Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sony Introduces iTunes-Like Software for PlayStation Portable

NewsFactor Network reports that Sony has introduced new software that lets PSP users easily manage and transfer a variety of content from a computer to the PSP.

The PSP Media Manager, which costs $19.95 to download or $29.95 boxed with a USB cable, will allow users to move videos, music, and photos to the PSP via the USB cable. It also gives users the ability to access a directory of RSS feeds, such as podcasts, video blogs, and PSP-formatted magazines.

Yankee Group analyst Michael Goodman said, "The plan all along was to market this as a multimedia device, with a focus on gaming as the short-term strategy. The PSP is a portable entertainment system, and the Media Manager helps users manage all of the content available."

Pointing to Apple and iTunes, Goodman added, "Sony is not trying to out-Nintendo Nintendo with a portable game player; they are targeting a more mature audience and adding a lot more functions to the device."

Ted Schadler at Forrester said, "After they launched the product, they opened it up and watched as people added all kinds of applications." Schadler noted the PSP biggest obstacle is the lack of a hard drive although he believes Sony will rectify that at some point.

I'm a big fan of the PSP and I believe it has a lot of potential, even with the lack of compelling content that hopefully will be addressed this holiday season. With that said, I have to cry foul on Sony for charging $19.95 for the software. Maybe I'm spoiled by Apple bundling iTunes with an iPod for no extra charge, but Sony should be offering the PSP Media Manager gratis. Also given Sony's past track record with software and managing content, I'm going to pass for now and let other early adopters test it out....

No sooner did I post then I came across Russ Beattie's first look at the PSP Media Manager. Glad there are early adopters out there willing to check out the new stuff....