Thursday, October 7, 2010

Could Handheld Gaming Get New Competition

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In the past decade the home console market has had three players that have done well in their own ways.   Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have made a lot of money selling consoles and games.  The market for portable handheld has been much different though.  Nintendo had been the 800 pound gorilla of the handheld gaming market.  It has only been in the past few years that Sony's Playstation Portable has held it's own but the overwhelming majority of the market share has belonged to Nintendo's DS system.

While the market for portable handheld video games is so much smaller than the home console market, a third player wants to put their system into the hands of gamers.  Rumours have surfaced that Panasonic is developing a handheld system called the Jungle.  Any new system Panasonic wouldn't be their first entry into gaming, the often slagged and virtually forgotten 3DO back in 1993 was Panasonic's debut in the gaming market.  The early online marketing material from Panasonic promoted the Jungle as a handheld system for online gaming.

Who exactly would be the target audience for the Jungle?  Trying to go after gamers playing on existing handhelds is probably won't be the best way to get their foot in the door and establish market share.  Going after the hard core home console gamers whose shooters have been poorly ported to handheld systems when attempts have been made to bring those games to handheld systems. 

Even though Nintendo owns the market in handheld video games there is potential for Panasonic to do well simply through the multitude home console players whose games are unrepresented on handheld systems.  Even though Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch have been seen as the third player in the handheld gaming market. 

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