In today's main Gamasutra feature, we present the responses to last week's Question of the Week which asked: "Over six months after our first question
on the Nintendo DS versus Sony's PSP, and looking at the answers given - how have things changed? Which handheld do you think is winning the most hearts, and which the biggest marketshare in each territory?"
Of the many responses received, some were decidedly analytical:
"I don't think there is as much direct competition between the two systems as industry pundits want us to believe. While head-to-head competition makes a good story, the DS does not compete with the PSP as directly as the GameCube does with the PlayStation 2. First, the DS capitalizes on the enormous library of GameBoy games and is priced significantly below the PSP; it's an easy decision for someone with a significant investment in GameBoy Advance games, without even considering the technical merits of the two systems.
Compounding this advantage is its inherently kid-friendly/kid-proof design. While I have no data to back up my intuition, I'd feel a lot less uneasy about an 8-year-old taking the DS out on the playground. The PSP is undeniably gorgeous, and as expensive as it is, it looks even more so. Consequently, it appeals more to status-conscious teens and parents. I've noticed a distinct trend among my friends: the higher-income families give their kids PSPs, while those of lesser means get the DS.
There is another competition that for some reason is never mentioned, but just as plausible. The PSP screen quality and graphics horsepower bring it within striking distance of the PlayStation 2, and I expect that at this late point in the console's lifecycle, the PSP is cannibalizing some PlayStation 2 sales. It would not surprise me to find that for every PSP purchaser who was deciding between the PSP and DS, there was another who was deciding between the PSP and PlayStation 2."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).