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Handhelds through the Generations

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Do not forget the Turbo Express



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How about the N-gage? does that qualify as a handheld?



I have an N-Gage... and still play it.

DSLover said:
its possible Atari manufactured over a million but failed to sell them, remember the ET debacle. Also just because you have a model with a serial no. over a million doesnt mean over a million were sold, just you got one with a million no. serial code.

 those number do mean something, especially if 2 different models both had over 1 million pieces produced, plus consider through eventual liquidation all manufactured pieces would have been sold.

and yes I remember the E.T. idiotics, but that was a different atari, Jack Tremiel would never ever overproduce to such an extent.

 



I HAVE A DOUBLE DRAGON CAB IN MY KITCHEN!!!!!!

NOW A PUNISHER CAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final-Fan said:
"Game Boy = Game Boy Pocket = Game Boy Light (All can only play Game Boy games and a very few specially designed additional carts as mentioned previously in this thread.)"

My understanding is that about 25% of GBC games were this type. That is not "a very few specially designed additional carts".

Disclaimer: I do not have independent verification on my information (unsourced statement on Wikipedia) so I could be wrong about the amount of games.

In any case it's not "the same" as PS1/PS2/PS3 because there are no PS2 games that play on the PS1 and there are no PS3 games that play on the PS2.

Also, the GBC was not "pretty much as different" from the GB as the DS was from the GBA. For instance: the GBC's processor is (based on a little research) the same as the GB's only twice as fast. The DS has a CPU basically the same (again, I think) only twice as fast as the GBA's as its secondary processor; the main CPU is a different type and twice again as fast. On another angle, the GBC's memory is 4x the GB; the DS's is over 10x the GBA's as well as a different type. And then there's the more obvious differences between the DS and GBA.

I can see where both of you are coming from. Most likely the biggest difference between the PS1/PS2 and GB/GBC comparison is that, even after the GBC was released, many games were released for the GB, though they could also be played on the GBC. But there were probably many games that were released that could only be played on the GBC, such as the Pokemon games, Gold and Silver.

Though in the end, probably why they were included together, now that I look at launch dates, is that the GBA came out 3 years or so after the GBC, while the GB had lasted 10 years before anything besides a redesign was launched. Interestingly enough, the GB/GBC line lasted for nearly 12 years before a "real" successor was released.

The only reason I bring this up is, though all redesigns of hardware increase sales due to people rebuying the system, the GBC revision was bigger than most, due to it's unnatural point that it included actual hardware updates, while most redesigns simply redesign the look/feel/etc of the system, and no more. Also, since the GBC could play games that the GB couldn't, and thus makes it more of it's own system, that would increase sales even more, which is obvious, because the GB/GBC sold nearly 120 million units, while the GPA only sold 80 million (though it had a measly 4 year lifespan before the DS came out... though it has sold relatively well since then). The DS and PSP together only equal 96 million units, and the DS is considered one of the most successful consoles ever, right? So in the end, I would like to split up the numbers because I feel it's inflated more than any other handheld, thus showing a false sales trends. And since there really isn't all that much sales trends to look at (the GBA is probably the only handheld to have good graph data for yearly sales), having false sales in the prior years would make it even worse.

And yes, I owned the ET game. It was great, until you realized that glitch would never let you beat the game. lol 



Final-Fan said:
"Game Boy = Game Boy Pocket = Game Boy Light (All can only play Game Boy games and a very few specially designed additional carts as mentioned previously in this thread.)"

My understanding is that about 25% of GBC games were this type. That is not "a very few specially designed additional carts".

Disclaimer: I do not have independent verification on my information (unsourced statement on Wikipedia) so I could be wrong about the amount of games.

In any case it's not "the same" as PS1/PS2/PS3 because there are no PS2 games that play on the PS1 and there are no PS3 games that play on the PS2.

Also, the GBC was not "pretty much as different" from the GB as the DS was from the GBA. For instance: the GBC's processor is (based on a little research) the same as the GB's only twice as fast. The DS has a CPU basically the same (again, I think) only twice as fast as the GBA's as its secondary processor; the main CPU is a different type and twice again as fast. On another angle, the GBC's memory is 4x the GB; the DS's is over 10x the GBA's as well as a different type. And then there's the more obvious differences between the DS and GBA.


So what about the Wii and Gamecube? The Wii has the same processor as the GC's only 50% faster (same with the GPU), and the Wii can play all GC games. The Wii and GC should not be counted as one device so neither should the GB and GBC, as not all of their games are mutually compatible.

OT: One handheld that deserves a mention is the amusingly named Chinese Gameboy rip-off, the Gamate (that's game-mate). 



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Well thanks everyone for the information. I'll start working on the stats this week sometime, if anyone's interested. Should be out next week.

I'm also working on yearly sales predictions for the consoles using past trends, so I'll be working on that as well, not to mention college stuff and games. Ah, I need more time.



There are many obvious differences between the Wii and the Gamecube. If you want to make this into a serious debate, Played_Out, make your comparison more complete and flesh out your arguments and then I'll rebut.

I'm not trying to say that the GBC is a mere hardware revision of the GB like the Game Boy Pocket; my posts have made that clear. But neither is it a totally new system like GB-->GBA-->DS. It occupies a strange sort of middle ground that it may very well hold alone. I just don't want it to be pigeonholed based on what we are more familiar with.

@Stever89:  Well, you seem to have a very good understanding of the situation; I think your decision is a bit odd but it's also understandable to want to separate the two for the reasons you stated.  And of course there's the fact that it's your analysis.  (Also, it may give a good comparison to later systems that didn't last so insanely long as the original GB hardware did.)  



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Final-Fan said:

There are many obvious differences between the Wii and the Gamecube. If you want to make this into a serious debate, Played_Out, make your comparison more complete and flesh out your arguments and then I'll rebut.

I'm not trying to say that the GBC is a mere hardware revision of the GB like the Game Boy Pocket; my posts have made that clear. But neither is it a totally new system like GB-->GBA-->DS. It occupies a strange sort of middle ground that it may very well hold alone. I just don't want it to be pigeonholed based on what we are more familiar with.

@Stever89: Well, you seem to have a very good understanding of the situation; I think your decision is a bit odd but it's also understandable to want to separate the two for the reasons you stated. And of course there's the fact that it's your analysis. (Also, it may give a good comparison to later systems that didn't last so insanely long as the original GB hardware did.)


I didn't mean for this to turn into a debate, and it's hardly necessary. I will take into consideration many points when trying to determine market size and share for each handheld generation, don't worry.

I really like the bolded part. Because that about sums it up. Not really the successor, not really a redesign. Probably something that has never happened, and unlikely to happen ever again.

And yes, it is my analysis, but I try to look as unbiased as is humanly possible, and I like to be as complete as possible. Obviously only including Nintendo handhelds and the PSP in my analysis would be an incomplete look at the handheld market, wouldn't you agree? Also, I do make my analysis available, as you can see in my sig, so it's for the benefit of everyone. My interest is centered around Japan because of it's decreasing market size in the console market, and I was thinking it might be interesting to see if the handheld market has increased (by more, less, or the same amount as the console market has shrunk) to see if there's any basis for a "handheld x can take away sales from console y" arguement. Which is a valid arguement, but without much data to support it. And that's where I come in. ;)



Stever89 said:

My interest is centered around Japan because of it's decreasing market size in the console market, and I was thinking it might be interesting to see if the handheld market has increased (by more, less, or the same amount as the console market has shrunk) to see if there's any basis for a "handheld x can take away sales from console y" arguement. Which is a valid arguement, but without much data to support it. And that's where I come in. ;)


 Oh, so something like "PS3 is doomed because of PSP/DS sales" type of argument? Is the demographic argument going to come into play also?



fkusumot said:
Stever89 said:

My interest is centered around Japan because of it's decreasing market size in the console market, and I was thinking it might be interesting to see if the handheld market has increased (by more, less, or the same amount as the console market has shrunk) to see if there's any basis for a "handheld x can take away sales from console y" arguement. Which is a valid arguement, but without much data to support it. And that's where I come in. ;)


Oh, so something like "PS3 is doomed because of PSP/DS sales" type of argument? Is the demographic argument going to come into play also?


I can't tell if you are joking or not, but I'll answer the question either way. No. Since handhelds obviously don't equal consoles, you dont know which consoles someone would have bought if they hadn't bought a handheld, which works both ways. Just because handhelds don't equal consoles, doesn't mean they can't replace them, especially for those who can't afford even the $250 Wii.

Also, I don't cover demographic, because sales trends really should take that into account, as long as when you say demographics, you mean "hardcore, casual, etc." Sales trends should take that into account, same as how sales trends should take into account price cuts and major releases of games. Over a few months of sales trends, obviously price cuts and such would make a big factor, but over a course of a year or more, they kind of get blended in.

See PS2 sales over 350 weeks. Besides the christmas boosts (which sales trends would take into account as well), the non-holiday sales are very flat over the course of a year and many years. The difference between PS2 Total Others between launch and it's first christmas and the last non holiday period on the graph is a mere 10 to 15 thousand (the average for the first time period being approx 75,000, and the average for the last being around approx 60,000).

Lastly, the point of these analysis are hardly to say that any one console will "win" or "lose." Obviously it may look that way when I have sales trends for the Wii over the next 5 years closely tracking the PS2, and ending it's 6th year at 106 million compared to 100 million for the PS2 at the end of the 6th year, but that's only because I'm simply applying past trends to current sales. But these anaylsis are simply to show how past trends can be used to predict future sales. Right now there's not quite data on the PS3 and Wii to say how each will do in the long run, so it's still very open to interpretation and discussion, which is why it pops up so often here on the forums. I don't really want this to become another PS3 will/will not beat the Wii, etc, etc. That wasn't the point of this thread.

And like I said, I can't even tell if you are being sarcastic, and yet I wrote half a book in reply...