Atma Xplorer

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PSP-3000 vs Nintendo DSi

Sony and Nintendo are all set with their new and improved (?) models of their portable gaming consoles.  Before you start screaming apples and oranges, this post is meant to help you decide which of the new models is worth picking up and which one should you get the old model of.  (DS lite for DS and PSP Slim for PSP).

Up against each other are Sony’s PSP Brite (or PSP-3000) and Nintendo’s New DS: DSi

Physical Appearance

PSP-3000:

  • The new unit is sleeker in terms of design.
  • At launch, it’ll come in 3 colors: Mystic Silver, Piano Black, or Pearl White
  • The Home button is now the PS button.  Don’t ask why.

DSi:

  • This new unit is thinner AND bigger than the DS Lite.
  • The DSi has a matte finish.  Less gloss more spunk.
  • Relocation of the power button from side of the unit to the face.

Advantage: None

Obviously.

Screen Improvements

PSP-3000:

  • All new glare-resistant screen for improved use in outdoor environments.
  • Improved colour depth of the LCD screen.
  • The new LCD screen features five times the contrast ratio and has quicker pixel-response times.

DSi:

  • Both screens have seen a 17% increase in size.  Displays games at the same resolution though.

Advantage: PSP

Although gaming outdoors is not for everyone (with all the pollution and all that stuff), the LCD upgrade is a definite plus.  The benefit will most likely be obvious when watching videos and hardcore gaming.  The downside?  There’s no downside since the rumored battery life reduction is just a rumor.  The PSP Brite lasts as long as the PSP Slim.

What’s New

PSP-3000:

  • New built-in microphone for Skype and/or multiplayer communication.  Makes the official Skype headset from Sony pretty much useless.
  • The video output now supports interlaced displays using composite video cables.

DSi:

  • Two 640×480 VGA cameras 0.3 Megapixels (yes it’s 0.3, not 3.0 MP) each.  One inside and one outside the shell.
  • An SD card slot for external storage of pictures and downloaded software (and hopefully homebrew XD)
  • Better speakers (rumored).

Advantage: DSi

Yep.  There’s quite a lot of innovation for the DSi.  The two cameras will provide some interesting interaction an the SD slot opens a lot of doors XD.

Online and Console integration

PSP-3000:

  • PSN but it’s already established.

DSi:

  • New Internal flash memory with a built-in web browser.
  • Integration with an online ‘DSi store’ (think of it as an extension of the Wii store) with downloadable content available for purchase or for free.
  • Better integration with the Wii (photo channel, etc, etc)

Advantage: DSi

It’s about time for some DS / Wii interaction and more options on the online store.  Nintendo is playing catch up to what Sony has already established and gamers already enjoy.

Getting a DSi?  No more strap for you!

Getting a DSi? No more strap for you!

System Cons

PSP-3000:

  • Support for just one thumbstick.
  • Still no 2nd analog stick although the inclusion of such an addition is certain to upset a lot of gamers.
  • New motherboard + processor is still untouched by Homebrew (Custom Firmware).

DSi:

  • No more GBA slot. This means no more backwards as well as Guitar Hero attachments.
  • The Nintendo DSi is region locked. BOOO!

Advantage: PSP

Now before you jump the gun, I’ll explain why there’s less cons with the PSP Brite than the Nintendo DSi.

First off, the first 2 cons are already the systems flaws from the very beginning.  They’re great additions but I doubt the experience will change radically with the inclusion of a 2nd memory stick slot or a 2nd analog stick (strictly speaking for CURRENT and OLD games).  As for the lack of custom firmware, give it a few more months.  The PSP Brite has been released only in Japan, for now.

On the DSi side, the removal of the GBA slot chops off quite a lot of experience.  You won’t be able to play GBA games.  Fine, you still have a GBA lying around.  But what about your Guitar Hero grip?  Say goodbye to it since the GBA ports gone.

The biggest blow is the region lock on the DSi.  This means that if you bought a Japanese DSi, you can play older games on it without any problem but for newer games, you can only use Japanese region software.

Here’s Nintendo’s take on it:

DSi is region locked because DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region. Also because we are including parental control functionality for Nintendo DSi and each region has its unique age limit made by different independent

What that meant in plain English was. DSi-only titles will be region locked while regular DS titles will not.  The question is, how many titles will be DS and how many will be DSi?

Bummer? Definitely.

Still the DSi is a definite step forward into the multimedia portable device market that Sony and the PSP has been enjoying for quite sometime now.  Personally though, I’d be getting a DS Lite over a DSi.  As for the PSP, wait for Custom Firmware before jumping to the PSP Brite.

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