Climax worried about PSP

Sony 'must act', says boss.

Karl Jeffery, CEO of developer Climax, has told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that Sony must act to reverse poor performance of the PSP before publishers begin to abandon the format.

The outspoken development boss, whose company has recently released a new ATV Offroad Fury title for the system, is concerned that the Nintendo DS is trouncing the PlayStation Portable - while Sony is doing little to support its own handheld.

"To be honest and frank about it we worry about the future of the PSP," said Jeffery.

"In terms of sales of the actual units, it's not doing so great. The DS is going gangbusters, the sales volumes are going up exponentially. But the PSP worries us, because we're sitting here thinking about what Sony is going to do to get the platform back on track and we're not hearing much from them."

Jeffery believes there are two ways to reinvigorate the format - redesign the handheld to create a more ergonomically appealing unit, and develop a serious digital download content strategy.

"Personally, I love it as a platform to develop for, it's very powerful and it's a great machine. But it's a big bit of kit to lug around and the battery life's not great. Perhaps they could bring out a 'PSP Lite' or something along those lines," said Jeffery.

"Another thing that would be smart is to get into a downloadable games model, which Sony hasn't really done yet. There's Wi-Fi possibilities and memory stick features that could be used - we can see where Sony could take the platform to re-energise it. But it's very disappointing at the moment when you look at the installed base and the sales of the games that are out there; it's not a compelling prospect for many publishers."

When asked whether he thought publishers may begin to abandon the format, Jeffery replied: "That's my instinct, yes. Maybe Sony has got something planned, but at the moment it's very worrying. It's probably the platform we're most worried about."

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