September 24th, 2008, 22:41 Posted By: wraggster
It’s a good idea to start off with the most general information. As it stands, it’s also the most alarming information:
2005 and 2006 look like a normal, strong trajectory for a new hardware platform. While releases on the system started off fairly slow as developers came to grips with the hardware, the growing installed base also grew the amount of software. As a result, 2006 saw over double the number of games as 2005.
By 2007, it would be reasonable to expect healthy growth in the number of releases yet again. Yet somehow, this is not the case; 2007 actually drops off in releases by a significant 17 percent.
Alone that would be pretty bad, but then 2008 creeps in. It’s important to recall several things about 2008; as noted on the previous page, the counting method differed here, which could lead to slight inconsistencies in the data. And of course, we've taken into account games that haven’t shipped yet and might be pushed back, but have no way of knowing about games that haven’t been announced yet that could see stealth releases—PlayStation Store games, for example.
Even taking this into account, the drop-off is so statistically significant that there’s no way to write it off. 2008 managed only slightly more releases than the PSP’s launch year, which was only ten months long. That’s a staggering 40 percent decrease compared to an already depressed 2007.
One can get a bit more detail by looking at the month-to-month release schedule, which fluctuates according to the expected industry cycles but definitely trends downward.
To avoid the natural seasonal depressions, it might be more instructive to pull out a single month from each year. March is a good example, because it’s been a busy one throughout the system’s life and allows comparison with solid 2008 data, instead of guessing with something like October. It looks almost identical to the yearly release data in the first graph, thus reinforcing the fact that things are looking bad for the PSP software support.
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