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Reasonable said:

Ah.  Okay.  Still find it boring though.  If (when?) the Wii passes PS2 that'll be impressive for me.  I guess I'm now of a mind handheld sales (high end) are actually a little disappointing next to home console sales (high end).  Would never have thought that.  I always figured handhelds must sell more.

Interesting what it implies because in many cases they really should sell more - for example I know so many friends who lost/replaced them.  You've a lot more likely to lose replace a handheld than a console that's for sure.  Incredible they don't sell more the more I think about it.

I wonder why not?  Do you think it's a lack of adults buying them vs a broader purchase base for home consoles?  I could see this particularly in the West, and I guess the DS performance boost could be down to more adults purchasing in West via Brain Training, etc. and the associated marketing push.

Crikey.  No wonder Nintendo is pushing 3DS and Sony are looking to release (maybe) a PSP phone.  I'd have to figure that the handheld market could be vulnerable to smartphones simply disolving the need for their existence (I certainly have no desire to carry multiple devices and would happily take a single device if available).  Obviously exclusive titles help, particularly for Nintendo I would imagine, but still...

(Off topic, but as you're here, regarding our little VC chat, I though the writing and basic characters were also on the generic/cliche side but what made it work for me was the unusual (at least in my experience) mood of the game regarding conflict, xenophobia and the negative impact of war.  Maybe that didn't help its sales but for me it gave rise to a nice emotional mood a number of times.  I'd love to see a truly well written videogame explore this theme).

If I had to guess, a big contributing factor would be that home consoles are just more economical for families; if you had only five hundred dollars to spend on gaming for your two/three children in an entire generation, would you buy two/three handhelds or one console with two/three controllers? Families with multiple DSes are most probably in a minority, with PSPs even moreso.

(try Final Fantasy XII [12], or any game written by Matsuno; very similar themes but with much stronger and subtler writing and characterization; Ogre Battle 64 on the VC works nice, though the localization on the script is bad in places)