Sales of Sony’s (SNE) PS3 are plummeting as gamers flock to Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii. But game consoles you hook up to your TV are only part of the market — there’s also a war in portable game players. And Nintendo is pounding the tar out of Sony there too.
Stats from the NPD group reveal Nintendo sold 1.57 million units of its Nintendo DS game console in the U.S. last month. Sony’s PSP, the only other major player in the market, sold only 421,000 handheld consoles.
This despite Sony debuting a brand new version, the PSP 3000, in late October. In its first full month on sale and heading into the holidays, gamers couldn’t care less.
What’s wrong? The problems with the PSP are surprisingly similar to the problems with the PS3. It’s overpriced ($170 to $130 for the DS Lite), has superior graphics no one cares about, and a mediocre game library. And because PSP console sales stink, game publishers are unlikely to devote resources to making more quality PSP titles.
Another problem: Apple (AAPL) has managed to get big game developers like Sega and Electronic Arts (ERTS) to build surprisingly good games for its iPhone and iPod touch, of which Apple sells millions. Many iPhone owners now have no reason to buy a PSP (or DS), especially for casual gaming.
Sony may be ready to cut its losses. British gaming site MCV reports no successor to the PSP is in the works.
See Also: Sony’s PS3 A Sinking Ship: Sales Plummet