While the Sony PSP handheld video game portable console dominates in America, the Nintendo DS still reigns supreme in Japan, which is home to both companies.
Media Create, which is an analyst firm in Japan, shows that Nintendo held 9 out of the top top spots in software sales. Looking at some of the top selling titles can really open one's eyes to the types of games that hold popular in Japan: Animal Crossing 2, Super Mario Strikers, the Brain Training franchise, and Mario Kart DS are notable.
During the week time frame that was analyzed, the DS was # 1 in system sales at 64,515 consoles, while the PSP had 38,271. This is a drastic difference, but not near as drastic as the American XBox console – a home-based system – which struggles in Japan, this period selling only 3,616.
The reasons for this vary, but it is clear that the customer attraction is very different in the two cultures. The DS has a simpler, "cuter" first impression, while the PSP comes across as being sleek, and powerful. Obviously the systems have their pros and cons, but because of consumer preference, each console does better in different regions. The Japanese apparently are not too attracted to the ultra-violent and unrecognizable games of the 360 that are extremely popular in America, and a younger customer would probably prefer the DS to the PSP, with the colorful trends of Japan to guide them. The DS has a wide variety of recognizable Japanese character special editions as well.
The Wi-Fi connection unduly holds the most sway with the 2 systems, with the DS having a very unique and easy to use Wi-Fi system, along with a chat program right out of the box. This coupled with the touch screen capability means that chats are interesting and colorful – perfect for younger audiences.
These trends show that although Nintendo may not be the hardcore gamer's brand of choice here in the States, it is definitely still going strong in Japan, and will most likely continue to do so, with deep-rooted franchises and brand recognition.