So it's find an excuse to bash Sony day at Ubisoft is it?
What on earth is the point of this interview? I mean, Ubisoft has no plans to develop for PSP in 2008 and so they come out and publicly deride the PSP and Sony's strategy? Sorry, that makes no sense at all. What is it that Ubisoft want? Or was this just their opportunity to bad mouth Sony? It's just weird that they feel it necessary to comment on a platform that they have no plans to work on this year.
As for the PSP in general, it's going through an fairly crap drought of games. As several people have pointed out it's sold a good number here in the US, and has had pretty good sales elsewhere, right now it's very strong in Japan. Compared to DS specifically it's behind the DS in sales. However by every other measure of success the thing is fantastically successful. It's sold more units in it's life than all but a handful of game consoles, ever. And it continues to sell strongly.
The thing that I don't understand about the PSP is where the hell are the game developers? The hardware is undeniably capable. Yet, where are the games? I think the answer is in the kinds of games. DS developers seem to have the approach that this is a hand held gaming device that needs games that are quick, easy to get into, and easy to pause/put down. DS games tend to be simple, basic, and occasionally rough at the edges. There are lots of them, and while there are gems amongst them, a lot of DS games are pure unadulterated crap. PSP developers tend to develop hand held versions of home console games. Games that require lots of attention, sometimes extended play, and are not always easy to dip into for 5 minutes here and there. A lot of PSP games have high production values, which is nice, but those production values translate into longer development times and more expense for the developer leading to fewer games at higher prices.
Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely do want the PSP to continue to have games like FF Crisis Core or God of War, however I also want the thing to have titles like Diner Dash, Cooking Mama, Bejeweled and so forth. The reason we have a drought of game releases is that no one is making these small, simple, quick games for PSP. How hard would it be to crank out puzzle games at $5 a pop? Or more games like Diner Dash at $20 a throw?
Hell, Sony themselves could throw a huge lifeline by simply opening up the PS1 catalog and bringing far more classic PS1 titles to the PSP via the PSN. Even if there were contract issues with 3rd party games. there are dozens of first party titles that there ought to be no contract issues with. With the impending launch of Soul Calibur IV on PS3/360, I can't understand by Soul Blade hasn't made it to the PSP considering that Namco apparently aren't making a Soul Calibur game for the hand held. You could say the same for a lot of the high profile game releases coming. MGS, Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy are three other examples of games that have huge PS3 versions coming soon, and would benefit greatly from the additional promotion of the re-release of the older PS1 versions for the PSP.
The one thing I will take from Ubisoft on this is that Sony need to do more.
Still, what is it that Ubisoft want? This is like complaining that there's not enough HD content to justify buying an HDTV when in fact you have no intention of buying an HDTV this year anyway. What's the point?