Sunday, November 27, 2005

Switched On: From PC to PSP, Sony-style

Ross Rubin at NPD Group reviews Sony's PSP Media Manager at his regular "Switched On" column for Engadget. Like most other reviews, the software is viewed favorably, however as Rubin notes:

Available for just under $20 online or $30 in a box (which also includes a USB cable and five free songs from the Connect music service), the offering attempts to bring Sony closer to the tight integration of hardware and software that Apple has benefited from with the iPod and iTunes. Sony’s decision to charge for the software seems short-sighted compared to Apple’s approach with iTunes. Unlike iTunes, which is a useful music jukebox even to those without iPods, PSP Media Manager has almost no incremental value to anyone but PSP owners.
I wholeheartedly agree. You have to wonder what Sony is thinking. Do they purposely want to alienate their customers? First, the homebrew folks and now charging for software that should come bundled for free (not to mention the recent DRM PR nightmare). It doesn't help that compelling content (i.e. games) is still sorely lacking. Sony seems like a rudderless ship that is woefully out of touch with its target audience.

I'm still holding out hope that the Sony PSP will turn out to be more than an expensive wireless black brick, especially since for about $150 more my son could have picked up a XBOX 360 for the home. I guess there's always the PS3, whenever it gets released....