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Analyst: "Unfair" To Compare Sony NGP To Nintendo 3DS

The Next Generation Portable (NGP) is the most advanced portable gaming device yet, but can it break through to a crowd that just doesn't go in for handhelds?

Well, maybe not, but EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich says that's not necessarily a bad thing. When we asked Divnich if Sony's fancy new portable might just be seen as "another PSP," he replied that in truth, viewing it in that fashion might not be a bad thing. Because the NGP is mostly for gaming, it'll appeal to the hardcore players first and only later will it cater to the mainstream. Said Divnich:

"Portraying it as another PSP isn’t necessarily a bad perspective. The PSP was incredibly successful, placing among the top 10 consoles sold of all time, outpacing both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. However, piracy, a lack of software support, and a steep decline in popularity in later years significantly impacted the PSP’s tail end of sales.

I view the NGP’s demographic market as the typical gaming enthusiast in the Western markets. Despite including a lot of the technologies seen in mainstream entertainment devices such as the iPhone, I don’t foresee the NGP wetting the appetite of these markets right away. Much like the DS, it took a few years before the mainstream really started to grab hold of it."

We often forget how popular the PSP has proven worldwide; we forget because the Nintendo DS hit like a ton of bricks and only recently has the PSP started to compete favorably with Nintendo's offering. In terms of the NGP vs. the 3DS, Divnich had something to say to that, too:

"It is unfair to create a NGP vs. 3DS scenario, much like we did with the PSP vs. DS. They truly are two different machines, offering different types of entertainment. Yes the 3DS will outsell the NGP, but that doesn’t preclude the NGP as a failure. The video game pond if big enough for both of these fish to succeed."

There's no doubt that there's room for both; there was room for the PSP and DS, wasn't there? Perhaps the question isn't, which one will win, but which one appeals to you more? And might you see yourself owning both?

Tags: ngp, next generation portable, ngp gaming, eedar

1/28/2011 8:57:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (38 posts)

Monsterchef
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 9:59:09 PM
Reply

I'm more into tech so I'll be picking up the ngp, funny thing is I had no intention of ever picking up a handheld again but after seeing the potential and the hardware I'll be a fool to pass this up

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kevinater321
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:08:30 PM
Reply

I'm excited to play Uncharted in the car. This beast of a machine is awesome though.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:15:52 PM

Erm, just not whilst you're driving 'Kay?

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kevinater321
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:20:02 PM

harty har har. I don't even have my drivers licence ;)

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Lawless SXE
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:12:24 PM
Reply

Well, yeah it's unfair to compare the two. While they are both designed to perform the same basic function (video games), the way in which the two companies has approached the future audience is completely different. Nintendo has latched onto 3D functionality, and intends to ride that tide, while improving the baseline graphics to that of the original PSP. This is combined with largely the same form factor and design decisions found in the original DS to create a device that will appeal to the 'casual' market, and it will succeed in doing that.

Sony has taken a colossal risk by creating a portable gaming device that is capable of so much more. It features pretty much everything to be found in any other portable device on the market, with touch screens, accelerometers, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G connectivity, microphone, cameras, among other things. It is being touted as a current-gen console that is portable. It clearly aims at the "mature" or "core" gamers who prefer shooters, and other such similar console experiences. And again, I have little doubt that Sony will fail to achieve that goal.

The target audiences of the two devices is different. And so, the goals of the two companies, and their definitions of success, must also be different. To an extent they are competing, but only in the terms of having the same base functionality. Outside of that, there are almost no similarities, and as such, no basis for comparison.
Peace.

P.S. While the 3DS is an interesting device, the NGP is far more my style. It's not only a portable gaming device, but also a portable media centre, so it gets the edge in my eyes.

P.P.S. Ben, would you be able to tell me if my Demon's Souls review went through? My internet connection cut out just after I pressed 'Submit' and I was unsure.

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 1/28/2011 10:14:03 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:25:16 PM

I say target all audiences. No limits.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:25:57 PM

Uhh, woops... I meant that I have little doubt that Sony will SUCCEED in that goal. Thinking too quickly will do that to you.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:41:16 AM

Never mind then... Considering it hasn't shown up on my profile as it usually does before being approved, I'll resubmit it soon.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:22:29 PM
Reply

I know Sony doesn't know this or understand it or come within 10 feet of its truth, but it will all depend on the marketing. I suggest a three pronged approach.

Kevin Butler commercials for the PS faithful/hardcore. Fire Marcus, if he hasn't been already.

Spec comparison ads in techie mags and sites for the gadget lovers.

A commitment to gimmicky software that wows the casual masses using the sixaxis controls and silly touchpad swipes.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:29:38 PM

Aww, I'm sure Sony knows advertisement sells products. I think it's just that their marketing division is made up of overpaid and undersexed chimpanzees. Their minds are on other things that their jobs.

Your suggestion is good though, but I think it would be better to wait a bit before trying to get that casual crowd. The initial price may be too daunting to them.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:51:51 PM

I agree that the price will be an initial block, but if there is enough shovelware around when the price goes down the market could be finagled if not fully cornered. And if all those silly "games" can be downloaded via the wifi or 3G functions, then there is no need for the person to have to enter a store to purchase stuff, and it would cause many a impulse buy.

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Temjin001
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:24:50 PM
Reply

Similar to the PS3 and Wii comparisons, they're both mobile gaming handhelds but with different target consumers.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:30:00 PM

...And like has happened recently with the PS3, the NGP should target all types of consumers. Branch out, baby. It needs to branch out and cover them all.

Sony cannot afford to sit back with all the competition coming their way in the portable arena.

However, I agree that the NGP doesn't have to be #1 in sales to be considered relevant. The market is indeed big enough for all of these portable devices.

But in the end, only one can be on top. So the question is, does it really matter?

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/28/2011 11:30:59 PM

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Highlander
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:47:11 PM

Indeed Temjin, different markets. It's crazy to compare the two devices and claim that one wins over the other in any way. They are not the same and do not appeal to or target the same kinds of customer.

Bonampack,
It would be a mistake for Sony to try to broaden the appeal and marketing for the NGP/PSP2 early. That would basically be spreading all that effort too thinly. If Sony spreads it's effort too thinly, it might as well pack up and go home because it will be ineffectual. Marketing works best when it's well targeted and strong.

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Bonampak
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:25:51 AM

@TheHighlander

A mistake? I dunno about that. I mean, Sony has done it before..... and with great success.

I still remember when they increased the gaming population by the millions with the PS1. Making it popular well beyond the gaming industry. When the Playstation brand name became synonymous with videogames.

How did they pull it off? Well, they created the perfect hardware that included features that everyone (non-gamers included) wanted. Like a CD format and extremely cool and popular games. Plus it was affordable.

But the most important thing, was that Sony always believed in their product and were not shy about promoting it to anyone with a forehead.

They were so successful in bringing in new gamers to the fold, that I remember the arguments we used to have on some forums. Those arguments were about the industry being inundated by mindless non-gamers (sound familiar?). We resented their presence even then.

It took me years. But I finally understood that casuals were actually necessary. That they were vital to the success of any game console.

And this was something that I only truly realized when the PS3 failed to connect with those type of consumers.

I mean, Sony wasn't really catering to them this time around. They went after core gamers. And that strategy ended up with them having to split the existing core user base with M$.

But to be on top that simply wasn't enough. Sony realized that and thats why we now have the Move breaking new ground. Better late than never.

However, with the NGP I believe that Sony needs to employ a more inclusive strategy from the start.

Yes, from the start. Because I believe that they have the capacity to deal with every type of gamer.

Sure some people will complain. But the bitchin' will stop when the NGP sits at the top.... on all 3 markets.

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Highlander
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:56:50 AM

Bonampack,

Yes, but it wasn't that way from day 1. The PS1 cost $299.99 which at the time was more or less the real terms equivalent of the $599.99 price of the PS3 at launch. The PS1's appeal broadened as more games became available and prices dropped. If Sony tried to market the PS1 as a kids console at $299.99 it would not have been such a great success. That's why I said that they shouldn't broaden the marketing too early.

The PS3 couldn't cater to the 'casuals' as you call them when it cost $500, it needed that $300 price to hit that market, and now it has the price, and the games, the market is coming around. It doesn't hurt that HDTVs are making their way down the price scale towards commodity pricing where a second or third HD screen in a home makes some sense, and the more casaual/younger gamers can persuade their parents to spring for a new console to go with the new TV.

Last edited by Highlander on 1/29/2011 1:03:12 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:02:55 AM
Reply

I see no reason why both cannot succeed. We seem to have this mentality that everything is a competition and that if one guy wins, the other guy loses. In that case, why does any car manufacturer continue making cars when they are beaten in the sales department by Honda or Ford?

We need to stop making this kind of thing an all or nothing affair. The PSP sold more than 60 million units. But for the horrible piracy problem in the North American market, it could have been more successful.

It's like this crazy war between 360 and PS3. Instead of trying to hurt each other, and hurting gamers in the process. Game console manufacturers should compete by offering superior products...just like Sony does.

Why is it impossible for two consoles, or three even to coexist in the market?

With regard to the NGP and 3DS. Just like the PSP and DS, they target and serve different markets. They can both succeed, and in fact they can complement each other. There doesn't have to be a winner and loser, we can all be winners. All of us, gamers, console makers, game publishers and game devs. It would be easier to win, if we'd stop trying to tear each other down.

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___________
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:30:09 AM
Reply

as i said yesterday you cant compare the 3Ds to the NGP.
just like you cant compare the wii with the ps3.
ninty and sony are appealing to a completley different market, people who buy nintys device dont want powerful expensive hardware, but people who buy sonys device do.
comparing ninty to sony is like comparing Ferrari to Toyota.
yes both make cars, but one makes cars for people who can afford and appreciate fine craftsmanship, where a Toyota is just a Toyota.
just a piece of metal to get you from point A to point B.

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Highlander
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 1:22:21 AM

I agree with you, they don't compare at all really.

The video game market is far bigger today than it was a decade ago. The market has matured. Gamers who were 30 or so a decade ago are still gamers, but are older, and potentially more affluent. The market has grown and segmented. The primary target of the 3DS and DS is the younger segments of the market and parents buying for kids. Sony has always tended to target the older teens and young adults. These are two completely different markets.

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___________
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 9:19:29 AM

i just hope sony stays that way!
all the recent release of eyepet, LBP, singstar, buzz has made me worried sony might go lavender on me.
;)

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556pineapple
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 2:09:24 AM
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If I get a handheld, NGP all the way. Though I really want to try a 3DS, I can't really see myself wanting to own one. At least not over the NGP.

If I had cash to throw away, I'd probably get both, just because I could.

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RX78Zero
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 5:33:37 AM
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The 3DS had me worried about Sony's future in the portable gaming area. But after they showed the Uncharted demo, the potential in the NGP presents a great promise to what it's cappable of.

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Kall555
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 6:04:44 AM
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I probably won't buy either of them although i must admit i am liking the look of DOA: Dimensions for the 3DS. Still not worth my hard earned though imo, so i think i will play the waiting game.

Off topic: Are you lads going to review Arcana Hearts 3? It would be a crime if you didn't find time to play that gem.

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Ayane
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 9:59:32 AM

I would say it's defintely not worth your hard earned cash.
Personally I was rather disappointed with the graphics of DoA:D on the 3DS.
In fact, now that the NGP has been revealed, it makes you wonder why the hell DoA:D isn't on NGP instead. It would have been perfect, in every sense, right down to the controls...

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Kiryu
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 7:17:20 AM
Reply

Sony will always support the Hardcore Players!
Sony Playstation Forever!

Last edited by Kiryu on 1/29/2011 7:17:29 AM

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RebelJD
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 8:27:30 AM
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I'll be the owner of both a 3DS and NGP.

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Robochic
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 8:32:39 AM
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I agree with highlander and I can't believe I'm saying this and I agree with _____ you can't compare the 3DS and the NGP they are really totally different demographics.
I think the 3DS will be great for the casual gamers or the loyal nintendo fans or like myself for my 6 year old he wants it for tetris and other games he's looking forward to, where as sony's target market are the hardcore players and the sony fans.
It's a debate with me my son wants a 3ds and I want a NGP man when can i win the lottery LOL.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 8:45:47 AM
Reply

ENOUGH ABOUT THE NGP!!! IN THE LAST TWO DAYS THERES BEEN SO MANY ARTICLES ABOUT THIS DEVICE! ! ! ! !

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TheAgingHipster
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 8:59:16 AM

Because it's big news the industry has been waiting for years to receive.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 9:08:19 AM

fair enough.....but its still annoying

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 9:52:52 AM

No all CAPS posts.

And if you hadn't noticed, it's called news coverage.

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GuyverLT
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 10:08:07 AM

@ TheAgingHipster
Yeah I agree with you it very big news to me in my opinion this what the 1st psp should have been when it fist came out but better late then never right.

@crunchy_nut_kid
It would be so annoying if you just skip the articles to begin with.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 8:17:41 PM

sorry =) lol

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piratedrunk
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 10:19:38 AM
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I will definitely be getting both. Both the ds and psp have had some excellent rpg experiences and I look forward to seeing what developers can do with all this new tech.

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Gregory Freeman
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 10:24:21 AM
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Show me grand theft auto 4 stories on the NGP, and I think i'd jizzinmypantzz

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Bloodysilence19
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 1:08:34 PM
Reply

to me 3ds doesn't have anything really beside the 3d going for it. take the 3d away its another Ds, just minor upgrades to the hardware, and more kids games that's my opinion. NGP has different design sorta, all new tech hardware, great games to go with it uncharted, Resistance , and cod, many more probably coming later on. its like a portable ps3, with a touch screen.

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Alienange
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 6:26:55 PM
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I don't know about that Mr Divnich. I think it most certainly will be NGP vs 3DS. In fact you can probably throw in the iPhone too.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 @ 10:44:46 AM
Reply

I'll be getting, both the NGP & the 3DS sooner or later.

(and by that, I meant....NGP sooner, & 3DS later)

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