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The first 2 years: PSP has sold better in the US than PS1, DS, more

Misinformed reader comments across gaming blogs (such as Joystiq) are becoming increasingly frustrating. As we approach PSP's 2-year anniversary, many gamers seem to believe PSP is somehow a failure. Objection! If we align sales data to look only at the first 24 months of a console's US life, we'll see that PSP has actually done better than most other consoles, including the original PlayStation 1, and Nintendo DS.

The numbers and charts are provided by VG Charts, and they document a truth that may be hard to swallow. Please note that these numbers only cover US sales. Regardless, the following data should provide compelling evidence that PSP is not a failure, at least in terms of units sold.

PSP versus PlayStation 1:

The original PlayStation turned out to be one of gaming's most popular systems ever. But, looking at the first two months of PS1's life, one can see that PSP has had much more momentum. While PSP may not match PS1's final sales figures, Sony can certainly be proud that their handheld has been so successful.

PSP versus Dreamcast:

No contest here. Sega's last console, beloved by many hardcore gamers, didn't have enough in it to even get close to what Sony's been doing with PSP.

PSP versus Xbox:

It seems like Sony's PSP matches the original Xbox the closest in terms of sales momentum. The sales for the first two years of each console's life are pretty close to each other, with PSP having a slight advantage at the end of month 24.

PSP versus Gamecube:

Looking at the first two years of Nintendo's last generation console, one can see that PSP is consistently outpacing Gamecube. One thing's very clear: there was more demand for PSP at $250 than there was for Gamecube at the same price.

PSP versus Nintendo DS:

Looking at the first two years of sales of PSP and the first two years of DS, one can see that PSP has actually sold better than the cumulative sales of DS and DS Lite. While the recent months have been in Nintendo's favor, it's foolish to think that Sony is trailing that far behind.

PSP versus Xbox 360:

Think Microsof'ts Xbox 360 is doing well? Xbox 360 actually sold less in its first year than the PSP did in its first 12 months. Sure, 360 had shortage problems at launch, but misinformed gamers seem to disregard these errors.


There isn't enough data to see where PS3 will end up, but PSP's launch has easily outperformed Sony's newest console offering.

Is PSP a failure? Definitely not. However, it could be even more of a success with better support from Sony. Clearly, Sony is doing something wrong if gamers have painted this inaccurate, fatalistic vision of PSP's doom. With PSP having started off with more momentum as PS1, why shouldn't Sony try to match the wild success of their first gaming console? The dream to have "PSP" as ubiquitous as "Walkman" doesn't have to seem like an improbability.

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