Earlier this week Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter brought up some interesting points regarding the handheld gaming market and its future.
“We’re not even close to saturated on the videogame consoles, and we are way approaching saturation on the handheld market,” Pachter argued during his Pach Attack segment on Gametrailers.com this week. “We’re starting to see DS hardware sales crack. I think the ubiquity of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market.”
He also went on to comment that he feels that the “PSP2 will be dead on arrival”. Personally I agree with some of his observations. Mobile gaming via iPhone/iTouch or Android phones are becoming a popular alternative to handheld games. What Pachter says basically is why would parents/gamers shell out for a handheld system when you have decent (cheap, sometimes free) games right on your phone?
While I have always kept up with the Nintendo handheld systems I never really put a ton of playing time into them the way I do my consoles. Sure when the latest Pokemon comes out I might pick up my DS over my 360 controller but that doesn’t last long.
Mobile games are just more convenient when you’re on the go or somewhere you don’t have access to a console. But does it take the place of an actual handheld like a DS or PSP?
Yes and no depending on what you look for in your games. Lengthy games like Pokemon or Mario based games need a little bit more than what a mobile game can handle. For one, games like that would eat your phone battery in a heartbeat. Not only that but some games need more than just touch screen controls.
Personally I don’t think Nintendo handhelds are dying anytime soon. As for Sony, well it’s always been a bit of a struggle in that market. With the 3DS on the way, I take Pachter’s view about the PSP2 being “dead on arrival”.