Sony Repeats Aibo Mistakes With The PSP

from the the-importance-of-the-developer-ecosystem... dept

Ah, Sony. They tell us they had learned from the past and yet they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Remember in 2001, when people were getting a huge kick out of hacking their Aibo robotic dogs? They made them dance and do all sorts of neat tricks. It really made the Aibos a lot more interesting and worth having, and was a great value-added offering for Sony -- which Sony had to spend exactly nothing on to have. Yet, Sony, in their short-sightedness squashed the hackers with DMCA claims, turning the Aibo into just another boring robotic dog. So, now that the PSP gaming device is out -- and doing quite well, indeed -- some developers have been out there hacking the device as much as possible to let it do much more than Sony originally intended. Does Sony encourage them, knowing that it will make the device even more valuable? Nope. They upgrade the firmware to block out these hacks, and then try to force users who want to play new games to upgrade the firmware specifically to block out these hacks. Apparently, Sony hasn't realized that by creating a platform and letting the enthusiast community make it more valuable for free, they'd be in a position to sell even more of the devices.

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  1. identicon
    David Trammell, 7 Jun 2005 @ 6:55pm

    No Subject Given

    But why wouldn't Sony want to lock out hardware hackers? Over the course of its lifetime, a purchased PSP will provide much more profit to Sony in the form of game and movie royalties, than from the initial sale of the unit. That's all these game systems are - new platforms on which to play purchased content. If the hardware hackers co-opt the device, then at best Sony sells extra PSPs to a bunch of folks who then never purchase extra games/movies (because they bought it as a cheap, portable way to play their own full-length movie rips and surf the net wirelessly), and at worst, once the DRM protecting their games is defeated, they "lose sales" to free-trading pirates.
    Please don't think I'm apologizing for them - I just think its important to understand their motivations, instead of simply saying "Sony is stupid!"

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