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Portables (Games)

DS, PSP Could Claim Supremacy in Console Wars 105

Posted by Zonk
from the going-to-the-top dept.
njkid1 passed us another link to a GameDaily article, this one quoting analysts at DFC Intelligence as seeing a sort of usurpation of the console space by portable games. With the DS consistently outselling almost every other system on the market since last year, it's possible that the DS may become the best-selling system 'of all time'. Moreover, portable consoles may actually grow to have a larger market share than their more expensive, high-def cousins. "This comes from DFC's latest report on the portable gaming market, which the firm predicts will exceed $10 billion in worldwide revenue this year, led by the DS. DFC said that the PSP will 'establish a solid position in the marketplace' but that much of the Sony portable's fate will depend on how much effort Sony Computer Entertainment decides to put into promoting the platform over the next few years."
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DS, PSP Could Claim Supremacy in Console Wars

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  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:22PM (#18433949) Homepage Journal

    But ONE of them could claim supremacy in the handheld wars.

    When someone gives us a handheld that has a video output that allows us to play the games on a television, then they can claim supremacy in the console wars (if they outsell the consoles.)

    • by Sparr0 (451780)
      When someone gives us a handheld that has a video output that allows us to play the games on a television, then they can claim supremacy in the console wars (if they outsell the consoles.)

      Like the GP2X [gp2x.co.uk]? It runs Linux on dual 250MHz CPUs, has TV out, USB host and client hardware, and a whole slew of other wicked features.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        Yes, but unlike the GP2X, it would have to be a success. Did the GP2X people ever decide to start complying with the GPL?
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yes, once they dropped the third-party that was handling the Linux development. Part of the contract between Gamepark Holdings and MagicEyes (developer of the MMSP2 System-on-Chip) was that another company (can't remember the name) was to do the Linux development. It was that company that was ignoring the GPL. Now that Gamepark Holdings have dropped the third-party developer and do all development themselves, it's all good.
      • Like the GP2X? It runs Linux on dual 250MHz CPUs, has TV out, USB host and client hardware, and a whole slew of other wicked features.
        Where can I buy one with cash in the United States of America? Where can I buy games for it in the English language comparable to Animal Crossing Wild World, Mario Kart DS, and Me and My Katamari?
        • by Sparr0 (451780)
          Buy with cash? What is this, 1980? If you insist... The only two 'official' importers in the USA are located in Yorba Linda, CA and Chicago, IL. I imagine if you care to visit them, instead of ordering online, they would be happy to take your cash.

          As to English language games... There are only two "real" commercial games, Payback [gp2xstore.com] (port of a GBA game, very cool 3D GTA clone) and Vektar [gp2xstore.com] (retro top-down shooter something like Geometry Wars). But you make the serious mistake of assuming that you have to b
          • by tepples (727027)

            Buy with cash? What is this, 1980?

            A lot of people don't want to wait until age 18 to get a checking account so that they can use their birthday money online.

            But you make the serious mistake of assuming that you have to buy games. There are dozens of free games of commercial quality (Beats of Rage, Quake, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, Ur Quan Masters, Super Mario War, and Tail Teiru come to mind)

            Ur-Quan Masters I can give you because that game was Freed, and Tail Teiru appears to be a Panel de Pon clone or something. But are the assets used in Beats of Rage and Super Mario War even legal, being derived from all-rights-reserved franchises? The assets of Quake and Transport Tycoon Deluxe are still all-rights-reserved; are those still available for sale?

            as well as great emulators for every platform up to SNES (and not so fast emulators for later platforms like PSX) which gives you a library of tens of thousands of games

            I'm willing to buy Super

            • by Sparr0 (451780)
              Beats of Rage uses copyrighted assets, I think. But OpenBOR, a fork, can use custom game packs and there are plenty of cool third party games for it. Super Mario War also uses copyrighted assets, circa Super Mario Brothers.

              Quake can use third party assets like OpenQuartz [sourceforge.net] or the official shareware data [3ddownloads.com] from id. Transport Tycoon Deluxe requires the original data files, which I happen to be lucky enough to own, but would download if not.

              I would like to note that OpenTTD and SMW are two excellent examples of
  • PSP? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StocDred (691816)
    The actual linked story headline is "DS Could Be Best Selling Video Game Platform Ever". Adding the PSP to the Slashdot version is a little skewing.
    • Re:PSP? (Score:5, Informative)

      by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:31PM (#18434081) Journal
      You're right, it is skewing. On the other hand, while the PSP has only managed to capture ~21M in sales (versus the ~40M of the DS), either one has managed to sell more than the Wii, PS3, or XBox 360 combined (so far).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        But is that really a fair comparison?

        Both systems were released in late 2004/early 2005 (depending on your region) and have had 2 full years to build their userbase...
        • by powerlord (28156)
          You're right, the Wii and PS3 are both fairly new. The XBox 360 on the other hand has had about a year or so, and launched about 9 months after the PSP. Drop ~2.2M units off the PSP, and comparing only the North American numbers (which greatly favors the 360 BTW), shows them to be neck an neck in terms of total unit sales. Factor in other regions similarly, and it looks much grimmer for the XBox.

          I'm less familiar with the DS, so I'll leave that comparison for someone else to make, however the other part
          • however the other part of the story that I haven't seen mentioned is that for the first time Nintendo has some real competition in the handheld market (versus decimating every other company that has tried to enter it).

            And this is also the first time that a Nintendo handheld has had a thriving homebrew scene. GBA came close, but like DS commercial games, DS homebrew is actually reaching the non-gaming public with polished products such as MoonShell and DSOrganize, and homebrew equipment is sold in Wal-Mart under the name "MAX Media Dock". Sony, on the other hand, loses sales among homebrew fans every time it updates the PSP firmware.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by DDLKermit007 (911046)
              Largely the homebrew in the US for the DS is due to the fact that people are seeing what Japan has done with DS non-videogame related stuff so exceptionally. All sorts of Kanji learning games, math, quizes, cook-book, etc. The DS has created a completely new kind of market in Japan. I can only dream of similar things happening in the rest of the world.
      • The Wii will be the first to cross the PSP in ownership and that will happen Q1 2008. It is set to sell around 16 million console this calendar year, add the 3 million for the launch to year end and you are nearly at the PSPs total ownership.

        I cannot see anything stop the Wii at the moment, Wii sports will rule the world. Nintendomination!!!
    • Re:PSP? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:59PM (#18434529)
      I am a programmer, working for a game studio. My studio recently shipped a PSP game which is likely to be their last. My boss says that PSP is having abysmal sales figures, and is effectively a dead platform unless Sony pulls a rabbit out of their hat, and finds something to make buying a PSP worthwhile (low price point, AAA game that everyone has to have, etc.). It's not looking hopeful.

      DS on the other hand has nothing but a bright future.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by toleraen (831634)
        AAA game that everyone has to have

        Umm, isn't that your job? Shouldn't you have started out with "My studio recently shipped the greatest PSP game ever"? I could be wrong, but I thought it was the game studios that were supposed to release kick ass games. If you put out a decent game for the PSP, instead of the countless ports I see laying around, I'll buy it. If there's 20 million of us sitting around with PSPs, you'll sell quite a few.
        • Re:PSP? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:40PM (#18435119)
          There's a problem with that logic. First of all, I wasn't a programmer on that project. I was working on something completely different. I've never written ANYTHING for PSP. Second of all, not every game has the same things going for it. AAA games get huge budgets, and multiple years to create. If you spend that much time on a project, it's usually going to be pretty good. If you rush a game to market in 8 months, it's probably not going to be spectacular. A small studio without a large budget is going to very rarely create an AAA game.
          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            "AAA games get huge budgets, and multiple years to create. If you spend that much time on a project, it's usually going to be pretty good."

            In that case, Duke Nukem Forever should be the best game ever created.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Stevecrox (962208)
        Perhaps its because your games suck?
        Locoroco, GTA, Tekken, and wipeout are great PSP games they caught my eye and I bought them but on the whole PSP games do suffer. When a developer takes the time to develop a proper PSP game like the ones listed they rock and they stay high in the charts forever (last time I checked game excusing wipeout all three were in the top ten.) The problem is multiplatform releases with awfull porting and rubbish games.
        I own Lego Star Wars 2, I didn't get the PS2 version because
        • Why is this guy modded Troll? I had the luck of acquiring a PSP for 150€ because a store mislabeled their advertisement. I wouldn't have bought it for 250€, but 150€ was okay.

          I have bought some games and by far the best games I played are GTA Liberty City Stories, Sid Meiers Pirates (which really gives me the good retro feel) and Popolocrois which is a kinda weird childish game, but it's fun to play. I also bought Locoroco last weekend, but hadn't had the occasion to play (since Pirates

  • I don't know about everyone else, but does owning a handheld even impact playing games at home? I own a PSP and, quality of titles notwithstanding, never play it unless I'm commuting or traveling somewhere. When I'm home, I have no desire to play a portable system since I can play a more powerful, more immersive game on my TV.

    So, my point: Is installed user-base all there is to care about? Don't Sony/MS/Nintendo make the bulk of their profits on the games? I'd be more interested in seeing the ratio of p
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      When I'm home, I have no desire to play a portable system since I can play a more powerful, more immersive game on my TV.

      The factors that matter to me don't involve more powerful, or more "immersive" (since a handheld game can be plenty immersive.) They are the screen size and the controller quality. Playing tetris on the GBA SP for too long hurts my hands. I can play much longer using a real controller.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        You should try a DS. It's much wider than the SP, so it's more comfortable to play on. I've played FF:TA for hours without issue.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          Sure, as soon as I pull some money out of my ass, I'll probably get a DS. But I already blew my portable system cash wad for quite some time on the SP. Maybe if I find some alternative purpose to which I can put the SP, I'll buy a DS :)
          • by PitaBred (632671)
            GameStop is your friend ;) Used systems are available at pretty good prices. I buy over half of my games there, as well as a few systems. Tons of people don't buy games new and don't like them, or want money to get new ones so sell their great old ones (FF:TA, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc.). Usually kids who don't have any income stream.
        • by blackicye (760472)
          IMO, FFT:A (Final Fantasy Tactics : Advance) on the DS is kinda tiring, the screen is too small, I found myself sticking the cart back into my GBA when playing FFT:A.

          Having a blast replaying FF: Tactics on my 3.10OE-A' PSP though (and yes I own the original PSX game, multiple copies of it)
      • Playing tetris on the GBA SP for too long hurts my hands.
        This is Tetris Worlds, the one with infinite spin [ytmnd.com], right? Perhaps it's the laggy reaction of the scripting engine that TW was implemented in that hurts your hands, not the controller itself.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Shabadage (1037824)
          More likely the person in question has large hands. As much as I wanted the SP, I found I couldn't play it for more than a half an hour or so without some massive hand cramps, from clawing my huge paws around the tiny system. So I kept my original GBA. I had the same problem with the Dreamcast, though that was due to the extremely awkward trigger buttons (And D Pad)

          Now that I think about it, I'm glad I never tried a GB Micro.

          The DS-Lite fits in my mits perfectly, thankfully.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            More likely the person in question has large hands.

            CORRECTaMUNDO! I'm bloody gigantic and so are my hands. In fact googling slashdot alone will probably turn up several hits with me bitching about Microsoft dropping the full-size controller for the S on the Xbox.

            And the version of Tetris that I typically play on the SP is the original. The kind where the cart sticks way out.

            But he was right about one thing; Tetris Worlds does suck.

            • Heh, that's intersting, as I love the S-type controllers. I could never hit just the black or white button on the old ones, and usually managed to mash both buttons at once. I actually found the older ones to be a bit uncomfortable after a long period of time (Unlike the SP and DC which was almost immediate).
    • by sqlrob (173498)
      I rarely play my DS / PSP any place other than home.
    • I play my DS at home all the time. There are many games for it that don't have comparable games on any of the consoles. The brain games or even the Castlevanias come to mind as games that have no counter parts on any of the consoles.
    • by AvitarX (172628)
      I purchased Age of Empires DS with my video game allowance for the month specifically to play at home (while the TV is on to a show my wife likes but I hate or when my brain is too fried to read before I go to sleep). I buy 1 game/month and try to keep it under $30.00, that leans me towards the DS a lot too.

      The DS is about 60% of my game spending, and the other 30% is probably split console/computer.
    • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd.harrelsonfamily@org> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:58PM (#18434507) Homepage
      I play my DS at home. In fact, 90% of all of my play is at home. It works great! Here are the plusses of this platform:

      When my wife is watching a movie, I can still sit next to her on the sofa and still play. No retreating to the other room.

      Because the DS "pauses" when the screen is closed, I can open it up for 5-10 minutes of an RPG. This is one of the biggest selling points. With a console, you have to play until you get to a "save point," or risk looking your progress, or you could just pause and leave it on for a few days until you have enough time to get back to it. With a busy day, sometimes it is not even worth it to fire up the console.

      The DS is also by far the cheapest of the "current" gaming hardware. $130 for a DS. $200 for a PSP. Consoles are $250 on up.

      DS is the best seller for much the same reason that Toyotas sell better than BMW.
      • by powerlord (28156)

        When my wife is watching a movie, I can still sit next to her on the sofa and still play. No retreating to the other room.


        You're lucky, my wife would KILL me if I was playing a video game while we were supposed to be sitting next to each other and watching TV. :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by geminidomino (614729) *
          My girlfriend would try to kill me, but I have remote control bombs and 7 skates now. Bwahahahaha.... Oh shit, she just got superbombs. Got to go!
      • by Frumply (999178)
        What's with almost every pro-DS post pointing out the sleep mode feature? The PSP can do the exact same thing by tapping the power button.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Abcd1234 (188840)
          It may sound silly, but there really is a certain simplicity in being able to just flip the DS shut, rather than having to track down the power button. Yeah, it's a minor difference, and once you get used to the location of the power button there's probably no difference at all, but the DS just feels... easy. *shrug*
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Frumply (999178)
            I got the DS after I've had a PSP for about a year, and I felt exactly the opposite - since I was used to the PSP sleep mode, I was constantly turning off DS games in progress by accident. This is obviously a matter of preference, and while I like the DS's sleep mode now that I know how it works, I still believe the PSP's a little more idiot-proof, as you have to consciously hold onto the power to shut it down.
            • by Abcd1234 (188840)
              That's actually a very good point... I've accidentally turned off my DS on more than one occasion. 'course, this would be easily fixed by, as you say, having to hold the power button down for a few seconds.

              However, that's not really related to the flip-shut-to-sleep feature, aside from the fact that PSP owners may need to break their habits, lest they get an unpleasant surprise. :)
      • I do the same with my wife when she's watching American Idol. She seems to be cool with that, it's when I'm sitting across the room on the computer when she gets pissed off.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)
      I don't know about US sales (those are hard to come by) but in Japan the DS keeps claiming more than 50% of the top 30 game sales every week. Other consoles get maybe one or two games into the list while the DS dominates everything.
    • by lmnfrs (829146)

      "So, my point: Is installed user-base all there is to care about? Don't Sony/MS/Nintendo make the bulk of their profits on the games?"

      Maybe, but MS and Sony take hits on their hardware, the size of which depends on where the console is in its life cycle.. Nintendo does not take a hit. Even if the same number of DS and PSP units were sold, and on average PSP owners purchased more games than DS owners, Nintendo would still be making as much money as Sony or possibly even more.
      Given that Nintendo has sold

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Osty (16825)

      When I'm home, I have no desire to play a portable system since I can play a more powerful, more immersive game on my TV.

      That's where Sony screwed up with the PSP. Handhelds can never be as powerful or as immersive as the current consoles (that is, a PSP is about as powerful as a Playstation 1. When there's a PSP that's as powerful as a Playstation 3, the Playstation 5 will be available). You don't get people to play handhelds by taking a console game and just porting it over. I played GTA:LCS on PS

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jim Hall (2985)

        You don't get people to play handhelds by taking a console game and just porting it over. I played GTA:LCS on PS2, and there's no way I'd play that on a portable. You need quick, stop/start gameplay that's easy to pick up and put back down again. The DS is killing the PSP because Nintendo "gets it" and Sony doesn't. Take the Warioware series of games, for example. They consist of short 5-second minigames strung back to back for a ~5 minute playing experience. I loved the first two on the GBA, and Touched o

    • I own a PSP and, quality of titles notwithstanding, never play it unless I'm commuting or traveling somewhere. When I'm home, I have no desire to play a portable system since I can play a more powerful, more immersive game on my TV.
      Wasn't Lumines a PSP exclusive for the longest time? Aren't most popular DS games still DS exclusive? Your real complaint is that handhelds don't have TV outputs.
    • I don't know about everyone else, but does owning a handheld even impact playing games at home? I own a PSP and, quality of titles notwithstanding, never play it unless I'm commuting or traveling somewhere. When I'm home, I have no desire to play a portable system since I can play a more powerful, more immersive game on my TV.

      I leave my DS in the bathroom (I have a PSP somewhere, but its just about useless).

      Sometimes I'll pick up my DS and play for a bit while watching TV, or sitting on con-calls for work.
    • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:33PM (#18436571)
      My situation is kind of different. I have a girlfriend and a full time job. The only time I get to sit down in front of a computer to play games is on the weekend. Week days are taken up with cooking, cleaning and generally living. I simply don't have time to sit down for an extended session of Civ or CS or whatever. I went and got myself a DS for Christmas and I love it. The games aren't necessarily better or that much different to what I could be playing on PC. However I can now sit next to my girlfriend when she is watching Gilmore Girls while I play. Furthermore when something happens that demands my attention I can just quickly close my DS and give that attention. It pauses my game and will stay like that for days before the batteries run out. Now I'm on the look out for a PSP as well.
    • A quick session of Animal Crossing in bed is a good way to wind down.

      The other night I took a bath and played New Super Mario Brothers.

      Or perhaps you're cooking something and want to keep an eye on it, but could play a quick game of Hearts while doing so.

      I didn't expect to play on the DS while at home, but it has worked out that way.
  • by nickj6282 (896871) * <nickj6282@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:39PM (#18434219)
    The DS may just be the perfect gaming machine. It's kid-friendly with plenty of titles to appeal to youngsters, but it's adult friendly too in the fact that you can pick it up and play it when you've only got a few minutes to spare. Just flip it closed and it goes into standby until you open it back up.

    Plus there's the price point. Parents can pick one up for $130, which way less than a PSP, and games are not more than $34.99 each (with rare exceptions). They can choose from DS and GBA titles, which also appeals to parents because they can keep playing their old games too.

    As both a gamer and a parent, I can say that I play my DS far more than Xbox 360, Wii, and PS2 combined. I own more DS/GBA games than all three combined too, just because they are cheaper and often much more fun (New SMB anyone?)
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "The DS may just be the perfect gaming machine... but it's adult friendly too in the fact that you can pick it up and play it when you've only got a few minutes to spare. Just flip it closed and it goes into standby until you open it back up."

      give me +5 Flamebait but i'm sooo tired of all the DS fanboy crap I read online. Your big argument that it's "adult friendly" is that you can put it in standby easily? So if the only game it played was tic-tac-toe it'd still be "adult friendly", right?

      I'm an ad
      • by benzapp (464105)
        This is very true. Here in New York City, I see 10-20x as many adults playing PSP units on the subway every morning as compared to DSs. In fact, when I DO see a DS on the subway, it's usually a high school kid commuting (high schools are specialized in NYC - people commute to them from all over the city).

        If it wasn't for slashdot, I'd honestly think the DS was as much of a failure as the Gamecube was. The games don't seem that good, the entire concept seems kinda ridiculous, and the graphics - you nailed
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by trdrstv (986999)
          Somehow, I believe Nintendo is fudging the numbers or the entire online world is corrupt.

          Never before have I noticed such an incredible disconnect between reality and the online world.

          Consider it regional preferences. What is popular in NYC, may not be popular in Paris, or Tokyo, etc... I personally see Far more DS's and GBA SP's than PSPs, but I understand what is popular in my area isn't representitive of the world.

          • by benzapp (464105)
            I've considered this - but I don't think there are many posters on slashdot from those cities. As most posters are American, I would expect that the city with the most public transportation options would have the highest per capita ownership of portable systems, at least amongst adults.

            There also isn't anything else I can think of that it uniquely regional in New York City, besides perhaps the aforementioned extensive public transportation system. Why would a portable gaming system lend itself to such a r
            • by trdrstv (986999)
              I would expect that the city with the most public transportation options would have the highest per capita ownership of portable systems, at least amongst adults.

              This would be true if that was the exclusive target. I know you stated Adults, but Gradeschool commutes are typically longer in rural America, then metro. Also not everyone buys a portable for a commute.

              There also isn't anything else I can think of that it uniquely regional in New York City, besides perhaps the aforementioned extensive publi

        • Really? Wow... Here in Ottawa, I've only ever seen three people playing PSPs, and out of all my friends and acquaintances, there's only one that I know of that owns one. I've probably seen at least 5-6 times as many DSes out there, and six of my close friends own one. For what it's worth, I'm 31 and my friends range in age from early 20s to early 30s.

          I'm actually considering getting a PSP. I think it's a beautiful system, it was just out of my price range when I was shopping for a handheld. Now that you
          • by benzapp (464105)
            Do you take public transportation?

            I've seen that many PSP users in Montreal, and that was just during a week in January when I was there on business. I saw 2 people on the metro and 1 at the airport.

            I mean, the point here is there is a certain kind of person - I've never met them - who get portable gaming systems, but drive to work, don't really travel, etc. I don't really know WHY anyone would do that, but that may be your social circle. I don't think that is widespread, at least amongst adults.
            • I either bus or walk everywhere I go. I don't pay too much attention to what others are doing on the bus, though. I'm usually busy playing my DS. There could very well be more PSP players out there now and I just haven't noticed them. Like I said, I plan to join their ranks when I have the cash on me, but I will likely still play the DS too. As other people have noted, they both have strengths and weaknesses for particular game types and genres.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by toolie (22684)
          Never before have I noticed such an incredible disconnect between reality and the online world.

          Did you really just equate New York City to reality? ;)
  • PSP?? (Score:1, Troll)

    Ok... the DS is a huge huge success... but PSP? It shouldn't even be in the same paragraph as the DS. It's sales are terrible.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      21 million.. Yeah, HUGE failure there... I wish I could sell such a disasterous product.
    • by rgravina (520410)
      What I don't get is why people equate sales with the quality of a product (I'm not saying the parent did this, but I have to post somewhere). PCs with Windows outsell Macs. Britney Spears outsells [insert your favourite non-pop artist here]. Does it make them better? Of course not. It just means more people like the DS than the PSP, or buy it because that's what everyone else is using. As a PSP owner, do I give a rats? No, not really... unless of course that stops games developers producing quality titles f
    • by iainl (136759)
      That's kind of the point of all this. Every time we normally look at PSP sales, journalists just compare with the DS, which is still absolutely kicking its backside all round the park. But at over 20 million machines, the PSP is actually doing rather well in comparison to the home console market - sales figures usually show it selling around the level the 360 does these days, or even more.
    • by nickj6282 (896871) *
      Lately, the Target, Walmart, and Best Buy nearest my home have been selling out of DSes on a regular basis. Not as bad now as before the holidays, but once every few weeks one of the stores is out. I've never seen the PSP sold out anywhere, not even on launch day.
  • No shit... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 7Prime (871679) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:45PM (#18434291) Homepage Journal
    I've been saying this for quite some time now. Out of this generation, the DS will likely be the console winner. I'm not just talking about raw sales, the GBA outsold the PS2 by a lot, but it was still thought of as being a very very different kind of machine. No, what I mean by "winner" is "winner" in the truist sense of the word: competing head to head with the 360, PS3 and Wii, as a console, not just as a handheld console.

    Firstly, the DS has the ability to play the same kinds of games that the 360, PS3, and Wii (a little less so) can. For the first time in over a decade, we're seeing canonic games of major series (and not just "handheld spinoffs") coming onto a handheld. Not only that, but it doesn't really feel like "just a handheld" anymore. The DS has things, above and beyond portability, that no other system can do... so there are reasons for purchasing it and playing it, even if your not interested in the portability. No other handheld system can claim this, outside a few very minor exceptions.

    When I play a DS, it feels more like I'm playing a TV-based console, then a GBA. It's got a solid, robust design, the screen is incredibly clear, and it has full 3D graphics, that, for the screen resolution, can sit right next to the GameCube.

    Just watch, many series are going to jump ship from TV-consoles. We're already seeing it start to happen.
    • by brkello (642429)
      Yeah, that sounds great, except the DS isn't a freaking console.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by powerlord (28156)

      For the first time in over a decade, we're seeing canonic games of major series (and not just "handheld spinoffs") coming onto a handheld. Not only that, but it doesn't really feel like "just a handheld" anymore.

      With all due respect for the DS, which is a great system, the few "cross platform" games that have included the DS have usually had a very different or drastically reduced game made for it, versus the 360, PS2/3, or GC/Wii. (Lego StarWars II is the example that comes to my mind), please provide cou

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        One example would be that SquareEnix is set to release Dragon Quest 9 (a premiere series for them, bigger than Final Fantasy in Japan though less so in the US) for the DS. Not an offshoot game or anything, a straight numbered release of one of their biggest franchises going portable.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        Oh, for sure. For a console which has fairly unique design characteristics, like the DS or the Wii, the best games are always going to be those that are specifically designed with those consoles in mind. The control schemes for the DS and the Wii, while unique and provide for some new gameplay, aren't neccessarilly "better" than the older setups, they're just different, which means that they have the possibility of being pretty weak in emulating traditional control schemes (Mario 64 DS comes to mind). Both
  • A) Home consoles only get demos in stores and homes. To "sell" a casual friend on your experience you'll probably have them over at your home. I would say I only regularly visit and get visits from maybe 3 of my friends, the really close ones. Meanwhile I play my DS lots of places in public where there's a queue to be made and the "ooh, that's neat!" factor from friends I'm less familiar with means more exposure.

    B) Multiplayer on home consoles just needs one system and a few controllers. Handhelds require a
    • by powerlord (28156)

      Now that I think about it, could the big push for online multiplayer on home consoles be a stab to get more sales of hardware bigger than just a controller?

      I think the push for on-line multiplayer is coming because of the growth in broadband availability (once you have it in your home already, you can use it for lots of things), and the aging of the average gamer.

      As people get older, they tend to drift apart geographically. It might be harder to get together because you're in a different city, or it would

  • by Andrew Lenahan (912846) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:06PM (#18434647) Homepage
    The DS is successful because it provides simplicity and compatibility in a low-cost package.

    The DS is simple. I put in a game, I turn it on, I play it. I'm not told to join an online service, or pay for "points" for microtrasactions, or update firmware, or create a profile, or enter a password, or set up family accounts, or download patches, or view my online achievement scores, or update billing information, etc. (Note: it's true the DS can play over the internet using Wi-Fi, but the feature isn't very prominent and a lot of avid DS players don't even know about it). My DS is happy with being a little machine for games. It doesn't want to run my life, and I think a lot of casual-to-moderate gamers don't really want their console to become an online/entertainment hub. The games are the thing.

    The DS is compatible. Not only does it have a lot of very nice games of its own, its backed by the massive Game Boy Advance library, with all sorts of treasures. I think pretty much everybody is getting the idea that backward-compatibility is the only way to go these days. While this is porbably good news for consumers (a PS3 is able to play 13 years worth of legacy games, for example) it'll be interesting to see if any other consoles are able to survive in such a market, building a stable of titles from the ground up. N-Gage, Gizmondo, and Zodiac all crashed and burned, for example.

    The DS has a very very low entry price point. With a new DS lite running about $130 and a used original DS weighing in around $70 or so, the DS is by far the cheapest entry point to the current generation of systems. Unfortunately I think console manufacturers have lost sight of how much the public are really willing to pay for games, and the current console bunch (PS3 in particular) are prohibitively expensive for the masses. The people who make games and systems for a living tend to focus on those who eat, sleep, and breathe videogames, and forget that for every customer who would give up a kidney and wait in line for a week for a limited-edition Halo sequel in an exclusive holographic slipcase, there's a thousand parents who just want something fun for the kids to do on long car rides, or a suduku simulator to make the morning commute more bearable.

    The current systems lineup offers something for everyone and an amount of diversity we've never seen before. Regardless of how it turns out, we're all in for a hell of a fun ride.

    • "My DS is happy with being a little machine for games. It doesn't want to run my life, and I think a lot of casual-to-moderate gamers don't really want their console to become an online/entertainment hub. The games are the thing."

      I think you illustrate a problem though: That brilliant people have to limit their designs and trim options to fit a mediocre, workaholic time constrained culture. Downloading a patch, or signing up for a game is hardly wanting to "run your life". The fact is you choose which ga
  • The summary is like proclaiming Toyota's victory over BMW, because they ship more cars per year. I believe consoles and handhelds exist in markets that overlap in only limited ways, so there's no real "victory" over the other.

  • Uh yeah; where were these "New Schools" of thought 8 years ago when the original GB was outselling (Even outsold the PS2; 118 million to 115 Million) everything? Portable systems outselling consoles isn't a new trend by any means. If there's anything to be surprised about, it should be that the GBA only sold about half the amount (69 mill) of the original GB. Granted the time between GB/GBA (GBC was a market test for the GBA) and the GBA/DS was roughly twice as long as well. There wasn't much growth in
  • PSP uses the same stupid asinine mentality of the PS3 but now in the palm of your hand "BIGGER, BETTER, BADDER!" with games that look pretty and chuck gameplay in as an afterthought half the time, sony tried to make it a portable media hub and it's still expensive as hell to boot. PSP is the same mentality as the PS3 and therefore doesn't stand any real extra chance of succeeding. The DS on the other hand, has already proven that the simpler and more addictive games the better. Hell my friend who isn't
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Bigger, Better, Badder is important when you want to play sports, racing, or fighting games on the go. The DS receives and F in all three of those catagories.

      Personally, I bought into Nintendo's hype and I own both a DS and a Wii. I play Brain Age and Clubhouse games on the DS, but other than that I can't find another game I want to buy that I haven't beaten already. Furthermore, there aren't any games coming out that interest me until Zelda, which is fall time. The Wii is even worse. I beat Zelda and kicke
  • I travel every week for work (~2 hour flight each way). I originally purchased a used PSP at gamestop and two games for ~$250. I hated it - the controls were terrible, the games were substandard ports, and it was wayyyyy too bulky. The next day I returned it. A week later, after a lot of searching, i found a DS Lite and my gaming life has been a breeze ever since. Its small, light, durable, and the games are exactly what I want. The problem with PSP is it's trying to be a console on a portable system - i
  • My wife bought me one for my bday a few days ago and we can't put it down. Only have Club House Games and New Super Mario Bros. Club House Games is really addicting and now my wife says she needs a DS Lite too. Once I get a slot 1 flash card for it and can use the PDA organizer software, play MP3s, etc. life will be good.

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