If you been following me on this blog or on my main website, you should know that I’m the kind of guy that collects CE or LE versions of games if they are to my liking. For the PSP, I collect Japanese LEs with some North American LEs on the side. Yes, that pic above is from my personal collection of Japanese PSP LEs mainly. What’s more terrifying is that this is only a small portion of my collection. I have more placed in other areas.
As we know at this point, the PSP is still in good standing in Japan. The games keep coming & there are LE forms of them as well. Of course, you still have the option of opting out on the LE & going for the normal version of the UMD format or go straight for the digital download (DD) form from the Japanese Playstation Store. Although the DD format is a bit cheaper than UMDs, most Japanese tend to go for physical formats. If you remember how the PSP Go did in Japan, the sales were bad cause most Japanese like to have something physical as oppose to DD.
With the LEs, they tend to get eaten up very quick. They may come very light like with a drama CDs & mini CD soundtracks or something heavy like figures & artbooks. Nevertheless, they sell well & carry a hefty price tag. I think this is one of the marketing methods that makes the game sell, even if the game is crappy. No doubt these things attract the Japanese gamers (or otakus for that matter).
If you look at the PSP market in Japan, there are a load of LEs out there. From what I’ve seen, the PSP have more LEs than the PS3 in Japan. Reason for it is that the portable gaming market is big there. So, will the PSV have games in LEs for the Japanese market?
From what I’ve seen so far, no. There are no LE versions of any PSV games in Japan. This is for current games & future releases. I have seen a couple of games in game card format that have DLCs, but those don’t count. I am a bit surprised (not much) on the LE trend & kind of see where this is going for the time being. Here’s what I think about it.
The PSV is suppose to be a download only device. It is not suppose to run any physical media as it drains more battery life; which is why the UMD drive is not available. It’s like the PSP Go again, but starting with a totally new device as there are no old PSV games for it. The idea is to have longer battery life.
But it seems like Sony played it safe by using flash memory game cards as the physical media. As I said before, the Japanese market tends to favour physical things over DD. Flash memory is a physical media & it doesn’t drain battery power much.
Game companies probably will see the opportunity in doing DD more than the game cards. One big reason is cost. You get more profit from DD than a physical item that will cost money to produce. Have the game data completed, upload it, & you are good to go.
If they do decide to make a physical format, the game cards won’t cost a lot to make to say an UMD. Making flash memory isn’t expensive as one thinks at this point. Remember, game companies are making games to make a profit.
But I do think LE will appear if sales aren’t good. With the current poor sales happening in Japan, I don’t see this happening yet as it is irrelevant. The poor sales are basically the games themselves; not the way they are being sold. Many PSV games in Japan have game cards available, so it’s not the problem of format. I think game companies will monitor their sales channel to see how sales are between the game cards versus DDs. If game cards sell more than DDs, I believe game companies will stick to the game cards in the future.
However, I think game cards will stay in Japan eitherway. The problem game companies had with the PSP was privacy. Now the PSV games are in DD format, chances of privacy will go up once hackers figure out how to crack the PSV’s OS. Ripping from the game cards will be a challenge at the moment since there is no public device out there that can read those cards besides the PSV.
So, do I think there will be LEs for PSV games? Yes. But it wouldn’t happen very soon. The handheld has been out for a couple of months now in Japan, so I would guess that LEs will start appearing sometime in late summer 2012 to fall 2012. This is based on if game cards prove to be a better seller than DDs.