March 25, 2005

Handheld Gaming's Next Wave

The next generation of home consoles is still some time away, but the handheld war has already arrived. The Big N (or "Nintendo" for those of you with a life) has long dominated the handheld market, but rival Sony has entered the fray with both controllers blazing. Its entry in the battle, PlayStation Portable (henceforth known as the PSP), goes on sale at midnight. Naturally, the unwelcome competition has Nintendo fearing for its fiscal future, and rightly so. Sales of Sony's game playin', movie watchin', music rockin' machine are expected to be brisk. Searches are certainly heating up on the $249.99 (plus tax) toy -- over the past month, we've seen mondo spikes on "Sony PlayStation Portable" (+378%), "Sony PSP release date (+422%) ," and "Sony PSP games" (+71%).

Part of what makes the PSP so powerful is its ability to do more than just play Qbert. Searches on "PSP movies" and "PSP music" indicate fans are eager to learn more about its multimedia talents (hint: your DVDs aren't gonna work). Interest in the PSP's lineup of games is a decidedly mixed bag. Big gun title "Metal Gear Acid" isn't garnering many searches, but queries on "Twisted Metal Head-On" are on the rise. We're also seeing a stampede of searches on "PSP review," indicating many gamers will take a wait-and-see approach before trading in their Game Boys.

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06:04 AM in Handheld | Permalink