PSP Vs. DS: The GR Portable Prizefight!
Posted on Saturday, March 12 @ 01:12:12 PST by Ben_Silverman
We've said it so many times in our nine years online, we should have it turned into a keyboard shortcut. We say it every day during our morning stretches. When we hire a new editor, we make them tattoo it on the limb of their choice:
It's not the hardware that matters, it's the games.
Now, we should preface this by saying that while we strongly feel that games make the system, we have in the past been proven wrong. We call that event The Sega Dreamcast.
The Dreamcast was a great system and even up to its demise featured some of the best software available on any platform. Soul Calibur first made waves as a Dreamcast exclusive and remained the best fighting game for several years running. The rig was rife with terrific RPGs, racing games, action games, sports games - heck, NFL 2K was the very first online console game, and it worked well over a 56K connection. We loved the Dreamcast and we mourned the day Sega yanked the plug.
Of course, they did that because they timed it poorly and couldn't compete with Sony's marketing muscle and consumer confidence. Sometimes, sadly, the games don't matter.
However, we're far from that day, and so with great pride we say, once again, that the quantity and quality of the software ultimately determines the success of the system. And if that's indeed the case, then Nintendo is in trouble.
Here's why. Of the fifteen DS games currently out, only a handful are worth your money, and even those are somewhat underwhelming. Let us repeat: fifteen games have been released for the DS in the U.S. since the system came out on November 21, 2004. That's fifteen titles in four months. Talk about supporting your system... Nintendo is practically a deadbeat dad.
Though there are a few big games looming on the horizon (Castlevania DS, Animal Crossing, Advance Wars), you have to wonder what exactly Nintendo is thinking. Thus far, most of the games haven't done a great job integrating the advanced DS functions with smart gameplay, leading to a library full of tech demos but scarce on actual games.
The PSP, on the other hand, looks to set records with a whopping 24 games available at launch, including 8 first-party games and franchise titles from the likes of EA, Activision, Namco and Ubisoft. It's unlikely that every game will make the launch day cut, but two games that certainly will, Wipeout: Pure and Twisted Metal: Head-On, are already better than anything playing on the DS. Rather than go for strange ways to play old games, Sony has opted to emulate the console experience as closely as possible. They aren't going for new - they're going for solid, and so far, it looks like they're doing a pretty good job. And since Sony has a track record of working well with third-parties, Nintendo needs to make some big moves...and soon.
We feel so strongly about the games issue that we're weighing it heavy. The PSP lands a haymaker. 2 points!
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