According to SCEA’s Director of Hardware Marketing John Koller (an objective source if I ever heard of one), the recent slump in PSP releases is a sort of ripple effect from poor hardware sales “20-22 months ago,” which is one of those over-specific assessments that reeks of specious market research. Kind of like how they are now counting on young mothers as the latest hot demographic. There is some truth to it, though: 20 months ago, the PSP was a joke in the market, and now it’s… well, less of a joke.
As a developer, it has to be an interesting platform (nice hardware, big brand), but it’s never been the money tree the DS is, and never will be. Still, you can get some good games and good sales on it, as demonstrated by the new Final Fantasy Tactics game, God of War: Chains of Olympus and so on. But it seems that its release history will (if we trust John) resemble an inverted bell curve: big launch, sagging middle due to poor sales, then a second wind as the PSP population reaches a reasonable level for making money on. At least, that’s if Sony successfully woos the understandably wary developers.