Japan's long-running love affair with the DS is well-documented, with the handheld comfortably outselling all other gaming hardware in the region since its December 2004 launch. The PSP, despite making more inroads into the handheld market than any previous challenger to Nintendo's throne, lies a distant second.

Which is why a new survey, conducted by Cross Marketing Inc. and presented to us in the form of pretty pie charts, comes as something of a surprise. When asked which portable games machine they most craved, 23% of Japanese consumers revealed they fancied the DS Lite, while 22% opted for the PSP. Even taking into account the 7% who would choose the original DS, that's not a big lead for Ninty in the popularity stakes.

We can't really fault how the poll was carried out, either. Of the 300 individuals who completed Cross Marketing Inc.'s questionnaire, there was a 50:50 male and female split, while 20% of the respondents were in their teens, 20% in their twenties, 20% in their thirties, 20% in their forties, and 20% in their fifties.

In fact, the only beef we have with the survey is that the number of individuals polled is a tad low. 300 is a small enough figure, but when almost half of those express no interest whatsoever in gaming on the go, it suddenly makes the entire exercise a heck of a lot less representative.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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