Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
15 March 2007
Sony needs dose of competence, better webmonkeys
Starting five months ago, I've periodically complained about Sony's failure to execute on distributing game demos for the PSP. About 45 days ago Sony promised improvement, and to their credit there is now a prominently featured link right on the front of their PSP site which claims to list all PSP demos. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sony has managed to screw it up.

If you have a PSP with browser, or you use the correct user agent string in your non-PSP browser (namely "Mozilla/4.0 (PSP (PlayStation Portable); 2.00)"), you can visit the official PSP site. When you get there, you'll see this:
Prominently featured on the main page is a link to the All Demos page. It's the blue bar in the screenshot above. As of this moment there are four demos listed on the page advertised as listing all PSP demos, as shown below:
What's wrong with that? The total number of demos is six, not four! (In case you're wondering, I'm not hiding anything below the bottom of the screen in the shot above. It doesn't scroll any further, and there are no other games to show.)

You may recall that 45 days ago Sony was advertising its Killzone: Liberation demo, although not on this All Demos page. To this day that demo is not visible through Sony's official PSP browser site. Since the announcement of improved demo support Sony has also released a Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror demo, which did get listed on the demo page. (See above.) Before any of that there was a LocoRoco Holiday Demo, which also cannot be found through the official PSP browser site. That makes six demos total, only four of which are listed on the page which describes itself as "all demos".

Look, a modestly skilled monkey could do the work Sony needs done. What they really lack is competence. The demos are available elsewhere on Sony's own fricking pages, for Pete's sake. Here's the official page for the LocoRoco Holiday Demo. The download link on this page gets you the KillZone: Liberation demo.

Forget for now that there should be dozens of PSP demos available to promote the system. (I listed some I'd advocate in this earlier post.) Put aside the fact that, as an avid PSP user, I actually check every week to see if there are new demos by visiting the official PSP site through the PSP browser. Sony is getting trounced in the handheld market (the DS outsold the PSP 3-to-1 in the U.S. in the past month), yet can't manage to exploit one of its greatest strengths over the competition. What will it take for them to change? Or will they just give up and blame someone else for their self-inflicted failure?

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--Matt Matthews at 22:59
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

I think Sony has lost interest in the PSP because it's a liability.

The thing is a loss and supporting it is an even bigger one.

They could revive it by porting Linux to it with full hardware support.

By Anonymous Rudolf Hess, at 16 March, 2007 08:02  

Nintendo is gonna beat Sony here too, if they get their sh!t together and open up a DS Demo channel on the Wii. The DS already has a dozen demos available, you just have to go to a store to get them, and then they only last as long as the DS is on. Once this is in the home, they'll be able to demo a boatload of games.

Sony could have had this wrapped up an age ago. They just don't care, and it is starting to show.

By Blogger Duncan, at 16 March, 2007 14:19  

My perception is that Sony clearly gets the hardware side of the equation, but they get it to the exclusion of all else. And a company today must realize that it's as much about software (witness Nintendo's unending first party smash hits) and services that complement the hardware (witness XBox Live) as it is about as it is about cramming a bunch of top end componentry into a box. I know Sony can make good games, but they seem to have lost SO much focus on that these days that it's really sad.

By Anonymous fnc, at 16 March, 2007 17:43  

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