Features / Weekly Musings

Final Fantasy Titles Do Better On PSP Than DS

Final Fantasy Titles Do Better On PSP Than DS

Written by Darryl — 31 Dec 2008

It's well documented that Square Enix heavily supported handhelds in 2008, but it's also well documented that Square Enix are supporting the DS much more than they are the PSP.

Earlier in the year we wrote an article which revealed that 45% of Square Enix's titles that are currently in development, or have been released this generation, are on the Nintendo DS, where as this number was about 17% for the PSP. It's obvious to see why Square Enix would do this, since the userbase for the DS is so much higher than the PSP, but is it really a wise decision when the numbers are actually crunched?

For the purpose of this article, we will look purely at the original Final Fantasy titles which have been released on each of the handheld consoles. Titles such as the Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition have been excluded as they're just a port, whereas titles such as Final Fantasy III have been included as they were a complete remake. Taking this into consideration, we end up with 2 titles released for the PSP, and 6 titles released for the DS. The will look at the total number of units sold in the first week, and the total number of units sold in the game's lifetime. Since Dissidia has only been released in Japan, this analysis will only be based on Japanese data.

As you can see from the above graph, on average PSP titles sell more in their opening week, and also sell more overall in the game's lifecycle. However, while DS games don't come close for initial sales, they do sell more over time. It's interesting to note though, that the most successful DS title is better than the most successful PSP title. Even though Dissidia beat Crisis Core with its first week sales Final Fantasy III still managed to top that when it was released in August 2006.

To do a direct comparison of the two consoles, we can look at Final Fantasy Tactics. In 2007, Square Enix released two Final Fantasy Tactics titles, one on each console. The title on the PSP was a near direct port of Final Fantasy Tactics on the original Playstation, while the DS title was a new title. Up until now, they have both sold the same amount of units despite the DS having more than double the amount of consoles sold in Japan.

The big question is, if these DS games were released on the PSP, would they have done better? It's quite difficult to say, but compared to the two Dragon Quest remakes on the DS, apart from Final Fantasy III no other DS releases have even come anywhere near matching them in terms of sales, not even the Final Fantasy IV Remake. Dissidia on the other hand didn't fall short of their initial sales and it could get close in the long-term despite having nowhere near the same amount of consoles in the hands of users.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Final Fantasy Agito XIII performs when it is released this year for the PSP.

Darryl was playing Final Fantasy before he was even born - quite a feat! Often very opinionated on the Final Fantasy franchise, you will often find him musing about small details. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.