The handheld console market has entered a phase of fierce competition between several hopeful companies, unquestionably the two biggest in this rivalry are long-running, games manufacturer, Nintendo and the new to handheld market, Sony; each boasting rather impressive devices. Firstly, a little about each one:
- Cheaper than the PSP
- Internet gaming is up and running, and of course, free.
- Innovative touch screen
- Clamshell device to protect screens.
- Best multiplayer facilities ever.
- Smaller screen and slightly worse graphics than the PSP.
- Less shoot-em-ups and driving games.
Nintendo have been producing Gameboys for many years now and this is the newest one. It boasts impressive features and an innovative second screen with touch facilities. The screens are used quite well in most games and the touch abilities of the bottom one brings mny new dimension to some games, including many puzzle ones. Also, the addition of a second screen helps with other genres, like racing, where a map is usually on the lower and the action on the top screen. The sleek, clamshell design of the console prevents the screens from damage and allows it to fit your jeans pocket. With the console by itself costing only £79.99 RRP, its a bargin compared to the competition.
The multiplayer features are very impressive on this console, as up to 16 people can play wirelessly from around the room. This is made even sweeter by the fact that many multiplayer games can be played off of one cartridge, unlike the PSP. Some of the multiplayer modes on games such as Super Mario 64 and Mrio Kart can be crazy fun as you race around trying to collect shines or fight to the end. Also, one of the coolest features is the Wifi capabilities, which mean that you can play against players from around the world for free. Games which can do this currently include Mario Kart DS, Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, Metroid Prime: Hunters and Animal Crossing DS, with more on the way. Simply find a hotspot or use your at home wireless network to connect to the online gaming. Worried about lack of opponents? don't be, as over half of the people who owned DS's logged on within the first week of it going online.
Now, onto one of Nintendo's biggest criticisms - the games are childish and easy. Now it's true that there are less Shoot-em-ups and similar, the games are great. Some of the biggest ones have been Mario Kart, Super Mario 64, Wario Ware, Nintendogs, The Sims 2 and Advance Wars DS. And Metroid Prime: Hunters is on its way from early 2006. Most of these games are great on the DS, Mario Kart is an amazing racing game involving some rather inventive weapons; The Sims 2 is far easier on the DS than PSP due to the touch screen; Super Mario 64 is a remake of one the biggest games in history and is a fitting tribute with an added multiplayer.
Overall, a very worthwhile console with some great features and games and an amzing online adventure!
- Superior graphics, almost PS2 standard.
- Decent selection of games
- Plays movies, music and videos
- Bigger screen
- Expensive console and expensive software.
- Need cover for console to avoid screen getting damaged in pocket.
- Less multiplayer facilities
This is Sony's first bash at making a handheld console and its a mighty fine piece of work. With graphics rivaling the PS2 and the ability to play movies, music and games, its no wonder that its so popular. Now the biggest downside to the PSP is the cost. The console itself costs £180 minimum RRP and if that wasn't enough, the movies cost £15-£20, which is far higher than the same copies on DVD. The games are similar prices to those of the DS.
The ability to play music and movies on the console is a great idea, saving you from having to buy an iPod or other MP3 player. However, the amount of content which you can carry around is limited by the size of your memory stick. A 1GB stick costs around £90, which is a pretty hefty amount. So if you've got a big enough memory card and don't intend on having massive files, then this feature is pretty good.
The games available are pretty impressive with sparkling graphics and control system to make it seem like a PS2. As of yet, none of the available games are using the PSP to its full extent. Why you ask? Because at current, the PSP can play games for about 3-4hrs before the battery runs low, half that of the DS; however, it if was kicked up to max and blasting out of the quality of games it was designed to play, then the battery wouldn't make it past 90 minutes. These limits do not bode well if you intend on using it on a flight or something.
Overall, the PSP is a very powerful beast of a console which has to be admired. However, it is quite costly to run and continually needs recharging.
I hope that this review has been of use to you and that you end up with the right console. Thanks you for your time.