AfterDawn: Tech news

PSP piracy is 'huge' problem, says Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 22 Apr 2009 21:46 User comments (18)

PSP piracy is 'huge' problem, says Sony Sony America senior VP of marketing Peter Dille, has spoken out today about the rampant piracy attached to the PSP handheld, saying that over 50 million units have been "compromised."
"I'm convinced and we're convinced that piracy has taken out a big chunk of our software sales on PSP," Dille said. "It's been a problem that the industry has to address together; it's one that I think the industry takes very seriously, but we need to do something to address this because it's criminal what's going on, quite frankly.

"It's not good for us, but it's not good for the development community. We can look at data from BitTorrent sites from the day Resistance: Retribution goes on sale and see how many copies are being downloaded illegally, and it's frankly sickening. We are spending a lot of time talking about how we can deal with that problem."


Dille says that older hardware units are the most problematic but hopes that upcoming blockbuster titles such as Assassin's Creed and MotorStorm should help struggling software sales.

"Those numbers are correct," he added, speaking of the 50 million units figure. "There's a lot of hardware out there; toothpaste is out of the tube. We're not going to get that hardware back into the toothpaste container.

"I'm not naive, but I do think that most people are inherently honest. We learned a lot from the music business, and it became so easy and so common to download illegal music - everyone was doing it. It's almost like people lost sight with the fact that, well, 'If everyone's doing it, then it can't be that bad.'

"But, it actually is bad; it's bad for the platform. Again, I'm not saying that that's a magic wand; I think that we have to make sure from a technological perspective that it's not as easy as it is to do that."


Dille finally added that over the years the company faced a mass exodus of third party developer support for the handheld noting that many were "just about ready to jump off the cliff and pull support for the platform".

Previous Next  

18 user comments

122.4.2009 23:03

Okay, I recently bought a fat PSP to give this whole thing a whirl, and also to play some mobile videos, because my iPod 5th gen has a MUCH smaller screen. Of course, you can't run Xvid natively, so you need homebrew... and that's part of the issue.

UMD was a failed idea: on the movie side, who wants to buy a 2nd copy just for a PSP... on the gaming side, load times are horrible and you still need a memory stick to save games, which is an added expense.

Also, many of the PSP games are watered/dumbed down versions of PS2/3 franchises, which don't work all too well with the single finger nub (analog stick).

Honestly, I can't find a whole lot of games that I would want to pirate. Even games like Midnight Club, which look fantastic and play true to the home console version, take forever to load. My DS can start up a game in seconds, stay in sleep mode, no additional memory card needed and is a cheaper product.

222.4.2009 23:16

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Okay, I recently bought a fat PSP to give this whole thing a whirl, and also to play some mobile videos, because my iPod 5th gen has a MUCH smaller screen. Of course, you can't run Xvid natively, so you need homebrew... and that's part of the issue.

UMD was a failed idea: on the movie side, who wants to buy a 2nd copy just for a PSP... on the gaming side, load times are horrible and you still need a memory stick to save games, which is an added expense.

Also, many of the PSP games are watered/dumbed down versions of PS2/3 franchises, which don't work all too well with the single finger nub (analog stick).

Honestly, I can't find a whole lot of games that I would want to pirate. Even games like Midnight Club, which look fantastic and play true to the home console version, take forever to load. My DS can start up a game in seconds, stay in sleep mode, no additional memory card needed and is a cheaper product.
I think my younger brother got one of the skinnier ones, but same deal. I myself bought one on launch day and sold it about 6 months later. Games were too expensive and not good enough.

Now my bro got something like a 2 or 4gb memory stick for it. I'm not sure what he did to hack it, but basically he just loads the games straight off of the memory stick. I noticed his games seemed to load a helluva lot quicker than they did off of the UMD. Also I noticed that the battery life was significantly extended.

And yeah, the idea of UMD video never many any sense whatsoever. Really, they cost the same price as DVD's. Why the heck would you spend $15 on a dvd, and then another $15 for something that can only play on the psp.

I think if sony would have started selling cheap UMD players, say for like $50 or so... or if they would have freaking allowed you the got dang ability to play your PSP on a TV, then I think it would be more popular. I mean, the video quality was there for a fullsize tv, and so was the game quality.

Ideally if the psp could play on a tv, then it would be a replacement for a home console. Have a portable game system, hook it up to a tv when you're at home, use the built in screen when you're not.

322.4.2009 23:17

I wouldn't and don't trust anything Sony says. They are one of the most hypocritical companies. I love my PS3, but am not planning on buying anything else from them.

422.4.2009 23:43

Yeah SProdigy, I agree that the PSP games mostly seem to be watered down versions of PS2/PS3 franchises. That's primarily why I was turned off by the PSP and gravitated towards the DS. The DS has its own identity. It's not a watered down version of Gamecube or Wii. When I play a quality DS game, I don't feel like I'm playing an inferior version of a home console game whereas you get that feeling with PSP games. Why play God of War for PSP when you can play God of War for PS2? PSP is all about the homebrew.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Apr 2009 @ 0:18

523.4.2009 2:01

I never and never will put custom firmware on my psp ive had emulators on my pc for years and after a while its boring theres absolutely no excitement when a new games comes out it just ruins it for me. Its like wow cool ill just download that when i have some free time never even knew that was out but i guess ill try it since its free.

I dont think the psp was a total failure though it did put up a good fight against the nintendo handheld which has been dominating ever since i can remember in this market.

Im expecting to see a new psp announced at e3 this year if not ill be in amazement like everyone i know or talk to all they want to do is hack and play free games on it drop the system like a bolder in a ocean and move on and learn from the mistakes i would much rather play psp quality games compared to ds games myself as im not a kid and prefer decent visuals especially when the screen is so tiny.

623.4.2009 4:33
mebjolz
Inactive

..........

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jan 2011 @ 5:47

723.4.2009 5:44

"many of the PSP games are watered/dumbed down versions of PS2/3 franchises"

Technicaly speeking, the PSP is not even as powerfull as the PS2 (that is why it is called the playstation portable, not the ps2 portable).

The games are not as nice as the PS2 versions, and if you already own the PS2 version, they want you to buy it again?

The aftermarket created a PS2 portable years ago, but sony is still dragging their feet.

...Given all these facts, it is no wonder that people are pirating games; it is the only way to justify the price of the system.

823.4.2009 7:11

Personally love my PSP-2000 (lavender color). It's my favorite handheld device, one step above my DS and two steps above my fiancé's Ipod Nano:
- I can watch all kinds of videos on memory stick (with Xvid2PSP conversion)
- I can browse the net on the go
- listen to my music
- watch my pictures
- lots of great games (Bleach series, Gundam vs Gundam, FFVIII CC, Jeanne d'Arc, etc all great games that are NOT watered-down PS2-games but quality titles made exclusively for PSP)

All of this, without the use of custom firmware.

If there is one thing that Sony should change about the PSP, it's to release a firmware that makes it impossible to hack. Because all this pirating hurts the release of future great titles on the system.

923.4.2009 7:59

Originally posted by kyo28:
Personally love my PSP-2000 (lavender color). It's my favorite handheld device, one step above my DS and two steps above my fiancé's Ipod Nano:
- I can watch all kinds of videos on memory stick (with Xvid2PSP conversion)
- I can browse the net on the go
- listen to my music
- watch my pictures
- lots of great games (Bleach series, Gundam vs Gundam, FFVIII CC, Jeanne d'Arc, etc all great games that are NOT watered-down PS2-games but quality titles made exclusively for PSP)

All of this, without the use of custom firmware.

If there is one thing that Sony should change about the PSP, it's to release a firmware that makes it impossible to hack. Because all this pirating hurts the release of future great titles on the system.
All of that stuff is neat... if you don't have a laptop (or even an iPhone at this point.)

Sony is to blame for the open hole. If you understand how the exploit works, Sony has a service mode which allows you into the system. Granted, it's more involved than just picking up an R4 card for a DS, but for the faster loading times, better battery life and ability to carry several games on one MS, it's a no brainer.

1023.4.2009 10:51

Why don't they just come out with a PSP2 or a PSPhone or something completely new, with 2 analogs? I'm sure something new would have the same security as a PS3 so it wouldn't get hacked and better graphics would make it more appealing. All of my friends are buying PSPs right now just to hack and download the games. Same reason why I bought mine like 2 years ago. They should just let us have the PSP and they can make something new and try to control that.

1123.4.2009 11:27

Originally posted by kyo28:
Personally love my PSP-2000 (lavender color). It's my favorite handheld device, one step above my DS and two steps above my fiancé's Ipod Nano:
- I can watch all kinds of videos on memory stick (with Xvid2PSP conversion)
- I can browse the net on the go
- listen to my music
- watch my pictures
- lots of great games (Bleach series, Gundam vs Gundam, FFVIII CC, Jeanne d'Arc, etc all great games that are NOT watered-down PS2-games but quality titles made exclusively for PSP)

All of this, without the use of custom firmware.

If there is one thing that Sony should change about the PSP, it's to release a firmware that makes it impossible to hack. Because all this pirating hurts the release of future great titles on the system.


That's cool if you like everything about the psp. It's just to big and bulky to be used as an all in one device. I used to use mine to watch movies but now it's only use is to play roms and the occasional video. I can throw pictures, music and videos on my zune. I use my phone to surf the web. Both of these devices I can carry without feeling like I have a brick in my pocket. PSP games alone are'nt good enough for me to upgrade.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Apr 2009 @ 11:38

1223.4.2009 12:07

Yeah pocket space is an issue with handheld gaming systems in the spring and summer months when you're not wearing a jacket. The DS and PSP take up too much pocket space. I usually only carry a cell phone during warmer/hotter months. A small flash-based MP3 player as well for running/exercise.

I'd hate it if Sony or Nintendo released a hybrid phone/gaming system/multimedia device. The iPhone over here in Canada only uses Rogers and you have to pay a fortune per month for the service. You're better off getting a good GSM phone and an iPod Touch. I want options. Don't want to be forced into a particular service and into a monthly contract. I'm a pre-paid cell user who doesn't use that much airtime and I don't like being tied to contracts. I'd consider a hybrid phone/gaming/multimedia device if the manufacturer was flexible enough to meet my needs (allowing pre-paid support and multiple service providers to choose from).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Apr 2009 @ 12:20

1323.4.2009 12:31

I still have one of the original PSP units. I puchased it primarily to run homebrew and get a few games. The few games that I did purchase were used, and I have pretty much stopped using the unit. Now I just use it for long trips that I may want to play a game.
The last custom firmware that I upgraded was the one that was needed to play FFVII Crisis Core.

Personally, except for a few exceptions, I dont really see a lot of titles on the PSP that would really make me want to pick up the unit and start playing again. I can see why Sony would feel that piracy is a 'huge' problem. There are so few titles worth looking at, that if they lose sales on the good games, then they dont make many sales at all.

There is a device that you can purchase to hook the PSP up to a TV.

Running games off memory stick do allow for a much faster loading time. Also you can fit quite a few games on one stick and dont have to carry around all the UMDs.

1423.4.2009 15:54

What is happening here to Sony is called Karma.

I would say its happening to the entire industry. You ripped us off for years with overpriced items, movies, music...etc.

Now its our turn. Re think your prices...or you will LOSE !

You cannot win with force.

Even TV Show. Sell them for $1 an episode. I'll buy them for that. Charge us per channel, not package.

Technology has changed. You best catch up

1523.4.2009 17:41

Aren't the new PSPs STILL unhackable? Why is Sony still whining then? They managed to make their mark as the permanent #2 fixture in the handheld game industry after so many competitors bit the dust when facing up against Nintendo. They should be happy with their fortunes and suck up to everyone who bought a PSP instead of whining about how they are all bloody pirates.

1624.4.2009 16:39

UMD is 'huge' problem says me...

expensive semi-games is 'huge' problem says me...

blaming piracy is not 'huge' solution says me...

1729.4.2009 4:54

Piracy doesn't have a lot to blame for this, the games are becoming bland and unappealing. if you ask me, i think i would pay for the games if they were any good.. but they've reduced to almost nothing! just cheap imitations of the PS3, it's like a self competition, PSP vs. PS3! can't sony bring something new to the table? i dont even download games any more, they're just awful...

hardware improvements involve: making the PSP look prettier to compete with Apple, who i feel are slowly but surely edging their way towards the gaming market. they dont actually deal with the problems i.e. two analogue sticks which is vital for PlayStation as they've begun to specialise in FPS games (i feel), which requires two analogue sticks in the current day to be any fun, a single analogue stick pitched against the DS touchscreen and stylus is unquestionable defeat for Sony! even though im a bigtime Sony fanboy, not afraid to admit that, i feel that the DS has really overtaken the PSP in terms of customer demand, appeal to all ages and game players... and it's just far more fun! which is what the purpose of an on-the-go console should be..

1815.5.2009 10:53
gerardlso
Inactive

Peter Dille is a damned liar ! As everyone knows the fact that the PSP can be hacked improved the number of devices sold over the world. The same was true at the time f the PS2 and even the PS1. It's the same for Microsoft and its X360, and for Nintendo, they know that it is possible to hack their NDS or their Wii. It is a part of the business. And if the developpers are not happy, they move to what ? To another platform that is expected to be hacked soon. The only one that still resist is the PS3...
As for music or movies if the producers really want to cut illegal copies they just have to sell them at an affordable rate. The price they sell games is a shame and we know the truth 2 or 3 years later when that price goes lower.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive