God of War Dev: PSP “Was Doomed From the Start”


The PSP may have sold 50 million units since its 2004 launch, but the co-founder of the studio behind God of War: Ghost of Sparta thinks that it was doomed to failure from the get-go.

Pop quiz time! Someone is saying that the PSP was ill-fated from the start. Is it A.) Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime, crowing about the success of the DS? B.) Analyst Michael Pachter, who thinks the handheld is overpriced? Or is it C.) The co-founder of a studio that made a critically acclaimed PSP game based on one of Sony’s most popular internally created franchises?

As strange as it sounds – or perhaps not, given that you probably read the headline above this – the answer is “C.” Those are the words of Ru Weerasuriya, co-founder of God of War: Ghost of Sparta developer Ready at Dawn, who discussed the trials and tribulations of Sony’s first entry into the handheld market, which hit shelves in 2004.

Speaking with Edge magazine (as reported by CVG), Weerasuriya admitted that the PSP had suffered shortcomings – particularly when up against the DS – and in some ways couldn’t be considered a “a true portable gaming platform.”

“It was the first portable that Sony released – it’s a trial by fire,” said Weerasuriya. “It’s a good platform and you can make amazing things on it. I think that we’ve tried as much as possible to prove that in the last seven years … but it was doomed from the beginning, that’s its biggest problem.”

In case you thought that might just be a slip of the tongue, he repeated the point. “It was doomed from the very get-go. There are some things which aren’t conductive to calling it a true portable gaming platform and calling it a connective platform, although it has wi-fi,” he admitted, “There’s so many things that publishers and the manufacturer and Sony dropped the ball on – it’s natural, it’s the first one.”

Early iterations of the PSP in particular suffered from hardware issues like poor battery life or mysteriously self-ejecting UMD carts, yes. It’s also true that when up against the mammoth success of the DS – second only to the mighty PS2 in terms of total lifetime unit sales – anything might seem like a failure. But the PSP sold 50 million copies, Mr. Weerasuriya. That’s hardly floundering in the water.

It’s hard to say that a man who worked on a critically-acclaimed PSP title doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s a strange thing to hear nonetheless. Perhaps he thinks Sony will do better, say, its second time around?

Yep. “That hope that you can have is that they learn from that experience when they make the next one, and that they solve the issues with the PSP and the PSPgo – and also that they learn from what the others are doing.”

Let’s see if Kevin Butler returns your calls anymore, Mr. Weerasuriya.


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