Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Console Post Of The Week: The "Oh, Shit!" Addendum

I totally missed this yesterday because I was running on fumes, but the announcement of the PSP GO marks an absolutely HUGE moment in gaming.


We've speculated for years about the used game market and its effect on the new game market. Publishers have absolutely screamed for years about how it's killing them.

I don't believe that's the case. I believe that the used game market has actually increased the size of the gaming market because it has significantly increased purchase activity overall. What we've always lacked, though, is a test case, so we never knew one way or the other.

Well, we're about to find out, aren't we?

The PSP GO has no UMD slot. Everything bought for the GO is a digital download. No used game market.

Now, if Sony adjusted the price of downloads to acknowledge that the product is worth less because there's no ability to resell, it wouldn't be an ideal test case. But we all know that Sony isn't like that--they'd never admit that relationship, and I'm willing to bet that their downloads will cost the same as a game on UMD.

In other words, we have a perfect testbed.

If the GO is successful (without Sony drastically adjusting the price of the downloads), then it would be fair to argue that the used game market really hasn't been beneficial to the market overall. If it fails, though, it's fair to make the case that the used game market really is beneficial to a platform overall.

So here we go. We have a highly-priced, non-backward compatible, download-only platform with no used game market. Does anyone else hear a giant sucking sound?

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