When games analyst Michael Pachter speaks, many listen. Pachter recently went on the record about the handheld market and claimed that it was in dire straights. Pachter even went so far to claim that upon release, the PSP2 will be dead on arrival and Nintendo’s 3DS will have short lived popularity.
“We’re not even close to saturated on the video game consoles, and we are way approaching saturation on the handheld market. We’re starting to see DS hardware sales crack, I think the big woody of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market and I think the PSP is dead on arrival [and that the] PSP2 is going to be dead on arrival.”
Pachter went on to say “It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or Nano. The Touch is cool, it plays games, plays music, they’re going to put a camera in it and you’re going to get all kinds of cool stuff.”
“The 3DS will prolong the handheld market for the game manufacturers, but ultimately I think handhelds are in trouble,” He concluded. “I really think as the iPod Touch gets more and more powerful, you’re going to see a lot of free games over there. What’s the difference if you can play Tetris on the iPod Touch or on the DS? Well, you pay $1 on the iPod Touch, you pay $20 on the DS. Parents prefer $1 or free software, I think the iPod Touch is going to sell really well. So, after the 3DS has had its little rush I think the handhelds will continue to decline.”
Perhaps he is right, who knows. I’m no analyst but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years as a gamer, never underestimate the power of Nintendo.