Survey shows DS edging out PSP in Japan

Half a year after the release of Nintendo's and Sony's handhelds, the dual-screen portable still holds the lead.

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The latest issue of Otonafami magazine gives a glimpse at how the next-generation handheld war between Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS is shaping up in Japan. According to a survey conducted with 1,000 gamers above age 20 by the magazine, 14 percent said they owned a PSP, 25 percent said they owned a DS, and 19 percent said they owned both. Out of the remaining gamers who don't own a next-generation handheld, 31 percent said they are planning to get a PSP, while 35 percent said they want to get a DS, 19 percent said they want to get both, and 15 percent said they didn't want either of the handhelds.

Otonafami reports that the average PSP owner in Japan owns one to three games for the handheld; 27 percent said they owned one game, 25 percent said they owned two games, and 23 percent said they owned three games. The statistics for the DS were a bit different, with 23 percent of its owners saying that they owned more than six games for the handheld. Curiously, two percent of the users for both the PSP and DS said they had no games, which makes one wonder what they play.

Owners of both handhelds also seem to think that they aren't taking full advantage of their machine. Seventy-five percent of PSP owners replied "no" when asked if they were using all of its hardware capabilities. Many PSP owners commented that they don't understand how to use its multimedia functions or that they find it too troublesome.

The comments also show that users view the PSP as a multimedia device more than a gaming machine. Sixty-seven percent of DS owners answered "no" when they were asked the same question. However, DS users complained that their DS's Wi-Fi capability goes unused, especially if they live in the countryside where nobody owns a DS.

When PSP owners were asked what they thought about their handheld, they praised its fantastic graphics and entertainment functions and commented that they found its battery life surprisingly long. The main PSP complaints were that its games were mediocre, its game library had too many ports, its load times were too long, and that some games froze often.

DS owners said they enjoy its backward compatibility to GBA games and touching the handheld's screen. On the other hand, they also said that the audio in DS games isn't loud enough, there aren't titles for adults, and the screen sizes are too small.

When looking at the two handhelds in terms of sales figures, the Nintendo DS has sold approximately 2.2 million units in Japan since its launch on December 2, versus the PSP's 1.39 million units since it went on sale 10 days later. The top-selling games for the two machines in Japan are listed below.

CUMULATIVE GAME SALES

Nintendo DS
WarioWare: Touched! : 740,000 units
Super Mario 64 DS : 710,000 units
Nintendogs: 400,000 units
Pokémon Dash: 320,000 units
Kirby: Canvas Curse: 190,000 units

Sony PSP:
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee: 350,000 units
Ridge Racers: 260,000 units
Dynasty Warriors: 260,000 units
Tales of Eternia: 170,000 units
Metal Gear Acid: 110,000 units

SURVEY RESULTS

Q: How many Games do you have?

PSP:
None: 2%
One game: 27%
Two games: 25%
Three games: 14%
Four games: 8%
Five Games: 10%
More than six games: 11%

DS:
None: 2%
One game: 16%
Two games: 20%
Three games: 19%
Four games: 12%
Five games: 8%
More than six games: 23%

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