As the years have gone by, one company has ruled the handheld gaming world, Nintendo. Sure, many companies have been and tried to topple the giant, but none seem to succeed. Ever.
So surely the same will happen again in the current generation of handhelds, right? The 3DS will be seen in as many homes as it’s predecessor, the DS, or at least so Nintendo hopes.
Picking up the dukes for the opposition, is Sony, and it’s power house, currently known as the NGP (Next Generation Portable).
Now, as the NGP isn’t out yet, we can’t be doing a comparison of the two. No, instead, I’ll be doing my own predictions, and who I believe will be walking away with the crown.
In the blue corner, weighing in at 230 grams (8.1 oz), is the Nintendo 3DS, Ninties latest addition to the DS family.
The 3DS has upped the handheld stakes, by being the first autostereoscopic three-dimensional (no glasses needed) console. Much like it’s predecessors’(DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL), the 3DS has two screens; the top is a 3.52- inch, 3:3 3D screen, with an impressive 800×240 WQVGA affair, that, as you know, can produce an autostereoscopic three-dimensional effect, so no dorky glasses are needed. The lower screen, is a 3.2- inch, 3:3 (non-3D) resistive touch screen, with a lower resolution of 320×240 pixels. The addition of an analogue stick was a wise move by Nintendo too.
Feature wise, the 3DS packs an accelerometer, and a gyroscope, along with Wi-Fi, as well as 3 cameras. Two cameras are on the outside of the device (and are capable of taking 3D photos), and one camera positioned above the top screen on the inside of the device (facing the player), which can take 2D photos and capture 2D video. All camera’s have a resolution of 640×480 pixels.
Much has been debated over the 3D effect of the 3DS, many stating the console causes head-aches, and eye strain. I didn’t encounter any of the above, but I did have trouble with the 3D effect as a whole. Sure, it really does look fantastic, but because it’s a handheld, focusing on the 3D effect is more of a chore than I’d have hoped for, so poor viewing angles made the experience more of a wash out.
But all that aside, my main quarrel, was the lack of decent games on launch (Rayman 3D being especially poor; don’t let the name fool you, it’s not 3D, but a bad port of the 1999 original).
On the plus though, the 3DS will be bringing the likes of Resident Evil, Zelda, Mario and even Metal Gear Solid. So I still have high hopes that Nintendo can deliver.
Now, in the red corner, with an unknown weight, is the Sony NGP, also known as the PSP2.
As far as names go, Next Generation Portable is a pretty spot on title for Sony’s powerhouse. Rocking a 5- inch OLED capactive touchscreen, dual analogue sticks (the current PSP sports analog nubs), a front camera, a rear camera, stereo speakers, microphone, Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass, built-in GPS as well as Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity. But it’s internally where it hits hard — the NGP features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 core processor and a SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit. It’s safe to say, the NGP is going to be powerful, and with 3G and Wi-Fi, accessing the Playstation Suite should be a walk in the park.
But it’s going to be the games that make or break it. Will we see the Uncharted game that was demo-ed as a launch title? Or will we be greeted with the stale face of FIFA and some hit-and-miss racing games?
Overall, even though the 3DS has had a big head start, I believe if Sony launches with some brilliant games (Uncharted, Resistance, Killzone etc), the NGP could find itself at the top.