Sony’s made two big, new bundle announcements. The interesting part is that it seems the two $199.99 bundles are aimed at two different genders.
For the men Sony has an Assassin’s Creed PSP bundle. It comes with a piano black PSP 3000 unit, the Assassin’s Creed PSP game from Ubisoft. It will likely also come with the requisite memory card, and some sort of other extras which haven’t been named.
For the women, Sony has Hannah Montana. That’s right – a pastel purple PSP 3000 with a Hannah Montana music game, a UMD with Hannah Montana episodes, Hannah Montana stickers and a 2gb memory stick. Doesn’t seem as exciting.
Ubisoft will also be contributing Petz games for the PSP, along with the Assassin’s Creed entry. The exact Petz titles to come haven’t been specified, but the Playstation.Blog mentions bunnies, cats, dogs, dolphins, hamsters, horses and tigers – all Petz games that have already appeared on the DS.
I will admit, color is a major factor when I pick out a portable gaming system. Call it shallow, or being girly, but if there’s more than one color available, then it is definitely going to play a part in my decision. Especially when it is an established system, and not something brand new. Back when I purchased my PSP, the only colors were white with Darth Vader on the back, black or silver. Nothing striking. So if a purple system had been an option, I’d probably have gone for it.
But not if it came with a Hannah Montana PSP game.
Sony is going to severely limit themselves with this bundle decision. The Hannah Montana demographic is under the age of 13. The primary audience for most PSP games (typically RPGs) is 13 and up.
If anything, Sony should have worked with Square Enix to bring one of the Star Ocean PSP bundles that were released in Japan to the US. A pastel blue PSP could have appealed not only to female gamers, but also male gamers as well. It wouldn’t have been so pointed at one select group of users.
A purely female PSP bundle doesn’t really work for the PSP, since many of the games for the system are gender-neutral. Yes, there are quite a few manly action games. But for the most part, there are RPGs with both male and female leads, quirky games like Patapon and Loco Roco and classic game collections.
A pet puppy sim is not going to get girls playing the PSP. People who purchase a PSP are typically strategy or RPG fans. Besides, the DS already controls the portable, virtual pet market. Better to start trying to go for girl gamers who enjoy games with substantial storylines and creative cahracters.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find the Assassin’s Creed piano black bundle more popular among female gamers than the Hannah Montana lilac purple bundle. Any Gamertell readers think Petz, Hannah Montana and a purple PSP are enough to make girl gamers flock to Sony’s handheld?