Industry analyst Michael Pachter says Sony is “ripping off the consumer” by charging $249 for the PSP Go.

In an E3 follow-up edition of the Bonus Round, Pachter spoke bluntly about Sony’s new handheld device, pointing out that the PSP Go costs less to make than the current PSP-3000 because of the lack of a UMD drive but will retail for $80 more. He also noted that while Sony has positioned the device to compete with the iPod Touch, the PSP Go is more expensive but lacks the App Store, iTunes and other features that have made the Apple handheld so popular.

“$249 is too much, period,” Pachter said. “The $169 PSP-3000 is a profitable device… The disc assembly for UMD costs more than 16 gigs of flash does, so this new device doesn’t cost them as much to make as a PSP-3000, and they jack the price up $80? I’m sorry to say it, I don’t want to get bad fan mail from the Sony fanboys, but… They’re ripping off the consumer.”

Pachter said the new device will also benefit Sony through its digital-only design, which will drastically reduce piracy. He added that a slow rate of adoption will force the price down but not before Sony “takes advantage” of consumers willing to pay top dollar for new consoles.

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