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Is the PSP and DS the only time Sony and Nintendo rivaled eachother in third party support?

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Is the PSP and DS the only time Sony and Nintendo rivaled eachother in third party support?

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.
 


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PSP hardly rivaled DS in that department if anything PSP and DS was when the support scenario was in reverse as DS had way more games on it.



3rd party DS vs PSP looks even at first. But then you realize that a large chunk of the PSP's 3rd party offerings were just bad versions of games that were on PS3/360. DS on the other hand has a 3rd party library that is unique to the DS. Or to put it another way... PSP was mostly a 3rd party port machine, while DS got its own exclusive 3rd party games.

One 1st party enters the mix it's pretty much over for PSP. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my PSP, and will eventually have about 20 games for it. But it doesn't hold a candle to the DS. In many ways DS vs PSP was the exact opposite of Gamecube vs PS2. 

Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 07 July 2019

I just wanted to say that the OP was enjoyable to read. I love gaming history.



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Cerebralbore101 said:

3rd party DS vs PSP looks even at first. But then you realize that a large chunk of the PSP's 3rd party offerings were just bad versions of games that were on PS3/360. DS on the other hand has a 3rd party library that is unique to the DS. Or to put it another way... PSP was mostly a 3rd party port machine, while DS got its own exclusive 3rd party games.

One 1st party enters the mix it's pretty much over for PSP. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my PSP, and will eventually have about 20 games for it. But it doesn't hold a candle to the DS. In many ways DS vs PSP was the exact opposite of Gamecube vs PS2. 

I wouldn’t say that. PSP was relevant.

The PSP has distinctive characteristics that were cutting edge in handheld gaming. Most notably, it was more powerful, and that drew a lot of interest in the console. The Gamecube, on the other hand, lacked any cutting edge features: while it was more powerful than the PS2, this power was neither cutting edge nor of interest to any significant number of people; the XBox was the cutting edge console in terms of power: the PS2 had DVDs and DVD playback: and ended up getting the vast majority of the exclusives that generation. Despite Gamecube having more power, developers still offered more features and content to PS2 games - in some parts because the controller on PS2 was more versatile (see Capcom fighters and SSX games) and others because there was a lot more space on the discs, and others because PS2 was perceived by devs as having the fan base of the games they were releasing.

When it came to content, PSP and DS both had a significant amount of exclusive content; the Gamecube’s third party support was your everyday repeatable multiplats (Ubisoft, EA, and Activision sorts of triple A shovel-ware, often spotted, though not always, by the year printed at the end of the game’s title).

The big issue with Gamecube is that (despite having a handful of survival and horror games) it was positioned in the industry as a console for children; this was its primary niche - while the PS2 took the crown as the mainstream console. The PSP was a first stab for Sony into the handheld market and it was a victory since it competed with DS in the mainstream handheld market, and wasn’t relegated to success in a niche like the Gamecube. The DS just happened to smoke the PSP in the end; and they did it primarily with what could properly be called a gimmick upgrade (DS Lite); and I don’t mean it like how people insulted Wii as a “gimmick” to try and downplay the fact that motion controls were an actual new way to play games that tens of millions of people found fun, and not just a bell or whistle to offer shine (Wii’s sleekness was a gimmick, though).

That’s my take on it at least. Gamecube was an inadequate follow-up to what is Nintendo’s biggest blunder in the company’s history: using bulky expensive cartridges on the N64 - which precluded devs from releasing their content on the console: it was enough that even Squaresoft quit and released some of the most significant games in history on another console; and they weren’t alone, many others left or did not release any significant games on N64 as a result of cartridges (Capcom had a boom period on PSX, and it could have been in N64 too: but it took them FAR longer to get a lower quality RE2 out on N64 due to cartridges). This is what Gamecube needed to make up for, and instead it was the only one of the four big company consoles that lacked any cutting edge appeal (DC’s cutting edge status was cut short when PS2 released, and it pretty much died on impact).



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Jumpin said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

3rd party DS vs PSP looks even at first. But then you realize that a large chunk of the PSP's 3rd party offerings were just bad versions of games that were on PS3/360. DS on the other hand has a 3rd party library that is unique to the DS. Or to put it another way... PSP was mostly a 3rd party port machine, while DS got its own exclusive 3rd party games.

One 1st party enters the mix it's pretty much over for PSP. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my PSP, and will eventually have about 20 games for it. But it doesn't hold a candle to the DS. In many ways DS vs PSP was the exact opposite of Gamecube vs PS2. 

I wouldn’t say that. PSP was relevant.

The PSP has distinctive characteristics that were cutting edge in handheld gaming. Most notably, it was more powerful, and that drew a lot of interest in the console. The Gamecube, on the other hand, lacked any cutting edge features: while it was more powerful than the PS2, this power was neither cutting edge nor of interest to any significant number of people; the XBox was the cutting edge console in terms of power: the PS2 had DVDs and DVD playback: and ended up getting the vast majority of the exclusives that generation. Despite Gamecube having more power, developers still offered more features and content to PS2 games - in some parts because the controller on PS2 was more versatile (see Capcom fighters and SSX games) and others because there was a lot more space on the discs, and others because PS2 was perceived by devs as having the fan base of the games they were releasing.

When it came to content, PSP and DS both had a significant amount of exclusive content; the Gamecube’s third party support was your everyday repeatable multiplats (Ubisoft, EA, and Activision sorts of triple A shovel-ware, often spotted, though not always, by the year printed at the end of the game’s title).

The big issue with Gamecube is that (despite having a handful of survival and horror games) it was positioned in the industry as a console for children; this was its primary niche - while the PS2 took the crown as the mainstream console. The PSP was a first stab for Sony into the handheld market and it was a victory since it competed with DS in the mainstream handheld market, and wasn’t relegated to success in a niche like the Gamecube. The DS just happened to smoke the PSP in the end; and they did it primarily with what could properly be called a gimmick upgrade (DS Lite); and I don’t mean it like how people insulted Wii as a “gimmick” to try and downplay the fact that motion controls were an actual new way to play games that tens of millions of people found fun, and not just a bell or whistle to offer shine (Wii’s sleekness was a gimmick, though).

That’s my take on it at least. Gamecube was an inadequate follow-up to what is Nintendo’s biggest blunder in the company’s history: using bulky expensive cartridges on the N64 - which precluded devs from releasing their content on the console: it was enough that even Squaresoft quit and released some of the most significant games in history on another console; and they weren’t alone, many others left or did not release any significant games on N64 as a result of cartridges (Capcom had a boom period on PSX, and it could have been in N64 too: but it took them FAR longer to get a lower quality RE2 out on N64 due to cartridges). This is what Gamecube needed to make up for, and instead it was the only one of the four big company consoles that lacked any cutting edge appeal (DC’s cutting edge status was cut short when PS2 released, and it pretty much died on impact).

Well, I agree with a lot of what you said, but I'll just list ways in which GC/PSP were similar. Gamecube's hardware was a misstep with its small disks, and lack of DVD playback. PSP's hardware was a misstep with it's, battery life sucking, disc drive in a portable, and requirement for proprietary memory sticks. Gamecube and PSP were both more powerful than DS and PS2 (but I agree that at least PSP was significantly more powerful). PS2 got the bulk of the 3rd party exclusives, while Gamecube mostly got ports of AAA games that came to all three platforms. DS got the bulk of 3rd party exclusives, while PSP mostly got (heavily downgraded) ports of PS2, and PS3 games. It also got a few ports of PS1 games that weren't really remakes, just slightly enhanced ports of old PS1 games. 


I'll just list non-port, DS/PSP exclusive 3rd party games rated 80 and higher..

PSP

Lumines
Valkyre Profile Remake
Ridge Racer
MGS:PeaceWalker
MGS: Portable Ops
WipeoutPure
Half Minute Hero
Valkyria Chronicles II
Megaman Powered Up
Tales of Eternia
Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core
Megaman Maverick Hunter X
Socom: US Navy Seals Fireteam Bravo
Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman
Dissidia Final Fantasy
Lumines II
Ys VIII

The number of 3rd party PSP games that were either ports of PS2/PS3 games or quickly ported to PS2 is pretty huge. I have half a mind to take out the MGS games since those were eventually included in collections, but I don't think that would be fair, since those collections took a long time to get made. 

Give me a minute and I'll update this with 3rd Party DS games for comparison. 

Okay DS games...

Dawn of Sorrow
Meteos
The World Ends with You
Dragon Quest 9
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
ProfessorLaytonandtheCuriousVillage
OrderofEcclessia
ProfessorLaytonandtheDiabolicalBox
Portrait of Ruin
Final Fantasy IV Remake
Dragon Quest V Remake
Tony Hawk's American Sk8land
Contra 4
SMT: Devil Survivor
Professor Layton and the Last Spector
Bleach Blade of Life
Sonic Rush
Ninja Gaiden DragonSword
Super Scribblenauts
Henry Hatsworth
Phoenix Wright Ace Attourney
Rocket Slime
Lunar Knights
Etrian Odyssey II
Okamiden
Phoenix Wright: Trails and Tribulations
Bleach: Dark Souls
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2
Bangai-O-Spirits
Monster Tale
Trauma Center 2
SMT: Strange Journey
SMT: Devil Survivor 2
Anno 1701
Last Window
Trauma Center
Sonic Rush Adventure
Etrian Odyssey III
DragonQuest VI
Ghost Trick

Anyway, it's almost 2:1 in DS's favor. 

And sure, I could have counted games rated below 80, or counted games with fewer than 10 reviews. But I think the outcome would have been pretty much the same. 


Overall the DS' library is just flat out better than the PSP's hands down, just like how the PS2's library is just flat out better than the GC's. But that doesn't mean PSP/Gamecube weren't worth owning. And I agree that PSP faired much better than GC in terms of sales, standing out (via graphics upgrades), and library. Gamecube mostly got stomped by PS2, and barely treaded water vs Xbox. GC's 22ish million sales were pretty pathetic. Meanwhile PSP went head to head vs DS and got a respectable 80 million units sold. 




Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 09 July 2019

I don't know, the DS was a huge RPG powerhouse. Lot's a puzzle games as well. As far as shovelware I think the DS did have more but not by much. The PSP had it's fair share as well.