Posted on June 14, 2008,

Microsoft: There Are "Cautionary Tales" to be Learned From PSP

The Zune has a long way to go before it can really challenge the iPod. It’s not yet profitable, but with things like the recently launched Zune Social, Microsoft is hoping their angle of being a portable entertainment device — not a portable music player — will give them an edge against Apple. With the way Microsoft’s Robbie Bach talks about the Zune, you could say they treat it almost like the PlayStation Portable, seeing as they both play music, video, and — as shown recently — play games. Bach, however, doesn’t see it like that.

“The PSP is a reasonably successful product at the profit-and-loss level,” said Bach, according to VentureBeat. “But as a product concept, there are cautionary tales to learn from it. While it is good at producing audio, it’s not a good music player because it doesn’t have local storage (except for flash memory slots). You can’t keep your music there. It has a beautiful screen, but you can only get the video under the Universal Media Disc format. That format hasn’t been successful.”

He continued, “On a game level, it has done well. But even there, it is mostly PlayStation 2 ports. There isn’t much original content. When you do these devices, they can’t be pretty good at a lot of things. They need to be great at what they do. Zune is a great music player. We have local storage, a marketplace, the social network.

“We didn’t do video right out of the gate because you want to do those things in a high-quality way. Same thing in the gaming space. It is technically possible to do games on there. But you aren’t going to see a broad gaming effort from us until we sort that through and have it figured out. I don’t think of Zune like the PSP. The PSP is a game player that also does video and music. We think of Zune as a broad-based entertainment device.”

His assessment that the PSP is a “game player that also does video and music” is right, but you could really turn around a comment like that on the Zune and say it’s a “music player that also does video and maybe, some day, games.” For my sanity’s sake, I hope the Zune does continue to evolve; I don’t want to think I wasted my money on something that’s going to end up dead.

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7 Comments on Microsoft: There Are "Cautionary Tales" to be Learned From PSP


On June 14, 2008 at 8:20 pm

WTF is he on about?

He is just talking complete nonsense. ‘

“While it is good at producing audio, it’s not a good music player because it doesn’t have local storage (except for flash memory slots).”

Why the hell not? How the heck does that mean it isn’t a good music player?

“It has a beautiful screen, but you can only get the video under the Universal Media Disc format. That format hasn’t been successful.”

And conveniently ignores the fact that you can play anything you want on it via the flash drive :roll:

This is obviously just a pathetically ignorant attempt to try and steal away some of the custom the PSP gets from people buying it as a media device but it wont work.

BTW I love how he describes it as “a reasonably successful product at the profit-and-loss level,” :lol:

If the PSP with sales of over 35m and currently selling at about 1m a month worldwide is “reasonably successful” what does that make the Zune? :lol:


On June 14, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Norbit, do you even have a PSP? It’s really not that good of a music player. The browser straight out blows, and the video playback is merely decent. The games are fun, but he tells the truth. They’re mostly PS2 ports or offshoots of PS2 games (a la Daxter, God of War Chains of Olympus, or Secret Agent Clank).


On June 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Ha. I love listening to Sony fanboys. I have an Xbox and a PS3, but use Xbox Live more. All my friends who love their PSPs and PS3s are always telling me how much better their Sony crap is, even when I never said anything. Buying tons and tons of little flash memory cards is definitely not a good idea if you want to use a PSP as a media player. 80 gigs in a Zune compared to what a PSP would need equals… 40 Micro SD cards. Smart. Not only that, I’d like to see you buy movies in a store for your flash drive. His point is that movies and such are too hard to get for your PSP. Either you get a pirated one that’s in .mpg, .avi, etc, you buy it off iTunes or something in a format your PSP can’t play, or you get a UMD. Um, so yeah, Bach has made a legitimate statement. He’s not even bashing PSPs- he admitted that it is a good device. And I’m not either. I’m just saying that any time anyone makes any criticisms about anything Sony, the fanboys get all up in arms and try to visciously take down whoever said it. And I’m saying all this from an unbiased standpoint. Let’s face it. Nobody but Sony fanboys care.


On June 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Actually, you all need a life.


On June 15, 2008 at 4:17 am

@ Evismang

He doesn’t ‘tell the truth’.

Try reading what he said again with your brain engaged. In fact why don’t you actually respond to the points he made and explain exactly why they are ‘true’.

He says the sound is good in the PSP but it isn’t a good music player because it only uses flash sticks? Why does that make it a bad player? It doesn’t. Even he thinks the sound is good.

At the end of the day both you, Strategos and Robbie Bach are idiots because you are attacking the PSP for not being as good at playing MP3′s as a dedicated and far more expensive MP3 player.

Its a ing games console :roll:

I love how you attack its browser and MP3′s and the only mention you give its games is to attack the amount of ports :lol:

When/if the Zune ever gets games as good as patapon, locorocco or God of War then and only then can you compare the 2 devices sensibly. Comparing the PSP to the Zune while conveniently ignoring its best feature would be like ignoring the MP3 playing in the Zune because all of the music it plays is from other studios not Microsofts :lol:

I would also like to see how the Zune deals with GPS and TV live the PSP does. How about Skype? Can you do that on a Zune?


On June 15, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Norbit, if the two devices aren’t comparable, then why are you still doing so? There’s another port you mentioned. God of War.

Seriously, you’re acting like I’m the worst competitor your gods (Sony) have. FFS, pull your head out of your ass. I have a PSP myself. I’ve had a PS2 since it came out, and I’m getting a PS3 when I can afford it. Why can you not see that we’re not bashing the PSP? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Rhetorical question. The answer is quite obvious. You’re too busy brown-nosing.


On June 16, 2008 at 2:11 am

PS: Way to ignore part of my message. Even though you say the only time I mention the games on PSP is to attack them, I also clearly say “The games are fun”