The psp2000 was released in 2007 as a successor to the original PSP launched by Sony in 2004 (Japan) and 2005 (rest of the world). It was Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s years of dominating the handheld gaming market with its various portable systems and electronic media, but never quite reached its potential. Here are some reasons the PSP 2000 did not take the portable gaming industry by storm.
Buying A PSP 2000 Today
After nearly a decade, you can still buy a PSP 2000 online. Many gaming stores are offering these older PSP generation devices at bargain prices. They are available for purchase at $69 refurbished or $49 pre-owed. And, if you wanted to buy it brand new, it would only cost $129, including all the parts with an USB chord and AC adapter. However, this device was not always cheap.
It Did Not Update Enough
Sony broke into the handheld gaming market in late 2005, early 2005 (depending on your location) with the PSP. It offered gamers a chance to play Sony Playstation titles on the go without the need for their gaming laptop. However, it also included a media player for movies and music. 2 years later, the psp2000 was released. Although the updated psp2000 boasted better battery life and smoother colors than its predecessor, it did not update enough to excite the market. Most reviews stated that it was fine for gamers looking to get a portable Sony gaming device, but those with the previous model need not update. This is one reason the psp2000 did not take off upon release.
It Was Too Expensive
The psp 2000 was around $200 upon release, which was considered expensive for a handheld gaming unit at the time. Its major competitor, the Nintendo DS, was around $130 at the time and boasted a better catalog of games. The psp 2000 had a price drop to $170 in its first year, which may have helped some gamers on the fence consider it a worthwhile expense. However, many reviewers thought a price drop in the first year was bad news. In addition to the psp 2000 system being expensive compared to its Nintendo competitor, the games were also pricey. Nintendo games retailed around $25 at the time, while psp2000 games were around $40. After already spending a premium on the system, the price of games adds up. Price was definitely a factor in why the psp 2000 did not take the market by storm.
Battery Life Was Mediocre
The psp 2000 battery was updated from its predecessor, but did not upgrade enough to be considered much more than mediocre. Gamers reported an average of around 3 hours of gaming on the breakable technology device before the battery needed to be charged. This makes the psp 2000 a hard sell for anyone flying across country or internationally, or those that cannot charge periodically throughout the day. It was reported that by turning off WiFi, turning down the brightness, and using headphones instead of the speakers, users could get 5-6 hours of battery life out of the psp2000. Battery life is important to electronics consumers, and the psp2000 battery life was not quite good enough to wow the gaming market.
It Tried To Do Too Much
The psp2000 boasted an impressive variety of functions. First and foremost, it was a portable gaming system, but it also played movies and music with its media player. The catch was, it used a proprietary movie format known as UMD, which never really took off. While the music option was nice, there was not enough storage space to replace an iPod or similar music listening device. Unfortunately, even the gaming experience was not perfect.
The psp2000 had few major publisher releases to keep gamers interested, and it did not offer a unique enough experience from the PS3 which had more drive storage. Major ps3 titles had spin-off psp 2000 titles but there were few exclusive games to entice gamers, whereas Nintendo created unique games for each system prompting fans to buy multiple systems. The psp2000 tried to do many things and was not the top performer in any area; perhaps if Sony had focused on one area instead of stretching itself too thin, the psp2000 would have had more success.
Cell Phones And Tablets Took Off
The first iPhone was introduced in 2007 while the psp 2000 was struggling to gain market share. In 2008, the first Android smartphone was released. As cell phone technology improved and became more affordable, the casual laptop gaming market increased by offering cheap, easy-to-play app games. Carrying around a portable gaming system seemed unnecessary to all but the hardcore gaming community, because smartphone users could already play games on their phones. In 2010, the first iPad was released and the tablet revolution came shortly thereafter. Soon, the market was flooded with affordable tablets that could do most of what the psp 2000 could do and more. Although Sony could probably not predict the popularity of smartphones taking off, it is likely this contributed to the psp 2000 not selling well.
Sony PSP 2000 Slim
While the PSP 2000 was sort of a bust, the release of PSP Slim was better received. The PSP 2000 Slim offered a lighter, sleeker version of the original PSP device. The added AV output was much appreciated for video and game playback. The new edition of the device also improved game load times while still offering all of the innovative online capabilities of its predecessor. However, their were still some drawbacks to the newer version of the gaming device, like UMD load times. In any case, the Sony PSP 2000 Slim was much better received than its predecessor, and still sells for about $200, which is impressive.
There are a number of reasons why the psp 2000 fell shorts in its expectations. Some flaws can be attributed to Sony not knowing its audience well enough to know what portable gamers wanted, and at what price. Other reasons are outside of Sony’s control, but important nonetheless. The Sony psp2000 was a decent system, but it tried to do too much with too little focus on the right features, ultimately leading to lackluster sales and its eventual replacement by other Sony products. With the increasing affordability of virtual reality gaming devices, it was only a matter of time anyway.
Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm6EFpMFG7I