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thismeintiel said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

I still love the "phones killed portables" assumption. 

DS sales were explosive and unrepeatable in the same manner that PS2 sales were explosive and unrepeatable. A PS3 with no Blu-Ray, a standardized CPU, and a $400 price point wouldn't have sold as much as the PS2.  A 2DS XL launching at $170 in 2011 with good first party games would never have gotten near DS lifetime sales. 

3DS was overpriced, and tiny, with an 8 month drought of games to start the system off. 

Vita was a train wreck on just about every level. It was the Wii U of handhelds. 

Many PSP/Vita customers were never going to switch over to Nintendo for portable gaming. Those PSP/Vita gamers wanted portable FPS and console style adventure games. 3DS was never going to have those. (Part of Switch's success is that it does offer those type of games, and that has in turn brought much of the Vita/PSP crowd to the system.) So you can't just point to the total handheld lifetime sales of Vita + 3DS and go "See you guys the market shrank from 230 million with DS/PSP to 93 million with Vita/3DS! "

The bolded statement above is just as dumb as Pachter's "Oh hey you guys Wii + 360 + PS3 lifetime sales is more than Wii U + XB1 + PS4 lifetimes sales! Therefore the console market is shrinking!"

Pachter fails to take into account the fact that there was less of a reason to own both HD Twins in the PS4/XB1 era due to PS4 being able to play virtually all the games XB1 had and vastly more. There's a huge 30-40 game gap in the XB1 to PS4 libraries when it comes to games rated at 80% or higher on Opencritic. This gap is in PS4's favor. 360 on the other hand went toe to toe with PS3 in terms of exclusives and 3rd party support. Now that XB1 lacks enough exclusives and 3rd party support to compete most people just stopped buying both an MS and a PS system, because there was no need. 

Anyway you can't just "bean counter" it up and go "oh see this gen is losing to last gen!" Those are the same people that point out that 3DS + Wii U is currently beating Switch lifetime sales, without taking into account that many people owned both a 3DS and a Wii U, (for the purposes of having access to all Nintendo games) but nobody needs to own two Switches to play all Nintendo games. 

Going from ~230M to ~90M isn't something to scoff at.  That's a deficit of 140M units.  Even if you say the DS can't be matched, the 3DS should have been able to do 100M+, especially without any real strong competition.  There should have been room for the Vita to do at least 40M-50M, too.  Just like the PS2 may not be matched ever, but the PS4 is going to most likely hit 115M-120M+.  There's just no way around it, the dedicated HH market shrank drastically with the growth in mobile gaming.  Both Sony and Nintendo know this, so took action.  Sony focused on their home console business.  Nintendo came out with a hybrid that can be a handheld and a home console, and is something they can put their full attention into.

As for consoles, the Wii+360+PS3 can be explained because the Wii brought in a ton of casuals that never really gamed before.  They left the market once the motion control fad died.  And there was quite a bit of crossover buying, thanks to the Wii being a secondary console to many who had a PS3 or 360.  While I guess you can say it shrank because those casuals who are counted in the total left, the core gamers are still here in great numbers.  If you compare the PS2+Xbox+GC (~200M) with where the PS4+XBO+Wii U is going to end up (~185M-~195M), the numbers are mostly the same.

You are still assuming that the PSP/Vita and DS/3DS were competing for the same gamers. They were not. Vita utterly failing doesn't automatically give 3DS a large sales boost. In an alternate universe where PSP never existed DS still would have sold around 165 million units. That's only a gain of about 10 million units. This is because, even if PSP never existed a huge majority of those 80 million PSP owners would never have touched the DS. 

GB/GBC had 11 years on the market before GBA came out, and 14 years in total. It only sold 118 million units in that time. Even if we assume that all 118 million units were sold prior to the release of the GBA, that puts the GB/GBC's sales at 10.72 million a year on average. 3DS only had 6 years on the market before the Switch came to replace it. Had the 3DS sold at the same average yearly rate as GB/GBC it would have ended at 64.32 million units sold.

 GBA had 3.5 years on the market before the DS came out, and 7.5 years in total. It did 81 million units by around 2008. At first that looks phenomenal. But then you realize that GBA launched at a rock bottom price of $99.95. When adjusting for inflation that would have been only $127.02 in 2011. Can you imagine the 3DS launching at $127 USD? It would have sold like gold infused hotcakes! Instead 3DS launched at an insanely pricey $249.99. So it's no surprise at all that the GBA beat it in nearly half the time. GBA was nearly half the price, when adjusted for inflation. 

3DS lost a huge amount of sales because...

Consumers weren't sure if 3DS was a successor to DS, the same way that they weren't sure if Wii U was a successor to Wii. 

3DS launched insanely overpriced, thanks to the 3D effect, the same way that Wii U's tablet inflated the Wii U's price. 

3DS launched with a massive drought of games, same as the Wii U. The first 3DS game of any note (3D Land) didn't come out until 8 months after launch.

The 3D mode hurt the eyes of kids (it's core audience).

AA Developers were finding 3DS development to be overly expensive and time consuming compared to GB/DS/GBA development.

Honestly, 3DS just flat out sucked the first year. It was mishandled almost as much as Wii U. 

The Vita was pretty much abandoned by Sony after Christmas 2013. Tearaway was its last noteworthy exclusive. That's only two years from launch to utter abandonment by Sony. Had Vita gotten an additional three years of genuine support from Sony it would have ended at around 40 - 45 million. AA developers abandoned the Vita because it (and PSP) were too expensive to develop for. Sony abandoned Vita because it realized that without that AA 3rd party support it was a sinking ship. That's what killed the Vita, not Smartphone games. Or do you seriously believe that all those God of War, Racing, GTA, style gamers just suddenly left the PSP/Vita ship to play Cut the Rope, and CandyCrush? 

As for your second paragraph, yes you get it! Context is King, and when we take the context of the Wii's success into account consoles have remained strong. When we take the context outlined above it is clear that the handheld market definitely wasn't killed off by Smartphone games.