Does Sony’s new PlayStation Portable (PSP) threaten Apple’s iPod?

“Last week, when Sony announced that it was rolling out a line of flash-based portable digital music players, Apple Computer wasn’t exactly quivering in its market-stomping Cupertino boots. As Dave Marino-Nachison rightfully pointed out, ‘Investors have to wonder about the relevance of most things Sony does these days outside the video game business,'” Rick Aristotle Munarriz writes for The Motley Fool.

“But the iPod may now have some tougher competition on the sales floor, courtesy of Sony’s more relevant new offering — the PlayStation Portable,” Munarriz writes. “Why should the Apple digital-music behemoth worry about a gaming machine? Well, the PSP will be able to play back all forms of media, including music, through Memory Stick Duo storage devices. No, the capacity doesn’t match that of Apple’s iPod, and the PSP certainly doesn’t feel as stylish, but if Sony starts releasing some of its popular-music acts in the system’s UMD format to go along with the rewritable Memory Stick, things would start to get interesting.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Then give us a call, Rick, when “things get interesting.” PSP might be great for gamers, but the proprietary UMD format is typical Sony: introduce yet another format and complicate things unnecessarily. And, don’t forget, the PSP is about the size of a VHS video tape – it’s just physically too large to compete with iPod. These are different devices focused on different primary purposes; PSP plays games (and music secondarily) and iPod plays music (and games secondarily). Sony will probably sell a ton of these and Apple will also sell iPods to the many of the same people.


  1. It will compete for consumers dollars. Many people who are interested in both iPod and PSP will have to decide between the 2 because they can’t afford both…

    I suspect many of those people will choose the PSP because it is an awesome game machine that can play music ok, rather than awesome music machine that plays crappy games.

    On the positive side, the PSP won’t steal market share from the iPod, since it will probably be categorized as a console rather than a music player. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. i love jogging with my psp. it’s great, i have this big bruise on my back in the shape of the device from it bouncing around as i listen to music and run.

  3. The PSP targets an entirely different demographic. The iPod has been adopted across the board by people of all ages and types because it does what it does well. I’ve helped countless people purchase iPods, many of whom went on to purchase Macs. Most of those people are not, I repeat, ARE NOT gamers and would never have considered the PSP.

  4. iPod is so popular because it is an appliance that does one thing so wonderfully well. The PSP is a video game player. I don’t play music on my phone or from my camera and I won’t buy a PSP to play music, even if it did come in AAC flavor.

    I might buy a tiny touch-screen Mac portable and play music on that, but I certainly wouldn’t jog with it.

    iPod is portable music done right. The only way to beat it is to make a portable music player that does portable music even better.

  5. I have to agree that the iPod is in a class of it’s own. WE have customers that are in their 70’s buying iPods for their personal use! Not as gifts.

    PSP will “steal” a few sales…. but nothing to get worried about.

    The Dude abides.

  6. These are the same people that complain that MDN post too many non-Apple articles, are the MDN peeps there with a gun to your head making you read this stuff? I think I know who the real Beavis and Butt-head are in this scenerio

  7. MDN’s take is part of what makes MDN so great. It’s like Mac Design’s Letters to the Editor section where Kelby makes mincemeat out of of the moron PC users who dare to write in. If you want straight, boring news, go to MacCentral.

  8. Why do companies and writers continue to focus on trying to catch the Ipod? It’s too late. Look at the industries surrounding the ipod. Do they think these companies are all of a sudden going to drop everything and start designing for others? Maybe so, but I doubt it. How many players have their fan sites with millions of readers. Face it folks, it’s become a cultural icon that will be around for quite awhile. Obviously not forever but it’s going to enjoy a smooth run. The Halo effect that I’ve witnessed is truly astounding. I work in an hospital rehab setting and my 10 coworkers in the past 2 years have all switched from PC to Mac. I’ve even been able to install 2 Macs in the department for patients to use. Not on the hospital network, thankfully. It’s amazing the response you get when staff see you working on it. Photos, music, etc. with ease. The hospital tech staff give me very dirty looks though. I’ve been trying to get the hospital to switch over. Some laugh but hey, I just convinced one of the top administrators to buy a Mac and he loves it. Stop wasting your time trying to catch the ipod folks or you will soon realize the small ripple has really been the distraction before the big wave hits.

  9. I think a lot of you are missing the point, your Mac loyalty blinds you to what Sony has in store.

    Discounting Sony is like not getting out of the way of a freight train.

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