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Posts with tag nintendo ds

Rebellion on PSP development: "it just happened"

Rebellion Studios, the team behind the PSP versions of Dead to Rights: Reckoning, James Bond: From Russia with Love, Miami Vice, GUN Showdown, and Free Running, has been nominated for a Develop award for being the best handheld developer. Their prolific catalog of games certainly deserves some recognition (even if many of these titles aren't of the utmost quality).

Speaking with Pocket Gamer, CEO Jason Kingsley explains the somewhat serendipidous relationship the team has had with PSP: "It's weird because we're down for this Develop award for being best handheld studio, but we're not a handheld developer. We're a developer who's happened to made a lot of PSP games, which is something we didn't really plan on doing. It's just happened [sic]," Kingsley explained. "We've done something like a dozen titles, and people keep coming to us with more. We're having to turn a lot of it down" (And certainly, they want to be focused primarily on their upcoming project, Star Wars Battlefront, a PSP exclusive.)

It appears that the team is comfortable with the immense power that PSP has to offer, which is the main reason why they've focused on the platform. "DS has been difficult because our engine is floating point and DS is a fixed point platform."

Itadaki says PSP too powerful for Ninja Gaiden

We're certainly impressed by Team Ninja's upcoming DS Ninja Gaiden game. But why is a hardcore 3D action game being developed for Nintendo's admittedly weaker handheld, especially when it comes from the typically technology-savvy team at Team Ninja? GamePro questioned the infamously opinionated Tomonobu Itagaki on why they avoided the PSP platform.

"The design philosophy for the PSP as a piece of hardware is a home gaming machine ... If we were gonna make it for PSP, it'd be better for us to make it for a powerful home system instead," he said. The PSP can display console-quality graphics, unlike the DS. It seems as though Itagaki would be far more interested in creating a new game for a home console rather than a portable, especially if it would take a similar amount of effort.

Puzzlingly, he believes that hardcore gamers wouldn't want a Ninja Gaiden game to appear on Sony's handheld. "I think if I were to develop this game on the PSP, most of my fans would be upset." Sorry to prove you wrong Itagaki, but we're more than a little upset that you think that way.

March NPD reveals improving PSP sales--is it enough?

Sony issued a statement today, reminding gamers that the PlayStation brand continues to get stronger. According to NPD data, "March 2007 showed a 24% increase in retail dollars generated year-over-year for the PlayStation brand in North America with total sales of $447 million." The three-pillar strategy seems to be quite successful for Sony: sales from PS3, PSP, PS2 (and God of War II), are all adding green to Sony's wallet. PSP hardware has gained some momentum in March: up 2% over February with sales of 179,796 units. More importantly, software sales have experienced a 13% jump.

With a price drop at the beginning of April, next month's figures should prove even better for Sony. However, one has to question if the price drop will be enough. Nintendo DS sold through over half a million units in the same period--easily more than twice that of PSP. Sony may not be number one, but as long as it maintains steady growth and profitability, does it really matter? And most importantly, does it matter to gamers?

CNET editor says DS for girls, PSP for adults

David Carnoy, executive editor of CNET, has written an interesting piece about the appeal of Nintendo DS to females. Girls seem to love Nintendo's handheld, and they help make a large portion of Nintendo's current audience. For example, one CNET editor's girlfriend "liked the concept of the touch screen ... She thought it was more interactive than what you had with the PSP."

Certainly, women can enjoy PSP (see picture), but it's clear that PSP is largely targeted towards males. But is that really a problem? As Carnoy points out, focusing on this demographic has created a large library of games that can entertain an audience that simply won't be satisfied by the DS's numerous casual games: "Fact is, the number of really good titles for the DS is actually pretty thin, especially if you happen to be over 21 and don't worship at the altar of Mario or Pokemon. If you're looking to play more 'adult' games with any sort of backbone, the PSP is a far better choice with a much stronger game library."

Like almost every other analyst out there, Carnoy believes that PSP can better attract a wider audience with a redesigned handheld. The problem appears to be Sony's reluctance: "I wouldn't be surprised if I saw the DS Extra Lite before I saw the next iteration of the PSP."

[Thanks, Joel!]

Analyst: PSP and DS will outdo home consoles

Don't throw out your handhelds: there's a lot of life left in them. According to an analyst at DFC Intelligence, the ever-expanding market for both DS and PSP will help allow it to beat the current generation systems: "Under the right scenario, by 2011 the combined installed base of the DS and PSP could exceed that for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360," noted David Cole.

While Nintendo will be responsible for much of the growth of the handheld industry, Sony is certainly not out of the game--they will "establish a solid position in the marketplace" (if they haven't already). Cole reminds investors that "existing console game publishers have found it is possible to make over $100 million in revenue from a single PSP title based on the right franchise," a figure that's not to be scoffed at.

Ultimately, PSP's success will be determined by a number of factors, with Sony's support for the platform being key. Sony said they're working on exciting new things for the platform at GDC--hopefully, it's true.

[Via GameDaily BIZ]

Analyst: lower price, younger demographic

Analysts get paid a lot of money to come up with stuff. While most of the info they spew out is incorrect, it's still fascinating to see the kooky predictions that they come up with. GameDaily BIZ reports that Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian believes that Sony will be targeting younger players in future PSP campaigns: "Sony could be preparing to bolster the PSP handheld market with a shift in marketing towards a younger demographic, possibly including a hardware price cut later this year."

A lower price combined with some more kid-friendly software a la LocoRoco may help the PSP compete directly against its biggest competitor: the DS. Certainly, Nintendo has reaped the benefits of going for the younger gamer: will Sony be able to strike gold as well?

G4 "debates" the PSP and DS debacle

We showed you the offending EB Games ad. Then, DS Fanboy rather maturely copied the story from us, refusing to partake in a fanboy mudslinging battle. (And thankfully, no one tried to impersonate me in the comments! Thanks, guys.) It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of sensationalistic spin DS Fanboy will put on this rather silly "debate" from G4's Attack of the Show. While we wait, check out what the editors of our rivals, Kotaku and Destructoid, had to say about the future of the handheld battle. While they complain about the lack of good games for our system, let me point out that I am exhausted from having reviewed seven games in the last week, many of them being quite good. I guess silly things like "facts" don't bother the most opinionated of fanboys.

DS is the future, PSP is the past, says EB

GamersReports has found an EB Games ad that tells you to trade your old systems from the past, such as the original "Phat" DS, the GBA SP ... and the PSP? While Nintendo and EB may want you to think that the DS Lite is the "future," it's everything but: the system is based on tech comparable to the N64 era. Where's the PS2-quality graphics? Or the ability to play multimedia and browse the web? While the games can be quite good, to think of the DS Lite as a "future" tech device would be akin to calling the Commodore 64 a "next-gen" system.

[Thanks, Chi!]

Microsoft continues to support DS, but not PSP

1UP asked Shane Kim, Microsoft Corporate VP, about the possibility of Microsoft games appearing on handhelds. His answer? "We do it today. We don't publish those titles directly ourselves, we are creating intellectual property that have great appeal to customers of handheld devices. Whether you're talking about mobile or the DS -- you probably won't see it on the PSP, though."

Why the Nintendo love? Well, Microsoft wants to target the kids that seem to shy away from Xbox's older demographic. Get those kids hooked on their properties on the DS, and then hope to reel them over to the 360: "Nintendo's fine. Particularly when you talk about some of our titles from Rare. A Kameo or a Viva Pinata on a DS makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways from a franchise perspective."

However, wouldn't one of Microsoft's more mature properties, like Halo, fare better on a handheld that not only has better tech, but has an audience that would be interested in such a product? Unless Microsoft has handheld ambitions of their own ...

If the DS didn't have a head-start in the US ...

Here's some food for thought: what if the DS didn't have a four-month head-start ahead of the PSP? Both systems have had at least 22 months of sales in America. Looking at cumulative sales, this chart from shows that the PSP has sold more than the DS in their first 22 months of sales. Certainly, Japan is a completely different story ... but does that really matter for gamers in the US? Americans love their PSP ... even if the video gaming press doesn't want to admit it.

What Japan thinks of the PSP and DS battle

Not even a Sony fanboy can avoid admitting that the Nintendo DS is selling at a much brisker pace than the PSP. Regardless of our second place position, I still find it interesting to see what Japan thinks of our favorite handheld machine. "What Japan Thinks" has a report from over 7000 Japanese individuals on their gaming habits. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Only 10.7% of people surveyed have a PSP, compared to Nintendo DS's 32.3%.
  • 14.7% of PSP owners use it every day. (Do you?)
  • Although both the PSP and DS are portable, the number one place the system is played is at home: 94.2%. Personally, the subway is where I get most of my PSP playing done.
  • Brain training games are easily the most popular kinds of handheld games, coming in at 54.6%
  • A shocking number of people have not used any of PSP's non-gaming features: 43.1%
  • 25.2% of surveyed individuals want a PSP in the future, versus the DS's 59.4%.
  • Only 20.3% of people want a PS3. Only 15% want a Wii. (But 17% want both.)
Make with these numbers what you will. While it may be easy to say that "PSP is t3h d00m3d!!1" I think that a 25% desirability rate is still very high. It's certainly higher than the number of people that wanted Gamecubes or Xboxes, both of which have lived fairly great console lives. Can Sony increase the PSP's desirability by focusing solely on games? Are you like the Japanese: do you not find value in PSP's non-gaming functionality?
[Via Japundit]

PSP second best selling console in UK

The media loves to paint a bleak future for the PSP, calling it a system destined to die. We call those people misinformed. The PSP looks to sell a million units in the UK alone this year, making it the second best-selling console of the year, right behind the Nintendo DS. "People mention us in the same breath as DS because we're both handheld products, but we're actually going after very different markets," Sony UK's commercial director Kevin Jowett told MCV. "We've put in just under £300 million of turnover at retail with PSP because we're such a boys console and we've hit the mark with older gamers."

While the PSP may not be number one, it's certainly not going away any time soon. One has to admit, beating out other consoles, like the Xbox 360, is truly a noteworthy accomplishment.

Sony's Phil Harrison congratulates Nintendo

There's no doubt that the PSP hasn't done as stellar as everyone has hoped. But that doesn't mean it's done poorly, either. MTV News spoke with Sony's Phil Harrison about the performance of the PSP so far. He notes that the PSP is doing a "very good job," distinct from the "great job" that Sony did on PS1 and PS2. He thinks that "most people use their PSP at home," an oddity that he'd like to change. Finally, he praised Nintendo and the DS, stating: "Nintendo should be congratulated... [DS owners] are our customers of tomorrow."

Certainly, as Nintendo DS owners get older, they'll most likely look towards products that satisfy a more mature taste. It happened with the transition from Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 to Playstation and PlayStation 2, and it may happen again.

Sony spread too thin, according to Microsoft exec

Mercury News has some fighting words from Microsoft's Robbie Bach. The President of E&C goes on record saying that Sony is unable to successfully compete in the upcoming generation as Sony must focus its efforts across three platforms: PS2, PS3 and PSP. "I think Sony, frankly, suffers a little bit from this problem, which is they're spread really thin across all these areas. And trying to do PSP, competing with Nintendo, PSP to DS; competing with us, 360 to PS3, I think it does strain -- it would naturally strain any organization."

It's interesting to point out that Microsoft, a company with quite possibly the largest monetary battle chest in the world, has avoided the handheld market, simply because the battle against Nintendo would be too resource-draining. While two-front wars have never been too successful, the consumers should feel comfortable in knowing that at least Sony puts dedication behind its products, unlike Microsoft. I'm confident that Sony will support the PSP for years to come, just like they have with the PS2. And that's something millions of currently abandoned original Xbox consoles can't vouch for.

[Via GameDaily]

DS games are more original says Pocket Gamer

Pocket Gamer painstakingly grabbed data off of Metacritic's website and analyzed each portable system's line up to see how much of the top 60 games on each system are "original." This subjective test revealed that the DS has an originality score of 47 percent, versus PSP's 15. Games like Nintendogs, Brain Age and Elite Beat Agents helped boost the DS's originality ratings through the roof. When breaking down genres, the DS has 28% of its games in the genre-breaking "other" category. The PSP only has 3% of its games there.

Although the PSP may not have as many original games, it still beats the DS in terms of number of highly rated games. The PSP has 37 games with an 80 average or above, while the DS only has 27 (and three of those games are called Nintendogs.)

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