The portable gaming market has moved into it's next phase with the releases of the next generation portable devices, Sony's PSP NGP (PSP 2) and Nintendo's 3DS. These two Goliath's of the handheld gaming world will once again square up against one another to fight it out for your hard earned money.
In the following article we will try to compare both in several different categories, whilst trying to remain unbiased. But ultimately only you know which you prefer, so which is better, the Sony PSP NGP or the Nintendo 3DS?
So, you want to buy a brand new handheld gaming device, but you are not sure which one you prefer? Well to help you decide, let's look at the main features of both.
The PSP NGP stands for ‘Next Generation Portable', and it certainly takes Sony's PSP device to a whole new level. On first look, the NGP doesn't look that much different to the original, but on closer inspection the NGP has a ton of new features. The glossy OLED 5-inch screen is a full touch screen, capable of handling multi-touch gestures, just like a smart phone. The device has two new touch pads on the back of the console, allowing greater interaction from the user in game. This is complemented by the addition of another analogue stick (now one on either side of the screen) which is much more like the traditional PlayStation controller.
There are now two cameras fully incorporated, one on the front and one on the rear, for taking pictures and use in amazing augmented reality games. Integrated microphone, electronic compass, Bluetooth and 3G compatibility fleshes out the features greatly. And if that is not enough, the whole device has motion sensing incorporated into it, which react when the device is tilted or turned. With all these new features, better processing power for almost PS3 looking games and all the original features of the PSP, such as; Internet browser, PlayStation network (PSN), WiFi. You definitely won't be disappointed with Sony's new PSP NGP.
The Nintendo 3DS is an impressive piece of gaming hardware that builds upon the success of the DS and DSi. Of course the major selling point of the 3DS is it's ability to let users play games in 3D without the need for glasses. This feature can be adjusted with the ‘3D depth slider', which allows the user to increase or decrease the 3D effect to find a suitable level that is comfortable for your eyes, and the whole effect can also be turned off completely. But this is not the only selling point of this device. The 3DS also incorporates three cameras! One on the front, to let you take photos of yourself without turning the device around, and two on the back, to let you take photos in full 3D.
This 3D function of the cameras will allow the user to experience augmented reality games. For the first time, Nintendo has chosen to incorporate an analogue controller in it's handheld device. This is a much welcome addition, as the D-pad can be a bit awkward to use in certain gaming situations. Full motion controls are built into the system which will react to the motion and tilting of the device, which will allow the user to play games that have these features in them. A new feature called StreetPass allows you to interact with other players as you pass them in the street. The 3DS will exchange data with one another, providing new content or challenges from other players.
Both of these consoles look immense. Each packs a huge amount of features into a device that you can put into your pocket. I would say that the PSP NGP has a better feature set than the 3DS, but Nintendo's gimmick of offering 3D is a major one.
Graphic quality has improved exponentially throughout the video gaming industry, and the handheld is no exception. These two next generation devices don't disappoint, with both offering amazing graphics. But which console has better graphics than the other? Well, put simply the NGP! At almost every level the PSP NGP out performs the 3DS. We were all impressed when we saw the 3DS for the first time as it's graphics looked slightly better than the original PSP, but the Next Generation Portable PSP has taken it to a new level by promising to deliver graphics that are on par with early PS3 games! PS3 games in your pocket…WOW! Yes, the Nintendo 3DS offers games in 3D, but when the 3D effect is switched on, the top screen resolution is decreased and the device's frame rate is cut in half. Ultimately, graphics depend on the game that you are playing, which leads us neatly to our next category.
The most important category of them all! After all you are paying for a console to play games on, so what games are you going to play. Both portables are backwards compatible, allowing you to play old PSP games on the NGP and old DS and DSi games on the 3DS. More and more games are being produced to be played on both consoles, so the only way to analyse this category is to look at the console exclusive games.
PSP NGP Exclusives – 2011
– Hustle Kings
– Hot Shots Golf
– Call of Duty
– Little Deviants
– Reality Fighters
– Gravity Daze.
3DS Exclusives – 2011
– Dead or Alive Dimensions
– Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
– Pilotwings Resort
– Nintendogs + Cats
– Madden Football
At the time of writing this article, most of the PSP NGP games listed are titles that are in current development due to the NGP not having been released yet, whereas the 3DS titles are all confirmed or release. But if you assume that the NGP games are all released as intended then you would say that that is the most desirable list of titles. Add to that that the NGP may have the ability to play ported versions of PS3 games, then the games look vastly better than the 3DS. Having said that, Nintendo has said that a lot of classic games from the gameboy will be made available.
Ultimately though, this whole category can only be judged on individual taste.
This is a slightly awkward category to write about at this time as both devices are yet to hit the shelves. Because of this these prices are approximate;
PSP NGP…………..£250-300. ($410-492). (282-339)
3DS………………….£229. ($375). (258)
Prices obviously vary from shop to shop, and currency to currency, and you can buy console bundles with certain games included for slightly more. My advice would be to shop around and find the best price/bundle for you!
These two products will be a must have for any hardcore gamer, but ultimately most people will only buy one out of the two. I have very split opinions over the two handhelds. I believe that Sony's offering is the superior system with a better selection of games, however Nintendo's offering allows users to play 3D games and for a much cheaper price. The 3DS will no doubt sell more units than the NGP, but that doesn't make it better. Ultimately, only you know which you would prefer, so which do you think is better, the Sony PSP NGP (PSP 2) or the Nintendo 3DS?