So by now you’ve heard the news. Sony’s finally back in the portable gaming space in a HUGE way with their announcement of their new Next Generation Portable/NGP/PSP2. You’ve also probably heard that Nintendo is planning to release their next big portable game system, the 3DS, in exactly two months from today. Both are major products and really usher in the next generation of gaming on the go. But what’s the big difference between the two you ask? A lot actually.
Read on for a everything you need to know about the NGP/PSP2 vs the 3DS.
Both of these devices pack really impressive hardware, but both are also aimed at different types of gamers.
From what we’ve seen so far the 3DS looks to keep with Nintendo’s long history of being a great device for casual gamers, though now with more of an emphasis on hard-core gamers. Sure it’s got casual favorites like Nintendogs+cats and Super Monkey Ball (sure to please your eight year old siblings) and Mario (which while not announced yet HAS to be coming in some way), but it also has games like Madden, Ridge Racer, Street Fighter and Resident Evil– with impressive graphics on all. And of course who can overlook the 3DS’s biggest selling point– its glasses-free 3D with even a 3D camera on the back. This makes everything all the more impressive.
The NGP/PSP2 is a whole different animal, with a focus seemingly on hard-core gamers first though now with more of a focus on reaching out to casual gamers as well (Sony’s usually more hard-core gamer focused. Just look at the PS3’s graphics compared to the Wii’s). It definitely will have the hard-core games– Call of Duty, Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid are just a few names dropped at today’s announcement– which coupled with its monstrous quad-core processor and extremely awesome 5 inch screen will truly bring out the reality of PS3 graphics anywhere you are. And with games like Little Big Planet, we see Sony looking to make those inroads on casual gaming as well.
But here’s the thing– if you’re looking for a next-gen portable game console which of these should you go with? Here’s our take from what we know so far.
Why to go with the 3DS
First off, its glasses-free 3D!!! It can’t get much sicker than that. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for something that will give you a good fun quick game on the bus or between classes. And with a whole bunch of fun features like that 3D camera, 3D videos, AR Games, Mii Maker etc., only adds to the fun. It also is a lot smaller than the PSP2/NGP. Here’s a shot gaming site Kotaku made comparing the sizes of the latest portable game systems and iPhone 4 (click on pic to enlarge):
The 3DS also promises to be cheaper. Even at $249, it still will probably come in lower than the PSP2 just by looking at the specs for each. And by the time the PSP2 is released this holiday season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 3DS’s price drop, even if it’s only a little.
That leads us to another big point, time. The 3DS will be coming out exactly two months from today, March 27th. The PSP2/NGP will be coming at least 9 months from now, as the earliest we can imagine the holiday shopping season beginning is October (though most probably we’ll see the PSP2 in November/December. Though Sony can always surprise us and make it earlier!). Not only does this mean if you want next-gen portable gaming now you’ll have to look here, but for developers to really make the most out of a system they need some time to really use it and see what works. By the time your friends even start thinking about lining up for a PSP2, the 3DS will have had at least 7 months of a head start so you can expect to be lining up too– just you’ll be looking for some awesome new games.
Why to go with a PSP2/NGP
It’s the most advanced piece of gaming (heck, technology) announced yet. Quad core processor, PS3 graphics, 5 inch multi-touch screen with dual cameras, dual analog sticks, and dual touch sensitive pads!?!?! And it’s portable?!?! This is reason enough to think about saving the pennies and pestering your parents for a holiday gift– and it’s January, one month from last year’s holidays!
Gaming looks to be jaw droppingly amazing on here, I mean we are talking games like Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted! This isn’t just a portable console or simple PSP2– it’s the next-gen PS3! The holidays can’t get here soon enough. If you can wait– and pass over the temptations of the 3DS and a probable next-gen iTouch (let’s be real, Apple’s big focus with the iPod Touch is gaming and with both this and the 3DS’s announcements we know that there’s got to be something incredible in their labs for later this year) it looks to be worth it.
Seriously, the only thing this is missing from being perfect is a solid price– which seeing the competition for your portable gaming needs and money, I could definitely see Sony working even harder than usual to make happen.
So there’s our thoughts. What do you think about all of this. and more importantly, which do you see yourself going with as your next-gen portable console: the 3DS in two months, the PSP2/NGP this holiday season, or holding out on making a decision on either to see if/what other major gaming players like Microsoft and Apple decide to do (we can’t forget– Microsoft has already begun the idea of a portable Xbox with Windows Phone 7’s Xbox Live games and app, an idea we see growing in 2011)? Let us know in the comments.