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For much of the PS1 and PS2 days, Sony Computer Entertainment had a near monopoly on third party support, especially in Japan. Nintendo's use of cartridges and controlling policies with developers and publishers at the time led to many of Nintendo's longtime partners, including the once legendary SquareSoft, to jump ship to Sony's new PlayStation, which boasted CD technology and much more relaxed rules. This gave the PlayStation a major advantage as developers and franchises once made popular by Nintendo's systems, were now going to a company with almost no prior video game experience. That is of course, strictly referring to home consoles.

On the handheld side, things were very, very different. The PlayStation brand was a powerhouse in the console market by 2003, so Sony decided to expand the brand by taking on Nintendo at its bread and butter, the handheld gaming system. Sony crafted the PlayStation Portable, a multi-media powerhouse that aimed to do for handheld gaming, what the original PlayStation did for consoles. Meanwhile, after appointing Kirby Producer Satoru Iwata as its new CEO, Nintendo was hard at work on a top-secret project, the dual screen Nintendo DS. Compared to Sony's offering, the DS was a vastly different beast. Using 2 screens, N64 style 3D compared to the PS2 style of the PSP, cartridges instead of UMD, and new functions like touch screen, microphone, and wireless functionality. In the end the DS prevailed at 152 million units sold worldwide, making it second only to the PS2 as the best selling gaming platform ever. But the PSP was able to hold its own at a solid 80 million units.

But where the two were on a level playing field, was with support of third parties. The DS and PSP actually were more or less pretty even in both quality and quantity of third party support. Capcom for example gave Sony exclusive dibs on the PSP Monster Hunter games, but Nintendo had the Phoenix Wright series all to themselves. Square Enix was a heavy supporter of both platforms. The DS got truly unique games like The World Ends With You and The Game With No Name, while the PSP got ambitious titles like Crisis Core and Dissidia. Both also got excellent Kingdom Hearts titles, and a slew of Final Fantasy Remakes. Ubisoft gave both systems exclusive Assassin's Creed experiences. Rockstar supplied the ever popular Grand Theft Auto to both systems. The yearly Sports gaming franchises came to both, and Sonic the Hedgehog was present on both with 2D outings as well.

Each console had advantages though. The DS' intuitive nature and unique control interface made it more ideal for shooters and casual games than the PSP like with the Call of Duty series which was present on Nintendo's platform, but completely absent on Sony's. Meanwhile the PSP's power and screen size made it more ideal for complex action games and PS2 conversions such as Metal Gear Solid, which got an exclusive entry on the PSP. In terms of third parties, the DS and PSP came as close as handhelds at the time could get. But seems like that was a one time deal. Their successors, the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita would see massive declines in sales vs. their predecessors. But this time, Nintendo had the upper-hand in mainstream support, with the PS Vita being regulated to indie games and obscure Japanese titles, with the once PlayStation exclusive Monster Hunter, now going to Nintendo this generation. Even the 3DS was a step back in third party support vs. the DS. The closest we ever saw to Sony and Nintendo rivaling eachother in third party support since then, is the Nintendo Switch and PlayStaiton 4, but only with indie games and lower budget titles, Sony still has all the big AAA games that the Switch otherwise wouldn't be able to run.