While the gaming world continues to boast the latest generation of home consoles to the world in all of their glory, handheld systems have never been stronger. Their graphics are simply amazing compared to anything that’s ever come before it in terms of handhelds. The handheld libraries have also seen one of its best few years in recent memory and belong solely to the two entries into the handheld market: the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS.
No matter what, whether the system is handheld or whether it’s a console, the library makes or breaks the system. There is no debating this; an amazingly powerful console with a lackluster library simply isn’t going to cut it. This has been proved with the monumental success of the PlayStation 2 and its two competitors, the Game Cube and Xbox. However, in the short lives of both the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable, Sony does not seem to have the leg up on Nintendo. The DS has the advantage of almost twenty years of handheld experience from Nintendo.
Merely being a Nintendo creation means that the DS will have the exclusive rights to many classic Nintendo characters such as Mario, Pokemon, Metroid, Kirby and a slew of other titles. Sony does have its fair share of hit series but many of the series are being lost to the growing competition in the latest console wars. However, standouts such as the Metal Gear Solid series, which was brought to the PSP was Portable Ops still remain. Even with Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops withstanding, the DS has the leg up in terms of games.
However, in this climate games have proven to be not enough to sell a system. In the age of techno-savvy consumers, developers have had to put more in electronics in order to please the customer. The PlayStation Portable is a shining example of this marketing to the consumer that expects a feature-laden product. Beyond the ability to play games, the PlayStation Portable is also capable of playing music, viewing images, watching videos, and browsing the internet. The PlayStation Portable, though recognized as a handheld gaming device can also be classified as multimedia handheld due to its bevy of features. Both systems are capable of using Wi-Fi connections.
The Nintendo DS may not be able to do as much as the PlayStation Portable, but it still manages to be exceptional in everything that it does to. Making use of the Wi-Fi signals that can be received, DS users can use their handheld to chat. The stylus, which is basically a pointer than is used to enhance game play, can be used during chat to write or tab letters and numbers with ease. The versatility of the stylus is seen in many games and can be used to do a litany of things that effect games. One of the staple of good DS games has been how the stylus is incorporated into game play. The DS also has the ability of being backwards compatible with Game Boy Advanced cartridges.
With all of the PlayStation Portables features it would be obvious that the handheld would cost more than its rival. With current prices the DS ($129.99) costs a full $70 less than the PSP core system ($199.99; the entertainment pack retails at $250). The decision on whether to buy a DS or a PSP is actually rather simple. If you’re looking for intuitive and mostly original games then you’re probably going to gravitate to the DS. While if you’re looking for an entertainment, gaming, and media handheld then you’re probably going to gravitate towards the PSP.