Saturday, November 18, 2006

Two handhelds in one day

by Anand Ramachandran

What a day!

I bought a PSP. My friend S.U.Saravanakumar (yeah, the bosey guy) bought a DS. An opportunity for day long handheld gaming, and of course, for the diligent reviewer to conduct a comparison.

First, the DS. Along with the Wii, I think the DS firmly establishes Nintendo as the custodians of all that is sublime about gaming. They continue to innovate, they continue to fly in the face of convention, they continue to astound. More power to them.

The touch screen, stylus thing is cool to a fault. Already, games are beginning to make use of the input system in interesting ways ( Trauma Center, WarioWare Touched, Nintendogs). I played Mario Kart : Double Dash, which was most enjoyable, though not madly innovative. It's a great design - so I guess Nintendo knows how not to mess with a winning formula. Fair enough.

I also think the DS wins out in the looks department. Sara's black unit looks so sexy, he's already fending off advances from crazed women, so he can focus on Advance Wars : Dual Strike. Wildlife photographers are weird like that.

And the PSP?

One word . . th . . th . . the SCREEN! Ohmigawddd. It's enough to make the most cynical of gamers do a double take. It's the most brilliant, breathtaking thing I've seen in gaming. Never mind all that next-gen nonsense - the future is already here, and it's in the palm of my hand.

Ridge Racer and Burnout Legends are reasons why I haven't updated the blog in ages. Hi-Octane, blissful gaming experiences both. FIFA 06 looks good, but it's only FIFA. The gameplay remains retarded in comparison to PES. I can't wait. Damn, that screen!

The unit feels nice and solid - takes a little adjustment but soon the grip feels entirely natural. I know I said that the DS is sexier, but this is no slouch in the appeal department. Oh - and did I mention the screen?

And the sheer power of the PSP opens up immense possibilities - I can't wait to see what developers are going to do with this thing. Hell, I'll even be happy with PS2 ports. Shadow of the Colossus, anyone?

Which one should you get? Tough, if you aren't a fanboy. (If you are, you already know)

If you're more of a straightforward, racer-shooter-sports type gamer, it's the PSP. Also if graphics are your thing.

If you're looking for a more innovative, quirky product - then get the DS. It's also a lot cheaper.

Tough, but. I don't see how anyone who truly loves games can be without purchasing both consoles, and quitting their day jobs.

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