Portable gaming is big but perhaps the targeted audience for such entertainment is – or should be – younger than the console fan base.
After admitting that the consistency of quality PSP titles should've been better over the years, SCEE boss Andrew House told Edge Sony will now promote their handheld device to a younger demographic. Sure, we've seen some amazing PSP games in the past year or so (including Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker ) but House says the PSP is aging; i.e., it has a different lifecycle than the home consoles. So now, the time has come to dedicate their marketing to an audience that tends to play mobile games:
"What is now a key emphasis for us is focusing on a younger audience who are the prime audience for a dedicated gaming device with deeper, more immersive content: they may have less disposable income, but they've got more time to play.
We're looking to mine that content library which we've assembled over the last few years and restructure the value-proposition. [The budget Essentials range] in its first couple of months since launch has been a phenomenal success on two fronts – not just in actual sales, but the uptake there has been on overall PSP software which has seen a knock-on effect."
In short, Sony wants to "breathe life into sales of the hardware" and to do that, it seems they want to aim at the same group that helped make the Nintendo DS the most popular game platform of the generation. This is interesting considering we might be very close to a PSP2 unveiling; perhaps they're only referring to the first PSP while its on the downhill part of its lifecycle. Then they'll start over with the second portable…?