"PSPgo will fail miserably" - McCabe
Console's lack of success will deter others from entering the digital space, says Chips MD
The managing director of the UK's largest independent games chain, Chips, has told GamesIndustry.biz he expects the PSPgo to "fail miserably".
Revealing his views on the newly released digital handheld, Don McCabe said: "My own personal opinion is that it's a no-go. I've been to a number of presentations to see if there's anything there and I don't feel it'll go anywhere to be honest.
"I'm 99.9 per cent sure it's going to fail miserably, in which case it's going to put back other potential people coming into that digital space."
This failure could be a positive for retailers of course, who stand to lose out on sales of software and trade-ins if digital sales completely take over from boxed ones. "From a retailers point of view the PSPgo is a good idea," he said.
"I heard from someone at Sony saying 'this steps our authority on the digital space and signals our intent,' and actually what I think is that they'll scare the crap out of anyone else who tries to follow."
McCabe's comments follow those of ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta, who confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that sales of the PSPgo for the e-tailer have got off to a slow start. Part of the problem, said Cipolletta, is that retailers are unable to discount the console's relatively high price in the form of bundles, due to the absence of physical software.
But a secondary issue, said McCabe, is that while publishers see tremendous growth possibility in digital downloads, they are currently struggling to make profit from them.
"Everybody looks at Apple and says two billion downloads - well, yeah but out of two billion downloads I'd say maybe 70 per cent of those have been free. And of the ones that they've paid for they'll have paid pennies for.
"Apple's a tremendous success story for Apple, it's not a tremendous success story for anybody else."
As such, digital is a pipe dream at the moment, added McCabe, who compares its current state as "like the dotcom boom".
"It's going to come, no matter what, but a very small amount of people are actually going to go on to make any money out of it. One or two will make serious money and they'll be held up as 'you too can do this'. Whenever you see anyone producing fantastic figures, just ask them how much they actually made from it."