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Saturday, October 10, 2009

PSPgo - the PS Store

First off, remember how I mentioned that Future Shop was selling those PSN game cards.... they were mostly Greatest Hits titles; God of War: Chains of Olympus, Twisted Metal: Head On, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, etc. they were selling them for standard retail price, $19.99 & up. I went back in there yesterday, and they were almost completely gone. They had STACKS of these things, hanging up on pegs, and there was only a small pile of an NBA game PSN card left.

What gets me is that when I checked out the PS Store, I saw a lot of those games for LESS than what Future Shop was selling those cards for. Twisted Metal, for example, is on the PS Store for $14.99, and I know that those PSN card versions of it were $19.99.

So makes me wonder, are PSPgo owners kinda, ummm... stupid??? Seriously..... obviously this resurgence in sales is due to the opening week of the PSPgo launch. And of course new owners are really excited to load up this new console with games. But to buy a card that is a voucher for a game-- not the actual game itself, just a placeholder til you download it-- aaaaaand to pay MORE for that card than you would if you just went to the site itself (which you have to go to with the card anyway) and just paid for it there. Or if you don't want to pay online, you could just buy a general PSN card & spend it however you want. I will say though, that Future Shop didn't have any PSN cards when I checked, and it's not made clear that you can do that by them or Sony at all... a major marketing slip-up there.

So... the 2nd part of my PSPgo experience. For the first week or so I just played with it offline, no access to Media Go software & the PlayStation Store. Last night I installed Media Go; first I updated my Quicktime because I knew it required that for some reason. I hardly ever use Quicktime.... and I also uninstalled my old PlayStation Network Downloader from back when the PC access was more direct instead of being through Media Go. I also of course had to update the PSpgo's firmware to 6.10.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you're updating through a PC and getting the update from the PlayStation site, be aware that there are *TWO DIFFERENT FIRMWARE UPDATES*. One for PSP-1000/2000/3000 models and one specifically for the PSPgo (PSP-N1000). On the Update page they don't really explain that clearly, so make sure you get the right update for the right PSP!

After jumping through all those hoops, I gave it a shot & tried to download from the PS Store, a demo for Undead Knights. I had some problems, I kept getting this message:

A connection error has occurred. (0x80048b1f)

I have to admit, I was pretty down about it. If I couldn't get the PS Store to work for me, I'd have to return the PSPgo, otherwise what good is it? So today I checked my firewall settings, did everything I could to get this to work, and it did! It updated the PSN downloader and everything seemed to work.

I have no idea if/when my PS Store access will bugger up again. I have to be prepared that it might just decide to not work for me tomorrow, next week, whenever... so I bought a few games.... honestly, there's not a lot on there that I'm dying for or anything. For now, last I checked, it worked.

I've been thinking who is the PSPgo for? What is Sony trying to accomplish here? I think I have a better idea of what they want: they want PSPgo owners to download games, but they mostly want them to download video; tv shows & movies. The vast majority of the PSP PSN content is video; they claim there's something like 16,000 pieces of downloadable content and 225 of it is games. You do the math.

Well that leaves Canadian PSN users out in the cold since we can't buy video content from the PS Store. But honestly, I wouldn't buy that stuff even if I could. yeah I load lots of tv content on my PSPgo (and PSPs) but it's from the Neuros Recorder 2+. Paying per show seems like a rip-off to me, but I guess if you don't subscribe to cable & only buy a few shows then it's worth it for some.

So I'd say the PSPgo puts a priority on video (they want you to buy it from the PSN) and then games. With it's smaller size & most of the same featureset of the previous PSP, it's clear that Sony sees it as a media player first & game player second.


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