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PSP piracy levels are "sickening" - Sony

Losing "big chunk" of business.

Sony America marketeer Peter Dille has called PSP game piracy "sickening" and believes it to be taking a "big chunk" of his business.

"I'm convinced and we're convinced that piracy has taken out a big chunk of our software sales on PSP," Dille told Gamasutra.

"It's been a problem that the industry has to address together; it's one that I think the industry takes very seriously, but we need to do something to address this because it's criminal what's going on, quite frankly.

"It's not good for us, but it's not good for the development community," he added. "We can look at data from BitTorrent sites from the day Resistance: Retribution goes on sale and see how many copies are being downloaded illegally, and it's frankly sickening."

Dille said that around 50 million potential game-sales may have walked the plank, and that the piracy-tackling capabilities of older hardware may be a problem.

But ultimately he reckons we're all pretty honest, and that the problem is solvable and the future bright for the PSP.

"I'm not naive, but I do think that most people are inherently honest," said Dille. "We learned a lot from the music business, and it became so easy and so common to download illegal music - everyone was doing it. It's almost like people lost sight with the fact that, well, 'If everyone's doing it, then it can't be that bad.'

"But, it actually is bad; it's bad for the platform. Again, I'm not saying that that's a magic wand; I think that we have to make sure from a technological perspective that it's not as easy as it is to do that."

Dille and Sony aim to boost PSP sales with a string of big-name titles this year, such as Assassin's Creed, MotorStorm and LittleBigPlanet. Such support wasn't always the case, however (a point echoed recently by UK boss Ray Maguire), as Dille admitted third-party developers were once "just about ready to jump off the cliff and pull support for the platform".

But both the PSP and DS will be under pressure this year from new challenger the iPhone, which EA founder Trip Hawkins reckons has Sony and Nintendo "freaking out". And he's not the only one backing Apple's chances.