The PSP has been a rather unusual piece of hardware for Sony, on one hand, it's selling fairly well, over 50-million PSP's have been sold worldwide since the system first arrived in December of 2004, making it four and a half years that the unit has been on sale. But where the PSP has struggled has been software sales, compare the PlayStation 2 and the amount of million-sellers it had with an install base of 50 million owners, and compare the amount of million sellers the PSP has now…and it's a rather stark difference. But there's a reason for this, explains Sony's Peter Dille in an interview with Gamasutra, who also mentions how developers almost abandoned the PSP as a whole at one point.

"[18 months ago, developers were] just about ready to jump off the cliff and pull support for the platform," Dille states. Pretty shocking words, to be honest. But Sony's solution to this problem was to stop random PSP ports and put more emphasis on building higher quality games that fit and make sense for the platform, games such as Resistance Retribution, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed, and Rock Band.

Dille went on to talk about how piracy and other unauthorized upgrades made to the PSP have hurt the system's success in terms of software sales. "I'm convinced and we're convinced that piracy has taken out a big chunk of our software sales on PSP," Dille states. "It's been a problem that the industry has to address together; it's one that I think the industry takes very seriously, but we need to do something to address this because it's criminal what's going on, quite frankly."

"It's not good for us, but it's not good for the development community. We can look at data from BitTorrent sites from the day Resistance: Retribution goes on sale and see how many copies are being downloaded illegally, and it's frankly sickening. We are spending a lot of time talking about how we can deal with that problem."

On the subject of custom firmwares and other loopholes found in the PSP's firmware, Dille states that there is potential for 50 million PSP owners to modify their firmwares and play pirated games off their memory stick. "Those numbers are correct," says Dille. "There's a lot of hardware out there; toothpaste is out of the tube. We're not going to get that hardware back into the toothpaste container."

"I'm not naive, but I do think that most people are inherently honest," he says. "We learned a lot from the music business, and it became so easy and so common to download illegal music — everyone was doing it. It's almost like people lost sight with the fact that, well, "If everyone's doing it, then it can't be that bad."

"But, it actually is bad; it's bad for the platform. Again, I'm not saying that that's a magic wand; I think that we have to make sure from a technological perspective that it's not as easy as it is to do that."

Read the full interview with Peter Dille, Senior Vice President of Marketing SCEA, over at Gamasutra. It's a good read.

Subscribe
Notify of
61 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Oyashiro
Oyashiro
12 years ago

Damn Pirates…

I can see them now, Typing on there computers, Feeding there parrots, tapping the peg leg on the ground in rhythm with the latest J-pop tune that they pirated by the way…

They are the reason we cant have nice things! >:(

N a S a H
N a S a H
12 years ago

That's bullshit TBH. Hacking the PSP isn't illegal. Downloading the games for it is. I have bought 3 PSP's just because of the hacking ability. I use it to play homebrew, how else are you meant to play N64 and SNES games on the go? Yeah downloading games for it wrong but Sony need to get better ways of encrypting their UMD's.

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

I agree with NaSah, I hacked my PSP, although I have NEVER donwloaded a PSP game before, I purely use the homebrew features to back-up games and get more out of my PSP. People have to realise that Sony and other devs make most of there profit off of software, as is the case with the PS3.

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
12 years ago

Can anyone honestly say they have never downloaded something illegally ?

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
12 years ago

I did until I turned 15. I got a job and realized that CD quality>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MP3.

iPwn_3G
iPwn_3G
12 years ago

Nope, Anyone else?

Victor321
Victor321
12 years ago

I guess I'll be the first one up to the plate. I'll be honest, I have downloaded over 30 games for my PSP vio CSO and/or ISO. I do it because it helps me save money for the PS2 and PS3 games I buy.

A good example was when KZ2 came out and I really wanted to buy it. Since I got school and other things, I wanted to buy it immediately! Lol but I decided till the March Break to buy it (cuz all of my major assignments were due 1-2 weeks before the break, and I had TONS of time to do nothing but games during the break itself, so I made a good decision to hold it out buying it).

So, I waited it out to buy it and a few days before I bought KZ2, Retribution came out. I was like "Aw no! I only have enough money to get KZ2, but I love the Resistance series and I want that too….T.T I don't like this situation, it happens so frequently", so I just decided to download it via torrent and I finished the game 1-2 days ago.

I have started downloading pirated PSP games ever since 2008. I acknowledge that it does hurt PSP software sales, but when I read articles a few weeks back stating that the PSP enjoyed 2008 as one of the best years of its sales yet, I realize that I was worrying over nothing.

Also lastly, I managed to buy KZ2 and MGS4 (my dad lended me extra money when he saw my grades Lol) so I benefit from downloading PSP games a lot.

Now, I just want to say that I am NOT advertising or persuading anyone to do it. If you do, go ahead. If you don't, I'm fine.

I am not saying "Hey man, get your PSP hacked and download PSP games. I mean, save money for yourself yo!" NO. I sincerely do not mean that. That is all.

P.S. I finished KZ2 and MGS4 singleplayer-wise, and in KZ2 online, I am General, or the 3-star rank. XD You can find and add me via Kurokai123.

Thanks to the new patch (v1.24) that's coming out soon, T.T I'm not the last rank anymore! DX


Last edited by Victor321 on 4/22/2009 7:06:25 PM

Gregory Freeman
Gregory Freeman
12 years ago

i "ARRRR" a pirate!!!

lol music, videos, but never modded my psp…

bamf
bamf
12 years ago

Like in the Simpsons when Bart steals the 'Bonestorm II' I think the game is called and bart's conscience says 'its the companies fault for making you want it so much' thats what happened to you with Retribution.

556pineapple
556pineapple
12 years ago

Vinyl record>>>>>>>>CD!!! Yeah, gotta say I prefer a physical copy of anything over digital. Music, movies, games. Quality is just better all around. Not to say I haven't ever been a pirate, I just prefer to buy something. If I pay money for it, I'm more prone to enjoying it more also.

somethingrandom
somethingrandom
12 years ago

I pirate things sometimes, but only if I have no plans on buying it, or I'm too flat broke.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

Yes, I can honestly say that. I have never downloaded an illegal MP3, CD or DVD image, game or other bootleg video/music/game product.

I have circumvented copy protection on games/CDs I have purchased – for my convenience, but *never* shared anything I have disabled protection on.

Frankly there is zero argument that any free-tard can bring that alters the simple fact that copy right theft is theft. When you download and use a game you did not pay for, you have stolen a copy of that game. You may not have walked into a store and swiped a disc, but functionally that is exactly what you did.

Piracy of game software is a particular issue for the PSP and on PCs. I believe that the original Xbox had quite an issue with it as well. I'm well aware of all the arguments that custom firmware and homebrew offer legitimate functionality updates as well. Fine, but the absolute and vast majority of those using custom firmware do so to play games they haven't played for. As Dille shows the data from Bit Torrent sites is direct evidence and confirmation of this issue. There is no debate. Game Piracy hurts the industry and almost killed the PSP platform.

Before I get flamed over this, this is not an issue of freedom, it's an issue of responsibility. You're free to do as you like, but you are also responsible for your actions, legal or illegal. Copyright infringement is illegal. Deal with it. The simple fact is that the actions of those who use games that they haven't paid for are costing me money every time I purchase a PSP game, and they're costing me the chance to play games that will no longer see a US release thanks to the actions of thieves.

Thanks guys – may you live in interesting times and be slow roasted over coals in return for your mis-deeds.

faraga
faraga
12 years ago

well, i was planning to chip my psp along with the screen repair/replace, but this article changed my mind.

yes, i do download a lot of music, yes i do regulary download movies, but in therms of games, no, not really, i once downloaded the 1st driver, and gta 1 from the rockstar site, i tried racedriver GRID, but my notebook couldnt handle it.

that's the advantage of having a ps3, you save for a game some time, then you buy it and really appreciate it.

its a shame not all off the good buckethead cd's are on the dutch version of amazon (its called "bol") cuz they all have to be imported, i never found one of his cds in a local music store, if they were, id buy them right away


Last edited by faraga on 4/23/2009 2:00:59 AM

artson1966
artson1966
12 years ago

I sure can and I'm very proud of it.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
12 years ago

I can,
Or at least I think I can, or not not knowingly

LightShow
LightShow
12 years ago

i've taken PSP games i own and make a digital copy to put on my memory stick, just for convenience and faster loading times. I personally dont believe in pirating games curently for sale off the internet, but I do enjoy he versatility that an alternate FW provides, especially with emulation for GBA and even old PSX games.

bamf
bamf
12 years ago

People will have downloaed for free not realizing that its illegal to do so. Have you seen those tv ads where its shows someone gonig into a movie or music store and stealing all the stuff and then it states 'you wouldn't steal from a store, copyright piracy is illegal' The thing is with that is there is such a high risk of getting caught if you just went into store and hid a dvd in your jacket. If a thousand people at one time ran in and stole something your chances of getting caught are so slim, thats whyat bitcommet is like, even easier actually. Would we rob a bank of millions if we knew we get away with it?

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
12 years ago

Would we rob a bank of millions if we knew we would get away with it…Free money, Jesus. I feel comfortable saying that the majority of the population would take the money. Including myself.

FLYING_APE
FLYING_APE
12 years ago

i never bought a psp game. piracy ftw

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
12 years ago

Please don't post stuff like that here. We look down on this kind of activity and do not condone it. Open discussion of being a pirate will lead to a ban.

N a S a H
N a S a H
12 years ago

lol *Arnold prepares the ban hammer*

coldbore
coldbore
12 years ago

i have a hacked PSP with 5.0m33 firmware, but i only downloaded one game (i think it was the new star wars battlefront) but only because i really wanted that game and had no money, but i prefer to have my PSP hacked because i really enjoy the emulators like the genesis and gb advance emulator, i find they work great, now if only someone could make a xbox 360 emulator for the ps3, that would totally ruin microsoft, sony would be smart to pay someone to do it and say it was "homebrewed" and say they had nothing to do with it, it would be great to see microsoft cry and if they made that, these xbox fanboy activists could never say that the xbox tops the ps3 anymore, they would be forced down to their knee's 😛

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

I really wanted that game and I had no money – ah well, that makes it OK then, right?

You know hen I was a kid if I wanted something and didn't have the money, that was just plain tough. Maybe I could save, maybe I could get together with some friends and go in together with what we had to get it. But you know what, I never, not once, considered 5 finger discount. Downloading from the 'net because you don't have the cash is no different to shoplifting.

chicko1983
chicko1983
12 years ago

I always thought one of the main contributors to the PS2's success was the fact that it was easily modified to play pirated games.
But now with my PS2 dead and my whole PS2 collection bought off the streets of Hong Kong and Bali, I am unable to play a lot of favourite games on my PS3.
Does anyone have non-pirated copy of Ico for sale?


Last edited by chicko1983 on 4/22/2009 7:43:52 PM

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

ICO? For sale? I dream of the day my local video hiring store will finally cave in and let me buy ICO off them… You could try EBay but the prices will be astronomical.

King James
King James
12 years ago

Yea, Arnold. When Ben comes back tell him that he has to use the pics you choose from now on.

I'm still laughing at that Anchorman reference.

fundando
fundando
12 years ago

All my psp games are pirated. Mostly because UMD sucks and I spend most of the time playing PS1 games and emulators. I also a ps3 owner and have spent over $600 in the last six months on ps3 software including PSN titles.

artson1966
artson1966
12 years ago

you know what you really angers me is you all that pirate games are the first to whine that there arent any games for the psp. I work hard and play hard and am proud to admitt I never stole a single game in my life nor have i ever stolen and free mps. That is the problem with you kids today, you think the world owes you everything for free. what about the hard work that the developers put into the game, the millions of dollars they spent on salarys and copy rights t0 bring these games to you and you reward the hard work by stealing it. put yourself in there shoes for a momment, how would you feel if you spent a ton of money to build a game or better yet built up mint car and someone stole it because he didnt have the cash to buy it from you or you where a song writer and some punk came and stole your song and made millions off it. you theives make me sick not only are you hurting yourselves but your ruining gaming for the rest of us.. but i bet you all have money for that keg party on friday and saturday nights.


Last edited by artson1966 on 4/22/2009 9:10:25 PM

artson1966
artson1966
12 years ago

sorry about the rant, but this subject really gets to me.

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
12 years ago

I didn't even know you could pirate PSP games

KevinCairo
KevinCairo
12 years ago

I was about to hack my psp JUST FOR FFVII(!), but thankfully now I don't have to! I would never download actual psp games though, I only considered psx games because there's no market for them anymore and Sony doesn't see any profit from them being sold used anyway.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Why hasn't piracy killed the 360?

godsman
godsman
12 years ago

RROD killed the Xbox along with piracy. Piracy broke the warranty, when RROD comes, microsoft get say screw you "go buy another console".

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

The key word (that you forgot to use) is YET.

Why hasn't piracy killed the 360 – yet?

godsman
godsman
12 years ago

I can honestly tell you guys, I don't pirate!!

………………………………………….

because its too complicated to be worth the effort…. I buy my games yea!

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

I've never pirated a game. Just the 2D games of the golden era.

Neurotoxiny
Neurotoxiny
12 years ago

I think the only reason I'd pirate my PSP is for emulation; I'd love to play more original PS games on my PSP.

(There's Syphon Filter on the Playstation Store, which I got, and there's Syphon Filter 3, which I didn't get because it sucks, but I still want Syphon Filter 2 which they conveniently DON'T have).

Having GBA games like Mario would be awesome on a PSP too. But don't you have to buy some new stuff to mod your psp? Yeah… I looked it up you have to buy like a "magic memory stick" and a "pandora battery". It sounds kind of weird to me.

karneli lll
karneli lll
12 years ago

Am still waiting for syphon filter 2,cant believe Sony ignored that.Maybe it'll be bundled with the ps3 syphon filter

fatelementality
fatelementality
12 years ago

I'm with Artson on the whole issue (minus the rant) If you don't pony up the dough, games are just going to start sucking more and more. Say a game comes out from a company that's just starting up. If the sales are cut in half due to piracy, then the sequel is going to pretty much be on par with the first. You have to amp up the budget for these flashy effects, texture mapping, light sourcing, eye busting games that we love and adore. I've stolen games from The 16 bit era and back because there is no profit made from them anymore. A friend of mine has a modded 360 & psp. I'll admit that it's pretty cool that he can get the latest games without paying for them, but I don't believe that it's the right thing to do.

Archos
Archos
12 years ago

I admit that even have used pirated PS2 games (not PSP till now). But, I must admit that after years and years of downloading songs off the internet, people have started thinking that it's completely legal to download it.

Games are going through the same trend now-a-days. I even feel that the 360 could suffer PSP's fate as the number of flashed 360's are increasing (all my friends have one.. I don't think they have been caught on LIVE).

I also feel that piracy has some perks as well. For example, I have a library of more than 150 games for my PS2 (each one costs me 1$). Now consider me buying all those games (you do the math… and ya I know I'm at pig.. but at least I can say I have played nearly all great PS2 titles). At that time, it didn't affect my conscience cause everyday on the net I used to read that PS2 sales are awesome and the games sales are great as well… But now seeing PSP's state, I will at least leave it out off it. I really feel sorry for it. Sony has done so well with PS3 keeping piracy out, but somehow forgot the PSP. Hopefully they will change that with PSP2.

Studying game development now I know how pissed a developer is when he sees that his hard work and money are being downloaded for FREE. It sucks and ya it's coming out off a 'used to be pirate'. At least no piracy from now on.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

Piracy destroys the incentive for game developers and publishers to make and sell games. If pirates make the environment so hostile that publishers cannot justify marginal titles, then the entire gaming population suffers from a lack of innovation in games, and it's all the fault of folks like you who wrongly believe that downloading things without paying for them is OK and a victimless crime.

faraga
faraga
12 years ago

the thought of all pirates:
one more doesnt matter…

skoda
skoda
12 years ago

This is such a load of crap nine times out of ten the firmware there talking about is used to emulate old games. Im not saying that people dont download new games. But theres a perfectly good reason for that why would i pay for something that blows. Just like music 20 bucks for a garbage cd thats not fair. Now counter that with downloading the cd knowing its good and then buying cause lets face it cd is a decent amount better then most streamed mp3's

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

What's a load of crap is the suggestion that custom firmware is about much of anything except copying games.

"But theres a perfectly good reason for that why would i pay for something that blows. Just like music 20 bucks for a garbage cd thats not fair."

Oh good god, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. That isn't a perfectly good reason for theft. Read some reviews, if it turns out you don't enjoy the game, trade it. Same goes for the music CD. There is nothing 'unfair' about buying a product and not enjoying it as much as you thought you would. Tell me, if you go to the movies and don't enjoy the movie as much as you think you might, do you go get your money back, or perhaps more accurately, do you sneak into the theater to watch the movie and only pay if you enjoyed the show?

If you appl;y that logic to everything in life, no one would pay for anything whether it be video games, music CDs, movies, food in restaurants cars, anything.

godsman
godsman
12 years ago

haha thats right.. how can you only pay for you food you like?

whooka
whooka
12 years ago

I think the piracy bit is an excuse for the developers on this one as XBox360 stuff is pirated like crazy (most of those games are available on the internet before they even hit the stores) but you don't hear developers saying anything about that console. And the PS2 'scene' was huge as well. I bought one of those simple, flip-top lids and a gameshark cd when i had one of those ($20 online, snap to put on (literally)) and leeched like mad but never heard developers complain about that. Don't even get me started on the Sega Dreamcast days, heh. As far as ANY sort of media goes, people will almost always pay up for a really really good game. That's why despite pirated copies of GTA IV for XBox360 being widely available for download the game still set sales records (same goes for movies. alot of times very good copies show up on the internet while the movie is in theatres and it still breaks box office records). Statistically most people know that the bulk of people who leech/pirate media would generally not spend money on whatever it is if they had it in the first place. This is where the RIAA and other organizations like that skew their statistics: they claim the industry lost so and so money to piracy each year but they're assuming every illegally downloaded item represents a cash sale they lost out on, not the case.

Unfortunately for those of us who like physical medium (the packaging, maps, books, etc), it is definitely on it's way out. Kind of a shame as despite the convenience of being able to d/l a game or movie legally it means there's no real equity/value as far as property, being able to trade in, etc, but it makes sense things will eventually all go this way since it saves publishers money on distribution channels which, esp for the movie and music industry, have been gouging and controlling for years, taking a little off the top of everything that passes through their grubby little hands. I empathize with them on some level as it's like teleportation has been invented and their slowly becoming obsolete (imagine if physical teleportation was invented, what would happen to fed ex, ups, etc? they'd prob try to sue people too), but hey, most of them are not artists in any way, and have very few actual job skills, so they're scared but they're fighting the inevitable. Piracy is in some ways a response to alot of that since cost is reflected in physical distribution, etc.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

The 'piracy stuff' isn't an excuse for developers. When more copies of a new game are downloaded from BitTorrent sites around the world than are sold at retail, that is not an excuse, that is mass theft. And just because loads of people do it, it doesn't change the fact that each act of downloading and playing without paying is an act of theft.

You are depriving the developer and publisher their due compensation for the product that you are using.

You seem to be under the mis-apprehension that because loads of people do it, it's OK. It's not. The fact that PS2 games were frequently pirated was offset by their huge numbers of consoles sold. However don't kid yourself into thinking that because game developers and publishers of high profile games were able to tolerate that piracy without folding, that means it's all OK. It's not. Even if developers and publishers survive, piracy reduces their return on investment affecting their future choices for games and publishing. The net result is that small, niche games do not get produced as frequently as they might because game developers and publishers are less willing to invest in a risky title because piracy makes it hard for them to get a return on investment for games that sell to smaller audiences.

I wish we'd all stop using words like pirate, it's not Age of Booty, is simple theft, a criminal activity. Those who download games and/or music/movies are stealing, they are thieves. So lets start calling these people what they are thieves , instead of making it sound like they're swashbuckling anti-heroes.

crawdaddy
crawdaddy
12 years ago

Piracy is not the main thing to hurt the psp. It was a lack of games that were worth playing, and the games always looked like comic book drawings. Developers were developing sub par games for it that wouldn't sell, so they quit developing psp games.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

Sorry, I call BS on that. There are and always have been a decent number of good games. The 'no games' argument was total crap after the first year or so. Copyright theft (commonly called Piracy) has been a huge issue for PSP.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/23/2009 10:54:07 AM

Jordahn
Jordahn
12 years ago

No piracy here. On the occasion I buy a used game, but for the mass bulk it's new first hand copy of games.

New Report

Close