On Thursday Sony releases the PSP Go, its fourth iteration of the handheld gaming device in as many years. In a move to counter used game sales that conceivably eat away at game publishers’ bottom lines, the smaller, lighter, $250 PSP spurns the system’s Universal Media Discs in favor of downloads.
Retailers aren’t happy with the disc-less system, leading some European retailers to refuse to sell the system. To counter the negativity from PSP owners who’d like to upgrade but would rather not re-buy every game they own in digital format, Sony announced a good-will incentive program that lets PSP Go buyers download three of the games they already own onto their new systems.
One problem: The program is only for Europe. Americans get no free downloads. Industry Gamer quotes a Sony spokesman:
“SCEA region will not offer a UMD rewards program at this time. We have a dual platform strategy. PSPgo is the latest offering in our portable entertainment products targeted for the digitally savvy and early adopters who are looking for an easy way to experience entertainment and a wide variety of digital content. We will continue to be committed to our existing PSP users by offering over 16,000 pieces of digital content including games, minis, movies, television shows and SensMe, the new music application as well as UMDs.”
Maybe if American retailers had gotten in on this boycott action, Sony might have brought the three free downloads program across the pond.