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
    Permanent4, 8 Jun 2005 @ 9:12am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Excellent analysis, David. That's the thing that keeps getting forgotten here -- game sales mean far more profit in the long run than console sales. Sony doesn't want the PSP co-opted by hackers and homebrew designers, because that may mean fewer games and movies sold, and thus, fewer royalties. They don't want people to plug the PSP into a TV, because that means sacrificing potential PS2 and DVD player sales. They don't want people to use SD cards in the PSP, because they want to sell Memory Sticks that make money for Sony.

    Does that make it right? Doesn't matter. It's just how the business works. This is a specific device for a specific set of tasks, and those tasks need to maximize profit for Sony. Otherwise, they would charge as much for the PSP as Archos does for the PMA430, which is quite hackable and quite expensive.

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