With a worldwide user base smaller than that of the original DS, a lot of people were expecting the PSP to officially roll over and die once the 3DS came along. Some compared it to the Dreamcast situation, in which the PSX did the dirty work while the PS2 came in and dealt the finishing blow. Apparently, that’s not quite the case, as the 6-year-old PSP has recently been hanging right in there with Nintendo’s brand new, highly anticipated handheld.
The 3DS did top Japanese hardware sales charts last week, as expected, but get this, the margin is only a few units, selling 50,710 versus the PSP’s 50,479, according to Japanese sales authority Media Create.
Some of this surely has to do with software, as Nintendo’s biggest dogs have not yet entered the ring; first-party titles like Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have not yet appeared on the system, and hotly desired third-party titles like Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Tales of the Abyss 3D, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance are still waiting in the wings. You might say its biggest dog is…Nintendogs. That, Layton, and Gundam 3D Battle are about the only things rockin’ the charts right now for the 3DS.
Conversely, the PSP is cranking out some hits right now. The top-selling game last week was Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, which outsold the #2 spot — PS3’s Dynasty Warriors 7 — by almost 300 per cent (104k to 36k). Monster Hunter Freedom 3, Dissidia 012, Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity, SD Gundam: G-Generation World, and newly released Cladun 2 are also charting well for PSP. The PSP has six titles in Japan’s current top 10 best sellers, and four titles in the top 10 of Famitsu’s current Most-Wanted list. The 3DS has three in the former and only one in the latter of those. PSP ain’t going anywhere. Not yet.
What this hopefully proves is that both Sony’s and Nintendo’s systems can coexist. Neither is necessarily “better” than the other and neither is going to “kill” the other, even when Sony’s next portable eventually arrives. When you look at their functions and their software lineups, it becomes obvious that while there will inevitably be some audience overlap, the two can also be huge draws to their own types of market. Cowboys may have once been heard to say, “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us,” but times have changed. The game market certainly is big enough to support two handhelds, especially ones as different as Sony and Nintendo are making them.
Full hardware sales looked like this:
3DS – 50,710
Wii – 11,808
DSi LL – 9,760
DSi – 8,604
Xbox 360 – 1,963
PS2 – 1,862
DS Lite – 730
PSP go – 616
The top 10 in software sales happened like this:
1. Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection (PSP)
2. Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3)
3. Gundam: Tthe 3D Battle (3DS)
4. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (PSP)
5. Gakuen Hetalia Portable (PSP)
6. Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (3DS)
7. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (PSP)
8. Nintendogs + cats (3DS)
9. Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity (PSP)
10. SD Gundam: G-Generation World (PSP)