PSP Edging DS in Japanese Sales War

Stocks revived, Sony portable moves ahead.

Posted by Staff
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As the battlefield levels in the war for portable gaming dominance in Japan, Sony will be relieved, if not surprised, to see its PlayStation Portable edge ahead of Nintendo’s plucky twin-screened DS.

The most recent sales charts, concluding on January 16, show sales of PSP hitting 64,600, some way ahead of the DS, which sold 53,500 units.

It would seem that the lure of the ‘Screen of God’ has proved too great to resist, in spite of the small number of quality titles for PSP being available right now.

The figure for Sony’s machine also doesn’t include the machines exported which account for significant sales in the US and Europe.

The DS can however claim a software victory in Japan's games chart, with Wario Ware: Touched! taking the number four spot, ahead of Super Mario 64 DS at number seven. There were two PSP titles to chart, Everybody's Golf Portable at number eight and Dynasty Warriors at number ten.
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Comments

Ditto 24 Jan 2005 14:13
1/20
Long road to nowhere with the DS...

This was bound to happen eventually.

I'm still all for the Ninty/Sony co-op, as at the moment I'd be surprised to see Nintendo still in hardware in 10 years.
kid_77 24 Jan 2005 14:39
2/20
I think the Revolution is their last chance in the home market. The handheld market is still open, but the signs are as many predicted. If PSP dominates DS worldwide, they'll need something inspirational for the next generation.
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ohms 24 Jan 2005 14:40
3/20
Adam M wrote:

I'm still all for the Ninty/Sony co-op, as at the moment I'd be surprised to see Nintendo still in hardware in 10 years.


Playstation Revolution ? :)

They ought to team up really, Micro$oft will keep going till they've crushed them both.
It's certainly in the interest of Japan not to let these yanks get too big a foothold.

ohms 24 Jan 2005 14:46
4/20
kid_77 wrote:
I think the Revolution is their last chance in the home market.


yeah, seems likely, they cant afford to come trailing in 3rd place.


kid_77 wrote:

The handheld market is still open, but the signs are as many predicted. If PSP dominates DS worldwide, they'll need something inspirational for the next generation.


they're both very different haldhelds, with very different purposes, but I'm sure the 'true' gameboy follow-up will come along a lot sooner if things are going badly for DS.

Ditto 24 Jan 2005 14:55
5/20
ohms wrote:

Playstation Revolution ? :)

They ought to team up really, Micro$oft will keep going till they've crushed them both.
It's certainly in the interest of Japan not to let these yanks get too big a foothold.


That's exactly what I think. It would make sense for Japanese gaming and commerical sense for the two companies to enter a partnership.

As you say, M$ has far too much finance. It can afford to keep footing losses generation after generation to infinitiy.
Joji 24 Jan 2005 22:26
6/20
An interesting piece of news this is, but take it all with a pinch of salt. Come back in six months to a year and we will have a much better picture of things

Either way I'm glad both are doing okay.
jmm36 25 Jan 2005 07:24
7/20
This number means little. Nintendo sold over 1.7 milllion Nintendo DS's in Japan in December (1.3 million in the US), so Sony catching up 10,000 in a week is no big deal. It is just the people who want both and already have a DS making their PSP purchase. It will take Sony almost three years to catch up at this rate.
Rod Todd 25 Jan 2005 08:22
8/20
jmm36 wrote:
It is just the people who want both and already have a DS making their PSP purchase.


There is no logical premise for this assertion.

In a country with a population exceeding 127 million, with an installed user base of 1.7million DSs, over 86% of the population do not own a DS.

However, If we assume that only 5% of the total population is interested in owning a handheld console (this is a VERY low estimate), that still leaves a potential market of 6,350,000. So there is a 73.2% probability that any PSP buyer is NOT a DS owner.

Add to this the fact that the two appeal to a significantly different demographic, and that percentage increases proportionately.

jmm36 wrote:
It will take Sony almost three years to catch up at this rate.


You are looking at the current sales as if they represent a flat rate - a fixed "speed" of sales. But they do not, Sony's move from lower sales to higher sales represents an acceleration. Without a sufficiently large sample of data, you cannot predict whether that acceleration is at early or late phase. Though, given the comparatively recent launch, and early supply problems, it is reasonable to extrapolate that it is at early or mid phase. DS, however, is beginning to fall into its stable or plateau sales phase.

It is reasonable to expect, therefore that PSP sales will not continue to outrank DS sales by a mere 10,000 per week, but that they will increase this margin, and thus reduce your predicted three years time to overhaul total DS sales.

I personally think that by Christmas 2005, PSP will have outsold DS in all regions.
gamereview 25 Jan 2005 09:01
9/20
If anyone think PSP going to outsell DS, have to think it haven't came out in Europe or In the land down under. I'm not saying PSP can't out sell it but, PSP going to have it's hands full. One more thing why would anybody want a PSP it has games people doesn't really want to play, no movies for the PSP avaliable so far, and PSP is just a IPOd replacement that plays games, movies, and has a rechargeable battery.

kid_77 25 Jan 2005 09:18
10/20
Sorry, did you say something? I was a little distracted...
NiktheGreek 25 Jan 2005 11:54
11/20
gamereview wrote:
If anyone think PSP going to outsell DS, have to think it haven't came out in Europe or In the land down under. I'm not saying PSP can't out sell it but, PSP going to have it's hands full.

I don't understand. You're saying that the PSP isn't out in these regions, which is true, but the DS isn't either. Furthermore, Australia's not a huge sales hotbed and Europe's ratio of Game Boy Advance sales to Playstation 2 sales is lower than the other two major regions (thus indicating a comparative lack of interest in handheld gaming, and given the performance of the Gamecube you could probably say Europe's not a good Nintendo territory on the whole).

One more thing why would anybody want a PSP it has games people doesn't really want to play, no movies for the PSP avaliable so far, and PSP is just a IPOd replacement that plays games, movies, and has a rechargeable battery.

Don't know about you, but I'm particularly eager to get my hands on Ridge Racers, Mercury, Lumines and Wipeout Pure. These games are:

- A version of a popular racing series (series also to appear on DS)
- A game with an innovative control system
- An odd puzzle game
- A future racer

Now, none of these concepts seem drastically different to what Nintendo's system is offering (or in the case of Wipeout Pure, is likely to offer via F-Zero). The logic goes that if nobody will want to play these, nobody will want to play their DS equivalents.

Judging a system by it's early line-up isn't a wise idea anyway - the PS2's was generally considered poor (save for SSX and Timesplitters). Look at the DS' launch line-up in the US - a mere two interesting games in Super Mario 64 DS and Feel the Magic.

I think you answered your own question though. The PSP plays games at a quality comparable to today's consoles, but it does all that other stuff as well. That's why people want it.
tyrion 25 Jan 2005 13:05
12/20
gamereview wrote:
PSP is just a IPOd replacement that plays games, movies, and has a rechargeable battery.

What NiktheGreek said. Plus iPod has a rechargable battery!
Joji 25 Jan 2005 17:43
13/20
I don't understand. You're saying that the PSP isn't out in these regions, which is true, but the DS isn't either. Furthermore, Australia's not a huge sales hotbed and Europe's ratio of Game Boy Advance sales to Playstation 2 sales is lower than the other two major regions (thus indicating a comparative lack of interest in handheld gaming, and given the performance of the Gamecube you could probably say Europe's not a good Nintendo territory on the whole).

One more thing why would anybody want a PSP it has games people doesn't really want to play, no movies for the PSP avaliable so far, and PSP is just a IPOd replacement that plays games, movies, and has a rechargeable battery.

Don't know about you, but I'm particularly eager to get my hands on Ridge Racers, Mercury, Lumines and Wipeout Pure. These games are:

- A version of a popular racing series (series also to appear on DS)
- A game with an innovative control system
- An odd puzzle game
- A future racer

Now, none of these concepts seem drastically different to what Nintendo's system is offering (or in the case of Wipeout Pure, is likely to offer via F-Zero). The logic goes that if nobody will want to play these, nobody will want to play their DS equivalents.

////////////////////////////////

I donagree with your first and second points. How on earth can you compare GBA to PS2. Both are popular enough and have huge sales in europe. GBA is no home console for a start and is not a dedicated 3D system and that's why comparing them is silly.

If you count GBA and GBASP however you might get a different result, either way you should really be comparing a home system to a hand held one (unless you wanna compare PS2 and PSP).

DoctorDee 25 Jan 2005 18:03
14/20
tyrion wrote:

What NiktheGreek said. Plus iPod has a rechargable battery!


Plus, the DS has a rechargeable battery, putting it at both sides of the equation and making it a logical redundancy.
NiktheGreek 25 Jan 2005 20:09
15/20
Joji wrote:
I don't understand. You're saying that the PSP isn't out in these regions, which is true, but the DS isn't either. Furthermore, Australia's not a huge sales hotbed and Europe's ratio of Game Boy Advance sales to Playstation 2 sales is lower than the other two major regions (thus indicating a comparative lack of interest in handheld gaming, and given the performance of the Gamecube you could probably say Europe's not a good Nintendo territory on the whole).

One more thing why would anybody want a PSP it has games people doesn't really want to play, no movies for the PSP avaliable so far, and PSP is just a IPOd replacement that plays games, movies, and has a rechargeable battery.

Don't know about you, but I'm particularly eager to get my hands on Ridge Racers, Mercury, Lumines and Wipeout Pure. These games are:

- A version of a popular racing series (series also to appear on DS)
- A game with an innovative control system
- An odd puzzle game
- A future racer

Now, none of these concepts seem drastically different to what Nintendo's system is offering (or in the case of Wipeout Pure, is likely to offer via F-Zero). The logic goes that if nobody will want to play these, nobody will want to play their DS equivalents.

////////////////////////////////

I donagree with your first and second points. How on earth can you compare GBA to PS2. Both are popular enough and have huge sales in europe. GBA is no home console for a start and is not a dedicated 3D system and that's why comparing them is silly.

If you count GBA and GBASP however you might get a different result, either way you should really be comparing a home system to a hand held one (unless you wanna compare PS2 and PSP).


What we're interested in seeing here is how popular handheld gaming is in any given region, which we'll work out by comparing the most popular home console to the most popular handheld. We use this method because the regions do not have equal sales potential, thus making direct unit for unit sales comparisons pointless. As they're completely different (as you observe) people should have no issue buying both. Thus, a low ratio of GBA:PS2 sales probably means the region isn't as interested in handheld gaming as a region with a higher ratio.

The point? When replying to the original poster's "wait and see what happens in Europe and Australia" comment, I was merely advising them against taking this region as a major battleground because we're not as interested in handheld gaming on the whole.

Now for the evidence.

Playstation 2 worldwide sales figures (Jan 13th 2004)

- Japan (including Asia) 16.18 million units
- North America 29.26 million units
- Europe/PAL 24.56 million units

Game Boy Advance (and SP, so there's no confusion) worldwide sales figures (March 2004)

- Japan - 13.21 million units
- North America - 24.81 million units
- Other - 13.38 million units

Japan has a ratio of 0.82 GBA consoles sold for every PS2 sold (roughly 4 GBAs for every 5 PS2s). North America has a slightly higher ratio of 0.84 GBAs per PS2. Europe has a ratio of 0.55 GBAs for every PS2 sold. So, at least with regards to the current generation of systems, handheld gaming occupies a smaller share of the overall market in Europe than it does in the USA or Japan, meaning that the real battle will be fought off our shores unless the market significantly grows during this generation of handhelds.

Number crunching is fun?
Thrace 24 Aug 2005 09:04
16/20
Seven months later the verdict is a serious defeat for the PSP. This must have been seriously disappointing for Sony. Its pretty much all over in Japan with the DS annihilating the PSP every week, and the PSP is struggling to maintain even in the US in sales despite the over-hyped cool factor. Who knows when the PSP will ever make it to Europe or Australia, its already too late with the DS heavily entrenched there. The PSP has had four dry months in a row, and the DS has a new killer app every week. I guess the software really does trump hardware. I now have to go pawn off my PSP so I can buy Advance Wars DS, Nintendogs, and Meteos. I can't believe the launched two blockbuster games in the same week, my wallet hurts. When the DS goes online next month its done. I hope if Sony goes back into the handheld market they do a better job with development.

Week of August 8 - 14
#1 Nintendo DS - 103,095 units
#2 PlayStation 2 - 37,041 units
#3 PlayStation Portable - 25,100 units
#4 GameBoy Advance SP - 19,958 units
#5 GameCube - 3,799 units
Joji 24 Aug 2005 14:58
17/20
Well I agree with you Thrace, and I said it in this very post thread it would go this way.

Come xmas time things will be more of the same. One or two things can aid Sony yet, and they are FF7 or the FF: Advent Chidren film. A SE game will boost things but I feel it won't be enough to turn people away from Mario Kart, Advance Wars DS etc, and the DS games a pushing new ideas too.

I think it's all over already but more sceptical types will say give it another six months to a year. The plain as day fact is that Sony don't have really another year (PSP needs CPR now). 2006 is the year of next gen consoles, Rev and PS3 will be going up against 360 and Sony will have to put a hell of a lot of effort into maintaining or expanding their market share in that area, let alone PSP battling the DS.

This is a strange gaming war on two fronts that Sony is fighting and like WW2 it will stretch them (like it did a certain german lunatic forces), possibly to breaking point.
BlackSpy 24 Aug 2005 20:45
18/20
'trailing in third'

The Gamecube is practically level pegging with the X Box world wide, the truth is both are miles behind Sony. Nintendo may need a partnership, but Sony don't.

Sony are not doing well these days a corporation, they can't afford to run parts of their business at a loss, and I believe as soon as the X Box 360 launches it will have a huge disruptive effect on PSP sales. People's 'game' money is much more likely to go on the home machine than the handheld.

The pocket money DS should be able to ride that out though.
ProfChaos 30 Aug 2005 18:52
19/20
I wouldn't worry too much about game money going to home console. As has been observed in this thread already that after launch and the 40 day window afterwards it's unlikely that there will be an onslaught of games for the Xbox 360. In fact if there is they are dumber than I thought. They need to keep their killer apps (if they manage any) until PS3 and Rev launch. The DS probably won't take much of a hit at all.

The demographics of the two (DS and Xbox360) are about as different as gaming demographics can be. Believe me there will be few people putting down their FPS to go feed and walk their Nintendog and vice versa.

The handheld market will, however continue to be dominated by Nintendo because they seem to understand the need of the handheld gaming market. Short fun games that you can pull out and play for 5-10 min. while you wait for the bus or ride it or whatever, not GTA. That will be bad for several reasons;

1) GTA has to liveup to a certain amount of freeflowing ability. Very difficult to accomplish on a handheld system without seriously downgrading the visuals. Since Sony is pushing the fact that the graphics are up to par (almost) with PS2 that won't go over well.

2) Even GTA's mini missions are too long and frustrating for a handheld player.

Anybody who's played Splinter Cell for DS knows just how irritating that can be.
ProfChaos 30 Aug 2005 19:24
20/20
NiktheGreek wrote:

What we're interested in seeing here is how popular handheld gaming is in any given region, which we'll work out by comparing the most popular home console to the most popular handheld. We use this method because the regions do not have equal sales potential, thus making direct unit for unit sales comparisons pointless. As they're completely different (as you observe) people should have no issue buying both. Thus, a low ratio of GBA:PS2 sales probably means the region isn't as interested in handheld gaming as a region with a higher ratio.

The point? When replying to the original poster's "wait and see what happens in Europe and Australia" comment, I was merely advising them against taking this region as a major battleground because we're not as interested in handheld gaming on the whole.

Now for the evidence.

Playstation 2 worldwide sales figures (Jan 13th 2004)

- Japan (including Asia) 16.18 million units
- North America 29.26 million units
- Europe/PAL 24.56 million units

Game Boy Advance (and SP, so there's no confusion) worldwide sales figures (March 2004)

- Japan - 13.21 million units
- North America - 24.81 million units
- Other - 13.38 million units

Japan has a ratio of 0.82 GBA consoles sold for every PS2 sold (roughly 4 GBAs for every 5 PS2s). North America has a slightly higher ratio of 0.84 GBAs per PS2. Europe has a ratio of 0.55 GBAs for every PS2 sold. So, at least with regards to the current generation of systems, handheld gaming occupies a smaller share of the overall market in Europe than it does in the USA or Japan, meaning that the real battle will be fought off our shores unless the market significantly grows during this generation of handhelds.

Number crunching is fun?


Number crunching is fun, but you're an idiot. I'm sorry that I never saw this thread when it was first around. I would've dropped a logic bomb on you then.

You woundn't last a day working for me bringing me statistics with a base the way you built it. Why on earth would you think that the Playstation 2 sales figures (around 60-75% of the total home console market) is comparable to the GBA market (95-98% of the total handheld market) I don't know. I assume that you thought (probably the wrong word to use) that since the PS2 is the top-selling console system that it is indicative of the whole gaming market. Well, that's where you prove to everyone that you are an idiot. If you want to show the Home console market as a whole, why not add the sales of all three systems. That would make more sense right? WRONG!!! Still an idiot. You are comparing to systems that appeal to totally different markets. Just because I own a console doesn't mean I have any intent of buying a handheld. Also, I may want a handheld, but a console may not be in my cards. This would apply to the female market. Historically not a big gaming market. And no wonder with all the gory, violent games out there. So in comes DS with its Nintendogs. Booya. Definitely not the same people that play Halo, ot GTA, Resident Evil, right? In fact of those people I know who own handheld systems I can't think of single one who owns a console. I'm sure there is lots of spill-over but not enough that you can accurately portray the market with PS2 sales figures.

Your best bet for defining where sales opportunities are is to do what real statisticians do and define the market first work from there based on population demographics.
i.e.
Nintendo GBA: m/f 12-18
Nintendo DS: m/f 14-25
Sony PSP: m 14-25

*The above market statements are best guesses based on product and marketing materials. Not to be taken for anything but a quick assessment.

You're right in the fact that Europe and Australia are not big handheld markets. But, you're stats just prove my point. The ratio of people who own a GBA is not relative to the number of people who own PS2's.
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