In Your Hands
Sony PSP vs. Nintendo DSby Wootini
So Nintendo released the DS, and most wrote it off as a gimmick, what with the touch screen, N64-level graphics, and shoddy N64 ports at launch with grafted-on touch screen controls. Then Sony released the PSP, which most predicted would take the handheld crown from The House That Mario Built after so many years of GameBoy supremacy. It was sleek, sexy, and augmented its snazzy PS1.5-almost-PS2-quality graphics with the ability to play MP3s, view JPGs, and watch MPG videos and movies on proprietary UMDs. The PSP was poised to make the DS look like a children's toy.
But a funny thing happened along the way...
The DS started slow, but has gained popularity recently with the release of some fun games that were purposefully built with the touch screen in mind, especially Nintendogs, the surprising killer app. The PSP had an awesome launch, with impressive software that really showcased the hardware's abilities, but quickly fizzled out as the number of UMD movie releases outnumbered the actual games at what seems like 20 to 1.
Sure, the PSP is sexy, and you look cooler playing that than holding the DS awkwardly in one hand while poking at the bottom screen with the stylus in the other. But when the only game coming for the PSP that I'm eagerly anticipating is GTA, there's something wrong. I don't even like golf, yet Hot Shots has been stuck in my PSP because I've burnt out on Lumines and there's nothing else to play. Meanwhile, the DS has a few unique titles on the horizon I'm really looking forward to. Sure, there's the normal stuff like the new Lunar and Castlevania games (not to mention the inevitable Zelda title that is sure to rock), but there's the quirky touch screen games like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Trauma Center: Under The Knife as well as completely uncategorizable titles like Electroplankton.
Yeah, it's a little awkward trying to play with my DS on the subway, but at the same time, I'd still rather play fun games on a graphically inferior and slightly dorky handheld than look sexy holding my PSP and watching videos while dreaming of games that might come out someday that I would actually want to play.