PSP Launch


It's the "official" Canadian bundle. All the retailers are selling it like that - Best Buy (Future Shop), EBGames, Canadian Superstore, Wal-Mart (Canada), and others. Even the flyers for all the retailers selling them had the exact same thing. I'd personally find it a bit much that a bunch of retailers would come together and agree to make the same bundle. Heck, all the PSPs with bundle have an extra sticker in the corner of it that says "Includes Gretzky NHL!". I suppose for every 100 bundled units a retailer bought, they were entitled to 5 unbundled units, but that's really just speculation. (If you need to know why - they really lose money on an unbundled PSP due to the exchange rate mismatch, while a bundled one they can loss less money since a UMD is cheap to manufacture).

I'd understand it if everyone sold different games with their bundles, since every retailer would have a different mix, and you'd pick the best one. But this one is rather annoying and *everyone* is selling the exact same thing. Other than finding the oddball lone unbundled PSP. Oh, and there are a few retailers bundling the bundled PSP with some accessories and stuff, too.

A quick estimate would have Wal-Mart with about 20 units on the shelf, and Best Buy probably 30-40 in their PSP cage. From what I've heard from my friends in the states - most retailers down there are down to single digit quantities to sold out. In my survey here, the only retailer sold out is EB. If I had the money, I could probably go and buy 1,000 PSPs (1% of Canada's 100,000 units) by visiting only a few retailers and buying all their stock.

I suppose it's good in a way, I can run through the 5 or 6 PSPs (I have seen people go through that many!) to get one with a perfect screen. But I do take offense at paying for a game I don't want, at a price increment of the game itself. If the bundle tossed in some accessories, OK, fine, I might find it useful (USB cable, hard case, screen protector, UMD cases, etc), but forced to buy a game at no savings?
TheRedDuke said:
Worf, is it actually bundled together by Sony like that, or is it done by the retailer? Right now there aren't too many retailers in the States that are selling the PSP without a game. EB, Gamestop, Circuit City, Amazon, even Walmart are all selling their own "bundles" with games and accessories. Coincidentally, retailers like Best Buy are sold through on their standalone units.

GameStop never had any bundles in stores. They're all standalone. I'm not sure most EBs had a bundle, and I've heard that some Circuit Cities are selling items separately now.
I don't understand the whole bundle thing. Sure, you could have combo packages where things are cheaper, but honestly I buy my handhelds without games, and then buy games when they come out. I also only buy what I want, so this combo thing is really a hassle for me.

Some combos are useful, and if they're bundled right, give you a lot of value. For example, if you're a Halo fan, picking up the Halo 2 XBox bundle may be a good idea for a friend as a birthday present - it's cheaper than the game + xbox itself. Similarly, other bundles do similar things, like Costco often bundles in a game, an extra controller, and sometimes other accessories (DVD remote for the xbox, I know).

That's the usual case. Other times, retailers do it to rid themselves of inventory that isn't moving. If you happened to want a similar product to what the bundle offers, you might just go for the bundle and save a few bucks in the process. Otehrwise, you'd just go for the unbundled version.

In this case, Sony's forcing a bundle on retailers, this time there's zero savings - the cost of the bundle is the cost of a PSP plus the cost of a game! There's only two reasons - 1) Sony's so confident on the PSP sales that they thing people will buy it for any price, bundle or no bundle, just to get it, or 2) because the Canadian version sells for less than the US version due to currency fluctuations, they make a larger loss. By doing the bundle, people are forced to buy a much higher profit game, thus offsetting part of the $100-150 loss they make on ever PSP. I think it's the latter, given that the bundled game (Gretzky NHL) is a Sony title.

But in general, bundles can be a good deal if you need the stuff they contain - it usually can save money. Other times, it's just a way to get gullible (or desperate) consumers to buy higher priced goods to offset losses.

Sucks... but I guess that's why they're not moving so fast...
I do...

Erm, wait, no, I didn't say that!

Like microsoft, Sony has invaded the video game world along with all their other electronic departments. I honestly liked consoles a lot more back when those who made consoles only made consoles/handhelds and nothing that wasn't gaming. Sega vs Nintendo was good times, but now, the market seems more corrupt. I just feel this isn't the place for Microsoft and Sony, two monopolizing companies, but then again, Nintendo monopolized the video game industry for quite a while with Sega in a close second. I just wish other companies wouldn't leak into the gaming world from other businesses, like the Nokia N-gage did, which was made by cell phone manufacturers.
Worf said:
But in general, bundles can be a good deal if you need the stuff they contain - it usually can save money. Other times, it's just a way to get gullible (or desperate) consumers to buy higher priced goods to offset losses.

Sucks... but I guess that's why they're not moving so fast...

I really don't get this rumor that they're not selling fast. They announced that of a million shipped, 600,000 were sold in the first week. I'd call that pretty darn fast for a system that pretty much requires a $500 investment. Sure, there's anecdotes about Walmarts in less affluent areas still with dozens in stock, but that's to be expected. There's even more stories of people being stuck on back-order for weeks because that can't find a unit at any store that sells electronics within 40 miles. Rather than being an explanation for lack of sales, the fact that many retailers require people to buy multiple games with the $250 system makes the sales figures quite impressive so far.
Nintendo STILL makes stuff that is only gaming stuff. They actually make a lot of cool pure gaming gadgets too. I really like what they're doing nowadays.