It's looking like Nintendo and Sony are going to stick to their respective strategies with their previous generations of portable gaming devices, one being…
Before the DS and PSP were released, I thought that the PSP would definitely be the winner because it was so much more powerful, but I was obviously way off. I'm guessing the majority of people wanted a device/game designed for gaming on the go and not having what is essentially a portable PS2.
Personally, I think I would take the Sony NGP purely due to the spec lust. The 3DS just seems like a minor update to the DS to me and although I have a DS, I rarely use it. Of course when more titles start getting announced and we find out the price, my feelings may change.
So which one would you buy and why?
the 3ds has me worried because there are so many 3D ports planned already... I want great original games and a better user experience than the ds/ds lite... the time i have available for this type of gaming is dwindling but when god of war for the ngp comes out I will be there... as for the 3DS, where are the killer games?
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Basically, what a lot of people want aren't the gadgets with the best specs, but the gadgets that do a few simple things really well and at an affordable price. (It's incredible how many people I've met that use the same crappy $60 no-contract phone as me.)
The DS may not have played movies or read files off a memory stick, but it fulfilled its primary function very, very well. It certainly helped that a lot of great games were created for it.
The PSP, on the other hand, never seemed to know what it wanted to be. A big deal was made out of the fact that it played movies, but now no one puts their films on UMD anymore and you can buy the leftovers for a song. The PSP Go never took off. And one of the consistent criticisms of the PSP was that few of the games were original... they were just ports of stuff already released for the PS2.
I find the NGP interesting because it definitely corrects some of the problems the PSP had. It might seem silly to still rely on physical media, but a lot of game sales are *used* game sales and switching to solely downloadable destroys that market. The dual analog sticks are something people have been begging for since the PSP came out, as they were one of the biggest strengths/innovations of the PlayStation series. And those dual touchpads provide just the right amount of gimmicky innovation to spur some interesting gameplay tweaks.
I'm a bit excited by the NGP, and mind you, I never bought a PSP, though I have owned two models of DS.
Example 1: (the easiest to prove) iPod. Marketed with Visibility, Simplicity, Sex appeal, etc. Apple have marketed the living crap out of their products and it started with a product that was 2 and 3 times more expensive than the competitors, but it was "cooler" to own. Apple smeared its logo feces all over public areas, billboards, commercials. They made sure everyone knew what an iPod was and that it looked fun to have one. You can argue that iTunes is quality software compared the competition, that the Apple products last longer, etc. but the marketing got people to buy a $300 device in place of a $100 competitor.
Example 2: Nintendo DS, marketing towards kids. Like all Nintendo products since at least 2000, Nintendo has Mario, kids love Mario. Who could use a cheap device to play games? KIDS! On long trips I used to have a small collection of handheld tiger games like bowling, xmen, etc. and as those went out the Game boy and then finally the DS came in. Kids love great graphics, but the DS can be dropped, costs less and has more kid-friendly games (biggest point). I love my PSP but I didn't buy it until I was 24 years old. Marketing to people like me who have smartphones and home consoles is not a good idea! This new PSP looks awesome, and expensive, maybe too expensive for a 10 year old...
Example 3: PS3, This is about the early failure of the PS3. The price was high ($200 more than the Xbox 360) and the marketing included creepy babies and other dark innuendos. I love my PS3 but I didn't but it until late 2008. Once the price dropped and the marketing was more friendly, fun and informative, people started buying it. Yeah, lots of hardcore fans bought at launch, I wish I would have. But $600 for a console? The commercials truly were weird and made you want to change the channel. Then when Playstation started with the Kevin Butler commercials it was funny and caught your attention in a good way. Next year it will outsell any other console. This year I believe it finally caught up to Xbox 360.
Marketing is king, price is queen.
Anybody else see things the way I do?
Secondly don't hate on Mario, Nintendo has outstanding first and second party titles. Brain Age, Pokemon, Mario kart, Smash Bros. Your right saying that Sony doesn't seem to have a good target audience the way they do for the PS3.
Speaking of which it seems to me that a good bit of the PS3's adoption has been due to it use as a blue ray player. Certainly some killer titles have come out since then, like Little Big Planet.I'm not sure that the PS3 will be king in sale this year or next. Kinect seems to be a lot more compelling then move at this point and 3D is still seen as annoying as long as there are glasses, so I can't see either of those driving growth.
Marketing and Price are important. So are things like quality content and having a target demographic in mind thats not completely unrealistic. Playstation Suite on the other hand looks like a fantastic idea, especially if Sony gets other manufactures on board, making it Sony Ericsson exclusive or practically so will make it DoA.
Your opinion of iTunes is one thing. I hate that my laptop slows to a halt whenever I open iTunes, yet is *was* and still is better than anything else in the market. I had a Rio is 2002 and it worked, was smaller, was cheaper than the iPod but I had a lot of trouble with the software after initially uploading music (meaning it was difficult to edit) and charging it was a pain because I did not know where to buy another charger. The main point of my whole iPod section was focused on the market between 2002 and 2006, before smartphones, iPhones and certainly before the iPod touch.
I am not hating on Mario, simply saying that kids love Mario, adults/teenagers, love Call of Duty, God of War, Madden, etc. I won't dispute your argument about LittleBigPlanet because I have not played it, but it's not something I plan on playing (wtf is a 'sackboy?'). It seems like more intangible creatures from Sony with poor marketing. While I am on this topic wtf is Brain Age?
Kinect is gaining more traction because ppl already have Xbox 360. The whole controller vs lack of controller isn't really the argument yet because neither system has compelling games to play. IMO Killzone, Socom, (maybe MG Rising), will help PS Move distinguish itself. Ppl in the know (ign, game informer mag) have praised the PS Move over the Kinect for now, being a PS Move owner, I also enjoy the hardware so far.
I agree with you about 3D. Sony isn't really pushing it, how many games are available in 3D? Certainly less than 20 if not 10. It's just enabled the tech, nice for the small percentage, seems like they ventured in the area and put up the material for others to enjoy. Thankfully the rest of us have not had to pay for it yet.
I don't like Playstation Suite, but it's so new and still in infancy. I haven't done as much research on it as I likely should, but with Sony already spreading themselves thin with PS Store, PS Home, Qriocity and now Playstation Suite, though I hope at least one becomes a versatile, quality service, I don't see it happening. This is coming from a PS+ subscriber.
Your last 2 points I will not dispute, quality content is obv important, but can be overlooked due to poor marketing. Having a target demographic is a subset of marketing and thus is paramount.
I am very excited for the semi-social features put into the 3ds and not terribly excited for what the NGP is or what it might evolve into!
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