What Revolution Can Learn From The DS

Has the DS “revolutionized” the portable gaming industry? After looking like idiots while talking to our Nintendogs with ridiculously large smiles, we’re starting to think so.

Are you surprised with the handheld’s success? 4CR has posted last weeks system sales with their YTD totals (see below). It’s pretty impressive. How can Nintendo keep impressing and what does it need to ensure a Revolution repeat come next year?

[Stats courtesy of 4CR]


  1. I saw that at 4 color rebellion, I think this is what Nintendo Meant when they said they expect the revolution to “sell and sell and sell” The never expected incredible sales at launch cause people are going to be skeptical with new things, but as more and more people try it and like it, it then will pick up momentum like a snowball effect.

    Obviously this shows that Innovation is definetly a very important factor to gaming, and no one factor is more important then any other, systems need balance and Graphics alone can not make a system special.

  2. Hey Blake (and all infendo readers)

    Check out the thread below – it’s one of the most illuminating I’ve ever read on an internet forum.

    If you’ve read buzzcut – Nintendo versus everyone, the business of business, this thread is along the same lines but fleshed out more on the strategy side of Nintendo’s business.

    Read the main post by Chittagong if nothing else.


  3. I already knew about this, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. Check the latest sales statistics at nintendoinsider.com, they’re released weekly, last time I saw DS sold about 4 times as much as PSP :P.
    The DS really is selling amazingly well. Especially since Nintendo hasn’t had much competition in the portable market until now (if you count Gamegear and Wonderswan competition). The PSP will be Ninty’s toughest competition since the game-and-watch days.
    It is not only the DS, but did you guys know that the GBASP sold almost as much as the PS2 (worldwide) last year?, I think it was 78 to 80 million units. And before that, the GBA even outsold the PS2.
    People who think of Nintendo as a dying company are idiots. It is mainly due to the support of the media and retailers, and the agressiveness of Sony and MS towards Nintendo, that make them seem to dominate this generation’s gaming market.
    Big N never lost the title of the “King of Consoles”, with somje simple researching and comparing statistics, thie becomes clear.

    Darkenedjib 🙂

  4. Btw, if you haven’t already, I strongly recommend reading the “Truth about nintendo” articles at Nintendo Insider, you may have to scroll through the archives to find them. But it is definitely worth the read.

  5. Those are the Japanese sales numbers, not world-wide or US sales numbers. I expect the PSP to be more popular in North America and Europe, maybe 2/3rds of the handheld market.

  6. I dont they will ever become 2/3 the portable gaming market, when you stop and look at how many people already own a Game Boy of one fashion or another, not to mention I see strong support in europe for the DS right now the PSP is a small phase which will go over just as quick as it is in the states, I too had to buy a PSP to realise how much of a waste it is, initial launch sales dont say much it is after the system has been out for a year before you can really judge its sales, the initial launche sales are simple just buzz sales everyone heard it was hip and wants to try it. I doubt sony will last to long in the handheld market.

  7. I think the idea here is innovation. Portables have fallen into this very linear design of screen and buttons, and Sony didn’t feel like trying bring anything new to the table. They had always over-loaded there home consoles with DVD’s and crap, so why not their portable. It was honestly just arrogant for Sony to think they could create such a piece of crap, and rival Nintendo on the portable market. But I think this is the wall in gaming, where graphics no longer win systems, similiar to the days of the Nintendo vs Sega action. But if Nintendo follows suite with there approach to gaming on the Revolution, I think they won’t have any problems. And Sony will learn that next time they create a portable, consumers don’t appreciate faulty buttons, dead pixels, and overpriced accesories for all those nice perks the PSP has.

  8. I work in media as a journalist, and, more specifically, I work with technology (unfortunately, not gaming however). I say this because every day I get pitches from PR people at IBM, MS and Dell (etc etc) telling me why I should write a story about their products. Every press release promises something new that didn’t exist before, and of course it’s ten times better that what’s out there currently.

    I say all this because I see what Sony is doing; they are sitting on their hype and their substantial pile of money to push the PSP. It really plays out like a traditional cliche — the PSP is slick, fast and sexy. Buy me buy me! It says, all from within a nicely wrapped package complete with MTV style advertising. It’s all candy, comparable to an M and M — sweet candy shell, but on the inside it’s just the same old chocolate everyone is used to.

    What’s new with the PSP? I can take games that are more than a year old on the road and play them for a few hours before a battery charge? I can watch movies on a small screen for $10 more than a DVD that I can watch on my 15″ laptop? (oh, and don’t plan on watching any movie Warner has produced — they have not signed on to UMD as of yet).

    I have two friends who have PSP, and the one game they can actually say they play regularly is Lumineres (spelling?) — and that was a month ago, I havent checked lately.

    PSP is selling well because it has “fad status.” It’s the flavor of the year and it will probably have a good holiday. After that, look for it to get swept under by the release of 360, PS3 and Revo.

    Sony et al. seem to believe that because there are insane amounts of money being pumped into these systems (PSP, I mean in this case), then they just “have” to be successful. I don’t buy that for one second, and will continue to call the PSP the “Atari Lynx on steroids” that it is, and continue to play my catalogue of DS titles, which has grown each month (with titles I still play, have not returned, and enjoy even in small doses) since May when I got it.

  9. Oops, PSP media/music player is already obsolete:

    iPod cell phone said to be imminent

    Tell me again, why do I need the “slightly larger than ‘hand held’ PSP” and a $100 memory stick to play music?

    The PSP bashing from JB continues…

  10. Well said J B Cougar, I stated basically the same points at my blog (n-gamers.blogspot.com).
    For movoies, as an alternative to a 15″ laptop, buying a portable DVD player or GBA movie player or Play-yan, are all far more efficient than watching a movie on the PSP.
    To watch a movie on the PSP, you need to buy a UMD movie (which costs more than the DVD equivilent as J B Cougar said) or at least a 1gb memory stick, and that’ll cost you more than a DS. That means I can have 3 DS’s playing movies at the same time for 9 hours non-stop, or a PSP playing one movie and then having to recharge :P.

    True that Sony is hyping the PSP to help boost its sales, at the same time they are deceiving the public with an expensive, unefficient console. Surprislingly, many people do not realise that DS’s screen is the same size as PSP’s, as it has TWO. Many do not realise the power and graphical capabilities between DS and PSP is very marginal. PSP could perform PS2 graphics, while the N64 is 3 times as powerful as PS1, and DS even more so.

    Replying to anonymous 1: You tohught the PSP is grabbing 2/3rds of the handheld market? So do many Sony fanboys, but here’s some news, IT’S NOT (sorry I don’t mean to be rude, just trying to get the message across :D). The PSP is selling a HAIR more than the DS is currently doing in the States. But many people have forgotten that the Gameboy is still around! THE LEGENDARY GAMEBOY, WHO DEFEATED THE ATARI HANDHELD, THE SEGA GAMEGEAR, THE BANDAI WONDERSWAN AND MORE, IS STILL SELLLING. THE GBA OUTSOLD PS2 A FEW YEARS BACK, IT WAS THE TOPSELLING CONSOLE OF THE WORLD. LAST YEAR, THE GBASP SOLD 78 MILLION UNITS WORLDWIDE, PS2 SOLD A LITTLE MORE ON 80 MILLION, but Nintendo had the Gamecube and a bit of DS to top it off, plus the original GBA.

    If anyone here is interested in further Nintendo related discussion, my msn is immortaltoad@gmail.com. Also for any sony fanboy who read my post and disagrees with any points I mamde. Add me, and we’ll take it out over MSN :).


  11. I think that the PSP could survive as some kind of niche product…
    As a portable media center that also happens to be a portable PS2.
    Most PSP owners would have bought the thing even if it didn’t play games, or if it had graphics comparable to the DS. I read that 60% of all sold UMDs are movies O.o I think that says all about the PSPs gaming capabilitys….

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