Roughly once a week, Sony representatives visit the retailers who carry their products. They check on kiosks, update employees on various happenings, and set up merchandising.
This week, Sony's representatives have told a small number of employees (including myself) that the PSP is going to be pulled from the market within the next few weeks. This is news that should be staying at a store level, but it's simply not fair for someone to purchase such expensive hardware and not get what they paid for. Therefore, we've chosen to reveal what we know as of right now.
These representatives are stating numerous reasons for the decision. Chief among them is the Immersion Corporation lawsuit, as Sony stands to pay $90.7 million million if they lose the appeal. That potential loss in their games division, coupled with an astonishing number of defective PSPs due to dead pixels, has forced them to reevaluate the company's decision to release the hardware.
Sony's stockholders have shown concern. An undisclosed amount of money is being put toward development of their next-generation PlayStation, which is now where Sony will focus their efforts. When asked about the upcoming European launch, they have responded with "it will not happen."
Some software may still be released, as third parties will try and recoup their losses as much as possible. Unlikely to make it to store shelves, however, are the EA Sports titles "MVP Baseball," "NBA Street Showdown", and "FIFA Soccer." When the official announcement is made within the next two weeks, stores will be asked to explain to angry customers at a store level that the system still fully supports MP3, photos, and video playback. If the customer is still not satisfied, they should be directed to Sony's customer service line.
The signs of this action have been slowly revealed over the past few weeks, starting with the forced resignation of the PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi . Most observers expected Kutaragi to take over the top position within the company. The Japanese launch was riddled with problems, hardware sales in the U.S. have been lukewarm at best, and a staggeringly high number of those systems have been returned with the above-mentioned problems.
People will surely be disappointed as many of the "must have" titles for the PSP were just around the corner.