Unlike Nintendo, which has only recently acknowledged that Apple exists, let alone accepted that it’s a threat, Sony has been more than aware of the potential for the iPhone to eat into the PSP’s market share ever since it first appeared on the scene.
Its reaction to the pick-up-and-play approach of the App Store was PSP Minis, a series of iPhone-like minigames priced lower than standard boxed games, designed to appeal to the same audience.
Now, more than a year later, Sony seems willing to admit defeat. Minis have made little difference to the PSP’s overall somewhat stagnant fortunes and, according to SCEA’s senior VP of publisher relations Rob Dyer, they’re just not that good.
Their problem? They’re just too much like iPhone games.
“My concern with Minis always has been if you have a PSP or PS3, do you want to play small bite-sized games like that? I think the jury’s still out,” Dyer told Gamasutra in an interview focusing on the PlayStation brand’s struggles.
“My other concern with a lot of the Minis is they’ve been rehashed, recalibrated iPhone games that, when you look at and review it, you’re like, ‘Really? What are you doing differently here? Not much’.”
Of course, the irony here is that Dyer believes PSP Minis have become too much like the very games they were meant to supersede. Yet, despite seemingly aping the App Store, the PSP isn’t enjoying the same amount of success. Japan is the only market where the handheld remains competitive.