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"the Ds Is Irrelevant"


Cyhwuhx
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‘The competition is irrelevant’

Aug 26th by Johnny Minkley and Dave Roberts

In six days’ time Europe will experience the biggest hardware launch since PlayStation 2 in 2000, with Sony insisting that any competition with Nintendo is ‘irrelevant’.

And after a hard year for the High Street, PSP brings with it what the trade hopes will be a long-awaited turning point in the fortunes of the market and the promise of a bumper Q4.

Despite shortages, Sony’s handheld has already launched to great success in Japan and the US. And while delays have pushed back the release of the system in PAL territories until September 1st, the £179.99 unit is expected to prove a sell-out.

With the final part of the global launch jigsaw almost in place, backed with a massive £10m cross-media marketing campaign, SCEE expects its dominance in the home console arena to drive its debut handheld system to success, dismissing the challenge of sector leader Nintendo.

“The idea of a handheld rivalry with Nintendo is an irrelevance,” VP of studios Phil Harrison insisted to MCV. “Those formats don’t appear in our planning. It’s not a fair comparison; not fair on them, I should stress. That sounds arrogant, maybe, but it’s the truth.

“Nintendo knows its target audience, because it has really narrowed that down; and it’s pretty much defined by a boy or girl’s ability to admire Pokémon.

“With the DS, it’s fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen,” Harrison continued. “But I fear that it won’t have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick – so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that.”

But Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes there is enough room for both systems in the market: “Longterm, I see DS expanding Nintendo's demographic upward to the high teens,” he told MCV. “I see Sony’s PSP expanding the ‘mobile’ demographic to the 30s. Both will expand the overall market by providing an outlet for gameplay beyond the home or office.”

The face of the enemy

Sony may be dominant in the home console field, but it has a long way to go to match Nintendo’s handheld achievements...

Game Boy Range

Total global hardware sales (as of 9/04): 176.8m

GBA

Total global sales: 67.7m (inc. SP)

Total PAL sales: 15 million (inc. SP)

Nintendo DS

Total global sales: 6.65m

Total PAL sales: 1.3m (inc. 300k in UK)

Big hitters at launch

While its movie and music playback features will prove a draw, PSP’s ultimate success is dependent on its game content. MCV highlights a trio of titles carrying great expectations...

GTA: Liberty City Stories (Rockstar)

A dream title for SCEE to have in the launch window, retail has been briefed to expect Rockstar’s original, fully 3D adventure to release in October. And with early reactions bordering on the hysterically positive, this has ‘system seller’ written all over it.

Ridge Racer (SCEE)

An integral part of the PlayStation story, Namco’s latest Ridge Racer offers the definitive arcade petrol-fuelled experience.

WipEout Pure (SCEE)

Another title synonymous with Brand PlayStation, Sony Liverpool has conjured another fast and furious, future perfect racing thriller.

http://www.mcvuk.com/newsitem.php?id=454

.::: I'm all for the DS and I'm all for the PSP, but this is a slightly absurd comment. If anything Nintendo has been proving that the DS goes beyond gimmick and Sony has so far been proving they're (almost) dead in the water without a GTA/FF.

Sure they may be different conceptually, but as discussed sooooo many times before here, consumers will view them as equals. Odd form of trash-talking.

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http://www.mcvuk.com/newsitem.php?id=454

.::: I'm all for the DS and I'm all for the PSP, but this is a slightly absurd comment. If anything Nintendo has been proving that the DS goes beyond gimmick and Sony has so far been proving they're (almost) dead in the water without a GTA/FF.

Sure they may be different conceptually, but as discussed sooooo many times before here, consumers will view them as equals. Odd form of trash-talking.

Phil Harrison's always been like that, referring to the Dreamcast as Saturn 2 on a few occasions IIRC. I think he understands the European market much better than Nintendo ever will though. In my opinion, the PSP will comfortably outsell the DS over here. And that's a fantastic launch line up they've got.

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What arrogance. When the PSP sells a fraction of the number of GBA's and DS's Nintendo have, then he can compare Sony and Nintendo's handheld sales. Until then, all he's done is made me think Phil Harrison is one of the biggest cocks in the business.

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Sure they may be different conceptually, but as discussed sooooo many times before here, consumers will view them as equals. Odd form of trash-talking.

Not Johnny Chav. Johhny Chav thinks the PSP will be the best thing since sliced bread. I cant remeber how many times Ive had someone say " That DS is shit compared the the PSP innit?". Well, words to that effect anyway. Im praying to god common sense prevail and people realise we can have a beautiful coexistance between the handhelds, but past experience tells me that isnt gonna happen. Factions will form and I'll still have to tell people I play my DS more than my PSP to incredulous looks.

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Not Johnny Chav. Johhny Chav thinks the PSP will be the best thing since sliced bread. I cant remeber how many times Ive had someone say " That DS is shit compared the the PSP innit?". Well, words to that effect anyway. Im praying to god common sense prevail and people realise we can have a beautiful coexistance between the handhelds, but past experience tells me that isnt gonna happen. Factions will form and I'll still have to tell people I play my DS more than my PSP to incredulous looks.

But won't it be exactly the same in the US? "Dude, I can play Madden in 10x graphics in widescreen!". I don't see why there's would be a huge difference in how they sell, isn't the marketshare for competing consoles usually the same in Europe and the US?

ph4ph.jpg

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I think he's somewhat right in that the DS is irrelevant, someone who want's a DS isn't going to change their mind when they see a PSP instore and vice versa. The competeing audience for the PSP is, in my eyes, the 360. The audience that wants latest console or gadget that will 'Wow!' everyone.

The thing is, I think they've left it too late to get the 'Oooh, a new gadget' buyers. All their potential customers I know, people who were planning on getting one, are now already saving up for the 360. They're too close, Sony have dropped the ball. They should have launched at the start of summer.

It'll still sell, but it could have sold a lot more. They've missed out on a audience slice.

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Not Johnny Chav. Johhny Chav thinks the PSP will be the best thing since sliced bread. I cant remeber how many times Ive had someone say " That DS is shit compared the the PSP innit?". Well, words to that effect anyway. Im praying to god common sense prevail and people realise we can have a beautiful coexistance between the handhelds, but past experience tells me that isnt gonna happen. Factions will form and I'll still have to tell people I play my DS more than my PSP to incredulous looks.

.::: I'm willing to agree, but I'm not so sure anymore. Everybody rushes to the PSP demopod, but curiously they always stick at the DS one right next to it, playing the dmeo-version of nintendogs.

I mean, just look at Xbox to see how important being the most advanced console can be. Hell, just look at the Game Boy and its long list of competitors.

I was under the impression the DS would be blown away when the PSP arrived, but Japan has been most puzzling in this respect and America is in some sort of balance, with neither handheld giving way.

In short, about year ago I would have somewhat agreed with Phil's statement, whereas now it just sounds factually wrong. As for the chavs, can they afford what they want? As usually the one's who want something the most in the shop, are also the one's without the means to buy it.

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I think he's somewhat right in that the DS is irrelevant, someone who want's a DS isn't going to change their mind when they see a PSP instore and vice versa.  The competeing audience for the PSP is, in my eyes, the 360.  The audience that wants latest console or gadget that will 'Wow!' everyone.

I think you're right to a particular type of audience. But for actual gamers it's a simple choice (money restricting) of one or the other.

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You'd be amazed at what some people would spend their money on rather than pay rent/buy their kids new clothes/buy deoderant and soap :blink:

I'm not saying the PSP is dead cert to win above the DS, not that it even fucking matters, I just think people see the PSP and assume because its shinier and has better graphics and they can wear it around their neck in a bling fashion ( Ive seen this, I shit you not) then they instantly assume its going to be "better". I suppose time will tell.

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You'd be amazed at what some people would spend their money on rather than pay rent/buy their kids new clothes/buy deoderant and soap :blink:

I'm not saying the PSP is  dead cert to win above the DS, not that it even fucking matters, I just think people see the PSP and assume because its shinier and has better graphics and they can wear it around their neck in a bling fashion ( Ive seen this, I shit you not) then they instantly assume its going to be "better". I suppose time will tell.

.::: Wearing it around your neck? FFS. :) I already find the practice mildly disturbing with a mobile phone, never mind bigger electronical appliances.

Personally I expect the PSP will go ballistic in the UK, but may struggle just a little bit in other countries.

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I think you're right to a particular type of audience. But for actual gamers it's a simple choice (money restricting) of one or the other.

Yeah you're mostly right, I was just saying they've missed out on that audience in paticular. I also think, to a degree, they've missed out on plenty of actual gamers too though.

If faced with the choice between a new console or a new handheld, unless you do a lot of traveling, which would you pick? Handhelds are nice and all, but I don't value handheld gaming anywhere near as much as I do 'proper' gaming on the big consoles, despite it having some truely great games.

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Ive got a feeling that past the launch the psp wont do too well. They go on about technology, yes thats very nice but why would i spend 180 quid on a machine that doesnt look as nice as the slightly more expensive 360? I think people will see past the graphics and just go, thats really cool but i could play the same game at home on my ps2. While with the ds, people know it doesnt look great they know they can play mario 64 at home, but they cant play anywhere near half the games on a home system because they are unique to the DS because of its duel screens/touch screen.

Unique games is what will make the DS sell, people will be excited by stuff like nintendogs whilst a lot of the games on the psp people will just buy the cheaper second hand version for their ps2. The line up of games for the psp is hardly breaking any boundries. Oh look another GTA game, as much as we like them i think people will see it as a really cool idea but will instead carry on buying games for their ps2 and be more interested in the ds due to its 'gimmicks'.

Sony is becoming the new sega and nintendo in the 90s. Stupidly arrogant and that WILL be there downfall. As its happened time and time again.

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.::: Indeed, Sony seems to be becoming more and more arrogant each day. It ain't helping them. As long as Microsoft can keep a smiling face on, they can gain on Sony here.

As for the PSP GTA, I expect a lot of customers asking for a PS2/XBX/PC version and then going mad when they discover it's for the PSP.

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The truth of the matter is that whilst Nintendo have dominated the overseas markets, they've done precisely shit-all to encourage anybody to buy one over here.

"Yeah, we're releasing all our games in a 2-3 month period near Christmas for this year. Aren't we clever?"

If anything, I hope Sony trounce Nintendo in Europe just to give them a fucking clue.

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The truth of the matter is that whilst Nintendo have dominated the overseas markets, they've done precisely shit-all to encourage anybody to buy one over here.

"Yeah, we're releasing all our games in a 2-3 month period near Christmas for this year. Aren't we clever?"

If anything, I hope Sony trounce Nintendo in Europe just to give them a fucking clue.

They're sponsoring every single new comedy show on Channel 4, so they can't be accused of not advertising this time. To be fair, the only games over the summer they've dropped the ball with are Kirby and Meteos, other than that it's been the same as in the US, it's just the summer drought.

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They're sponsoring every single new comedy show on Channel 4, so they can't be accused of not advertising this time. To be fair, the only games over the summer they've dropped the ball with are Kirby and Meteos, other than that it's been the same as in the US, it's just the summer drought.

Those terms appear to be mutually exclusive to each other as it stands.

But seriously, I say I'd like to see Sony do well because it may encourage Nintendo to buck up their ideas regarding this little continent wedged between Africa and Russia.

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some thoughts:

actually being in a shop that sells the ds, seeing its games come in, hearing peoples opinions. having to try (well, a bit) to sell the thing. well...it feels like its dead in the water. like the cube waiting for zelda, the ds is waiting for nintedogs. adults think its shit, kids dont think its worth 100 quid. personally i think its poor and doesnt hold any interest.

but weirdly..

as much as i love my psp, when its good its brilliant but when its bad its woeful. examples: ridge, lumines, wipeout, hot shots golf...really great and worth playing for hours. but fifa, atv, mercury, gretzky. theyre fucking abysmal. awful. unplayable. fifa is laughable and hurts your hand almost instantly. frame rates on atv are appalling...with the analogue being almost unusable. NFS:R looks like a ps1 game. the load times are a joke. the graphics are fuzzy (really....fuzzy jpgs for intro screens on NFS:R , i laughed out loud.)

so as a balance, i think the ds is underwhelming but the psp is gona shock people with the shit thats coming out on launch day. nevermind the fact that the analogue stick doesnt work......or load times that rival amiga days.

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I have to agree about the differing quality of PSP titles.

Tried NFS:R yesterday and it was soo mediocre. Compared to Wipeout and Ridge Racer it looked like a GBA trying to do 3D. The presentation & handling was woeful too. Twisted Metal isn't too hot either, but at least it puts out a decent frame rate.

Luckily Burnout Legends looks ace, but it'll be ignored (along with Wipeout and RR no doubt) when people see those NFS cases. :blink:

Lets hope GTA lives up to the hype and delivers a serious system seller beyond the few greeat launch titles.

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Lets hope GTA lives up to the hype and delivers a serious system seller beyond the few greeat launch titles.

Perhaps, if it doesn't sell a gazillion units watch the likes of EA scale back PSP support and development. Which might even be good for the system as some more "leftfield" titles will get more coverage.

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i worry about GTAs control big time. hows it gona work? i swear i havent touched the analogue on any psp game until fifa made it mandatory. and then i got instant hand cramps.

a none-homebrew 2.0 uk psp complete with still greasy front, lousy analogue, disc-only games (games should come on bloody ms duos), fifa or midnight club 3 as the accompanying game.........well theres gona be a lot of dissapointed kiddywinks on xmas morning.

especially when they try to return it to me covered in scratches and say 'he only tried it once'.

sony had nearly a year...they couldnt even make the front plastic the same as the matt black back plastic? or increase the drive speed? or put in a new battery and clock all pal machines to 333mhz? (atv on 222mhz and 333mhz are 2 different games).

gah.

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it's only one man's words, don't take it to heart so much. Europe is Sony's highest selling 'region', if you can call if that. it's a big deal to them.

In terms of market share Japan is just as strong a region.

The PS2 has about 64% market share in of the home console market in the states, about 77% in Europe and about 77% in Japan.

In terms of total sales, the US is the strongest market by a good 5million units.

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