Whilst the jury is still out on whether Gran Turismo 5 is a damn good game or a damp squib, the shipping numbers have come out and they are extremely impressive. Sony has shipped 5.5 million copies to stores worldwide amd whilst this doesnt equal out to over 5 million copies actually being in the hands of consumers, it does give a good indication of how well the title has been selling when demand for stock is so big.
In 12 days the worldwide numbers have hit 5.52 million, a solid head start to it’s previous full home console title, Gran Turismo 4 which sold 10.86 million copies in it’s 5 years since release.


The game is graphically impressive, but reviews have criticised the dull gameplay

Its not all good news for the series though as along with the sales for GT5, the sales were also announced for the PSP title that came out in October 2009. Sonys handheld console, the PSP, has sold 62 million since release but the Gran Turismo PSP title, that was praised to be a killer app for the device, has only sold 2.24 million copies, including downloads. Seeing how shoppers are also able to get Gran Turismo PSP for free with various PSP Go offers, that’s not an impressive amount of actual monetary sales for the title.
This raises an important question though: Is the PSP (or handheld gaming) dying when a title in a long running, high profile, series is unable to scrape more than 2.2 million sales?

From what I played of Gran Turismo for the PSP, it felt like a solid game. Graphically it was superb and the controls weren’t as stilted as the home console GT titles are, so what is the reason behind it’s low sales figures?
The Gran Turismo series bases itself on being ‘The Real Driving Simulator’ so surely it would be natural for a portable version to get a lot of interest and sales, in the case of the PSP giving even more of a full simulation feel. It’s not because of people not liking the series anymore as the GT5 sales and the mass interest around this long awaited installment have proved.
I think the main reason is that nobody really cares about the PSP anymore and probably haven’t for quite some time. Whilst millions of people have PSPs, how many actually use them on a regular basis? I own a PSP and rarely use it; In fact the only time I used it this year was when Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker came out but apart from that, it has remained untouched on my desk. The PSP was hailed as this multimedia experience of combing videos, music, gaming but no one actually uses it for that. Why? Because there is something that does it better.

The iDevices (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) have completely taken over what Sony wanted to do with the PSP. It has games, it has music and it has downloadable apps. The iDevices are handy things and now they’ve started a strong focus on gaming, it’s going to be increasingly hard for Sony to pull the audience they once had back in which is probably why an upcoming Sony Ericsson Phone is having some form of Playstation integration. Having a phone, multimedia device and gaming system all in one is handy, especially when the hardware is so small. Carrying around a PSP plus a stack of UMDs to do a small fraction of what an iDevice can do just isnt feasible or necessary now that there are better alternatives available for a similar cost.

Sony need to step up their game with the PSP2 but with Steve Jobs’ Apple dominance on the horizon, it’s going to be increasingly hard to come up with a unique point that will pull people back in. Nintendo are already battling back with the N3DS due for release next year but who doesn’t love a good session of MarioKart DS?

What say you Twiddlers? Do you own a PSP or other handheld? Do you still play it? Have Apple killed the handheld market?

Categories: News
10 comments
Tom Ato
Tom Ato

Actually, I think the title of this article should read "Gran Turismo 5 Figures Reflect The Last - Gen Crapness That Is forza 3". For the past 2 years all we've heard is whiny 360 fanbabies crying about how good Forza 3 is and how much it will sell. How freaking stupid do they feel now that Gran Turismo 5 has sold more in 2 weeks than Flopza 3 did in a whole year? MEGA - LOLZ!

phill_jenkins
phill_jenkins

I do believe that racing games do not sell as many as expected on devices such as the PSP full stop. Personally I find the accelerator being either on or off on hand held devices really takes a chunk of skill out of such games. On a console such as the xbox360 a racing game can be more enjoyable due to the triggers being the accelerator and brake, this adds far more realism. (for me at least) On a side note I would not call anyone in your grp a fanboi of Apple but if you owned a HTC Desire/HD and played some of the recent games including FLASH GAMES then you would realise that the Apple corp don't have the mobile gaming to their selves by far

dellusional
dellusional

The phone and psp2 are 2 seperate devices one thats a phone and the other with real gaming potential the iproducts are literally worthless for games, not a single one thats better than maybe the worst of anything on the psp

Ben
Ben

With games like Infinity Blade coming out for the iPhone, the devices are really showing their potential for on the move gaming. If only they could put in a battery that lasted more than 30 minutes when using it.

dellusional
dellusional

infinity blade would be shovelware on the psp and ltierally one of the worst rpgs as its only 8 hours just like zenonia was shovelware

tanto
tanto

What bullshit article is this? the psp just sold 300k in one region last week and the ds just outsold everything.......even consoles wow another idiotic apple fanboy who doesnt realize that we all own a psp for the quality and content of the games. #4

Ben
Ben

Seeing as the PSP has only sold 62million units worldwide since it's launch I find that hard to believe. If you can link me to site where you got your stats from I'd be more than happy to have a look into it. In terms of 'Apple fanboys', there are none of us here at StickTwiddlers. Micster, who wrote this article doesn't even own an Apple product as do none of the staff besides myself and Stu.

dellusional
dellusional

Wii 1,157,946 DS 1,130,099 X360 719,778 PS3 594,598 pSP 543,672 These are approx worldwide numbers from last week.

micster
micster

Im not saying the PSP doesnt sell, but its software does not sell at all apart from in Japan. Mostly because of the rampant piracy thats rife on the PSP

micster
micster

Well. Not strictly true lad. Im a Mac guy and I have an iPod classic. What is true is that I dont own an iPod Touch or iPhone and have no intention of getting one, especially for gaming. I loves me PS3 and PSP

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