How Piracy Ruined PSP

Sony’s previous handheld, the Playstation portable (PSP) was released as the first handheld capable of handing out the hardcore gamer experience on the go. It promised hundreds of games and even more hours of fun. Sadly, piracy stepped in and ruined the party.Yes, at this point, it’s probably made clear that the PSP has been outselling the PS VITA, the PSP being a new fascinating handheld and all. And also because the VITA has the misfortune of having to bounce back from the PSP, a console where piracy was at its best.

PSP sales would have done SO MUCH more successful if they design a better way to counteract piracy. I mean, the piracy and torrenting during the PSP days were , for lack of a better word, INSANE. There were countless sites which were regularly updated with download links for the latest PSP games. You name it, it’s out there on the internet free for download. The high level of piracy really hurt the PSP’s reputation. Granted that many other consoles at the time, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360, had piracy problems as well. But the PSP being a totally new handheld and a also being a new approach from Sony, It made the pirating look all the more worse.

I’ll admit it, I’ve pirated many games on the PSP. Did it feel good? YES. And why not? Why shouldn’t getting a retail game for free from a major developer feel good?. Especially considering how much a single original game would cost you. If I didn’t find piracy, I probably would have a game library of 6 or 7 games total. And seeing how most of the games were barely up to par, with outdated visuals and lame stories with the exception of a few games (Valkyrie Profile, Final Fantasy: Crisis Core), I don’t think that anyone would’ve been ready to pay full retail for PSP games. Piracy did not only hamper the PSP sales, but possibly the development of games as well. I’ve always complained about the poor visuals and in general, poor quality, of PSP games. And I use to think “Maybe if they actually gave a damn and release a great game (not a good one, a great one), we’d actually BUY that game and not pirate it”. But over the years, That thought has changed to “Maybe if we stop pirating, they will actually start making GOOD games for the PSP”. It certainly makes sense. If you were a developer and you know how the badly pirated the PSP games market is, what motivation is there for you to produce a good quality game? You’re just going to get half of what you should have actually earned. Might as well wing it. The whole argument: it’s the piracy that made developers lazy, or it’s the lazy developers that made us pirate games, will probably never see a clear conclusion. But one thing’s for sure, The PSP is some 4 or 5 years ago and it’s no use arguing about it now. Right now, Sony has tried again with the PS VITA, and so far, so good. No signs of pirating anywhere. Perhaps it’s because they’ve started making quality games for the handheld now. He he.

Originally published at on October 21, 2014.