Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nintendo GBA/Sony PSP

I don't have much interest in actually buying a PSP--somehow portables have never grabbed my fancy at all--but I think the strategic battle between Sony and Nintendo is going to be very interesting. Nintendo has made an absolute fortune putting out technologically underpowered units at a low price point with huge numbers of available games. I'm not sure they can do that now. Sony has significantly raised the bar technically, and once it's been raised, it's hard to go back.

Nintendo has been excellent historically when they've been first into a space--the original NES (first in the space in that era, anyway), the GameBoy. They have been far less successful when competitors have moved in. They're third in the console market in the U.S. now, it's doubtful they'll be second anytime soon, and now Sony has entered the handheld space. I wonder if Nintendo has learned any lessons from the last decade of consoles, or if they're even capable of learning from anyone. Nintendo is a funky, impenetrable company, sometimes brilliant but often just weird.

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