In the wake of the PS3 Slim price-cut landslide of news, one small wound still lingers, and has now gotten worse:.
Now that the
However, while consoles have been seeing price drops, handheld game systems have been seeing an odd recent trend--price increases. The PSP Go, which was seen as Sony's handheld comeback, actually costs more than a regular PSP, despite having fewer features. At $250, it's not just the cost of the original PSP; it's also only 50 dollars less than a PS3. The
Handheld game systems aren't just taking hits in terms of system costs, either. While DS cartridges and UMDs at $19.99 and $29.99 a pop once seemed like affordable alternatives to 50- and 60-dollar console boxed games, downloadable games on PSN, Xbox Live Arcade, and WiiWare are routinely being released for $15 and less.
As our own Jeff Bakalar reflected, handheld game systems are dinosaurs, in a sense. They hearken back to a time in the early '90s when there were no smartphones or cell phones at all, no MP3 players, no portable video outside of a Sony Watchman. A handheld like the Game Boy afforded portable entertainment that nothing else could. Now, DSis and PSPs have to compete with
Maybe we're calling this flatline too early here at the CNET emergency room, but are dedicated handheld game consoles on their way to extinction? We hope not. Hopefully they'll eventually be cheaper, play downloadable, affordable games from a nearly infinite back-catalog library, and be portable jukeboxes of retro gaming. We'd appreciate that, and we'd also appreciate if those systems got a little cheaper, too.
We will credit Sony for its new
Would you like to see handheld systems lower their costs even more? Do you even use handhelds, or? As time goes on, our phones are becoming our handheld game systems of choice here at the office, and this trend doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Should Sony and Nintendo turn their systems into smartphones as well, or simply admit the challenge and price-drop accordingly?
All we know for sure is one thing: $250 for a PSP Go has become even more absurd than before.