Mobiles, iPod touch killing off Nintendo DS, Sony PSP

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In contrast to all the "iPod-killers" imagined by Apple's competitors, new research quantifies just how much Apple's iOS platform has done to actually displace standalone gaming devices like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.



According to a new report by Interpret, mobile phones now make up 43.8 percent of the mobile gaming market, which includes Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP lines of handheld devices.



While the proportion of games played on phones has increased by 53.2 percent over the last year, the number played on the DS and PSP have actually fallen by 13 percent.



The firm noted that "a full 27.2% of consumers who indicate that they play games on their phones only (and not on the DS/PSP) actually own a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the device(s)."



Courtney Johnson, a research and analysis manager at Interpret, added that "the proliferation of highly multifunctional smartphones and messaging phones is a very real threat to the dominance by the DS and PSP of the handheld gaming market. Devices which satisfy a variety of entertainment and utility are fast outstripping single-function devices as consumer favorites."



Adapting to a changing market



Prior to the appearance of the iPhone, Apple faced similar threats to its iPod lineup at the hands of smartphones, which analysts predicted would eat into iPod sales by offering MP3 features that made standalone players obsolete. However, the iPhone and iPod touch helped Apple to maintain its position with the iPod while leveraging its existing economies of scale to successfully enter the smartphone market.



Additionally, Apple's release of an open Software Development Kit for iPhone in 2008 helped create an entirely new market for paid downloadable apps, one that hadn't ever really taken off for previous mobile platforms before.



By that time, the hardware of the late 2004 Nintendo DS and Sony PSP were already being challenged by the new iPhone. By the end of 2008, gaming legend Jon Carmack of id Software went on record as saying the iPhone was "more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined," and praised Apple's App Store revenue sharing model in the App Store.



Since then, smartphones have advanced significantly in processor and graphics capabilities while Nintendo has largely only offered a bigger DS screen and Sony has done little to advance the PSP. Both Nintendo and Sony have also made only the barest of attempts to push downloadable games, likely out of fear of disrupting the highly lucrative market for licensing third party titles.



Bleak future for PSP2, 3DS



Sony is rumored to be readying a PSP2 as a successor to the existing PSP toward the end of 2011, and Sony Ericsson is also working to create an Android phone cable of playing PSP games, expected in February 2011.



Nintendo has released subtle improvements to the DS line, but will be launching its first major upgrade in the spring of 2011 under then name 3DS, featuring games with 3D screen effects that don't require glasses, 3G mobile connectivity, an accelerometer and GPS features.



Apple's iPhone 4 and iPod touch already deliver a host of gaming related hardware features, including a gyroscope and a high resolution Retina Display. Unlike the DS and PSP line, Apple's iOS also features strong web browsing and productivity apps, a high quality mobile camera with video capture and editing and FaceTime video chat, and other software titles that move well beyond gaming (in addition to the iPhone working as a phone).



iOS cracks open mobile gaming



Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, recently stated that mobile games were "approaching saturation on the handheld market. We?re starting to see DS hardware sales crack," he said.



"I think the big woody of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market, I think the PSP is dead on arrival and I think the PSP2 is going to be dead on arrival. It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or a Nano.?



Pachter asked, ?what?s the difference if you play Tetris on an iPod Touch or on a DS? Well, you pay a buck on the iPod Touch, you pay $20 on the DS. Parents prefer $1 or free software. I think the iPod Touch is going to sell really, really well. I really think as the iPod Touch gets more and more powerful, you?re going to see a lot of free games over there."



Pachter predicted that Nintendo's forthcoming 3DS "will prolong the handheld market for the game manufacturers, but ultimately, I think handhelds are in trouble. After the 3DS has had its little rush I think the handhelds will continue to decline.?



The top titles for Nintendo's DS are primarily first party games created by Nintendo. If the market for standalone handheld game hardware collapses at the foot of smartphones and the iPod touch, Nintendo may find itself in the position of Sega after the failure of the Dreamcast console.



Sega gave up on building hardware and began creating games for existing platforms, including some of the first games for Apple's iOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,167member
    Sega gets it!
  • Reply 2 of 92
    If the article is correct and people prefer to use their mobile phones for games over any other device, does that mean that the iPhone will eventually kill off the iPod Touch?
  • Reply 3 of 92
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Requisite snarling about real gamers vs. casual gamers, just to get it out of the way.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    Don't let my son read this article; he's getting a DSi for Christmas All of his little buddies have them too, so don't let them read this article either!



    I think there's still a market for the DS, if not for the PSP. Frankly I can't imagine buying a PSP, not at the price Sony charges, and certainly not for a younger child. The DS is cheap and durable enough for my six year-old. The PSP is not. And for the older people (like myself) for whom the PSP makes sense, the Touch simply makes more sense...
  • Reply 5 of 92
    This article is trash.

    But I will say that Sony has been dragging its a** so they could prolong their minor tweek per 5 year business model.lol.

    The psp should already be able to do the web like the touch, have at least a half a gig of effing ram. Duall sticks? I could do without that.

    As for Nintendo. Whatever.
  • Reply 6 of 92
    So when's Zelda, Mario, Samus or anything else worth playing coming to the ipod touch?



    Closed markets Daniel, cuts both ways.



    How's that Kinect doing by the way Daniel?
  • Reply 7 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post


    Don't let my son read this article; he's getting a DSi for Christmas



    Why? The 3DS will be out rather soon. Glasses-free 3D is fricking awesome.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post


    If the article is correct and people prefer to use their mobile phones for games over any other device, does that mean that the iPhone will eventually kill off the iPod Touch?



    They are techincally the same thing other than one has a phone and one doesn't...so I don't believe they will. I think they meant to say mobile device.
  • Reply 9 of 92
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post


    If the article is correct and people prefer to use their mobile phones for games over any other device, does that mean that the iPhone will eventually kill off the iPod Touch?



    I would imagine that as the iPhone gets on more carriers here, and in the rest of the world, it will eat into the Touch sales more. A lot of people buy the Touch because they can't get an iPhone on their carrier. Once that's no longer the case....
  • Reply 10 of 92
    Nintendo needs to face the music and port all their propietary games to IOS devices. That would be amazing and I am sure they would make a killing.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    This article is trash.

    But I will say that Sony has been dragging its a** so they could prolong their minor tweek per 5 year business model.lol.

    The psp should already be able to do the web like the touch, have at least a half a gig of effing ram. Duall sticks? I could do without that.

    As for Nintendo. Whatever.



    Why is it trash? Facts are facts.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post


    So when's Zelda, Mario, Samus or anything else worth playing coming to the ipod touch?



    Closed markets Daniel, cuts both ways.



    How's that Kinect doing by the way Daniel?



    I like that you remain true to yourself, always overlooking the reality. I assume you're a big gamer?
  • Reply 13 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    This article is trash.

    But I will say that Sony has been dragging its a** so they could prolong their minor tweek per 5 year business model.lol.

    The psp should already be able to do the web like the touch, have at least a half a gig of effing ram. Duall sticks? I could do without that.

    As for Nintendo. Whatever.



    Why? If the statistics are accurate, they're accurate, and that's that.



    I'm certainly represented in them. I used to love playing my Nintendo DS and I also played my Sony PSP from time to time. Once the App Store came along the time I spent with those devices ramped down quite rapidly. When the 'R' button on my DS broke I didn't replace it. Today both are in boxes, somewhere, and I haven't been tempted to dig them out aside from occasionally wondering if there's a new Castlevania out there. I used to keep a close eye on this stuff.



    The best part? I actually enjoy the more professional games on these platforms. I often wish that those nice games on my iPhone or iPad (e.g. Galaxy on Fire 2) would have gone just that little extra distance to bridge that gap. But this difference hasn't been enough to motivate me to dig out those old systems. Instead I'm just mining astroids and cutting ropes.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Why? The 3DS will be out rather soon. Glasses-free 3D is fricking awesome.



    It's inconsistent. That's why they have a slider on the unit to allow you to adjust the effect down to zero. Of course, this is the first generation of the product. If it sells well enough, there should be a better second. But it's pretty expensive, so that will limit sales after the fanboys, and girls buy it.



    Added price: $298 in Japan. That the cost of the 32GB iPod Touch.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    akacakac Posts: 510member
    That's the thing. A DS is still the best for young kids. iPod Touches are too fragile and expensive compared to a nice simple DS.



    My kids have iPod Touches - but they are near teens.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Why is it trash? Facts are facts.



    Facts, when it comes to sales, are rarely just that. They can very easily be distorted and mis-represented.



    In this case, attributing the sales decline of the PSP and DS strictly because of the iPhone/Touch is beyond ridiculous. Both systems are reaching their saturation points, and this sales decline is not only completely natural at this point in their life-cycles, but also completely predictable, as previous console/handheld generations have shown time and time again.
  • Reply 17 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It's inconsistent. That's why they have a slider on the unit to allow you to adjust the effect down to zero. Of course, this is the first generation of the product. If it sells well enough, there should be a better second. But it's pretty expensive, so that will limit sales after the fanboys, and girls buy it.




    Inconsistent? In what way?



    The slider exists solely for those who have trouble perceiving a 3D image--future technology, short of holograms, will not fix this.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Why is it trash? Facts are facts.



    Figures don't lie, liars figure. I'm sure you heard that one before.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I like that you remain true to yourself, always overlooking the reality. I assume you're a big gamer?





    Right, just as that point of closed platforms just went over your head as well.



    I don't own a DS or an ipod, but just as Apple uses software to sell hardware, Nintendo uses their own first person titles to sell their hardware.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post


    Facts, when it comes to sales, are rarely just that. They can very easily be distorted and mis-represented.



    In this case, attributing the sales decline of the PSP and DS strictly because of the iPhone/Touch is beyond ridiculous. Both systems are reaching their saturation points, and this sales decline is not only completely natural at this point in their life-cycles, but also completely predictable, as previous console/handheld generations have shown time and time again.



    Sure seem to be a lot of devices that just coincidentally are reaching some natural point of decline just as iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad sales ramp up.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post


    So when's Zelda, Mario, Samus or anything else worth playing coming to the ipod touch?



    Closed markets Daniel, cuts both ways.



    How's that Kinect doing by the way Daniel?



    What does the Kinect have to do with anything? Is MS going to port it to WP7 somehow?
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