John Davison, chief of WhatTheyPlay and studier of all things iPhone believes the PSPgo is going to make PSP gamers re-think what they're willing to spend on games.
PSPgo, as we learned at E3, is a no-disc version of the PSP coming this October 1, one that will require gamers to download their games. Among the games people will be able to download will be full-sized games that would normally be released on disc for the system at standard PSP game prices: $20- $40.
But in the world of the iPhone, customers have become accustomed to buying games cheaply, and have seen game prices stay low, with few exceptions.
So what's going to happen if people bring iPhone App Store pricing expectations to the PSPgo?
The topic came up at one hour, four minutes and 17 seconds of the most recent installment of the always-epic Listen Up podcast. Show regulars David Ellis and Garnett Lee joined the pricing conversation with Davison as they discussed the irresistible nature of the 99-cent price for some iPhone games:
David Ellis: Ninety-nine cents is like popping two quarters into an arcade machine… I'll check this game out.
John Davison: Yeah, even if I'll only play a couple of times, whatever, it's only 99 cents. But once you get to $10 it's a noticeable hit on your credit card. But for me, Rolando 2 is sort of on the periphery of being worth it. And, put it into a broader context: If Rolando 2 was a DS game and it was 30 bucks, price wouldn't come into it. If it was a PSP game, it would be 30 bucks and price wouldn't come into it.
Garnett Lee: I think that's part of the argument that tech bloggers have been making is that the floor fell so fast in the App store to 99 cents …
Davison: But I think we're also going to see it with PSPgo. As we move toward digital on PSP, price sensitivity is going to come in fast.
Lee: That would be brutal on that platform.
Davison: Yeah, and a year from now? You're going to look at something like Loco Roco and go: 'I am not going to spend 20 bucks on this.'
Sony hasn't said much about software pricing on the PSPgo. On the DSi, where Nintendo has been releasing downloadable games weekly, prices have ranged from $2 to $5 for games, clocks and other digital shorts.