Apple didn't allow third-party software, which would be fairly devastating to a console. Third-party software - and thus games - was entirely an afterthought.

The iPhone/iPod touch/iPad are not primarily intended to be portable consoles. They are, respectively, a smartphone, a PDA and a tablet. They happen to play games and they have accumulated a large library over time (enough to advertise as a feature) but they are no more consoles than the Palm V or the Nokia N900 are. I think that a comparison between portable consoles makes the most sense when all involved devices were designed and intended as portable consoles. For instance, a lot of iPhone buyers bought it as a smartphone and not for its gaming capabilities (although I do admit that the PS3 has a similar problem as some people buy it just as a Blu-ray player.).



Semantics aside, more relevant to the discussion is that the NDS had easily twice as many sales as the PSP. In fact, the measuring stick would be the original Game Boy series (Game Boy/Pocket/Color/Light). It's widely known as a raging success, having enjoyed good sales on virtually unchanged hardware for a full decade.

Using Nintendo's 2008 annual financial report [nintendo.com] as a source we see that in 2008 Nintendo has sold about 81 million Game Boy Advances and about 119 million classic Game Boys. Even if we assume that the classic Game Boy continued to get sales it's unlikely to be far above 120 million units today. So Nintendo has sold more DSes in six years than classic Game Boys in twelve years (assuming that all classic Game Boy sales stopped when the GBA was introduced in 2001). The PSP doesn't even measure up against the Game Boy Advance although it's newer and can still overtake it. It's obvious that the NDS fares tremendously better in the market than the PSP does.

Also of interest are the other figures: As of 2008, Nintendo sold 25 million Wiis, 22 million Gamecubes, 33 million N64s, 49 million SNESes and 62 million NESes. Even allowing for the Wii being new and the N64 and the GameCube being failures, this illustrates that stationary consoles don't sell as many units as portable ones. The markets seem to behave differently, thus a direct comparison between the respective sales numbers may be pointless.

Add controller sales to console sales (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33411472)

at launch Apple didn't allow third-party software

Apple has done been plenty of launches since then: iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2 ("There's an app for that"), iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3 (faster CPU), and now iPhone 4 (retina display).

They happen to play games and they have accumulated a large library over time (enough to advertise as a feature) but they are no more consoles than the Palm V or the Nokia N900 are. I think that a comparison between portable consoles makes the most sense when all involved devices were designed and intended as portable consoles.

If game developers have largely abandoned a portable console (in this case PSP and PSP Go) in favor of a platform that handles gaming well yet is not originally designed as a portable console (in this case iPhone and iPod Touch), then having been originally designed as a portable console isn't much of a bullet point. Besides, even the PSP wasn't as gaming-focused as the DS was at launch, given Sony's initial push for UMD Video.

stationary consoles don't sell as many units as portable ones.

A stationary console has two to four controller ports (except in the case of the TG16, but then almost everybody had the 5-port hub for that once Bomberman came out). A handheld has one controller. So mom will buy one DS for Abigail and one for Chester but one Wii and one extra Wii Remote+Nunchuk because then they can both Brawl at once. So to get a number that compares fairly to handheld sales, try adding controller sales to console sales.

Re:No true Scotsman (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 4 years ago | (#33411400)

A gaming console is exactly what the name implies. A console designed for gaming. If you've bought it and don't intend to game, you've probably wasted your money.

The iphone is a phone, it is designed to function well as a phone and general purpose mini-tablet at the expense of its gaming capabilities.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33411248)

The PSP sold 60million units, for reference, that is more units then either Xbox360(~42mil), PS3(~37mil) or iPhone (~50mil). It of course is still just second place behind the NintendoDS(~133mil) and its game offering can be rather lacking, but in terms of raw sales I would call it quite a huge success.

I'd be much more interested in net profit over unit sales. Take the Wii for example, Nintendo makes money every time they sell one.

Young audiences grow up (0, Flamebait)

Spyrus (633357) | about 4 years ago | (#33409948)

Maybe they're trying to build their future audience. I suspect a lot of Nintendo's appeal to "older" gamers is rooted in goodwill from the past and nostalgia. Besides, if Sony's "core" audience has already abandoned them for DS and iOS, would it not be irrational to continue to chase them with an unwanted product? Then again, what do I know. The nerd blogs were all in a pantybunch over the PSP Go not having UMDs or dual analog sticks. I thought that refresh was pretty cool, and I happily ditched all my old UMD games to get one. It's almost as neat as my iPhone.

Re:Young audiences grow up (2, Insightful)

nog_lorp (896553) | about 4 years ago | (#33410008)

Sony's "core" audience has already abandoned them for jobs and taking care of their families, and it is time to get a new one (i.e. focus on the kids, who can be easily won over with a couple marketing dollars and a hip spokeskid)

Re:Young audiences grow up (2, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 4 years ago | (#33410432)

Yet I think everyone will agree that Kevin was a much better spokesperson/campaigner than Marcus ever will be.

Re:Young audiences grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410792)

I know a high school teenager who enjoys the Marcus commercials.

Those commercials miss completely to me, a 26 year old gamer.

About the only video game related commercial which can get me to turn around are the Gamestop bunny commercials. They make me lol.

Re:Young audiences grow up (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 4 years ago | (#33410612)

I suspect a lot of Nintendo's appeal to "older" gamers is rooted in goodwill from the past and nostalgia.

I bought a Nintendo DS Lite when it came out because had more interesting-looking "pick up and play" style titles that appealed to me when the PSP's "home console style games on a handheld" didn't.

FWIW, nostalgia had nothing to do with it- I always had a vague dislike of Nintendo due to their Disney-meets-Barney style characters, and I never grew up with them (here in the UK, the original NES was *never* particularly big nor culturally significant, mostly because Nintendo never really gave a toss about marketing in Europe at the time- even the Sega Master System outsold it in the UK, and the market remained home-computer driven until the 16-bit console era).

Nintendo identified and expanded the casual and "fun" gaming market and went for it when Sony continued to aim for the old-school "serious" gamers they thought were still their core market.

Re:Young audiences grow up (2, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33410644)

The nerd blogs were all in a pantybunch over the PSP Go not having UMDs or dual analog sticks. I thought that refresh was pretty cool, and I happily ditched all my old UMD games to get one. It's almost as neat as my iPhone.

The PSP Go was a terrible decision. As it stands, there are new games coming out now that the PSP Go can't play, simply because they won't be released on PSN.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep [joystiq.com] is just the most recent example.

Focus on younger audience... (1)

conares (1045290) | about 4 years ago | (#33409950)

When the boat is sinking, its usually a good idea to repair the leaky places first and not places where it might leak later. Fat guys in suits at it again.

Why are you suprised? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33409972)

Everything sony touches they ruin.

And they've been doing it for awhile now...

Misleading headline and summary (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410018)

Headline should have been "Sony to change focus to younger audience - targets Nintendo's market" - with the submitter's opinion stated *after* the summary of the linked article (start quote at 2nd sentence if you want to be lazy).

Where does the actual source article say anything about Sony losing ground?
How does the submitters' description of Nintendo doing exactly the same thing somehow lend support to that story? Sony's story, which is not contradicted by IG in their article, is not dissimilar - they're strong in one market, better than ever, but wish to grow on their weak markets (i.e: focus on your competitors' market for growth, not the market you own and saturated already).

This summary has almost nothing to do with the linked articles, and it's 90% opinion from the submitter (donniebaseball23)
I happen to agree with his opinion on both Sony's rationale and their chances, but that's not really 'news' and it misrepresents the actual 'news' part as if this is what something Sony admitted to, or actually stated as IndustryGamers' analysis.

The professionalism of Slashdot editors... what is the job description again?

Re:Misleading headline and summary (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 4 years ago | (#33410454)

Glad I'm not the only one who read the summary as basically saying: Sony are idiots for doing the same thing as Nintendo. Nintendo, however, are geniuses for doing it...

Re:Misleading headline and summary (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 4 years ago | (#33411172)

They aren't doing the same thing as Nintendo, they are doing what Nintendo did 5 years ago. Nintendo now is about pushing new technology (3D) and providing a gaming experience which is more clearly distinguished from what mobile phones can deliver.

Sony are idiots for not using an appropriate strategy at an appropriate time ... they really can't afford to hype 3D for consoles and TV and then pretend it's irrelevant for handhelds, it won't work. Nintendo is going to slaughter them again, this time using Sony's own strategy of pushing higher end technology ... with the help of Sony's own marketing hype generated for 3D.

Bad idea (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | about 4 years ago | (#33410040)

this isn't what they should go after. IMO, the nintendo DS is geared towards children 5-14. I've used one, its a good console, I just don't like having to draw on a screen to play my game. The PSP has historically been made for a bit more mature market, e.g. using optical disks instead of cartridges and having a lot more teen and mature rated titles; that's why I'm buying it instead of a 3DS. I know mobile gaming for young adults is not quite as big a niche as mobile gaming for kids, but its still one that needs to be filled, and if the PSP keeps doing the job its been doing, it'll always have a market.

Re:Bad idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410510)

Yes, because discs and M-rated games make for a "more mature" gaming system.

Insert eye-rolling smiley here.

Myst (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33410710)

I just don't like having to draw on a screen to play my game.

Then anybody who has played a PC game relying on a mouse has different tastes from you. Graphical adventures such as Myst sold millions on PC, even if the DS port might have been crap.

Re:Myst (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | about 4 years ago | (#33411258)

I do actually prefer PC gaming; by drawing I meant using a stylus.

Anybody else watch "Game Overthinker"? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410078)

http://gameoverthinker.blogspot.com/2010/08/episode-39-emperor-has-no-clothes.html

Its pretty long, but he talks about Sony's market dominance over the last two generations of consoles and its failure to capture that in its most recent console and endeavor into the handheld market. He emphasizes the dependence on new multimedia format (CD, DVD, Blu-ray, UMD) and struggling competition. Pretty interesting.

Uh oh! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410098)

You better get those PSP sales up, Marcus, or it's right back to the orphanage for you!

One Word: Smartphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410108)

I expect Sony realizes that the market for iOS, Android, and WinP7 games will continue to gain momentum in the coming years. Many adults _have_ to carry a cellphone, and the other appealing features of a smartphone mean that you can do nearly anything with a single device. I'm not such a huge gamer these days, but even my ancient (by pda/phone standards) n810 has plenty of power to give me my on-the-go gaming fix. Add the accelerated 3D graphics of the latest offerings, and who needs a portable console?

Also, last I checked, even the newer PSPs weren't what I'd call pocketable. Kids have backpacks and limited communications needs. Adults have pockets, more responsibilities, and a lot less free time.

Re:One Word: Smartphones (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 4 years ago | (#33411220)

Casual vs. real games isn't an either/or situation ... there is a real market for real games on a handheld with real controls ... it might not be the bigger market, but it's a pretty fucking sizeable one.

PSP Go messed it all up (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 4 years ago | (#33410116)

Nobody I know with a PSP has upgraded to the PSP Go. It just doesn't make sense.

You can't play a game, complete it then trade it in for another game. The games shops lose and the customer loses too.

Before launch it was said that you would be able to swap a PSP UMD for a digital version for the PSP Go. This didn't happen, so it made migration expensive if you had an existing UMD collection.

Another problem is downloads, your PSP Go has to sit there while you download the game, which could be hours.

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (1)

vakuona (788200) | about 4 years ago | (#33410170)

Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download. You need to go out and buy a UMD game, or get someone else to deliver it for you. With a decent connection, a download s always quicker and more convenient!

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410242)

Yeah a downloadable as a lot of advantages: it can be revoked at will, when you change console you can be forced to pay for it once more. The publisher can also sell it at the same price as the physical media.

Very convenient indeed.

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410352)

Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download. You need to go out and buy a UMD game, or get someone else to deliver it for you. With a decent connection, a download s always quicker and more convenient!

You must live in a very remote place compared to some of us. I can be down to the store, pick the game up, and be back home and gaming in less than half an hour. Compare that to sitting around for a few hours for the download to complete... "With a decent connection" is probably your keyword phrase there. Sadly not a lot of people have such a beast, and fewer and fewer will as lower and lower monthly caps are applied by isps.

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410384)

"With a decent connection, a download s always quicker and more convenient!"

Best Buy is like 2 minutes down the road from my house. 2 minutes there, 5 minutes in the store (unless its busy I suppose), 2 minutes back. I am playing the game in 10. A download may be conducive to my laziness, but it's typically not quicker.

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33410740)

Why is it a problem for you to wait a few hours for a download.

Because what you call "a decent connection" isn't available everywhere, especially out in the country once the farm chores are done. It's faster to ship a UMD across the United States than to download it over satellite or cellular, especially given that three to six full-UMD games would eat up 100% of the 5 to 10 GB/mo caps that all wireless Internet providers impose.

Re:PSP Go messed it all up (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#33410490)

The games shops lose and the customer loses too.

Luckily, Sony doesn't about either of those groups.

Sony's position is its own fault (5, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | about 4 years ago | (#33410304)

The PSP's dead man walking state is completely due to Sony's ineptitude. I blame is on corporate ego, after winning two console generations in a row the attitude seemed to be that they could just push their way and gamers would just fall lock step into whatever Sony "blessed" them with, regardless of price, features or support. While pushing all the "features" that the hardcore audience would appreciate, they completely neglected the most important features, games. Gran Turismo portable for instance was demo'ed at the PSP launch announcement and was even featured on the box but didnt ship until last year. The rate of first party titls has been anemic since it launched and the 3rd party support has been shrinking. Piracy can be partially to blame but an equal blame should be laid at Sony's feet for not focusing on the right aspects of the device and supporting it properly. UMD was stillborn, which IMHO was a missed opportunity, I would have gladly paid for a UMD player for the house or car but Sony for some reason chose to keep it locked up deeming the format useless, yet rather than focus on the gaming they chose to advertise it as this do everything media device while basically downplaying its gaming prowess. As a result the much less capable DS has completely buried the PSP despite the inferior hardware.

I have been trying for months to sell a PSP bundle with over 2 dozen games (admittedly nothing as recent as the last year and a half or so) and cant get any interest at any value more than the joy of taking outside and stomping the crap out of it.

Re:Sony's position is its own fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410984)

Once upon a time, Sony was the greatest electronic manufacturer on the planet. Then they bought music and movie companies. Now they are ruled by American IP attorneys and as part of the RIAA and MPAA spend most of their time trying to murder free speech and privacy. They have little time to create anymore and cannot go out of existence soon enough.

Re:Sony's position is its own fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33411216)

I have been trying for months to sell a PSP bundle with over 2 dozen games (admittedly nothing as recent as the last year and a half or so) and cant get any interest at any value more than the joy of taking outside and stomping the crap out of it.

I'll give you tree fiddy.

Re:Sony's position is its own fault (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | about 4 years ago | (#33411466)

I think Sony is often making suicidal/stupid decisions regarding the PSP although I have to say the PSP is in my opinion by far the best system for mobile gaming even now, there are still some really good games appearing for a few examples there is a new God of War in the works, Only out is Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker, Air Combat joint Assault.
I think the Nintendo 3DS does look very promising and from what I've seen it may be the PSP killer but I really think people making claims about the Iphone/Ipad being a competitor for the PSP are just plain delusional and this includes Sony themselves who seem to have believed the hype and are now trying to compete with their mini range of games and the really poorly thought out and overpriced Go! console.
If it isn't Obvious I have the dilemma where I really do like the PSP and use mine a lot even more than my main consoles in honesty, but at the same time I actively dislike Sony and almost all the decisions they have been making.

Sony Computer Entertainment: The Trailbazer? (1)

Destoo (530123) | about 4 years ago | (#33410326)

There was a time when Sony Computer Entertainment was a trailblazer, bringing things to the industry ahead of everyone else.

When?
Please list successful innovations and dates. I'm really curious.

cellphones? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 years ago | (#33410508)

I think sony is being rather smart here. We're not far off from the point in which cellphones will provide all the gaming entertainment an adult would want. Buying another $300 gadget just to get better graphics while you're waiting in the airport doesn't make much sense. The only audience that'll be interested in portal gaming in the next 5-10 years are going to be the ones that don't have cellphones... i.e. Kids.

Re:cellphones? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 4 years ago | (#33410618)

You can run original playstation games on an Android phone. Frankly, this is more compelling then most portable dedicated gaming systems if you get a phone with a usable gaming interface (you can get a game pad type of slip cover for the original Droid for example).

No not really (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33411072)

There are two problems with cellphones as a primary gaming platform, one that you really can't fix:

1) Controls. Cellphones are not well suited to games. The reason the gamepad has endured is not coincidence, it is a good tool for the job. Yes you can add a gamepad, but that makes the phone much larger and people don't like that one bit. While the problem isn't completely unsolvable, it is difficult.

2) Battery life. When you do anything else with your phone, you drain the battery. There are no new magic battery technologies out there that will extend the life a long time. Play games, your talk time goes down. There's just no way around this, other than larger batteries.

This idea that everything unifies on a single device is silly, and you need only to look at other areas of life to see it is not something that happens all the time. You probably have an oven, a microwave, and a toaster in your house. Well why? That oven makes perfectly good toast (try it if you don't believe me). It is also far more flexible at cooking things than the microwave. So why do you have those other devices?

Well you have them because they do certain tasks, tasks you want, better and/or more efficiently. It is worth having the dedicated device because of that.

Games on cellphones work fine when it is a minor distraction kind of thing. You carry around some games so if you are waiting in the doctor's office you can play for a bit. They don't work for longer periods of entertainment. Spend a 4 hour flight playing a phone game and you may find you can't call your ride when you land at the airport.

Sony Ericsson Android 3.0 device (0, Offtopic)

Bjrn (4836) | about 4 years ago | (#33410626)

Well the supposedly upcoming Sony Ericsson Android 3.0 device [engadget.com] looks interesting to me, with a QWERTY keyboard and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU.

Re:Sony Ericsson Android 3.0 device (1)

Bjrn (4836) | about 4 years ago | (#33410670)

Oops, I misremember. No normal keyboard, just a game controller. Still an interesting device though.

Re:Sony Ericsson Android 3.0 device (1)

MikeFM (12491) | about 4 years ago | (#33411240)

Built-in buttons wear out though. I'd rather see devices that support good add-on devices. The iTouch is shaped well for it but Apple seems to make it difficult somehow as we've seen few authorized add-ons. Probably the biggest fault with iDevices is it's weak hardware accessory ecosystem.

DS Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410754)

One reason why the DS continues to be more popular is piracy. Getting pirate games to run on a PSP requires hardware modding, while the only thing you need on a DS is to buy a cheap R4 cartridge.

Re:DS Piracy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33410866)

One reason why the DS continues to be more popular is piracy. Getting pirate games to run on a PSP requires hardware modding...

Eh? I know a couple of guys that just ran a software hack on their PSPs and were able to play compressed ISOs of PSP games. No need to purchase a 'cheap cart'.

Re:DS Piracy (1)

keith_nt4 (612247) | about 4 years ago | (#33410996)

If you happen to have the right generation of PSP with the right firmware version PSPs can be "jail broken" for lack of better term through software. Eventually the firmware made software hacks impossible. At least that is the last thing I read about six months ago when I last checked. And I don't think anyone has even bothered to mod the PSPGo.

Sony stifles innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33410820)

When the PSP launched, it was advertised with a keyboard, camera and GPS. None of these have been launched in North America even after these many years. All of these would have been good sellers, if priced properly They had infra-red port on the original PSP and took it out in later iterations. The funny part in, in each of these, the homebrew community launched workarounds to get these things to work. The PSP has Flash support, where's yours Apple?

The PSPGo was a no-go from the start. Anyone with any UMDs in their collection would never buy one. Don't get me wrong, the UMD drive was too fragile and the UMD enclosures were the same but at least I can buy and sell used ones unlike digital ones.

For the record, the Sega GameGear is still my favourite portable gaming device and, yes, I still have one.

Re:Sony stifles innovation (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 4 years ago | (#33410978)

For the record, the Sega GameGear is still my favourite portable gaming device and, yes, I still have one.

Did you get stock in eveready at the same time? Christ they were mean on batteries.... backlit screen was nice, though.

What I saw (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | about 4 years ago | (#33411342)

While I personally never really felt the need to buy something like a PSP their target market seemed very narrow: gullible rich kids/young adults who did not mind being locked into Sony's proprietary formats.

If they wanted to lock people into formats they needed to put out some very cheap type units. Get the public hooked with a loss-leader or break even type unit that would then have them wanting to buy the high end units.

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