Sony PSP sales equalled by decade old PS2

Sony's PlayStation Portable console is proving to be something of an albatross for the company, with sales in the latest quarter barely managing to hold their own against the company's previous-generation PlayStation 2.

According to figures quoted by industry watcher CVG, the PlayStation Portable sold 1.5 million units during the quarter ending in September - a figure that seems somewhat pathetic when you learn that the ancient PlayStation 2 console sold just as many units in the same period.

Worse, the sales of PSP hand-held consoles represents a 50 per cent drop in year-on-year sales, while software sales for the device - where the real money lies - also dropped from 13 million last year to 11 million this year.

The poor sales come despite the company's efforts to re-invent the console, launching the redesigned PSPGo with no optical drive and slide-out controls to general disdain.

High levels of piracy on the platform are also thought to be hindering its popularity with publishers, which is in turn meaning fewer and fewer triple-A titles are released as time goes on.

While Sony isn't likely to give up the hand-held market to Nintendo, which has the rival DS and upcoming 3DS consoles, it may be choosing a slightly different path in future: rumours of a revamped and significantly more powerful PSP2 continue to circulate, while pictures of a prototype PSP Phone, which would be powered by Google Android, recently surfaced.

One thing seems clear: when a ten-year-old console is rivalling the sales of a six-year-old console, you need to start rethinking your strategy.

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