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. I have a iPod and love it. Its the best portable music player on the planet.

    But DO NOT sell Sony short when it comes to the PSP.

    While the iPod is certainly the superior machine for music, the PSP dumps on the iPod like a nuclear bomb.

    I have a Japanese PSP and its not really as big as it looks. The color screen eats the iPod photos for lunch.

    Handheld gaming is a pretty good size market. Nintendo has sold WAY MORE machines than Apple has iPods in the last few years.

    Sony launches with 1 million PSP’s next week and they will be gone quick. I have a US PSP reserved as well.

  2. “They also added that they probably wouldn’t be able to ship any more till close to the end of the year.”

    Got a link for that?

    Sony could certainly learn something from Apple when it comes to “availability”.

    Apple has long been the champs at under delivering.

  3. To those screaming about PSP taking sales away from iPods… it’s the software, not the player that is of issue I believe.

    Game titles cost lost more $ than a song, so even if someone has both a PSP and an iPod, will they have enough $ to buy music from iTMS and games for their PSP?

  4. Don’t forget, old farts like me lost interest in video games when Pac-Man hung up his spurs. Apple may lose some customers, but only in the gamer demographic. Us geezers could care less about PSP but we have plenty of disposable income for high-end iPods.

  5. I’d be a lot more interested in the PSP if I had ever had a Sony product that didn’t suck. I can’t imagine that this thing is any better than the PS2, a console that sucks royally compared to XBox. If Sony can’t even top Microsoft, how on earth can they compete with Apple?

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