Could the disaster that was Sony's Connect music service have soured the international conglomerate on offering downloads at the PlayStation Network?
Rafat Ali over at the tech news blog PaidContent.org is reporting that not only has Sony scrapped plans--at least for the time being--to offer music downloads to owners of the PlayStation Portable, but the executive in charge of dealing with the labels has resigned, according to the report.
Two weeks ago, CNET News reported that Sony had talked to some of the largest recording companies about the possibility of offering music via the PlayStation Network, the online store for PlayStation, Sony's video game console, and PlayStation Portable (PSP), the multi-purpose handheld.
PaidContent's report comes on the eve of the expected debut of the new PSP Go, the latest version of the device. Sony executives were not immediately available for comment.
Music should have been one of the PSP's core offerings a long time ago. Sony is a major player in gaming and music. It's a little ironic that while Sony owns the second largest music label, the company can't offer MP3s to PSP owners.
James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, is just one of the people who has said that the PSP has failed so far to live up to its potential. The device is probably one of the best mobile video players available, with a larger screen than any of the iPods or iPhones. It provides an excellent game-playing experience. But it has been well chronicled that the machine was hobbled by Sony's decision to initially offer physical media (Universal Media Disc) rather than digital content. That appears to be changing as the PSP Go, according to reports, will not offer an UMD drive.
Sony has also been determined to keep the PSP's focus on gaming, which is understandable. But at the same time, Apple's iPhone has taken the Swiss Army knife approach and is offering a device that plays music, videos, and games, and also takes photos, downloads books, helps us organize our lives, counts calories and a lot more, thanks to all the applications being written for it.
Sony may have lost the taste for competing in digital music sales by the misguided attempt that was Sony Connect. Connect was a troubled effort marked by infighting and software glitches and the company finally shut it down a year ago.