updated 11:40 am EDT, Fri May 14, 2010
Nintendo and Sony see handhelds drop 61pc
Devices like the iPhone and iPod touch may have sparked a collapse in handheld game system sales in April, new NPD data found. The overall US console market's revenue dropped 27 percent last month, but the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP accounted for 61 percent of the overall drop even though they represented just a quarter of all revenue. Nintendo was especially hard-hit as DS sales were cut by more than half versus a year ago to just 440,800.
The drop-off wasn't explained by analysts, but the six-year age of both the DS and PSP lifecycles is widely recognized as an influence on sales. Next month's E3 show is also a factor as some may be waiting for news of the already confirmed Nintendo 3DS as well as a possible PSP sequel.
However, recent signs have hinted that the decline may be attributable to the effects of media players and smartphones, especially those from Apple. The iPhone and iPod are already known to have damaged Nintendo and Sony revenue in the past year by leading many to either buy one of Apple's handhelds in place of their rivals or to switch most of their game buying to the newer hardware. Nintendo may have privately singled out Apple as its only true threat in portable gaming where Sony is now strictly secondary.
In addition to more recent technology, the iPhone platform has a number of lures for gamers, such as considerably less expensive games and an online store that makes it simple to download new games. Some may also include cost savings as Apple's devices can often take over from phones, media players and cameras. [via AllThingsD]