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The Fall of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP?

Written on January 01, 2011 by Kristoff Jones

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In a recent US-based survey, more gamers are shifting to the smartphones as their choice handheld console for video games. With this seemingly inevitable paradigm shift, will the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP still be around when smartphones finally dominate the category?

The and PSP are on the edge of their seats as they compete head to head not only against each other, but new against a new player as well, the . With the uprise of games being developed for the and which took the gaming scene by storm as new forms of gaming consoles, will Nintendo DS and PSP still survive a couple more years as the gamer’s choice? In a nutshell, it will all boil down to what a specific gamer wants and needs. Although the future looks a little grim for the current reigning handheld champs.

In a US-based survey that Interpret used in their report, among the 9,000 people interviewed, 44% play games on their phones, a 53.2% increase compared to last year. What’s more mindboggling is 27.2% who own both a phone and a PSP and DS prefer smartphones over the latter. Although the gaming titans still dominate the market, their popularity dropped at an alarming rate of 13%.

What is there on a smartphone that makes people choose it over the DS and PSP?

  • First it’s the ability to produce relatively excellent graphics thanks to its gyroscope and accelerator, something Nintendo DS is falling far behind, but not as nearly as good as the PSP’s.
  • Second is the wide array of games players can choose from which unfortunately, again, Nintendo DS is lacking.
  • Third its video and sound quality which is backed by technologies their companies are very well known for since they ARE smartphones in the first place.
  • Finally, although PSP seems to be ahead in terms of graphics, the smartphone is again first, a phone. It’s multifunctions exceed what a normal handheld console can comprehend without the need for bulky addons.

So it seems PSP and NDS are a bit in a tough position now. However, they will find light among a specific target market (well for the PSP at least), the hardcore gamers who likes to ONLY play games on consoles that ONLY plays games. It’s an old-school idea that works. Who cares about the multifunctionalities if it doesn’t make you play real games with really good graphics? And PSP and to some extent Nintendo DS is doing well. However, having a limited target market doesn’t actually generate profit ergo more games. So it will be a miracle for the two handhelds to gain more ground, moreso, stay on one. It will only be a matter of time until smartphones take the larger chunk of the handheld gaming market.

PSP and NDS still have a great line up for the year 2011. Despite the release of 3DS, it seems Nintendo DS will be relevant to loyalists as an alternative for cheaper yet fun gaming. But will these games be enough to harvest more gamers on their side?

Here is a shortlist of what we’ll be seeing next year (from http://www.mcvuk.com)

  • The 3rd Birthday (Square Enix) 2011
  • Super Fruitfall Deluxe (System 3) Q1 2011
  • God Eater Burst PSP (Namco Bandai) 2011
  • Williams Pinball Classics (System 3) Q1 2011
  • Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy (Square Enix) 2011
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (Konami) 2011
  • Battle vs Chess (SouthPeak) Q1 2011
  • Putty Squad (System 3) Q1 2011
  • Duke Nukem: Critical Mass (Deep Silver) Q1 2011
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Square Enix) 2011
  • Tekken 6 (Namco Bandai) Q1 2011
  • James Pond: Codename Robocod (System 3) Q1 2011
  • TNA! Impact: Cross The Line (SouthPeak) 2011
  • Adventures To Go (Funbox Media) Jan 21st 2011
  • Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction (Namco Bandai) Feb 11th 2011
  • Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai (Namco Bandai) Feb 11th 2011
  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Activision) Feb 18th 2011
  • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (pQube) Mar 25th 2011
  • Lord of Arcana (Square Enix) Q2 2011
  • WWE All Stars (THQ) Apr 1st 2011
  • Thor (Sega) Q2 2011
  • Gladiator Begins (pQube) Apr 8th 2011

Nintendo DS

  • Kingdom Hearts 3D (Square Enix) 2011
  • My Pet Parrot (505 Games) 2011
  • The Mysterious Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (O-Games) 2011
  • Go Go Cosmo Cops (Atari) 2011
  • Insecticide (Gamecock) 2011
  • Duke Nukem: Critical Mass (Deep Silver) Q1 2011
  • Steal Princess (Rising Star Games) 2011
  • Dementium 2 (SouthPeak) 2011
  • Ghost Trick (Capcom) 2011
  • Touch and Play Collection (O-Games) 2011
  • Coronation Street (Mindscape) Q1 2011
  • Pucca Powers Up (Rising Star Games) Q1 2011
  • Lost Identities (Mastertronic) Q1 2011
  • Roogoo: Attack (SouthPeak) 2011
  • The Well at Worlds End (Lace Mamba Global) 2011
  • Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard (Ubisoft) 2011
  • My World My Way (Rising Star Games) 2011
  • Miniclip’s Sushi Go Round (SouthPeak) 2011
  • Atari Greatest Hits: Vol 1 (Namco Bandai) 2011
  • Ni No Kuni (Nintendo) 2011
  • My Garden (EA) 2011
  • Dream Day Wedding Destinations (THQ) 2011
  • Emily Archer (Mastertronic) Q1 2011
  • Super Fruitfall Deluxe (System 3) Q1 2011
  • My Pet: Zoo Vet (505 Games) 2011
  • Challenge Me: Brain Puzzles 2 (O-Games) Q1 2011
  • Obscure: Dark Aura (Playlogic) 2011
  • Kirby Super Star Ultra (Nintendo) 2011
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (Square Enix) Jan 14th 2011
  • TNA! Impact: Cross The Line (SouthPeak) 2011
  • Disney Tangled (Disney Interactive) Jan 21st 2011
  • Alpha and Omega DS (Funbox Media) Jan 28th 2011
  • Mario vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem (Nintendo) Feb 4th 2011
  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (PSP Activision) Feb 18th 2011
  • Pokémon Black/White (Nintendo) Q2 2011
  • Thor (Sega) Q2 2011
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney Interactive) Q2 2011
  • Emily the Strange (pQube) Apr 15th 2011
  • Captain America: Super Soldier (Sega) Q3 2011


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