Saturday, April 23, 2011

PSP Go is not dead!

This week saw rumors surface that Sony had ceased production of the PSP Go. That speculation was apparently confirmed on Wednesday, when Japanese sources quoted Sony as saying that production of the UMD-less variant of the handheld had been discontinued. That account was backed up by the official Japanese PlayStation site, which listed the PSP Go as out of stock and no longer shipping.

At the same time, the North American Sony Style store listed the PSP Go as still in stock for $200. Now Sony is explaining why. In a brief statement provided to GameSpot, US Sony reps flatly said that, "We are continuing production of [the] PSP Go for North America." The reps did not comment on the status of the handheld in Japan or any other territories.

After being unveiled with great fanfare--following a colossal leak--at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the PSP Go was launched that October in North America. It was, however, not the runaway hit Sony hoped it would be. Though US sales figures for the handheld variant have never been released by the NPD Group, retail-tracking firm Media Create broke them out each week for the Japanese market. In almost every instance, the portable finished dead last on the hardware chart, selling just 356 units in the island nation during the week of April 4-10, compared to 35,478 PSP-3000.

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