Somebody get Sony on the cluetrain, please

Dear Sony,

yes, somebody broke your perfect PSP DRM again. You didn’t like that because it allows people to use homebrew software on the PSP. Now you’re saying your system needs to be closed in order to stop malware.


Let’s think about your motives for a bit. You want to be in control. You want people to buy your software, cause you obviously don’t make enough money on the hardware. You fear that people will copy games to memory sticks (which is stupid – right now the sticks are quite a bit more expensive than the games…).

Now, from the consumer side:

at $249, the PSP isn’t any kids toy, people that buy one will probably be a bit older, grown-up at least, and maybe financially well. They’ll probably buy quite a few games and UMDs.

Now, will that satisfy them? No. PSP users are usually quite computer literate, so they want more than just a games box. They want to play some retro games. They want to watch the TV series they missed on the plane on their next business trip (it’s bad enough that you need to convert it to the proper format to be able to do that…). They enjoy clever hacks and demos that people have done.

Why do you want to spoil that?

Telling *my* PSP story – I bought one on the very first day they were available. I bought a 1 Gig Memory stick (a Sony product) in preparation for homebrew fun and pictures and MP3s. I bought another 512 MB stick for the odd TV series.

Then I found out that the 2.0 firmware would probably not be downgradable in the near future.

And that PSP went to eBay.

I would definitely be a happy customer if you had let me use my $500 toy in a way that suits my needs (and the hardware would perfectly be able to deliver), instead of insisting that I fit the profile that your marketing department has figured that I should be in.

And my financial argument: if an open firmware helps sell more boxes and build communities (and it does – Google around to see just how many people ADORE your 1.5 boxes), wouldn’t that mean that there are more people and hence more likely buyers for your proprietary enhancements????

Think again. Probably Think different this time.