DS On A Roll

july 13, 2006

When the DS launched in 2004, I had some serious doubts about the system. The biggest doubt was that Nintendo had rushed the portable to market in order to beat Sony. Sony had a sexy and powerful portable system ready to release to market, Nintendo had to release theirs first. What I thought was a gimmick (dual screens, with one being a touch screen) actually worked in Nintendo's favor. What happened next really surprised me. Sony's PSP has not become the big hit that everyone thought it would be. Yes, it continues to sell, but it is no longer something Nintendo has to worry about. Why? Nintendo has sold 3.9 million DS units (combined DS and DS Lite). Sony has sold less than a million units of their PSP portable. Even more interesting is that Nintendo sold 600,000 DS units in June, compare that with the Microsoft Xbox 360 sales? Xbox 360 only sold 277,000 units. Does the power of a console really matter? Apparently not. Sure, hardcore gamers will want the power and storage offered by the PSP (plus that gorgeous screen). Hardcore gamers wil want the HD support and multiprocessors of the Xbox 360. But, it looks like Nintendo has found the sweetspot for mainstream gamers...give them something entertaining, fun, and different. For the most part, mainstream gamers are not the ones who will be playing FPS games (like Halo), rather they want something accessible (Nintendogs? New Super Mario Bros.? Big Brain Academy?). What are you playing now?