I decided a while ago that I would buy either the DS or the PSP, but I’ve been holding off making a final decision on which one until the game lineup became clearer. So, several months on from both releases, and with E3 done, now was the moment of truth.
You might have pegged me for a PSP owner, given the whizzier visuals and dreamy screen, and to be honest that was my original intention, having seen the unit at the GDC last year and being impressed. But having played around with both for a while (luckily having friends who import these consoles readily) and keeping an eye on the future games lineup, games on the DS are just a darn sight more fun. Only Lumines really interests me on the PSP - everything else is really just a re-run of the games I could play at home on a TV, just with battery limit and slightly blurry visuals at high speed. I have no interest in watching movies on the go (if I did, I would buy a portable DVD player), and I already own an iPod, so the sub-iPod mp3 playback on the PSP doesn’t interest me either. The games are what’s important, and IMO here the DS gives the PSP a damn good spanking, both in terms of what’s out now, and what is in the future lineup. The DS games I’ve played have felt very solid gameplay wise, the sort of thing I could play with for hours - the PSP feels like a shiny box that plays nice visuals, but is ultimately pretty hollow. Nothing that wasa nnounced at E3 gave me any confidence that that would be changing any time soon. Plus, I’m discovering GBA games (playable on the DS) still rock too - Wario Ware Twisted is pure genius - I’ve yet to see anyone play that and not instantly love it.
So, perhaps shockingly for a person who clearly likes his slick graphics, the DS is firmly on next month’s birthday list (figured I might as well wait until then since I’ve waited this long anyway). Sometimes it’s just not technical details and slick looks that are important - it’s all about the games.