PSP and DS Piracy Explained In Pictures

By Spencer and Ishaan . June 13, 2010 . 3:32pm

Earlier in the week, we covered a report by the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association in Japan, that revealed piracy figures for certain DS and PSP games. Topping the DS piracy chart was Pokémon Platinum, while Dissidia: Final Fantasy was what most PSP pirates gravitated toward.

 

While the figures for illegal downloads were pretty alarming in both cases, they aren’t very helpful unless you have a sales figure to compare them to. And so, using the latest data from the financial reports of their respective publishers, we’ve compiled sales vs. piracy charts for four games as an example.

 

New Super Mario Bros.

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Pokémon Platinum

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Dissidia: Final Fantasy

image

 

Phantasy Star Portable 2

image

 

Note the value of brand and all-ages appeal. The number of illegal downloads for Mario and Pokémon are far less than those of Dissidia and Phantasy Star Portable 2. Not only are the Nintendo games selling better, they’re being pirated less, too. This could be largely because they skew toward an a) Younger and b) More mainstream audience that has less knowledge or is not willing to learn the technology and methods required to pirate games.

 

Here’s an easier comparison of all four titles (click to enlarge):

image

 

Cloud and Sephiroth fan art sourced from Kurogane_Fye’s Photobucket album.



  • BrotherCavil

    Partly blame the economy – gaming is an *expensive* hobby, and these days, people just don’t have money. :<

    • https://twitter.com/#!/Ojsinnerz Firo_Prochainezo

      But gaming has always been a blackhole that sucked up all your money.

      • BrotherCavil

        Well, now the economy is also a blackhole. >:<

      • http://several-hours-into-the-game.blogspot.com/ Nika

        It has. But I do agree that it is getting more expensive.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

          My apologies, but are you KIDDING? From an outside perspective, gaming has always been expensive, and games INSIDE the US have been traditionally cheaper than elsewhere.

          … Okay, maybe my perspective’s a bit skewered. I live somewhere where gaming has never been particularly cheap.

          Doing some math might prove interesting, and I’ll quickly demonstrate.

          I want to buy a copy of Nier, PS3 (easiest example)

          A AU sales price will be from $110-90 AU, depending where and how you can find it.

          The US sales price? I dunno, $50-55 US? I may be wrong.

          Nothing sounds too wrong with that figure, does it?

          Until you consider this – I have to wait a longer period, and the exchange rate ends up being about $80-90US for the same game. (Depending on how much premium you pay for it at an Australian Store)

          There are additional costs attached to that – getting the game to Australia and the like.

          Now this is true, except for one tiny amusing fact.

          I can buy a copy of a game, use Paypal to transfer said money over, and ask said person to express it back to me, to Australia.

          I still come out on top, and without the waiting period.

          It’s also technically illegal (not in Nier’s case due to Ubisoft’s recent filing but certainly with other games) due to classification law and how it works, so I would like to easily raise the point that it hasn’t been getting more expensive at least from the perspective I sit.

          • http://several-hours-into-the-game.blogspot.com/ Nika

            Europe hasn’t been the most gamer friendly environment either, though I have to admit your situation is probably the bleaker one.

            What I ment though, is comparing older consoles and the current ones that it has deffinately become more expensive. Maybe this ‘logical’ because the later generations are more powerful and thus should by some sort of distorted logic be more expensive but the gap is getting huge. Ok, I know there are development and hardware costs included and I’ll admit I’m no expert on all of this, but I doubt it has to be this expensive.

    • kupomogli

      Most hobbies are expensive. Again it’s nothing more than an excuse for people who think they deserve everything for free.

  • Electrium

    I blame the PSP for being so easy to hack. It’s ridiculous: out of everyone I know who owns a PSP, I’m the only one who doesn’t have custom firmware installed.

    That’s downright staggering.

    • BrotherCavil

      You know, I won’t mince words… I pirate games on very very rare occasions. And I *KNOW* most of you do as well… (stares at your emulators)That said, from personal experience…I find this whole thing sort…baffling. Pirating games on the DS is sooo freakishly easy than compared to PSP…With PSP, there’s a whole mess of tinkering, and tweaking, and messing with the BIOS files. 50% chance of it bricking your PSP, at least. But the DS…you just buy a $30 flash card, and that’s it. :< Upload a patched game, and voila.So, I don’t really get it… This whole pirate popularity steering towards the PSP. Is it like some sort of…”big game challenge” thing?

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        It’s more about the games than the machine itself. Niche games get pirated more. Nintendo systems have more of a mainstream appeal due to their library, so the DS doesn’t suffer as much as the PSP “overall.” I’m sure if we looked at numbers for some niche games on DS, they’d be just as bad.

        Look at EvilAkito’s post above…he words it very well.

        • BrotherCavil

          I’m…gonna take a quick guess here.

          The most pirated DS games are….Jump games, right?

        • http://www.cbarth.com/ Christopher Barth

          I would like to refute your hypothesis. I propose that the pirated games skewing older is directly related to the fact that handheld hacking is a hardware decision; games just follow.Your older gamers have PS1 games (ISO play)The unit is purchased with the INTENT to load CFW.This decision is initially made because Sony CFW cannot be viewed any other way than crippled. It does not provide the functionally and user experience that the CFW does.Once the firmware is updated a user is now asked to chose between a download and a retail purchase; only the morally strong survive this choice.For Nintendo I recommend continue to pressure Flashcart makers out of existence, take a stronger stance against rom sharing websites, and (reaching) make an official 512MB homebrew cart for hobbyists.For Sony I recommend incorporating a lot of the CFW features, get publishers to release games internationally (not on a staggered schedule; provide DL for countries not served with a retail package), and have free content provided for regular OFW validation.

      • NeoTechni

        PSP is easier than DS. PSP usually involves copying a few files over and pressing ok. DS requires additional hardware

    • http://eonhack.blogspot.com theclaw

      Eh, used to be alright. Now no one bothers to keep updating the better apps. I got fed up and rid myself of custom firmware. Much happier for it.

      • mirumu

        I only keep custom firmware around on my PSP so that I can run games I’ve legally purchased directly off the memory stick. Some games like Mana Khemia are painful to play with UMD loading speeds.

        Edit: Oh, and it’s useful for converting my old PS1 games to work on the PSP too.

        • BrotherCavil

          You know that’s like….still illegal, right? XD

          That whole thing with “If I purchased it, I can download too” is just a myth. XD

          • mirumu

            Perhaps it is in the US? I don’t know. It’s not illegal everywhere and many countries, including where I live in New Zealand, have exception clauses in their copyright laws around this sort of thing.

            I’m not downloading anything either. I’m talking about playing my own legitimate UMDs and PS1 games that I paid for. As far as I’m concerned I paid them the money and I play the game. I’m not trying to short-change the industry here.

          • http://eonhack.blogspot.com theclaw

            Legal or not isn’t what put me off. It’s the lackluster current state of custom firmware. The lack of up to date versions has become inexcusable at this point.

            I don’t want to download and patch illegal copies of newer games to make them work, when I already own the UMD.

          • FireCouch

            Yeah, but no one would ever give a crap if someone bought and downloaded the same game. People get pissed at pirating because it causes losses in sales, not because the act is illegal.

          • NeoTechni

            “That whole thing with “If I purchased it, I can download too” is just a myth.”

            No it’s not. Why would anyone feel bad about downloading a copy of something they paid for already?

            And you dont need to download anything to convert a PSP/PS1 game to memory stick. You can use the disc you own

        • Scallion

          Speaking of which:
          the PSP port of Umihara Kawase Shun is godawful-the physics on the fishing reel are so broken that some easily passable parts of the game become maddeningly difficult.
          So I converted a copy of the PS1 version of UK, and it plays like a dream come true. <3
          And then I put the original SNES game on the memstick, too. It was like a fishing girl sandwich.

          Illegal or not, I wouldn't have been able to play any of these games if I had stuck to the rules.

    • EvilAkito

      I don’t know about that. You can pirate DS games without even messing with the firmware. And since you never update the firmware (at least pre-DSi), there is nothing that can really prevent you from using a third-party flash cart.

      I think that the problem is more of a demographic issue. Teens and young adults are the most likely offenders in game piracy because they’re usually working at jobs that do not pay very well (if they’re employed at all) and have more important things to spend their money on than games. This makes piracy very tempting, and since they spend a lot of time reading about games online, they typically have no trouble finding information on how to do it. This is also the demographic that would most likely have interest in playing something like Dissidia or Phantasy Star. Mario Kart and Pokemon, on the other hand, have a greater mass market appeal and are also the sorts of games that parents would buy for their kids as a gift, which helps to outweigh the more piracy-prone demographic.

    • joesz

      No your not.
      My cousin own a unhacked psp and he’s SS rank anti piracy,that ,I,believe if he ever got an illegal game,he would comment a suicide.

      I’m not joking at all.

  • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

    Ya know, if I were able to download and play Phantasy Star Portable 2 I would cause I find it discouraging how long its taken them to bring it over.

    • http://several-hours-into-the-game.blogspot.com/ Nika

      Downloading doesn’t exactly encourage them to bring it over either though.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    God, poor psp, darn it…

  • Rciwws

    The numbers don’t necessarily mean lost sales. There are plenty of people who pirated the game who would never have bought it in the first place had piracy not been an option. Though numbers such as those would be near impossible to compile.

    • mach

      Yes, but there are plenty of people who would have bought the game if they weren’t able to pirate it. Obviously 5 million pirated copies doesn’t equal 5 million lost sales, but it doesn’t equal 0 lost sales either.

      It’s completely naive to think that no one who pirates would ever, under any circumstances, buy a game legally were piracy not an option.

    • kupomogli

      I guarantee most of those pirated copies would have been sales if the ability to pirate wasn’t available.

      • mirumu

        I very much doubt that personally, but unfortunately it is not something we will ever know.

        • http://www.facebook.com/StbxYa Stb Hrnndz

          I;m pretty interested why or why would you doubt that?, sure you can be added to that list…

          • mirumu

            I doubt it for a number of reasons. The general industry assumption is that pirates download far more games than people who buy games buy. Simple economics alone suggests that even if they wanted to buy all these games they don’t have the income to actually do so. Traditional thieves don’t just steal things they can otherwise afford. Why would pirates be any different? Most people I’ve met who admit to piracy are kids with no money, students living off instant noodles and cans of beans, etc. I’m not for a moment suggesting this justifies piracy, but would these people buy thousands of dollars worth of games if piracy wasn’t an option? Not likely.

            There are also those who don’t consider a game to be worth the money so instead they pirate it. If piracy wasn’t an option some would probably just give in and buy the game. Others will just do without. Guessing at numbers would be pure speculation. Some would probably do like me and wait a few months for the price to drop 50-80%. It’s still a legal sale, but the publisher still makes far less money from it.

            I could keep going. Sure there’s plenty of people who will just pirate because it’s free and they can get away with it. I don’t dispute that many of those probably would buy the games if they had no other option. I just find it rather far fetched to suggest that the vast majority of pirates out there fall into this category. Nothing in life is that black and white.

          • kupomogli

            Isn’t that how it is with all gaming consoles? You can’t say people would just not buy the PSP games if there was no piracy. Why are PS3 games getting sold?

            Final Fantasy 13 sold about a million on day one. But that’s not possible according to your logic. No one wants to buy any games and wouldn’t, yet every time a remotely high quality game comes out on a system that isn’t easily pirated or the user base is too stupid to pirate the game sells extremely well.

            God of War Chains of Olympus’ lifetime sales are under 700,000 in the US. God of War 3 sold over 800,000 in the US on day one. God of War Collection which came out late last year sold more than Chains of Olympus did in the US. A game that has been out for over two years so far and GoW Collection is nothing more than a 720p graphical upgrade of God of War 1 and 2, games that have already sold atleast two million each.

            For how many more PSP owners there are than PS3 owners, those numbers do look a bit off don’t they. Maybe Spencer and Ishaan will find some recent studies of how many illegal downloads have came from games that are from America developers.

          • mirumu

            You’re making an awful lot of assumptions there as well misrepresenting me entirely with that straw man argument. I never said people don’t want to buy games. Clearly millions of people do, myself included. I think it is fair to say though that pirates don’t want to pay for games. Is that really that hard to believe? “My logic” says Final Fantasy 13 sold well because it’s Final Fantasy and has a huge fan-base.

            From your God of War comments you seem to hold the idea that the number of consoles in the wild has a predictable bearing on how many games sell on the platform, but that games-to-console “attach rate” is not a fixed ratio. You can’t assume every console owner will buy say exactly 5 games no matter what the console. I don’t think it’s really that surprising the attach rate on handhelds is rather different to that on full sized consoles. They’re rather different markets and the products are used in quite different situations. In addition to that the PS2′s attach rate was immense despite the wide availability of piracy via mod chips and swap tricks. Even without piracy of any sort the PS3′s attach rate is supposedly lower currently than that of the Xbox 360 where piracy is supposedly rife (assuming the industry is to be believed). Clearly there are other factors at work here than just piracy alone. I own God of War 1 & 2 myself on PS2, but had little interest in the PSP God of War Chains of Olympus for various reasons. I didn’t pirate it, I simply didn’t buy it. I personally own substantially more PS3 games than I do PSP games and the reasons for that are nothing to do with piracy. I simply prefer gaming on the big screen with a full-size controller. Would it be so surprising if other people felt the same way?

            Obviously piracy is hurting the PSP platform. You’ll get no disagreement from me there at all. The PSP’s attach rate is awful. I just think looking at those piracy numbers and extrapolating them as a near 1:1 ratio of lost sales isn’t any more realistic than those claiming there were 0 lost sales.

          • kupomogli

            “”My logic” says Final Fantasy 13 sold well because it’s Final Fantasy and has a huge fan-base.”

            Then what is Dissidia Final Fantasy? Of course that’s not the reason over 5 million people pirated the game. The game was designed as a major fan service to Final Fantasy fans and again, a very good game. The 360 version of FF13 has twice as many sales and it’s only been released for three months. The 360 version also excludes a major region.

            Also. It’s obvious the ratio of pirated games to ones purchased will never be the same. But also, the amount of games pirated isn’t telling how many more games would be released if it was difficult to pirate on the system or never had copy protection hacked. Developers and publishers had said time and time again the reason they don’t develop more on the PSP is due to the amount of piracy on the system. With no piracy, the sales would undoubtedly be much higher on the AAA titles and we would more than likely have seen more games.

            The people who do complain about the PSP complain about it having very few games. In that respect, less piracy and more games from developers, those people probably would have found more on the PSP.

            Or how about these numbers here. The PSP came out in 2005. GTA Liberty City Stories(terrible series until GTA4 btw) came out the same year and at the time while some homebrew was playable, I don’t think ISO files were as of yet. Regardless if they were or not, LCS sold 6 million. A year later Vice City Stories comes out and only sells three million. More than likely lost sales for VCS is due to piracy. Probably not three million in sales, but a good assumption would be one or two million. Even with LCS, the game has been out since 2005, so it has possible lost sales due to piracy.

            I think that VCS, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and LCS are also the PSPs top selling games.

            Everything is always going to be assumption as well because we’ll never know but if you look at the numbers back then, it’s safe to say the PSP was getting fairly good sales. That’s also when the PSP had less systems sold compared to how many more now. Now while games do still sell through until they’re out of print, the highest sales are usually the first day purchase and once the game gets less hype of being new, people move on(for me I usually wait for price drops unless it’s an absolute must have.)

          • mirumu

            What about Dissidia? It’s not part of the core FF franchise, it’s a fighting game spin-off much like Ehrgeiz was back in the day. Did Ehrgeiz sell as well as FF 7, 8 & 9 despite being on the same platform? Most definitely not. Are you really seriously comparing Dissidia sales with FF XIII? This is a meaningless apples to oranges comparison. Of course FF13 sold more.

            I’d argue Vice City didn’t sell as well on PSP because by then people had already realized how unplayable Liberty City Stories was on PSP. I bought LCS myself and didn’t buy VC because I wasn’t going to get burned again. B.T.W Liberty City Stories was one of the games found to have a save game exploit usable for hacking the newest PSPs of the time. You wonder why it sold so well? There’s a large part of your answer right there. The platform did have piracy right from day one as well. The early 10-1.5 firmware versions were essentially wide open.

            I really don’t know where you get the idea that the PSP had good sales early on. Right from day one people were underwhelmed by the platform and companies were complaining about low sales.

          • kupomogli

            You’re doing nothing more than making a new excuse when I come back with an answer for your other. I’m not going to bother answering you afterwards.

            But anyways. What Final Fantasy game isn’t different? Every Final Fantasy game is different from the previous game. It’s a series in name only. Dissidia is based on every main game in the series again with a new style of play.

            There’s no reason to even mention Ehrgeiz. First off it’s not named Final Fantasy. Cloud and Tifa were playable characters in the arcade version and when released to the PSX, Vincent, Yuffie, Sephiroth, and Zack in addition to Cloud and Tifa who were already there. Final Fantasy was not the games primary focus.

            I’m sure you pirate PSP games and these excuses that you’re giving that the PSP sucks is more for you giving a reason that you’re not a thief, so go ahead and keep pirating. Not like me ranting about it would change your actions.

          • mirumu

            I don’t agree so I must be a pirate? Is your argument really so weak that you have to resort to that? I’m no pirate. I just don’t find your argument especially convincing. My “Excuses” as you call them are to me large holes in your logic. You’re suggesting Dissidia should have sold as well as FF XII and the difference is piracy. That’s ludicrous.

      • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

        Actually, if the conversations I’ve been witness to in Australia are any indication (EB games Australia, JB Hi-fi and a few import stores across the country. I get around, unfortunately.) I would argue that a good percentage of people who pirate games WON’T buy the game if forced to choose.

        It’s fairly antidotal, although when you see a significant amount of DS and PSP handhelds returned because they ‘didn’t work’, you might raise your eyebrows a bit…

        Then you find out that they were attempting to use a flashcard or other piracy method after a bit of careful questioning and usually it’s the parent who initiated the buy and usually return.

        Sometimes even casual questioning isn’t necessary, since in a good seven cases I’ve seen, they will state outright they’re returning it because their flash card or method didn’t ‘work as advertised’.

        I could make certain profiling statements as well but at least from the physical evidence, I would be very certain to suggest that the percentage of people who would buy a game they pirated for free would be very low, even if they had a shotgun pointed to their heads and forced to make a choice.

        It’s also interesting to note that there’s usually quite a few conversations between parents and their children which amount to:

        “I want this game.”
        “No, I can just download it for you at home.”

        It’s somewhat disturbing, because even no one person will directly cause a company to collapse over piracy, enough people doing it and depriving a company enough income WILL.

        But the end user won’t see that – it’s a somewhat hidden cost, and easily justifiable in various ways. Rightfully or wrongly? I don’t know, since I don’t specialize in morality, just logistics.

        • malek86

          Kinda like the free-rider problem, uh? I remember that from my microeconomics classes.As an economics student, I don’t specialize in morality either. Though, I can say that I don’t pirate my games. It’s not out of morality, mind you: I just like collecting games, the same way people like collecting stamps and other stuff (and if you had a stamp collection, would you accept a fake one?). People who do pirate, find it easy to justify themselves: basically, what they think is “if I can take the easy way, I would have to be an idiot not to, so doing it is the right thing”. In a sense, they are actually acting out of their own morality.

          • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

            Pretty much, it’s the ‘I do it because I can, until I can’t’ note.

            I don’t pirate my games either – Then again, I don’t think Siliconera would agree to pick me up if I did (I wrote the DeathSmiles IIX article, and hopefully will do others soon as I get to them) – because it’s bad practice and I don’t think the other parties I work with would appreciate me swiping their stuff without at least their blessing.

            Considering some of my other work involves government bodies, I’m fairly sure certain law enforcement agencies would be very interested if openly started swiping other people’s software…

            It’s interesting because how people justify their actions – I’m mostly thinking ‘If you tried to make THOSE arguments in a court of law anywhere in the world, you’d be nailed so hard by the judge that you’d be still feeling it a couple of years later.’ which is generally not the sort of argument you’d take.

            Then again, I’m not sure if you could push the ‘I’m broke, so cut me a line’ as a legal defense either, so I’m not too sure. There’s been a significant amount of pushing towards making piracy breeches stick.

            Unfortunately, from what I understand, there’s been some inroads in catching previously anonymous people and lumping them into lawsuits.

  • Code

    rar, this is just disappointing, particularly the PSP sales can definitely see why Sony is wanting to try and go entirely digital with the system T_T’ It’s funny because you’d figure niche games would have more supportive audiences. I agree with EvilAkito’s post below though, that is exactly the problem.

    • andref

      It seems to me that the niche titles take the longest to get translated whereas mainstream titles such as nintendo titles only take a few months to get ported outside of Japan. For instance, i imported rune factory 3 because i figured it would take a year maybe more before it got shipped outside of japan

      • Code

        rar, I dunno, some of these titles are the most text heavy and rely on you understanding what your doing through the text on screen. I can’t imagine 74% of people downloaded Japanese Dissidia, over buying it in english. I figure most of that percentage likely downloaded it when an english version was available.

        • andref

          But we can’t be the only ones who illegally download this stuff right?

          • Code

            “We”? rar, I dunno about you, but I buy my PSP games x__x;

          • andref

            I’m just saying it is probably not just english speaking countries that just pirate games

          • Code

            Well definitely, although I have a strong feeling people aren’t “just” downloading the Japanese version of these games (I mean I’m sure a fraction of that percentage is). They are probably waiting for it in there language. Especially games like Dissidia, and Crisis Core, who wants to play something they don’t understand, where not understanding is pretty much going to cost you most of the experience. I’m sure there are lots of people who download and play in Japanese, (I mean I import Japanese games from time to time too) but it’s usually games that wouldn’t be so heavily hit by a language barrier as the games listed above.

  • andref

    For the last two titles i almost mixed up the two labels

  • Guest

    eh, it doesn’t seem to affect the ammount of good games the psp gets though, i’m very satisfied with the library and with games like Birth By Sleep and Persrona 3 Portable coming, HAH!The reason why I think DS doesn’t suffer from as much piracy as the ds does is mostly due to it’s main market target being small children who get their parents to buy them everything, a more mature system like the psp is for teens and adults who are already familiar with piracy of music and whatnot….. yeh that is allI’d also like to add that hacking and putting cfw psp is really not that difficult, but with the newer 2000 and 3000 models not being fully hackable, i’m sure the psp scene is slowly dieing.

    • Kuza21

      Very Very Ture.

  • http://twitter.com/tekunoloji Tekunoloji

    I guess Mario deserves our money more it seems and Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star Portable do not then.

  • kupomogli

    It’s just really sad that half the people see how much the PSP is pirated, they know that they themselves are pirating the games and I’m sure there are many out there that they pirate that they enjoy, and they don’t give a da**.

    It does show that some developers/publishers do somewhat care about their fanbase because if they didn’t then most of these games wouldn’t be developed or localized.


    20 years from now when there are emulators that run the PSP full speed new gamers will be looking back and seeing how the PSP had a decent amount of games and most of them that were very good so wondering why the system had so few games. All the while not knowing that the systems downfall was due to douchebag gamers who didn’t pay for the games.

    Similar to the Dreamcast. Both systems having great games and so easy to pirate and at no cost to the consumer(only the cost of obviously required discs for the Dreamcast.) The PSP will be praised like the Dreamcast is as a console that’s just as good as its current competitor but failed making a profit for developers/publishers and cost the system developer millions of dollars in lost sales due to consumers.

    The end.

    • Guest

      You seriously think that piracy is the only reason the PSP is failing?

      • http://www.facebook.com/StbxYa Stb Hrnndz

        It possibly is not but could be marked as one of the higher reason the psp is not that supported by third parties like level 5 or square enix which games in they majority are up for the DS and so goes the saying…any other reason?

      • NeoTechni

        yes. As a PSP owner, it’s the best handheld out there.
        iphone and ds are crap in comparison

        • Joanna

          opinion, not fact.

    • mirumu

      Speaking as someone who bought a truckload of games for the Dreamcast I think piracy was only one of the myriad of problems the console faced. The real reason I believe the Dreamcast was discontinued was due to the deteriorating health of SEGA chairman, and biggest advocate of the Dreamcast, Isao Okawa, who died shortly after the Dreamcast was discontinued. I still hold much respect for him. May he rest in peace.

  • Scallion

    I’ve only bought two PSP games new, and everyone that I know who owns a PSP pirates games on it. The ability to have homebrew on the PSP is what made me decide to purchase the handheld in the first place.
    I can play games that I never would have been able to buy because of insufficient funds or unavailability, they have shorter load times, I can take screenshots, and even play it with a controller through my netbook (to avoid Monster Hunter claw and ruined vision).

    Basically, as it was, the handheld wasn’t worth the $129 I spent on it, but now it is.
    If video game companies are going to game the market to squeeze as much money out of our pockets as possible, and limit consumer choice, then they should take a market approach to piracy and just make a better product altogether.
    I don’t play a lot of video games altogether because for the price, they’re not worth my while. If Sony or Nintendo or whoever wants to woo me, and other consumers, they’re going to have to step up their game.

    • Aoshi00

      If you don’t think games are worth your while, I think you’re on the wrong website. Yes, pirates always want something for nothing, that’s why they’re called pirates. Expensive? Aren’t everything, food, transportation, rent, would be nice if someone pay for all that right? It would be nice to sneak in a movie theater to see a movie w/o buying a ticket right? Oh wait, movies are probably not worth a while and you d/l bootlegs on the internet, saving the trip to the theater, no need to put gas in the car. But gas is expensive too, so maybe we should just fill up the tank and leave w/o paying.

      It’s good to see pirates take pride in pirating too, I guess..

      • http://www.cbarth.com/ Christopher Barth

        I don’t support Scallion or his position but his hardware purchase decision mirrors mine. Sony has HORRIBLE positioning of the PSP due to entitlement and perception. You had a handheld gaming device and everyone is happy but currently you have a handheld do-it all (CFW) that SONY IS STEALING FEATURES from you (OFW). It’s a pervasive problem of perception. No one steals something unless it’s retalliation or greed derivative.

        • NeoTechni

          How is CFW stealing features? CFW is what inspired some features in OFW (backgrounds, themes, RemotePlay, etc)

          • http://www.cbarth.com/ Christopher Barth

            My intention was to convey the other way around. Sony is ‘stealing’ the potential of the device (DRM/OFW) and pirates must steal it back (I PAID for this device so I can get ALL of the value out of it).

            This is the root cause.

            Secondary is now that the device is running CFW only the morally strong and affluent can resist the value statement of game piracy. (Free/they’ll never catch me)
            Lower priced games is a good way to combat this but also parallels the business maxim about how it costs more to regain a customer than to keep a customer. (IE: Give users a WORKING Browser, bells, PS1 ISO play, etc.) and less will defect initially. (CFW)

      • Scallion

        I love video games.
        There are just more important things in my life that I want to spend my hard-earned money on, too: like food, transportation, rent, women, contraband, etc.
        You know-things that actually matter.
        I’m only willing to spend so much on entertainment every month, so buying a video game is a special thing for me. When I buy them, I usually buy them used- from local stores, rather than Gamestop (yet another consumer freedom the gaming companies are trying to stamp out as we speak)

        Let’s avoid the holey logic in equating making a copy of something that can’t be depleted with stealing, and let’s pretend you’re right. Pirating games is stealing.
        Thing is, people you buy games from are stealing from you, too-well, less like stealing, and more like scamming. They steal from you whenever they put on events like E3 that are essentially big advertisements that you *willingly* watch. They steal from you with planned obsolescence-consoles with lifespans that don’t last how long you want the product to last, (as long as humanly possible) but whatever fits their business model until the newer, shinier, slimmer version with braindead-obvious features that should have been implemented in the first place.

        They steal from their employees, a la Bobby Kotick, and they steal from their employees a la this:
        http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/microsoft-investigates-as-sweatshop-spotlight-shines-on-supplier.ars

        Oh, I know, they were making mice and other computer components-not Xboxes. And I’m *sure* Microsoft had no knowledge of this, and doesn’t do the same thing with their other manufacturing plants in countries with lax labor laws, in the same way that I’m certain of how my eyelashes will affect wind currents.

        (Not to get entirely off-topic, but does anyone investigate who manufactures the Big Three’s consoles, and how those people are treated?)

        I could go on, but basically, I don’t want to hear your silly attempts at moralizing. I’m not going to apologize for pirating games, in the same way that the people you give your money to won’t apologize for their malfeasance.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

          Can I ask a quick question to clarify your position?

          Are you suggesting that because other people behave in less than a fair manner, that it gives others the opportunity to do the same onto the entity that behaved that way?

          I’m curious if that’s the position you’re taking here. I don’t generally carry a position on piracy (or much of anything really) apart from logistically.

          • Scallion

            Honestly, I pirate because I’m kinda poor. It’s pretty simple.
            There are a lot of nebulous justifications for it (in the same way that we have nebulous justifications for our own consumption and greed, haha), but it’s pretty much just that.

            I’m trying to make a broader point. Piracy isn’t some sort of revenge or resistance against tyrannical electronics corporations, but in some ways, it can be.
            I mean, I still like this hobby, but I’ve had to examine it over the years, and I think that other people should examine it to.
            The worst thing you can do is enjoy something without thinking about any potential consequences for doing that activity-or without thinking about why the enjoy that thing in the first place.

          • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

            Yeah, not considering the consequences sucks, particularly if those consequences can hurt.

            I’d be worried about taking it towards a more hostile stance (namely, us versus them as opposed to a more neutral ‘we know about it but we don’t mention it or really consider it’ point of view) because of the fact it’s very very difficult to mediate once hostilities break out, without one side gaining a significant material advantage over the other, and dictating the terms.

            Problem is, it’s hard to say who’d have the upper hand in this one – Sure, consumers may drive the market and can punish companies with cash flow, but the companies DO have the law on their side, and to a point, control over supply.

            The problem being is that the risk of it backfiring on the disobeying party is definitely a non-zero (For a fun example, try the Australian Internet Filter for classical ‘Oh, it’s so stupid no one would DARE’ moments which are still hanging over the dismissive groups), and the more hostile it gets, the more likely any settlement would be no less than a one sided ‘Oh hey, you play by my rules or well, sod off’.

            I suppose the real question is ‘Is the risk worth the potential payoff?’

        • RupanIII

          I’m not saying I’ve never pirated, so it would be hypocritical for me to make a value judgment here, but playing the “zomg teh evil corporations!11″ card is an over-simplistic, easy rationalization. It’s more complex than that. You don’t pirate consoles, you pirate games. Sure, Sony/MS make money from them too, but have you seen a credit roll lately? There are hundreds of people involved in making games. Some obscure assistant sound mixer or asst. art designer isn’t a faceless corrupt suit operating 12 sweatshops and dumping nuclear waste onto baby seals; s/he has a regular job and if a project gets canned because everyone pirated the last release, it affects the availability of work for them, not just the rich guys’ bottom lines. Do the billionaire CEOs need more money to add a yacht or two to their collections of conspicuous consumption? No, of course not. Do a lot of rich people behave greedily and unethically? Sure. But a lot give back too- how many billions has Gates given back? The point is it’s naive to look at everything so black and white and assume piracy only hurts those at the top, not trickling down to the lowest pegs through various corporate and economic machinations. In short, pirate, fine, whatever, but don’t act like you’re on some valiant crusade for the little guy, you’re not Robin Hood because you downloaded Final Fantasy, and it sounds arrogant.

          • Scallion

            That’s the not the reason I pirate. I pirate because I can’t afford to buy all of the games I want to play, and don’t feel the need to spend money to consume something when it’s not essential. If I can’t afford a game, and I can’t pirate it, or borrow it, I do without it. Is that a lost sale? I my inability to purchase a yacht hurting he yacht-making industry?

            This is just the reason I don’t bend over backwards to defend a product’s livelihood.

            Also, your argument bothers me. If these guys are doing nefarious things, we can give them a free pass because they employ a lot of people and donate money?
            Nobody should be privileged enough to dodge blame for wrongdoing.

            What’s more: a lot of business leaders donate lots of money to charity not just because they’re bleeding hearts-the money that they give is a pittance compared to the money they save through unethical business practices.
            If a few million dollars here or can save them from having to pay their workers a fair wage, they’ll do it.
            I’m not trying to preach. I’m just sick of the outrage over something as trivial as piracy when so many other things are ignored.

          • RupanIII

            Well why didn’t you just say that in the beginning, then? “I don’t make a lot of money but I like to consume these goods so I pirate” is more upfront than “oh you’re all consumer whores because you pay for stuff, unlike me who likes to consume every bit as much but *I* don’t have to pay, plus I’m really sticking it to those fat cats” <- this attitude is what bugs me more than piracy. Also, you missed my point. I never said that people who do bad things, especially CEOs, shouldn’t be held accountable, or should hold absolute power/privilege (on the contrary, shareholders have become a highly disempowered lot). I used to work as a valet for a guy who was a billionaire at a country club and man, were he and his friends assholes, they’d look down on people, spend millions on cars for themselves, never donate or anything like that, and it wouldn’t surprise me if business-wise they didn’t behave in some unethical ways. I know those people are out there, and I wasn’t defending those types. What I did say was that it’s not all black and white, implying that not everyone who runs a company is nefarious, and that there are both good and bad outcomes on a multitude of cause-and-effect/chain-linked levels when you support a corporation by buying their product, so it's naive to think that if you pay for their product you’re "giving them a free pass," or, conversely, that you’re really sticking it to them in some gallant way by not paying for it. In reality it can both help/hurt people on the top and the bottom (who themselves can be both good and bad).

            Of course, as for piracy itself, aside from its effects, it’s hard because there are people like yourself who, as you say, do not ‘steal’ a sale because you wouldn’t be buying it anyway if you were unable to pirate. I fall into that group myself – sometimes I’ll download a movie/music/etc that I don’t really think I’d want to shell out money for and thus wouldn’t have bought anyway. If I turn out pleasantly surprised I might go buy it, though. But there are also a lot of people who would pay if it wasn’t so easy to pirate – consider Dirge of Cerberus. There are so many FF fanboy/girls out there I’m sure many who pirated would’ve purchased if pirating wasn’t such an easy option. How can you calculate who would pay and who wouldn’t? Again, there are two sides at play, so it's a bit more multifaceted. I agree with you though that a lot of the corporate outrage is ridiculous, especially when it’s a very mainstream label that makes boatloads of cash anyway, like Metallica or those other musicians who were bitching about mp3s a while back. Didn't they fine a 12 year old girl tens of thousands of dollars for downloading some mp3s a few years back?

    • NeoTechni

      You’re joking. I paid the launch day price of like $300 for my PSP and it was worth it. I own over 5 PSPs and it’s still worth it

      They arent trying to squeeze anything out of you at $129

    • Code

      So how many free games does it take for the system to be worth $129, lol? Playing judge and jury is fun, but it also renders any results moot >w<' (yay I got to say moot!) rar, as you’ve mentioned below. Food, transportation, and contraband(?) are what are worth your money, but these things can also be dissected and come out to an equal conclusion that you have with games; they aren’t any less immune to suits, corruption, and moral wrong doing. You can boil down just about any of these down far enough if you really wanted to. The food/transportation industry, sure we need it, but you can’t tell me for a second it’s entirely free of all those same issues. Plus might I add all those industries also have good hardworking people in them too, to paint everyone one color is pretty bold, which is what your doing basically. I do understand your idea of wanting to make people think about just what there supporting when they give a company money, though. It’s not the fact people here don’t agree with your message. It’s that you’ve turned around and used it as leverage to justify letting you take however much you want for the price you want. It doesn’t matter if it was games, comics, movies, whatever, it’s this action that is winding people up. Because when it comes down to it, it sure is easier being Robin Hood when you have a library of PSP games around your belt, compared to none at all, lol >w<'Down the board it eventually pans out, “I do this because I’m kind of poor”, sure it’s not as colorful, but at least it’s honest. Lots of us don’t make great money I’m sure and can relate, but were not running around saying companies started it, they pushed me to it, they did something wrong so I can to, you guys are all tools. When it comes down to it, it was your own decision what is, and isn’t important enough for your money, but you’ve deemed video games not as important as other things, simple as that.

  • Scallion

    Also, I find it funny that a lot of you guys take pride in the fact that you give a lot of money away to guys in suits who see you as nothing more than wallets with legs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/StbxYa Stb Hrnndz

      What does that have to do with buying games…what an ignorant br@t!, don’t you see, piracy is killing the industry…, doubt, these lines says otherwise, hope sony kill the sht with the psp2 already, fck pirates.

      • Scallion

        Sony likes the PSP2 because they can’t lose sales to anything or anybody.
        If they had their way, they’d get rid of online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores and just sell all their games by direct download.
        They’d cut back so many costs in between the manufacture of UMDs/discs, to the stores where they sell them, and actual theft of the physical product from store shelves.
        Oh, and don’t forget used game retailers. They HATE used games, and they’re trying their best to kill used games. Digital copies can’t be resold.
        That’s more $$$ for Sony, and the rest of the game companies. That’s all they care about, anyway.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I find it funny that you take pride in pirating so you can buy food to give money to guys in suits who see you as nothing more than a wallet with legs.

      I find it funny that you take pride in pirating so you can pay rent to give money to a landlord who sees you as nothing more than a wallet with legs.

      I find it funny that you take pride in pirating so you can get women who see you as nothing more than a wallet with legs.

      Do I need to go on? You chastise people for chastising pirates with a holier-than-thou attitude, telling people what is and isn’t important, which of these things matter and which don’t. The only thing you’ve mentioned that is inarguably more important than video games is food, because you need that to live. The rest are a matter of opinion, plain and simple.

      • Ereek

        Extremely well said. I refuse to get into another one of these pirating arguments, it’s the same every article, but that was beautiful.

        And on a completely unrelated note, there’s nothing more satisfying than eating fruits and vegetables you’ve cultivated yourself. They also taste much better than if you buy them at the store.

      • Guest

        Nigga don’t get it. What he’s saying is, these kind of console wars that surpass brand loyalty and wander into almost-cultiness are dumb. Defending one console over another is like being a housewife that argues passionately over paper towel brands, to the point of religious devotion.

        Also, nice on the assumed piracy. All he did was question the logic of the group, and you’re willing to paint him as the enemy. Makes me proud of my species.

      • Scallion

        Wait, so video games are equivalent to food, shelter, and human companionship in your eyes?
        Good to know.
        If I sound “holier-than-thou”, it’s only because you’re slowly starting to realize that you’re devoting far too much of yourself to a hobby without thinking about how it affects other people.
        Any industry that generates as much money as video games do has to come under some sort of scrutiny at some point.

  • yukichan

    If the companys put the games not too expensive they didnt to have piracy problems

    • Aoshi00

      What isn’t expensive, PS3 was too expensive at $600, too expensive at $400, too expensive at $300. $200 sounds good, wait, how about $100? Oh yes, Sony should just send a system to your home for free w/ no shipping, just so that you’re happy right? They want to make a system to not make money, but lose money. Gaming has always been expensive, just like any hobby is, this is the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard. If you don’t have money or don’t think they’re worth spending money on, simple, don’t play games. “Ooh, I’m so poor, but I NEED my gaming, so I pirate. Games should cost $30 a piece, but if I have $30, I’ll go buy a pair or jeans, or it should be $5 a piece, but w/ that money, I could go get a McDonald’s value meal.”

      • Scallion

        It’s also funny that the game companies have managed to infect their sense of self-entitlement into the people who give them money for a product.
        What’s so noble about consumption?
        You say that people who pirate can’t live without games, but I’ve actually learned about how little I need them. If I needed something that badly, I’d be selling blood for it.
        Oh, here’s an interesting tidbit: if you did sell your blood, or plasma: you know-the stuff that runs in your veins and keeps you alive-then you wouldn’t be able to afford a new 360 or PS3 game, and at current rates, you wouldn’t be able to afford a new PSP or DS game, either.

        Think about that.
        What are we putting our value in?
        This is bigger than video games. It’s about how a group of people can justify taking the earth’s resources, polluting it, possibly damaging a country’s economy through sweatshop labor in free trade areas, to make a piece of plastic so they can be entertained for a few hours, and but then turn around with seething anger when someone shares a digital copy of a game they legally purchased.

        Something is very wrong with that picture.

        • Code

          rar, your incorrect about the blood fact, your body has 5.6 litres of blood, 450ml of blood runs around $50US. For the same amount of blood, your only get half as much Plasma, so it’s only going to be worth more. You have enough for several games running through your system >w<' rar, I like what you said it's catchy, but more propaganda then fact.

          • Scallion

            First of all, blood rarely ever goes for that much, and believe it or not, selling plasma can net you even less, despite how much more valuable it is.
            Not only that, but most bloodsuckers have restrictions on how much blood you can sell every month, and your body can only produce so much every month, too.

            Regardless, the point is that even by your high estimate, 450ml of blood is worth less than a new Xbox 360 game. That doesn’t bother you? It’s not about the fact that my blood doesn’t have a much resale value as I think it should-it’s that we arbitrarily attach a dollar value to things and don’t think twice about it.
            We buy things and don’t think twice about it.
            You’re getting riled up over some people not paying for video games when there is absolutely no inquiry into whether or not your hobby could have unintended consequences, and you don’t want to even take the time to imagine how you’ll respond if it’s ever revealed that it does hurt people.

          • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

            Wait a second, you mean you guys actually get PAID to donate blood?

            Well, that means the Red Cross in Australia makes a mint… and they didn’t even tell us. I thought the whole point was to save lives, not to turn a dime, but I must be so ignorant of the wonderful world of the United States…

            For most part, games are a form of entertainment. People can live without entertainment if they have to, although it’d suck for those who work in the industry if they stopped getting paid. They might have to get jobs as window washers or something…

            But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re out there to make a buck. What for? I don’t know, some might do it to pay the bills, and then we have others who do it cause they want more. But we can’t tar them all one way or the other, because we’d be lying if we did.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nollog Noel Murphy

            http://www.siliconera.com/2010/05/09/pay-what-you-want-for-five-awesome-indie-games/
            And after this —>Indie Dev Estimates 25 Percent of Humble Indie Bundle Downloaders are Pirates.
            Even when you could set your own price for those games, 25% pirated.

          • Code

            Actually Melinda this isn’t referring to “donating” this is just the cost, if your selling blood like any resource. Of course it’s not going to be constant value, and “donating” blood, is like any donation, that’s why usually you only get a cookie >w<' Honestly I don't know of any way where you can sell your blood outright like that, it's not my field, but if you look into medical/pharmaceutical suppliers you can find prices ranging around $50US So it certainly can sell for that amount. Also it doesn’t have much to do with if I like or don’t like it the notion, it’s just numbers being crunched because it was both a interesting statement and I was curious if it really did add up. As important as blood is, there are like 6 billion people or so, you can’t expect 450ml to go super far price wise, but it’s far from worthless. With that being said I have feel it’s not all that accurate because you could, but I guess when it comes down to it you never did defined how much blood your talking about, so don’t sweat it >w<'Also just to be fair, the seething anger thing is a little over-dramatic, I don’t think anyone here is even slightly close to “seething anger”, lol, >w<;

        • Aoshi00

          Sounds like communism vs capitalism, w/ you preferring the former… Poor? ever heard of something called “working”?

  • xenonism

    I don’t believe piracy can be quantified in such detail and most of all I simply don’t believe the data for NSMB.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nollog Noel Murphy

      It’s comparing sales of the titles mentioned by cesa against the amount of downloads for that titles that cesa has acknowledged.
      No idea where cesa got this data, but you can look up the sales of NSMB like the person who wrote this article did if you don’t believe it.
      Remember though, the DS NSMB has been out for many years.

      • xenonism

        Right, I just don’t think a 20:1 legal:illegal ratio is believable for a game that, as you wrote, is 5 years old and is… well, a Super Mario Game.

  • http://bytemypanda.mp/ SleepingPanda

    I disagree with these graphs. I own 3 PSPs and have pirated 80% of the games I’ve played on them, however, I personally went out of the way to buy Final Fantasy: Dissidia, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and Phantasy Star just because I wanted to support the developers and because of the quality of production that went into these games. And I know many other PSP owners who’ve done the same. Granted, paying for these games suck especially because they cost roughly 10x the American retail price in my own country (which would probably help to account for the piracy figures worldwide). I would cringe at the thought of buying games in any third world country. A PS3 console costs 2x what you Americans pay here. All these factors have to be taken into account before blame can be thrown at pirates.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nollog Noel Murphy

      I don’t think the aim of this article is to blame anybody, just to highlight the broader age-bracket a game goes for, the more the game will gain at retail rather than games targeted at a specific audience.

      The fact you bought the game means you’re one of the people on the blue side of the chart for those games mentioned, nothing to disagree about really.

  • thebanditking

    OUCH! This data is really depressing (for PSP). Honestly people pay for your games, stealing is wrong. If I had it my way anyone who pirates games would get jail time and those downloading deserve a hefty fine and their console bricked.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Coley/588322262 Brandon Coley

      that is indeed true but at the same time the companies aren’t going after mainstream forums about it… And then there some who cant afford games so they pirate them and buy them later on….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/HQQTN5DX55QUF5C6KGYDN7R4JE RoryM

    I’m not saying pirating isn’t an issue but those figures are totally bullcrap.

    • Hei

      I agree, you can’t blindly believe everything your told, and it’s been known that companies grossly exaggerate piracy figures, making the situation seem worse then it is.

  • Hei

    Hmm it seems people do pirate on the PSP alot. I hear it’s the easiest system to hack but everytime Sony tried to enhance the security, the hackers responded in kind, breaking whatever security they put on it. They’re wasting their time and money trying to beat the hackers with force, you need to give people reason’s not to pirate, punishing them or removing features just angers more people and then now you’ve got people who will pirate just to spite you, think about it.

  • Justinzero

    ***Goes to EB Games, looks on shelf for NSMB and Pokemon and sees many copies available for purchase. Looks at dismal PSP section for Dissidia and Phantasy Star Portable 2, sees nothing but sports titles and God of War, asks moron clerk about the 2 games in question and gets a dumbfounded look instead.***

    God damn pirates!

    Pirates indeed!

  • PocketLordSephirjon

    Personally, I don’t get these figures. DS is by far easier to emulate than PSP. I’ve never pirated a single PSP game, and I have no intention of buying a DS (or, for that matter, any other Nintendo handheld, until they release one that doesn’t focus on gimmicks).

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