Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP

Nintendo DS Lite

The newest incarnation of the Nintendo DS, the DS Lite is a true work of wonder standing in a league of it's own. With a wide variety of games, backwards engineering capability for Game Boy Advance (GBA) games all in a small, light (under 8 ounces) handheld package the DS delivers, hard.

The DS features two screens, the main playing screen and a second screen that is touch sensitive and utilizes a stylus to help gameplay. Other games use the lower screen for maps, inventories or other helpful in-game menus. As well several games take advantage of the dual screens to increase graphics size, for example in-game movies are often simulcast on both screens, which makes for a great viewing experience unlike any other system and thus doubles the decently sized 3 inch 260,000 color LCDs.

The buttons are simple to use; the standard Nintendo X, Y, A, B are easy to reach while playing, as are the top trigger buttons. In games where you use both the directional pad (Dpad) and touch screen, it's still an easy balance between controlling both and having smooth gameplay.

Some games don't employ the touch screen at all, like Mega Man ZX where all the action (and awesome cut scenes) are viewed on the top, while the bottom is used for enemy analysis, and your items screen. There is a very delicate balance of viewing all the screens in most of the games I've played, and none have been confusing, annoying or distracting.

Certain games have game action that crosses over from one screen to the other; it is then that the dual screens can become troublesome. Oftentimes as the game passes through the DS's casing between the screens you can get caught and have problems. This is not extremely common although it is frustrating. When playing GBA games you have the option of choosing on which screen the game is played.

Stylus controlling is easy. The machine is very responsive to the touches of your stylus, and the system came with two, although the second one should not be needed as the stylus fits snugly in the DS console. At first look, the idea of using a stylus was none too exciting, but the more I played with it the more I warmed to it. Nintendo continues to push the envelope in fun, new gaming and no other portable system uses such innovative and cool technology.

Nintendo has been actively going after people who like to play videogames but are not interested in shelling out several hundred dollars. To that end, they have brought out a wide variety of games for the DS, from classic Nintendo titles (Mega Man, Zelda, Super Mario) to newer titles like the widely popular Brain Age where you can play SuDoku and other games to exercise your brain in addition to your Nintendo thumb. Thus bringing gaming opportunities to everyone.

The DS is accessible to everyone, hardcore gamers will love its power, innovations and stylish exterior (available in Onyx, Coral Pink or Polar White), casual gamers will love the power and the ease of gameplay. With the Nintendo DS Lite, there is something for everyone.


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