iPhone OS is a more popular development platform than DS and PSP

3 handheld systems.According to a recent study by Game Developer Research, the iPhone OS has surpassed both the Nintendo DS and the PSP as a handheld gaming development platform. The study showed that 19 percent of all developers are coding for the iPhone/iPod Touch, which is more than double the stats for both Nintendo and Sony.

If you think this isn’t a big deal, consider the following: handheld games are now 25 percent of the total gaming market, up from just 12 percent before the iPhone came on the scene. That’s some huge growth, even if you figure most iPhone gamers are playing simple things like Bejeweled 2 and Tap Tap Revenge. Sure, there’s no Scribblenauts, not yet anyway, but the platform has enough support from both gamers and developers that I’m sure we’ll see more serious titles in the future.

The problem for me is still the lack of physical controls. I know the touch thing is cool, but it’s also completely frustrating to cover your game screen with your thumbs. That’s not enjoyable. I’m still waiting for that universal controller add-on to launch.

Source: Electronista

Sony sees iPad as a gateway to the PSP

iPad gaming.Someone needs to sit down with John Koller, Sony’s hardware marketing manager, and give him a quick lesson on cause and effect. He seems to think the iPad, as with the iPod Touch and iPhone, will drive PSP sales for customers looking for “deeper, richer console.” Personally, I think he’s nuts.

The numbers look good – the PSP and PSP Go have tripled in combined sales since the launch of the iPhone. But that doesn’t make the two related. My guess is the price of the PSP has gone down so much and the units have been hacked so many times that it’s become accessible enough to encourage a lot of gamers to buy.

I talk a lot on Gadget Teaser about the death of dedicated devices and the future of the all-in-wonder. I think handheld gaming is following the trend toward multi-purpose machines. Apple has simply put together a better system for supporting that kind of platform. If Sony doesn’t make some changes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see PSP sales plateau in the next 2 years.

Source: WSJ

Analyst Ben Schachter thinks GTA may have peaked

Grand Theft Auto logo.Grand Theft Auto is one of the most iconic gaming franchises of our time. Few games have sparked so furious social debate while maintaining incredible sales and garnering legions of followers. One analyst thinks we’ve finally seen the series peak, though. Ben Schachter wonders if the lackluster sales of content like the Liberty City DLC and the handheld Chinatown aren’t the death rattle of Take Two’s little baby.

…we must raise an even bigger question: has the Grand Theft Auto franchise peaked? Given the strength of GTA IV in 2008, the question may seem misplaced, but our concern is that the very highly rated new GTA content for Xbox as well as PSP and DS did not perform up to expectations in 2009. Now, we very clearly understand that these do not represent ‘true’ new GTA titles. However, the fact is that these were compelling titles, attractively priced, and reasonably well-promoted, yet they fell relatively flat. We do not mean to pour salt on an open wound, but this does raise questions about the strength of TTWO’s crown jewel. It is an issue we will monitor closely (we also note that we expect increased competition in the open-world action genre in 2010 and beyond).

He goes on to consider the underwhelming financial report, raising questions about whether or not Take Two can turn a profit without a GTA release. Sure, Rockstar has some strong titles, like Borderlands and Bioshock, but those aren’t the kind of games people are spending as much time in as GTA, making it more likely that you’ll see second hand buyers over the seemingly ubiquitous purchasing of a GTA title.

Source: Industry Gamers

DSi LL outsells PSPgo

DSi LL next to a normal DSi.The DSi LL launched in Japan two days ago and is already reporting strong sales. According to Famitsu publisher Enterbrain, the plus-size version of the Nintendo DSi moved more than 103,000 units on the first day.

Those aren’t incredible sales, but they’re good for a cosmetic update of the popular handheld. The DSi’s original launch sold 170,000 units in the same amount of time in Japan. The PSPgo, which like the DSi LL is more of a cosmetic update, sold just 28,000 units in that same amount of time in Japan.

There’s still no word on the DSi XL launch date for the US (first quarter 2010 is all I’ve heard), but I’d imagine sales here will remain strong. The fact that the system comes with three games pre-installed is nice, and in the case of handhelds, most people prefer a larger screen.

PSP Go already on sale

PSP Go.Usually when a console debuts you can expect prices to remain stable for a while. The hype of the console sells it, usually at just about any price. The PSP Go, on the other hand, is already on sale at Fry’s for $199.

The price drop confirms that profit margins must be pretty wide on Sony’s new portable. Not too many people are buy the thing, and there isn’t exactly the same expected software revenue as other portables, so taking a loss really doesn’t make sense. With so few purchasers, it seems like Fry’s is just trying to be the only retailer to sell out of the device before the holiday season hits.

The deal is only good in-store until the 22nd, and may not be available everywhere so be sure to call ahead.

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