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Chubby PSPs Dip Below the $130 Mark

Sadly, the PSP Go suffers no mention in Sony's official price drop... Or any mention at all.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: February 25, 2011
Say what you will (and we know you will) about the PSP's success as a software-driving platform, but there can be no doubt as to the system's raw hardware sales numbers. We've made a point in the past of putting the hardware numbers in perspective, citing figures like that fact that even a while back, the system had eclipsed the combined sales of the GameCube and Xbox from last generation, but now we have the most current number straight from Sony Computer Entertainment: 67.8 million units sold as of the end of last year.

While the system is obviously in need of a little sales pick-me-up here in the States where the price cut is happening, over in its native Japan, the PSP is consistently the best-selling piece of hardware week after week -- sometimes doing so well it outsells everything else combined. This is thanks almost exclusively to the absolute strangle hold Monster Hunter has on the gaming populace there, with the latest entry now tipping above four million copies sold just in Japan alone.

But Stateside? Well, let's say the software and hardware successes have been a bit more... muted, which is why Sony has finally decided to pull the trigger and cut into the profits they've been making off the PSPs that do sell every month. Starting Sunday (that's the 27th of this month for those not keeping track of the shortest month of the year), the PSP (and Sony makes no distinction here, so we're erring on the side of caution and guessing they mean the 3000 model rather than the still-pricy PSP go) will have a new official price point at retail of $129.99.

For those keeping track, that's a $40 cut -- almost a good quarter of the price -- and brings with it new additions to the system's dirt-cheap Greatest Hits and Favorites lineup. The former, going for a penny under $20 for a new copy, has grown to almost 70 titles, and new counts among them Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines and Dissidia: Final Fantasy, our current pick for best PSP game ever, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Toy Story 3: The Video Game, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance: Retribution and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters -- that last one being at one time a bundle with the PSP 3000.

The Favorites lineup is even more tempting, slashing that low price to just a cent under ten bucks brand-spankin'-new, and now includes a return to Midgar with Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Ready at Dawn Studios' brilliant spin-off Daxter, that very same Monster Hunter game we linked to above, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Killzone: Liberation and SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo. Not a bad way to get a ton of games for dirt cheap, and they're good games, we might add.

"The PSP system set the standard for complete portable entertainment and continues to be the premiere destination for gamers on-the-go," proudly proclaims Tim Bender, Sony Computer Entertainment America's Senior Veep of Sales. "Nearly six years after its initial launch, demand for the PSP remains strong. This new price point enables us to broaden the PSP platform to a larger group of consumers who are looking for best-in-class handheld entertainment."

This clearly paves the way for a bit more of a perceived gap between the price of the original PSP and it's currently code-named successor, the Next Generation Portable, and creates an interesting set of possibilities for not only the NGP's debut price (we're thinking somewhere around the $300 mark), and the PlayStation 3, which has rested quite comfortably at that same $300 price point for a while now. We're guessing come E3 that the price the current slim PS3 has enjoyed for about a year and a half now will drop precipitously, but of course that's the fun of working in this undustry: until someone actually tells you, you never really know.

We'll have more news on all three of Sony's platforms as the family grows heading into the Holiday season. Check back soon!