I’ve been kind of avoiding this topic as the office has been buzzing with it for weeks.
I’ve played with both for a couple of hours each, and as many have pointed out, they’re both great, but for wildly different reasons.
The PSP has a great single screen, and is virtually a portable PS2, it’s only drawback being a weak battery, but it’s swappable, so that’s not too bad. Video playback on my friend’s PSP he downloaded to MS looked good, but where is the ability to record to the UMD, or connect to the web via Wi-Fi?
The DS, despite it’s wrong-headed ‘Game and Watch’ (too old to catch many I suspect) design has 2 screens, one being the touch screen, which is gagging for RPGs and some dodgy mahjong games. Also, an oft overlooked feature of the DS is that it can hold a GBA and a DS game at once, so effectively having 2 games in there to play at any time – that’s a lot of Zelda.
Personally, I judge a console by games, not spec, and so far there’s nothing I want right now – Ridge Racers bored me in handheld format after about 10 minutes just like every other version of it. Same goes on the DS … Mario 64, great. I finished that on the 64 and learned hiragana in the process.
In summary, I’m waiting to see what new games come out, and how each company tweaks their hardwares’ feature set. I think the PSP has the sex appeal, but the DS is just so odd, it might pull out the more interesting games, after all, a great home game may not make a great mobile game.
As for Microsoft, the X-Pod will be out next week, dual Pentium 4 with er…40gb hard drive built in, ATI X800XT graphics and er…a gig of RAM but if you buy another mobile console before then you can’t buy an X-Pod. They’ll be designing this to look like a novelty VCR too.