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ShopTo: PSPgo sales off to a "slow start"

Price is key issue, says retailer - no physical software means no discounted bundles

Sales of the PSPgo have got off to a slow start, online retailer ShopTo has told GamesIndustry.biz, and the console's lack of physical software has meant consumer incentives in the form of bundles haven't been possible.

"PSPgo has seen a slow start for ShopTo and we have kept stock quite tight in consideration. We remained at the RRP for PSPgo so that we can achieve the maximum margin considering that there will be no further software sales for this format for us as an e-tailer," said the company's CEO Igor Cipolletta.

Sony insisted yesterday that sales of its updated handheld were in line with expectations and that sales of PSP hardware overall were up over 120 per cent following the PSPgo's launch last Thursday.

PSP product manager Claire Backhouse recently told GamesIndustry.biz the company was anticipating sales of PSP-3000 would increase off the back of the new model's release. "If you bring out a new product, people aspire to that but they might not buy it, they might buy the PSP-3000 instead. Especially if they're part of a family - dad might buy the PSPgo but the kids might get PSP 3000s. I think that works quite well for us."

But despite these assurances, Cipolletta hasn't seen a rise in PSP-3000 sales. "PSP-3000 has not yet seen an uplift and until the stronger software titles are released we don't expect a significant upturn," he commented.

"We had a fantastic pre-order quantity for the PS3 slim and consumer appetite for that has remained strong with the great bundle deals promoting the new release games such as FIFA 10 and NFS Shift."

The important difference between the two new hardware SKUs is software, said Cipolletta. "Not being able to bundle the PSPgo with physical software or accessories means that the consumer offer is standard and then price becomes the key issue."

Some retailers have already begun discounting the console's price however, just five days after its launch. This morning, HMV, GAME, Play.com and Amazon all starting to offer the hardware at GBP 199.99, down from the RRP of GBP 224.99.

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