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Gamers Abandoning DS, PSP In Favor of Smartphones

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the does-in-run-plants-v-zombies dept.

Cellphones 305

donniebaseball23 writes "IndustryGamers reports on new research from Interpret, which shows that more and more people are turning to their phones for game time, leaving the DS and PSP behind. 43.8% of the phone/DS/PSP gaming market plays games on phones, which represents a significant 53.2% increase over the past year. At the same time, Interpret says that the proportion of those who play on the DS or PSP has fallen by 13%. The company notes, 'Gamers appear to be defecting from their handheld gaming devices to phones to get their gaming kicks: 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).' Notable games industry analyst Michael Pachter also recently commented that handhelds continue to decline and Sony's much rumored PSP2 would be 'dead on arrival' as smartphones continue to gain steam."

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Sony is already working on it (4, Interesting)

devbox (1919724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478200)

Yesterday the Playstation Phone was detailed. Sony Ericsson also already has a long history with mobile phones. Now, Nintendo might be in trouble here..

Re:Sony is already working on it (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478236)

I look forward to the Playstation Phone, however it should be noted that Sony Ericsson has a long history with mediocre mobile phones.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478742)

So already I can't get popular titles to run on my kick ass workstation with high end graphic cards and monitors. To play them I would have to buy a crappy console and hook it up to my mediocre TV.

Now, people want to move from that to playing on a phone?

Seems we are going backwards here.

Re:WTF? (0)

devbox (1919724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478788)

Eh, there are already several great titles on Nintendo DS that I would like to have on PC. Even iPhone has its Angry Birds that I would like on PC too.

Re:WTF? (1)

XLazarusX (534555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479396)

Sound like you have a problem with your TV. That doesn't impact the rest of us.

Re:Sony is already working on it (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478346)

Right, because the phone/game console hasn't been tried before -cough- Ngage -cough-. The problem with a phone/game platform is that people have to pay a contract which takes it away from a key market: kids. No parent wants to buy their kid a $300 Ubersmartphone, pay a $40 text/call/data plan on it per month AND buy the games. Not to mention all the different operating systems that make it impractical to be a real gamer and play all the good games no matter what the platform. It is feasible for someone to own a DS and PSP, it is feasible for someone to own a Wii, PS3 and 360. It however, is impractical for most people to own an Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iOS and BlackBerry phone.

Re:Sony is already working on it (2)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478602)

The problem with a phone/game platform is that people have to pay a contract which takes it away from a key market: kids.

This nails it.

I know at least 5 kids withi DSes for every adult I know with one.

Not to say that mobile phone gaming isn't on the rise; it clearly is -- but there are a couple key markets that, at this point, will not or cannot consider switching.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

nemasu (1766860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478632)

No parent wants to buy their kid a $300 Ubersmartphone, pay a $40 text/call/data plan on it per month AND buy the games.

It's amazing how many kids have smartphones these days....really. Heck, parents might see an opportunity to buy one device instead of two....cause you know they're gonna end up buying them a PSP or whatever and a phone anyway.

Not to mention all the different operating systems that make it impractical to be a real gamer and play all the good games no matter what the platform.

I wouldn't really call WinMo, Symbian, and Blackberry a gaming platform. iOS is limited with no real input. Also, I'm pretty sure that the good games will be ported over to Android and vica versa since first-party games are usually the ones that you don't see on other platforms. The Playstaion phone might be ending up the exclusive games even, since Sony tends to make games from time to time. I think that, for once, Sony might have got the right idea with the Playstation Phone. That being said, there's no way I'm going to buy that thing on launch.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479274)

cause you know they're gonna end up buying them a PSP or whatever and a phone anyway.

Carriers won't sell plans with only voice and text for use with smartphones. They will sell cheap plans for dumbphones, and what Mom saves on service over two years could pay for a PSP, DS, or iPod touch.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479298)

It's amazing how many kids have smartphones these days....really. Heck, parents might see an opportunity to buy one device instead of two....cause you know they're gonna end up buying them a PSP or whatever and a phone anyway.

Yes, but still smartphone plans are expensive, even more so that they dropped the unlimited data on most plans. Plus, it really makes it impossible for kids to work for and pay for their own games/console. I remember that I worked for my parents all summer to save up enough money to buy a SNES when I was younger. Then as I saved up my allowance, I would eventually have enough to buy a game and hand over my money to the cashier to buy the game. Such things were rather rewarding as a kid and taught me a lot about money, something that really doesn't translate well to the world of cell phones, contracts and credit cards.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478662)

The iPod Touch is perfect for this gap.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479524)

Sure, if you like being limited to only games approved and made available by Apple in the App store. (Ask any serious gamer about Apple being a real platform for gaming.) Also, sometimes I want to play some free simple flash-based games on the web. Good luck doing that on the iPod Touch.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478942)

that's why you keep the phone for yourself and once you buy a new one give the old one to your kids as an iPod touch. did it with my 3 year old. i'm guessing i can get 4-5 years of life out of every iPhone i buy

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478912)

the games better not cost $50. i know they are generally better than iOS but most iOS games i buy are $2.99 or less. and iOS games are getting better and better. with a lot of iOS games i can buy it and forget it about. since it's so cheap i don't think about the purchase and read reviews to make sure i get value.

i have an iPhone 3GS and last i read is that the CPU and GPU in there is faster than the PSP. the software has just not caught up yet but John Carmack and the company behind the Unreal engine have done some amazing work porting their software to iOS

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479170)

The most I'd pay for a game for a phone is about $15. Square-Enix has some great RPGs for about $10 that are worth every penny for the iPhone. If people charge $50 for a game, I'm not bothering, as there are plenty of games just as good or better, most being 99 cents.

Re:Sony is already working on it (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479260)

i paid $6.99 or so for Chaos Rings and still haven't finished it. bought a bunch of iOS games last year for $.99 each that i haven't played yet. lately i've been reading on my commute and no gaming

Mental Health Days (-1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478218)

I take "mental health" days all the time. If my employer doesn't want me to use "Sick Days", don't give them to me.

I would like to see "Sick Days" combined with regular leave into one lump sum.

Re:Mental Health Days (0)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478342)

Methinks you mixed up your tabs.

Re:Mental Health Days (1)

MichaelKristopeit198 (1942482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478372)

so get a job at a different company or start your own.

you're obviously too dumb to post under the correct story. maybe you're just "mental".

Re:Mental Health Days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478734)

so get a job at a different company or start your own. you're obviously too dumb to post under the correct story. maybe you're just "mental".

I already get 30+ paid vacation days a year. You? Now go back to your "help desk" phones, you'll never be more than a code monkey.

Re:Mental Health Days (1)

MichaelKristopeit207 (1946184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479000)

i work from home for 6 figure salary with no fixed schedule. your employer keeps track of your days off? you sound like the monkey.

you are exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

do you cower to protect a lie, or because you're afraid of something else?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Mental Health Days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34479194)

Awww you got really butthurt there. Next you'll tell us how you have sex with a different beautiful woman every night of the week.

Re:Mental Health Days (1)

MichaelKristopeit207 (1946184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479288)

you feel really butthurt? i didn't complain about my situation or brag about it. i bring the truth... you bring exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Mental Health Days (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478752)

I think you need a "mental health" day away from slashdot. Just saying...

Yea, Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478234)

And they'll soon find that the games for smartphones are limited, and crap. Therefore moving back to their handheld consoles.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478326)

Actually, phone games are getting pretty good nowadays, and some of them are pretty darn innovative when it comes to gameplay. Sure, they tend to be a lot more casual than the dedicated handheld consoles, but I think that's a bit of the appeal - to be able to pick up a game on a lunchbreak, play for 20 minutes and then text or browse the web or whatever.

Re:Yea, Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478424)

Give me an example, Of something comparable to a Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, or a Little Big Planet... Gran Turismo. The PSP can do all of what you mentioned, minus the texting.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478546)

See, that's exactly what I mean. The smartphone games and the dedicated console games serve different markets. Smartphone games are much more casual than MGS, Or Little Big Planet, or Gran Turismo. Since I only have the iPhone, I'll just mention a few games that I know:

1) Angry Birds - a really addictive little physics game where you launch birds out of a slingshot at structures to destroy green pigs. I've sank quite a few hours into this game.

2) Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor - a really interesting game that uses the touch screen to allow you to play a Spider within a deserted mansion.

3) Labyrinth - a game that lets you control a ball through mazes with the accelerometer - can't do that on a PSP.

There are loads more, many of which I haven't tried. I just don't think the two markets are comparable enough to say that dedicated handheld consoles are superior.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478706)

3) Labyrinth - a game that lets you control a ball through mazes with the accelerometer - can't do that on a PSP.

But we have been doing it on the Wii for a couple years now. Although obviously not on our lunchbreaks at work.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478850)

I thought we're talking about portable handheld consoles, unless that's a Wii in your pocket...

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479326)

I thought we're talking about portable handheld consoles

Super Monkey Ball has been out for a long time on DS, though it is based on rubbing rather than tilting the system.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479094)

Add to that NOVA, Dungeon Master, the load of 3d racing games all of them gyroscope controlled, Hero of Sparta etc...
There is enough hardcore stuff available. Heck also a load of point and click adventure games (the genre shines on the iPad)

While the number of hardcore games especially in iOS is not that high yet you can find them, and the publishers have smelled the blood they are coming over, even Capcom and Sega already have ported some of their stuff.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479160)

I'm actually liking the multiplayer smartphone games...

Sketch Online : pictionary (though occasionally marred by penis)

Zombie, Run! : take your GPS and run away from the random hordes of advancing zombie icons on your map. It will be really neat once someone does a Layar augmented reality version of this... maybe with weapon drops so you can actually shoot back once in a while.

{chess checkers othello etc.} online

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479032)

I'm actually looking forward to the Android port of X-Plane coming out:
http://x-plane.com/index_mobile.html [x-plane.com]

But yeah, that's more of a sim than a game, but that's the kind of game I tend to like ;-)

I wasn't that impressed by the DS... my son has one, but is always begging to play Angry Birds or something on my HTC Slide instead.
Never touched a PSP tho, and not many recent consoles for that matter. I tend to prefer doing the "serious" games on my PC.

Re:Yea, Okay (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479060)

I'm saying yes, and no. :) Just because I'm a prick! Seriously, many cool innovations are made possible by the new multi-touch input devices and gyros/accelerometers. HOWEVER (a big however), some game genres suffer greatly at the expense of said new input methods and devices. I can name one; driving games suck balls on the iPhone. The touch screen can't make a decent "virtual steering wheel" (slow and blocks the already tiny view) and the accelerometer-based input makes the screen tilt so much it ruins the view of driving on it. Any game that relies on the view of the screen *and* a real, separate input device (wheel, stick, buttons) can't work on a device with a touch screen. No virtual button can take the place of a real, mechanical switch on a good joystick. Mouse games, sure pointing and twisting work great. When I want to play a fast action game though, give me some buttons and a clear view of my goals.

Also, you can tell how crappy a game's accelerometer methods are by trying to lie on your back, or side, and play the game; shit-methods break when the 'celerometer inputs expect you to be sitting upright and I consider that to be a fail for the dev. Try again you lazy douche, and give me my $1 back.

D-pad (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478238)

This might work for some genres but the staples of gaming, platformers, shooters, etc, require the precise control of a d-pad.

Re:D-pad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478294)

precise control of a d-pad

wtf?

Re:D-pad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478756)

ftw

Re:D-pad (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479266)

precise control of a d-pad

wtf?

Compared to a touch screen, a D-pad is certainly more accurate for controlling games and the lack of a D-pad is why I would never consider "Smart Phones" a true alternative to my DS. The lack of buttons is yet another issue.

No indie games on DS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479342)

the lack of a D-pad is why I would never consider "Smart Phones" a true alternative to my DS.

And the lack of indie games on DSiWare is why some other people would never consider a DS an alternative to their smartphone.

Re:D-pad (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478416)

Adding a d-pad to a phone is a lot cheaper than adding a phone to a games console.

Re:D-pad (1)

Fallingwater (1465567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479190)

I believe you mean "the mediocre, but still much less undesirable, control of a d-pad".

Re:D-pad (1)

tayhimself (791184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479248)

No you're wrong. For a primarily mouse and keyboard (primarily) gamer like me, the "precise control of a d-pad" is inadequate. Yet the vast majority of people game with a Dpads and are happy. Games for DPads are designed for auto-aim and loose control. Similar will happen with the move to touch screen games. Sure there will be dpad games for the hard core, but the majority will play touchscreen games on the go.

At the end of the day the cheap and fun aspect of mobile games like Angry Birds and PvZ will win people over.

Genres (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479362)

Games for DPads are designed for auto-aim and loose control.

Not all video games are first-person shooters. For example, Tetris DS with a D-pad is much more precise than the control method that Tetris and EA chose for their iPhone product.

Re:D-pad (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479382)

Nonsense. Consider any console shmup for instance. No auto-aim and very tight controls. D-pads are superior for these types of games because they allow you absolute certainty over what the game is doing. Press the button for a certain amount of time, and you will move a known distance. Analog controls like a touchpad or mouse allow you more options for movement, but less precision in making that movement.

Sure there will be dpad games for the hard core, but the majority will play touchscreen games on the go.

Which is exactly why cellphone gaming will be dominated by crappy casual games and the better games will remain on dedicated handhelds.

But gamers can change too (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479296)

If you want to play a game designed for the d-pad, then you should play that game on the proper platform. I don't want to try to fit Starcraft 2 onto a Nintendo DS, any more than I want to fit Zelda onto an iPhone. If you want to play those games, the best way is to get that platform and play them. I downloaded Golden Axe on my iPhone and learned quickly that slapping a virtual d-pad on an old style game designed for a joystick is not going to be a fun experience.

It's about is the game fun or not. Games that require a d-pad and are not forgiving are not fun on a touch screen, so people go elsewhere. Newer shooters on phones seem to recognise that you have to balance the game play with the fact that you don't have a d-pad but need similar controls. Nova and Eliminate are very popular on the iPhone and are first person shooters.

At the same time, gamers recognize that they have a choice, carry around two devices or carry one. Cell phones are all but required these days. Gaming platforms, not so much. Many hardcore gamers are going to stay with PSP and Nintendo, and that is their choice. However, not everyone is a hardcore gamer. Before people had a choice for mobile gaming, nintendo or Sony. Casual gamers either ponied up the cash or walked away. Now they have a third choice. The games are cheaper, more casual, but still fun. Angry Birds is not a hard core game, and it's got to be the #1 top dollar grossing app across all mobile platforms (it is on the iPhone).

There have been a ton of attempts to come up with a d-pad add on for iPhones. None of them are popular enough or make any sense. The physical d-pad is slowly becoming the niche rather than the norm, and hard core gamers are just going to have to deal with it.

Not all video games are major-label (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479390)

If you want to play a game designed for the d-pad, then you should play that game on the proper platform.

For which platform should an indie game developer make a game designed for a D-pad? Right now, indie game developers have to make phone games with a virtual D-pad because Sony and Nintendo won't give them the time of day [google.com] .

Cell phones are all but required these days.

Smartphones, not so much. Let me know when smartphone service approaches the $15 per 3 months that I currently pay Virgin Mobile for service on my Audiovox 8610 flip phone.

Imagine that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478242)

I've also found it is easier to play games on my phone that I carry on my person because I need it rather than the psp I leave at home because I don't need it.

Playstation Phone (2)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478246)

Isn't the PSP2 going to be an Android Playstation Phone [engadget.com] ?

The only thing dead on arrival is this speculative article.

Re:Playstation Phone (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479116)

No the PSP Phone has another name, the PSP2 is a dedicated gaming device.

Re:Playstation Phone (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479532)

The PSP2 and the Playstaion Phone are different products.

Counterpoints (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478300)

I can't get that flash thing in the middle of the report link to load so all I have is the summary and article but I do know that Nintendo claimed to sell 900,000 DS Units on Black Friday [pcmag.com] . And I think the PSP is doing poorly in the United States but is dominating the DS in Japan -- I'm guessing this report's demographic was USA centric?

Regardless, I own a Motorola DROID and until they release games like "Zelda: Spirit Tracks" for my phone, I'll need my DS.

I would speculate that this is growth of the gaming market and not replacement like the summary seems to imply. I can't argue with the numbers but my gut would say that people who game on their phones do so on both devices. And nobody's going around buying a phone just to play games on so the DS & PSP still fill that market exclusively from cellphones.

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).

I'm not saying this quote is wrong but I am awfully suspect of that figure. They claim an online sample size of 9,000 [interpretllc.com] but they don't say how many of those actually own both a gaming phone and PSP/DS. I would be interested in the hard numbers.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478774)

Spirit Tracks would suck on your phone compared to the DS - unless they sold it with a stylus that worked with your phone.

And if my DS goes dead and there is no charger around - no big deal. With my phone? Not so much. And not much else kills my phone battery like playing games.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478794)

Let's not forget that the 3DS will come out in March next year, the DS launched in the US just over 6 years ago.

As for the PSP... it never caught on. I have one, but with ~5 years of experience with it, I probably wouldn't have bought it given the choice again.

I have a DS, but it's more involved. It's so easy to pull out my iPhone for a few moments. The iPhone is also far more powerful at this point. The only thing I wish it had was a few physical buttons somewhere. The images of the PSP phone with the slide-out gamepad look great to me. That said, I won't be ditching the ipHone platform, especially for something labeld "Playstation Phone". I'd rather just buy a sleeve for my iPhone that has broad game support.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479294)

62.5 Million is "never caught on"??? You have some high standards.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478978)

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).

I'm not saying this quote is wrong but I am awfully suspect of that figure. They claim an online sample size of 9,000 [interpretllc.com] but they don't say how many of those actually own both a gaming phone and PSP/DS. I would be interested in the hard numbers.

I'm more suspicious of how they've ran their implications. At first glance it makes you think "So a quarter of people who own both a phone and a DS don't use their DS" - but thats not what its saying at all.

It means of the people who play games on their phones only - which is probably not as big a number as you think it would be - have claimed that they have a DS or PSP but only play games on their phones and not their handheld system, at the current moment. This isn't to say that they don't enjoy DS or PSP games, because they obviously did at one point, otherwise they wouldn't even own the device. At that current moment, however, they simply prefered whatever game they got on their iPhone instead of their PSP.

Like you said, there are titles that have been exclusive to consoles, I bet you if they were to launch a new Metroid, Brain academy, Zelda, Mario, and 1 other popular Nintendo Title for the DS tomorrow - and something similar were to happen for the PSP - I'm willing to bet that number would drop to practically 0%.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

ahsile (187881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479146)

I'm actually in this group. I own a PSP, and have an old GBA I used to use for long trips. The GBA is still nice for when kids come over and I don't want them to break my PSP, but then again... I hardly play the darned thing these days. Every time I look through the store for new games for the PSP there's just nothing there that's interesting (this includes the PSN).

If I have a need for mobile gaming I just fire up my android phone... lots of games on there which are either free, or really cheap. And I already have my phone in my pocket. No need to carry around an extra device any more!

Re:Counterpoints (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479238)

So would you agree that the problem is that there aren't any titles for the PSP that grab your attention?

If they were to announce a sequel to one of your favourite PSP titles, would you possibly start using it again?

The point we're trying to argue is that its more about games than it is about phones. I haven't played my Xbox in a long time simply because there isn't anything new that I find worth picking up.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

ahsile (187881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479422)

Yes, I probably would. If there were some good games out for the PSP I would fire it up more often. The problem is that right now, in terms of value, I'm much further ahead playing free (or very cheap) games on the phone. The games on the phone are probably much cheaper to make too! An indie developer could crank one out much faster than it would take to get a full fledged game out on to the PSP or the DS.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479520)

I've got the iPod Touch (1st gen) a DSi (my daughter has one too) and a PSP. The PSP is hands down the most capable of the three for one single killer app; GT4. The analog stick, the huge number of cars, lots of tracks, great gameplay, great graphics, it kicks Mario Kart so hard in the ass. Next is the DSi, good combo input methods, although no analog input (other then touch screen) and no GT4, nice GTA:Chinatown Wars though, but also available on the PSP, and some good titles here and there. The DS download store blows very hard though. Never tried the PSP store, but then Sony blows very hard and I would suspect it does too. Last is the iPod, some really cute games, but nothing that makes me want to play them anymore (except video poker) or ever go back to the lame app store.

I would not get a PSP2 or PSPhone though. PSP is ruined with each lame update from Sony. Same with the DSi, Nintendo and Sony care too much about their lock-in, and not so much about their customers wishes; like open-developer and homebrew games, download store backwards compatibility to previous firmware verions, ability to transfer d/l titles to another system... only the fucking basics. :(

So, I'm guessing my next handheld will be from a company I already hate...

Re:Counterpoints (1)

bdparsley (1916698) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478992)

Sounds like market growth/expansion to me as well. I doubt gamers are switching from portables to phones; but rather more non-gamers are playing games on their new phone. However, that's still something for the handheld makers to keep in mind in developing new products. There's a new market segment that they could choose to go after as well.

Re:Counterpoints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34479028)

Actually, no, the DS sales in Japan are 2x the PSP sales there.

Re:Counterpoints (1)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479500)

DS Dominates worldwide and in every region. Totals in millions. Japan: DS: 31.7 PSP: 15.7 US: DS: 50.6 PSP: 20.3 EU: DS: 56.5 PSP: 26.6 TOTAL:DS: 138.9 PSP: 62.5 http://www.vgchartz.com/home.php [vgchartz.com]

DS player here... (1)

Shanrak (1037504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478318)

Yes there are some nifty games on the iphone, but I'd prefer a dedicated portable entertainment device (the touch fits the bill quite nicely as well), over using my smart phone since after a 4-5 hour flight, I'd rather still be able to make a phone call. Get those battery performances up and maybe I'll consider ditching my portable gaming device.

Re:DS player here... (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478672)

Yeah, battery life is the real issue here. With the standard battery on my Pre, I can get about 24 hours of normal use (push email on 3 accounts, plus a little bit of Facebook/Twitter etc). If I start playing Scrabble on the phone, I can play for maybe 2 hours before the battery completely drains. Adding a high capacity battery buys me about 30 mins more of Scrabble time. For long trips, it just doesn't work.

On the other hand, I'm not dragging my DS around unless I'm traveling. It might be different if you're a kid or if you live somewhere with decent public transportation.

who are "gamers"? (0)

MichaelKristopeit209 (1946190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478334)

i play games... i never abandoned by game boy advance sp. it is the ideal portable gaming platform.

more ignorant marketeering from this internet web site chat room message board.

slashdot = stagnated

Re:who are "gamers"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478516)

If slashdot is stagnated, why are you still here?

Are you so useless and/or stupid that you continue to commit time to something you believe is stagnated?

Yes, yes, I know, I'm "NOTHING" and my mum's face is useless and/or stupid.

Oh, and you'll attack my anonymity, too, I suppose.

But how about an honest answer to my question? Why do you come to slashdot if you don't like it? Do you honestly have nothing better to do with your time? Are you a masochist who enjoys (perversely) doing things that make you unhappy?

Do you get joy out of trolling slashdot -- does it make you feel superior when you get people to respond to your inanity? Why would that be? Because you lack fulfillment from any other portion of your life? Are you so miserable and pitiful that the best joy you get in life is from trolling slashdot?!

Re:who are "gamers"? (0)

MichaelKristopeit208 (1946186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478966)

why do you continue to question my obvious statements of fact?

you're an idiot.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Phones have a bigger market (1, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478344)

Phones just have a much larger market right out of the door. PSP/DS are toys. They're for gamers, and seen by many as for children. But everyone has a phone, and it's not seen as childish to play games on them if you've got some time to kill. Phone games also have a lot more casual games than PSP/DS.

Re:Phones have a bigger market (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478460)

Yes, but phones take a lot more work to develop -real- games for. Aside from making glorified Flash games, it takes a lot of work to develop a successful game for phones. For one, there is a lot more operating systems to code for: Android, iOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry OS, etc. and within those there are even more questions, will the device support multi-touch? You can't port the same UI for a game expected to run on something like the Galaxy S and one running on something more low end with no multi-touch or a smaller screen.

Similarly, you leave out a hugely popular and hugely lucrative market: kids and gamers. No parent wants to buy their kid a cell phone, especially not a smartphone plan for one. And gamers don't want to have 32423423 cell phone contracts simply to play a few games. It isn't out of the ordinary for people to own multiple consoles, it is, however, out of the ordinary for people to own multiple phones of the same generation.

Devkit cost; family plan (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479504)

phones take a lot more work to develop -real- games for

How so? The devkit for an iPod touch costs $1,000: $600 for a Mac mini on which to run Xcode, $300 for an iPod touch, and $100 for your first year of the iPhone developer program. Android is cheaper to buy the PC but more expensive to buy the device because the platform has no direct counterpart to the iPod touch [pineight.com] ; the flagship Nexus One developer handset is an unlocked telephone, not a PDA or MP3 player. The devkit for a DS is far more expensive: first you have to have an office, and then you have to have a prior published title on someone else's platform, and even once you've satisfied those requirements, the devkit reportedly costs far more than $1,000.

You can't port the same UI for a game expected to run on something like the Galaxy S and one running on something more low end with no multi-touch or a smaller screen.

But as long as different platforms can run programs written in the same programming language, you can share the effort to develop the game rules and then use the model-view-controller paradigm to abstract the UI. The problem comes when Apple wants only Objective-C++, Microsoft wants only C#, RIM wants only Java, etc.

No parent wants to buy their kid a cell phone

Except for parents who have cut the land line and put their kids on the family plan, like my aunt.

Hearing... (0)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478432)

Hearing it but not seeing it. I'll stick with my PSP and DS so that my phone's battery isn't drained when I actually need it. Come to think of it, my PSP and DS also have better active use battery life than a phone does. Until that issue is resolved, smartphone gaming will never overtake handheld console gaming. Also, smartphone gaming requires you to actually OWN a smartphone. I'll stick with my relatively simple phone that doesn't give my carrier a chance to "accidentally" charge me for data minutes I didn't use. All it needs to do is make/receive calls and text messages (and frankly I could do without those too).

Correction (5, Insightful)

choko (44196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478434)

Correction: Some regular people (not gamers) are turning to their smartphones for gaming. Gamers are people that have a discerning taste for games. Smartphone game quality is lacking (as are controls) when compared to a dedicated mobile gaming device. I've tried several smartphone games, and they are little more than time wasters. You play them a few times, and probably forget about them in a week. There are several titles for PSP that I actually make time to play. There are NO mobile phone/smartphone games I will MAKE time to play.

Re:Correction (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479050)

I was gonna write a comment, but you said exactly what I was going to. They shouldn't have used the word gamers at all. I pretty much discredited the whole article after reading that line.

Re:Correction (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34479354)

Correction: Some regular people (not gamers) are turning to their smartphones for gaming. Gamers are people that have a discerning taste for games.

Self-justifying definition of "gamers" that excludes "regular people" because it doesn't suit your pseudo-elitist (*) view, a la
the No True Scotsman fallacy [wikipedia.org] .

(*) Pseudo-elitist because "elitist" itself would still imply acceptance of your self-defined, self-justifying hierarchy that implies those who share your style of gaming are somehow more serious and real gamers.

Re:Correction (1)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479546)

I know some former PC gamers who turned to smartphone games. Actually, I'm one of them. I wouldn't even consider consoles as an alternative to PC gaming, but smartphone games are another story. PC games market is largily dominated by a few big players, who release big titles for broad audience to maximize their ROI. Naturally, their games are developed for the lowest common denominator. However, in smartphone game dev there's still a place for indie developers, who can afford to develop a game they'd play themselves, sell it for a small niche and still be profitable.
Not all of smartphone games are timewasters (well, no more than any other computer games); there are even some complex RPGs, like Zenonia for iPhone. While not as deep as the legendary Fallout, it is still much more of an RPG than many "RPG"s, released for PC nowadays.

Tactile feedback (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478448)

There's a world of difference between a dedicated gaming device and a touch-screen phone in terms of controls. Using a touchscreen for all input or shoehorning in the phone's buttons for gaming controls can't provide the level of control of a d-pad and ABXY buttons positioned exactly where they need to be. Of course the games market is apparently going more 'casual' so perhaps touchscreens are the way to go. Not that I even have a portable games console or a smart phone for that matter so it's all academic. Fuck it, do what you want with your fucking games.

Re:Tactile feedback (1)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478714)

Precision is also lacking. I can click on a much smaller area with the DS stylus than I can with my fingertip on a smart phone. The tactile feedback of real buttons as you mentioned is also missing, as well as your fingers obscuring a portion of the playing screen. Some of the best smart phone games I have played are ones that use the tilt controls such as Doodle Jump which eliminates the issues mentioned above by having very little on screen controls.

Smartphones, Entertainment, and Battery Life (1)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478550)

I rely on my phone to keep me in touch with friends, family and work. As much as I'd love to get one, I'm concerned a smartphone will be a liability if I decided to play one too many rounds of Canabalt on a road trip or checking Slashdot in the checkout line. Instead, I "get by" with an iPod Touch and a dedicated phone. If my touch ever loses power, it's new big deal.

I'm wondering if my concerns are valid, and if so, when news reports start headlining car crash victims unable to dial for help due to one game too many of 'Angry Birds'.

Just because a device can play games doesn't mean it should.

Re:Smartphones, Entertainment, and Battery Life (1)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478598)

"new" --> "no". Pardon the horrific typo.

More meaningless stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478568)

So let me get this straight...when almost every phone you buy these days has games on them, some of them pretty good, people are using the phone they already bought to play them? No way!!!

And for aging older generation handheld game consoles, people are buying them less? C'mon man! How can it be?!?

I'm sure this was put together by some outfit that was paid by someone in the cell phone business to help people along in the decision to spend $250 on a new phone rather than a DS, but cant we at least have something a little bit interesting?

Makes sense (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478594)

For non hardcore gamers who have phones this makes more and more sense. One device less, always with you.

Win.

Sure, dedicated is always dedicated, but good enough is good enough for most people. Most phones sold in Finland are smartphones by now. Most kids get a phone at 7 when starting school. (Too soon IMHO.)

The supply will go where there is a market to fill the demand.

Low battery! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479538)

One device less, always with you.

And only one device's worth of battery time.

Kids (1)

1000101 (584896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478638)

My son is 6. He doesn't need a phone, he needs a DS. How many other millions of people are in this same situation?

Re:Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478838)

I would also like to point out how awful the games are for these smartphones. Its just lame flash games. Gaming quantity may be up but gaming satisfaction is going way down.

What your 6 year old needs is a phone that he treasures/carries/charges as much as that DS. You say he doesn't need a phone, but think of all the friends he will make by prank calling the principal from recess. Thats 1000 times more fun than Bejeweled anyways.

Ah, statistics (4, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478642)

So the percentage of handheld gaming conducted on solely gaming device fell.

What this doesn't prove is that gamers are "abandoning" the DS and PSP.

It could just as likely mean that the pool of handheld devices that are game capable has exploded.

If you had 150M handheld gaming devices back when phones sucked for gaming, and now there's a billion total - with 200M being dedicated devices and 800M being smartphones that can game effectively, then yes - the percentage that's DS/PSP plummets, while the total number still climbs.

Without some actual numbers, I'm skeptical that it's wholesale abandonment. The growth of the pool is far more likely to me.

There is only one solution (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478776)

The Nintendo DSphone.

You know you want one. You crave it. You'd sell out your own family for one.

Oops, that last bit was supposed to be [subliminal].

Re:There is only one solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34479110)

Yeah! It could have a touch screen, a microphone, and speakers! They should include built-in wifi support as well
 
..wait..

Until they release Etrian Odyssesy for Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34478930)

Make mine DS!

Not gamers... casual people... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34478958)

Sorry but the PSP kicks the ass out of any cellphone for control. The DS as well.

That became clear to me (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479006)

a few months ago when I was visiting an electronics store, and I saw a load of kiddies around the ipad displayed playing games, while the ordinary nintendo ds section and also the PSP sections were abandoned mostly. Ok it also has something to do with the device actually been usable while the others merely had the usual console displayed but it was blatantly clear where the train is heading.
Add to that that the average handheld game on the ds and psp is around 45-50 euros here while the handheld games are dirt cheap and a no brainer to buy. In the end you spend
more on smartphone games than you would on the average console.
Classical example of low prices sellls more cashwise than the average console game.
What I would say is this is a real thread for Nintendo which always had its stronghold in the handheld gaming sektor from where it could start its console experiments. That stronghold is seriously under attack. And in the usual Nintendo manner they probably will realise it two years after they are stone dead in the market.

This doesn't mean anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34479208)

Gaming on a phone is a matter of convenience. Anyone who's really interested in gaming as a hobby will buy a dedicated device (or a PC), and any serious game developer works primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) with actual game platforms. The fact that the number of casual gamers is increasing does not mean that the so-called "core" gamers are abandoning traditional sources for their games. It just means more people are gaming. In fact, it's entirely likely that some of these new cell-phone-gamers will develop an increased interest that will lead them to purchase a dedicated gaming device when they otherwise may not have done so.

Handhelds viable only if they're ahead on tech (1)

MaiXu (1913336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479214)

It must be inevitable that all phones out there will soon be able to run games and other apps just as well as iPhone or Android phones do now; giving customers access to the games via easy buying portals and somehow controlling the quality and integrity of the e-store will be another problem to sort out. But I don't know if smart phones will totally kill handheld game machines just yet. Nintendo is keeping itself ahead of the curve with the 3DS. It's only a matter of time before those kind of displays are available in phones, but for now, when matched with first-party software and (it's reported and hoped) a more robust online service, it's enough to make it clear the the 3DS will offer a better gaming experience than a simple phone. The PSP has always seemed to be a misguided attempt to cram console experiences into your pocket, which may be inaccurate, but I still don't see the appeal of it or the PSP2/PSP Phone. But for how long will they maintain this shrinking niche? Nintendo can't release a totally new piece of hardware every few months (and iterations of the same hardware in smaller/sleeker packaging don't count), but the major phone makers can iterate endlessly and catch up more easily. Much as with the Wii has enjoyed an apparent single-generation technological leapfrog via motion controls that will likely disappear when Sony and MS adopt them as de rigueur in their next consoles, what will (or can?) Nintendo do to make future handhelds a place people want to game? They could always continue to publish software, but it's been a very long time since Nintendo developed

Novelty of new devices (1)

mikaelwbergene (1944966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479236)

The Nintendo DS is 6 years old, I'm not surprised the demand is sinking... It's been running on the same base technology (though in minorly upgraded lite, XL, dsi versions)

However once the 3DS comes out, people will once again get their "Ooh, shiny" fix by buying Nintendos new hand held and enjoying the new novelty.

I love my DS and play on it regularly, because the variety and quality of games on it and will be buying the 3DS.

No one is taking into account the 3DS? (1)

BHS_Turf (8387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479240)

Nintendo has been teasing us with the 3DS, and you wonder why people stopped buying the DS?

Another reason people are buying phone games over DS/PSP games is price. The handheld games are between 3 and 50 times as much as their iPhone cousins, when the iPhone games are not free.

A third possible explanation is that there has been no significant hardware change/upgrade in the DS/PSP lineup to drive buzz and sales.

The article is pretty weak on analysis or looking for alternative explanations for the drop in sales.

I abandoned my PSP and DS (1)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479316)

I commute every day, and after having read through one of the monthly magazines i recieve (Aftenposten Innsikt, articles about everything from nuclear power to oil in Nigeria), i play DS or PSP. Or, at least I used to. That made me "abandon" them is that no good games (with some exceptions) come for them any more. I have a phone that I could probably play on, but I prefer having battery left to actually do phone stuff.

Android (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479360)

I'd probably still take my DS on a long work trip but most of the time if I'm going to play a quick game it's on my phone. Angry Birds will probably keep me busy for a long time.

I also think its growth but with some stagnation (1)

Assassin_for_Atari (691252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479366)

I think its easier to turn to your cell phone for brief sessions, ie, a wait in the doctors office, than trying to hull around your psp/ds. Now, would I get rid of my psp/ds. Heck no, but thats because I feel those portables provide a more dedicated gaming experience for longer sessions.

To boot, you have the fact that both the DS and the PSP have been out in market for 5+ years while cell phones making huge hardware gains at break neck speeds.

PSP2 I will not be DOA, neither will the DS. As others have said too, you need something for kids...though I guess you could also give them your old smart phone and access the store via wifi...or in the case of apple, a ipod touch.

Cheevos on my WP7 (1)

danparker276 (1604251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34479508)

Now that I can get cheevos for xbox live on my windows phone 7, I've tossed my DS. Playing for cheevos is much for fun that having a great score on a DS game that no one can see. I got 50k Cheevos and going now!
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