Smackdown CEO: PSP lacks viable business model

Laurent Benadiba, CEO of Smackdown Productions, has said that Sony must take action if the company is to breathe life into the lagging PlayStation Portable market across Europe, believing the platform lacks a viable business model.

Benadiba divulged that he previously had discussions with a publisher to produce a “top five” IP racing title for the Sony handheld, though revealed there was ultimately no viable business model to allow the title to break even.

"I worked for two years on the PSP, as one of the only developers then, and I really believed in the platform at the time," he told "I still believe there’s potential, but it’s like self-confidence – if you trust yourself, maybe others will trust you. If you don’t trust yourself, nobody will trust you.”

"I think that’s what’s happened with the PSP – Sony released the product, but they never put enough of a push behind it. Games, ads, better shelf placement – trying to make an effort. I think it was also released at a time when they were still very focused on the PlayStation 3, trying to get it out of the door, that they slightly forgot about it."

Benadiba compared to the success of PSP to that of Nintendo’s DS, noting that although the former has the upper ground in regards to technical prowess, it ultimately lacks key triple A software to support it.

"Look at it – it’s so much more powerful that the DS, and it’s a beautiful object, it’s like an iPhone," he said. "Amazing, and the technology behind it is great. I think they expected the platform to just work on its own – but if they want to get it back on track… well, it’s a tough one.

"First they need games – the Wii has Zelda, or Wii Fit, or Wii Sports, it’s got triple A games that bring the platform forward. I think the PSP is lacking this – it’s got Grand Theft Auto titles, Daxter, but they need more of those platform-specific ground-breaking games."

Here’s hoping the likes of LocoRoco 2, Resistance: Retribution and Patapon 2 can stimulate sales of the handheld in PAL regions throughout 2009.