PSPgoes to Oz [ COMIC ]

The first paragraph of this article definitely caught my attention. It said, “One Dutch retailer refusing to stock the PSPgo is an isolated incident. But when the Aussie branch of EB Games says “no, thanks” as well, you’ve got a trend on your hands.”

Wow! Really?

First off, I definitely want to hear from the Australian readers. They mention that GAME and JB Hi-Fi will still be carrying the system, but does EB Games not carrying it affect your decision to buy it in anyway? And/or were you ever even intending to buy it in the first place?

Second, my two cents. Now as of right now I have no plans on buying a PSPgo, but things can definitely change down the road. That said, from a consumer’s point of view I think it sucks that Australia’s branch of EB Games, EB Games being one of the biggest video game retailer’s in the world, will not be carrying the latest incarnation of Sony’s handheld. But since I’m not a regular patron of EB Games, they’ll neither gain nor lose my business when and if I ever decide to buy own. But from a business point of view, I kind of understand why they did it…

Let’s compare the PSPgo to the iPhone, of which AT&T is the exclusive retailer it here in the U.S. Both the PSPgo and the iPhone have no physical “cartridges” that hold their games or applications on, they are all received digitally. Also, both the iPhone and the PSPgo have very little profit to be gained by the retailer from sales the actual device. With that said, when AT&T sells the iPhone they still make money from the consumer for monthly service fees for at least the next two years. Now when EB Games were to sell a PSPgo, that’s where their profit gains cease.

There’s no misconception that EB Games makes the majority of it’s money of the sale of the video games of consoles. And that their highest profits come from sales of used video games. So here’s the question: If you were a company where the majority of your money came from the sale of used video games, would you support a system that if it does well will hurt you financially in the long run? Or would you not support it in the hopes that your company’s shunning is it’s undoing? Definitely a mixed bag of tricks on that one.

One last thing, I will be at SPX this weekend. And I will be keeping up with the happenings via my Twitter account. So if you want to know what’s going on at SPX or just follow me for fun, here’s a good time to do so.


  • emjay

    I probably wasn’t going to get one and EB Games’ decision won’t affect my getting one or not, but I definitely understand where they’re coming from. I wouldn’t want to sell them in my brick and mortar store either!

  • Serneum

    Love the comic. Long time fan of your site and South Park, so it definitely fits. On the topic of the PSPGo, I probably would never get one myself. In fact, I just upgraded my system hardware from a PSP-1000 to a PSP-3000 for the RAM and the better lighting/screen size, so I have no reason to waste even more money on a second upgrade. I do see where EB Games is coming from, and I fully support their decision to not carry the system. At the same time, if something like OnLive becomes a huge hit, they would have to have the same mindset for that as well seeing as it is a game-streaming system.

    Now, while I may support EBGames’s decision to not carry the system, I also don’t feel it is the best decision they could make. Sure, they rely on game sales for a cash flow, but a whole new system will get people in the store and they may see something they like for another system. It’s entirely random and situational, but it is possible. At the same time, you are right that their profit stops at the system because of how it works. Unless they are allowed to offer downloadable content/games on their site or in the store, EBGames wouldn’t make much off of game sales after most of their loyal customers changed systems.

    I would probably end up making the same decision that they did if I owned my own company, but it also depends on how much longer Sony plans on keeping UMD games alive with the release of the PSPGo.

  • Kriztov

    It doesn’t really affect my decision anymore since JBHiFi is now cheaper than EB anyway. Either way, I’m just gonna stick with my regular PSP, since it’s modded.

  • A.L.

    What is the JB HiFi everyone speaks of? I’ve never heard of it and it sounds more awesome than Play-N-Trade,which is the closest gaming store I have besides EB in the next town over in three different directions.Anyway,I was never planning on getting a PSPGo nor do I want one.It just seems like a gimmick to me,and a bad excuse for Sony to cease UMD production.I like actually being able to own my videogames than having it as downloadable content,and I feel the same for my albums and dvds I buy.That and I can understand why EB Aussieland wouldn’t care it,but at the same time seems like it would hurt them in the longrun regardless of how you look at it.

  • The Anarchyz

    I still think that EB games made a stupid decision… The PSP Go is launching and they can’t undo that, so even if the profit margin is small, why do you want to lose that small profit chance?, small is better than zero (Unless they make a relative break even or a loss, then i get the point)… Another thing, the PSP-3000 is not being retired, so they still sell UMDs and their extense retail library in the rest of the platforms… And if i were them, i’d put a “Digital Download Service” in the store with a kickass broadband, and charge people for mounting games on their device (PSP, iPhone, DSi, and even consoles)… But that’s just me…

  • Weird, but oh well, the PSP has never really held that much interest anyway. I guess if I ever do the get the urge, JB Hi-fi is the place for me.

  • David

    I wasn’t going to buy one anytime soon, and if I was it would be from JB (my friend works there) or the local independent.

    I’ve got no sympathy for EB, but with the pitiful amounts of money they make from console sales I can’t blame them for not wanting to stock a console they can’t sell games for. There’s a reason retailers base sales performance on attach rates not console sales. =P

    I think this may actually start something big. It makes just as little sense to other stores. They may not rely as heavily on used game sales, but they all rely on game sales to make supporting a platform worthwhile. EB’s move may jolt them all into the realization that just because Sony released a new handheld doesn’t mean they automatically have to stock it, or that they have to stick with pre-existing price structures. That could be catastrophic for the PSPgo since Sony (and Microsoft and Nintendo for that matter) rely entirely on these stores to sell their consoles.

  • LdB

    to be honest, i never even heard of this new fangled thingy until today. and from experience all my friends PSP’s are glorified paperweights so i understand their decision to not stock the paperweight 2 based on previous sales records

  • I think that is pretty awesome! I never liked the idea of the PSP Go… And this just makes things so much more awesome!

  • Nebarik

    on a different point of view, maybe they see the PSPgo as being a huge headache in terms of having to give customers the time of day with tech support on why games wont download

    keeping in mind anyone not living in a city down here either has crappy 256kb/s broadband, or dial up. only the internet savvy who live in a populated area have speeds above 1mb/s, and we select few pay thru the teeth for it. not to mention the horrible internet caps of 10-100 GBs / month depending how much u pay.

    downloading games in aus will be super painful and expensive in more ways then one.

  • rickarania

    honestly does not affect my decision at all. i wasn’t planning on getting a go as such, but EB games has little impact on anything i do gamewise. now if JB wasn’t carrying, then there’d be something to worry about. i have a mate who works at a local EB, and he says they get too many variations on products coming out to be able to sell existing stock, and in fact has 5 dozen mario edition DS’s from a promotion that was in theory meant to end 5 months back.

    also, long time fan, first time commenter. love it all, keep up the good work!

  • Deekman

    I don’t think we have GAME’s in Australia it’s all ebgames. They’re not even called gamestops. Your internet comic is full of inaccuracies! On the internet!

  • @Deekman I’ll give on the GameStop tag. That’s an American thing and have since updated the comic. As far as GAMEs not being in Australia, their store locator says otherwise:

  • Hugo

    Deekman we have GAMES here in Victoria, they’re actually pretty good the ones near me.

    as for EB not keeping PSPgo…couldn’t care less what they do…I only use them for my pre orders but now that jb is catching wind of the special edition pre orders i’ll probably start just using them and dungeon master in melbourne cbd…EB can be a bit of a joke sometimes…I’ve had some real trouble with them in the past but there really wasn’t a lot of competition until recently…now i’ve found a couple of good places…if they didn’t stock it…it would weigh on me more…but i hardly use my ds anymore…as if i’m gonna fork out for a psp…

    PS. love the strip…

  • Deekman

    Hmm fair enough never seen any of them around sydney when I was living there. Did they buy out game wizards?

  • Deekman

    Just noticed the update to the comic to ebgames. Nicely subtle :-P Still a good strip

  • DittoToo

    Ssshhhh…do not talk about monthly fees. We’re already moving to this model where we don’t actually own our games like we used to. Imagine when they start charging us a monthly fee to play them?

    I’ve been meaning to call Sony and ask them about this move. It’s one thing to not be able to play my PS2 games on my PS3. It’s another to not be able to play games I purchased period because they discontinued version 1 of their PSN and all games built on V1 can’t work without it.

  • sheppy

    You know, I could honestly see where EBgames was coming from on this if, for instance, everytime I walked into one of their stores, the PSP section wasn’t largely caseless UMDs drastically overpriced and the section itself is smaller than Gamecubes allocation. In fact, as a BIG fan of PSP, going to brick and mortars for the platform support for a LONG time has been a bit of a hassle. When your game case has more spaces allocated to Daddy Day Care and Anaconda than actual games, we have a problem.

    So from my perspective, screw retailers on PSP Go. If I didn’t have to scrounge the internet for a place to buy Steambot Chronicles, I could see their arguement. But by and large, Brick and Mortars abandoned this platform LONG ago. If PSP has to go DD to survive, I’ll embrace it.

    But to counter that point, keep this in mind. PSP Go has a higher profit margin than any other consoles. Sony made sure DD titles cost the same amount of money as the retail releases because of EBgames Warhawk tantrum. PSN cards have the highest profit margin of the three’s cards. PSP Go accessories have the highest profit margin of all first party peripherals. IF these stores were smart and tried to embrace this platform in actual CLEVER techniques (for example, how many REALLY have a broadband wireless connection at home in Aussie…. CHARGE FOR THE HIGH SPEED DOWNLOAD TERMINAL), they’d discover really easy ways to screw the consumer just like old times. After all, the pricing of most of the PSP Go initiative is definitely there to appease the whiny retailers, not the consumer.

    My heart truly bleeds for them as I have to place an order at Amazon yet again for Persona because none of my local stores are stocking new PSP games…

  • Codex

    EB Games in NZ and AUS have no reason to stock the psp go

    They won’t benefit from it, quite the opposite, why support something that is trying to make their sales of psp software and hardware redundant.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot

  • InsertCoin

    Kotaku are fantastic at reporting “Rumour” as”Fact” – even though when they list an article as “rumour”.
    EB Games Australia havent confirmed they arent stocking the PSP Go, theres no proof of that anywhere.
    The console isnt out yet either, makes it difficult to say if someone isnt stocking it if its not available…

  • Konig

    EB Games really has a better market coverage throughout Australia. For example in the west there is virtually no GAME shops (they haven’t been operating here for as long) or JB HIFIs (which is pretty much an electronic, dvds, games, and music store). Whereas in the east there are all three competing. The place where I buy my games literally has a JBHIFI above a GAME and an EB Games across the street.

  • Todd Williamson

    I’m Australian and I can understand EB Games refusal to stock the PSP Go. In Australia our internet is very expensive. The average person can only download about 12Gb/month on their plan. With regular browsing I doubt that anyone would be able to download many games for the PSP Go. The PSP Go will fail miserably in Australia.

    More horrible stuff regarding Australia and games, Left 4 Dead 2 has been “refused classification” AKA banned. It’s mainly because we don’t have an adult classification for games. All games sold in Australia have to be suitable for 15 year olds. Also, our internet might be getting a filter.

    Come fix our country!

  • Xuncu

    *squints* Is that your “Donkey Punch” rparody cover? What’re the other two? …”Mall of Beauty, and… can’t read the Left 4 Dead one…. “Right Hand Red”?

  • Eitlobsaboo

    I’m also an aussie.. I don’t quite understand why EB won’t sell it.. but then I don’t quite understand why Sony made it..

    Also I hate EB.. I find Game and other general retailers usually to be cheaper. Game also has a points reward system.. EB probably does too, but I rarely go there. If I do its only because I see the big buy one get one free or something posters that cover every inch of their shop.. and then i walk out in disgust because its the same 5 games over and over again..

  • MH

    Someone is going to be selling those systems anyway. Why not be the one to make profit from it?

    Still, I can sorta see why they don’t want a used-games buyer base finding out of options before they absolutely have to.

    Definitely a tricky question. Sadly, I think that with their refusal they’re giving media time to the thing they wanted to be sold less and come out behind with this.

  • Alanah

    I’m an Australian gamer, I buy most of my games from EB unless JB have a sale then it’s just cheaper to go there xP. Honestly? I wasn’t going to buy a PSPgo anyway, nor will EB’s decision to exclude it from their stock affect me in at all.

  • trancebam

    I wasn’t going to get a Go considering I already own an original PSP. Although I have to agree with Sheppy, trying to find good games for the PSP in real stores is probably the hardest thing since Super Ghouls and Ghosts. I haven’t bought a game for mine in over a year for that very reason. I usually find the PSP section and browse through all the crap with no luck. Although I am happy that Monster Hunter III is being stocked.

  • Lord_Tabbernor

    Yeah, EB isn’ the best, their prices are usually pretty un-competitive. JB Hi-Fi is probably the standout place to buy games here in Aus. Unless EB is having a sale, JB’s prices will be cheaper, often they are still cheaper with an EB sale. The only time I ever goto EB is if they have a special edition or a good pre-order offer. GAME is pretty pricey too. The trouble is that the population in Aus is only 21 million, which means the target market is much smaller than the rest of the world, resulting in games being much more expensive. The profit for the PSP GO would be next to nothing for EB it makes sense if they don’t stock it..most people would buy it from JB anyways. My PSP 3000 isn’t that old, so I can’t see myself getting the GO anytime soon, plus, you lose the romanticism of buying a hard copy game :P

  • David

    @MH: The point is they don’t make a profit from consoles and handhelds. $20 profit sounds better than $0 profit, but they put far more than $20 p/u time, effort and resources into stocking it. They could put a simple Call of Duty: MW2 demo station in the spot the PSPgo was going to have, sell 20 extra copies of MW2, and walk away with a much larger profit over two weeks than the PSPgo would generate over a month.
    The only reason most stores carry consoles and handhelds is because they can usually convince someone who is buying one to pick up one or two games and some accessories with it.

  • Lax

    It’s understandable why EB and maybe other stores like that wouldn’t want to sell the PSP Go. Sure, they sell consoles and portables, but their main product is GAMES. And the PSP Go doesn’t exactly run on something they might give you a game with, since you gotta download it via net or memory card.

  • The Anarchyz

    BTW Steve, nice cameo of the “Games i’m glad were never made” section behind… Mall of Beauty jajajaja…

  • EB’s move is going to hurt sales of the PSP Go in Austraia there is no doubt about it. What many people forget is that Australia is not as comfortable with digitial delivery as nations with deeper broad-band penetration.

    The Australian game market is quite small and for many people EB is the only place you go to buy games; not for any reason than a lack of knowledge about the options.

    It won’t cause the PSP Go to fail in this country… JB is known as a game retailer but not to the degree EB is.

    Regardless of EB stocking the system or not I can’t see it gaining particularly good traction in the Australian market due to its reliance on digital delivery.

  • I think it’s more about making a statement than making a profit. Sure they could sell the system and make a few bucks, but it’s not about that. They’re making a statement that they’re against the idea of the console.

    Who is going to take them seriously if they say they’re against something and then try to make money from it?

    It’s clearly working or else we wouldn’t be debating about it. :) Go EB I say.

  • DittoToo

    Can you get some more annoying ads? I’m not sure these mouse over things are annoying enough. Maybe instead of three you can have five? kthx.

  • Phaelin

    @Ditto: It’s called Adblock Plus. Look into it.