Although the current handheld brawl is between the 3DS from Nintendo and the PS Vita from Sony, millions of people will still be using the older DS and PSP devices to fulfill their portable gaming needs.
Each of these systems approaches the challenges of providing entertainment on the move in a different way, which makes their competitive juxtaposition all the more intriguing.
You can get money for your old DS or PSP when you sell it, but which handheld console is worth hanging onto and which should you part ways with this year?
Design And Display
The DS underwent a number of evolutions over the years, although the clamshell design never altered even as new iterations arrived to offer thinner, lighter chassis.
The dual screen arrangement means that you get a primary display on the top half along with a secondary screen that is touch sensitive on the bottom half of the DS. This allows for some interesting gameplay capabilities, although the relatively low 256×192 resolution of the primary display is not particularly crisp by modern standards.
The PSP in its original form was significantly longer and heavier than the DS, mostly because its widescreen display was bigger and the internal hardware more powerful.
In keeping with the look of the PS2 and the PS3, the PSP has a sleek, black, premium look to it that also orients it more towards an adults audience, although kid-friendly colours were available.
The hardware battle between the DS and the PSP should not really come down to how many clock cycles are available on the CPU of each machine, mostly because Nintendo’s device is deliberately designed to be a modestly powered product and does not even attempt to compete with Sony in this arena.
The PSP is capable of delivering graphical fidelity which is comparable to that of the PlayStation 2, just as the newer Vita comes close to matching the PS3, if you are feeling generous and can overlook the lower resolution and more basic effects.
The PSP is able to showcase complicated 3D graphics, high quality audio and even full movies via the UMD storage that is used. The DS, on the other hand, delivers 3D visuals that are of a lower resolution and does not have the same multimedia capabilities as its rival.
A great game does not have to be endowed with cutting edge graphics, which is something that the DS proves. Its biggest selling title was New Super Mario Bros, shifting over 30 million units and reviving the side-scrolling roots of this popular franchise.
The DS also excels when it comes to casual games, such as titles designed to train your brain or let you play Sudoku on the train. Sony’s PSP is clearly aimed at a hardcore audience, since the biggest selling title on the platform is Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, which is not going to appeal to the broad DS demographic.
The PSP is the better choice for serious gamers, particularly if you want to play titles that are not aimed at children.