Nintendo DS vs. PSP

I know this has probably been done before, but I have my own take on the DS vs. PSP debate.  I will be talking about the PSP 3000 and the DS Lite.  Let’s go right to it.

Nintendo DS

The first thing that you will notice about the DS is the dual screens, one of which is a touch screen (like a PDA or iPhone).  This, in itself, is a brilliant move by Nintendo; allowing extra interaction with the game.  Also, it allows for some different types of games.

Startup is fast.  The games are on what looks like flash carts like you’d use in a camera.  This allows for fast startup and also has memory on them to save your games, eliminating the need for an extra storage slot.

The games are varied, and include all manner of brain-training games, as well as traditional Nintendo fare: New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart, Zelda, etc.  Also there are new games like the Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time and Princess Peach that use the classic Nintendo characters.  One of my favorites is the Phoenix Wright series where you play a lawyer and try to solve cases.

The only disadvantages to the DS I can see are the fact that many of the games are targeted to kids; the touch screen can get smudged easily (with fingerprints), and there are reports of hinge breakage.  I have not had hinge breakage as of yet, but I’m very careful with my stuff.  Nintendo games/consoles seem to be built very solidly anyway.

Sony PSP

The PSP is billed as an “entertainment device” and that’s a great description.  The PSP has one screen, the familiar Playstation controls (even a small analog stick), a place for headphones/mic, a slot for extra memory, and a door on the back that holds the UMD discs.

Sony has tried to push it’s UMD movies.  This was a dismal failure, as the movies are expensive, and in the earlier versions of the PSP, not able to be shown on a television.  It’s good for people who want to watch movies “on the go” but why not get a portable DVD player?  You can watch what you have and not have to reinvest in a different format.  But I digress…

The games for this unit are very sharp.  The graphics are nice, the sound is great, and the gameplay is fun.  My favorite so far is Tony Hawk’s Project 8.  Ratchet and Clank is a fun game as well.  Like any system, you have to find games you like; I recommend renting, if there’s a place you can rent from (Family Video is awesome).

The screen is larger than the one of the DS’s screens.  The games are more graphics-intensive and they look very pretty on the PSP’s screen.

For all this beauty, there is a downside, and that is: speed.  From start-up to game play, it can take up to two minutes of waiting for the UMD to spin up and the game to load.  Also, you will need an extra memory stick.  This memory stick is (of course) special to Sony PSP, so you can’t just use a camera card.

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Both of these systems are good.  Both are fun.  It depends on what you like to play and if graphics are important to you.

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