PSP versus Nintendo DS Lite

Kimberly Columns & Opinion 20 Comments

DS_Lite_vs_PSP.jpgEveryone should have one: a friend who you’re in friendly competition with over who has the wickedest gadgets. Mine is Yusuf and he usually wins. Not because he’s a boy, but because a) he’s got more disposable income than I have and b) he knows how to research the heck out of a potential purchase to make sure he uses that income to the max. In the case of today’s gadget versus gadget showdown, I admit it: he was right to buy the PSP.

Yusuf’s made claims elsewhere not to be a gamer, but that’s since changed with the purchase of the PSP. After careful research he bought a cache of games, including Locoroco, Lemmings, Exit, and Tokobot. He also showed me the PSP’s film playing ability and I’d say its screen quality is better than the video iPod.

I, on the other hand, came of age in the PacMan age, so have an affinity for video games, if not the inclination to keep current with them. Once Yusuf bought the PSP, I had to go out and get the Nintendo DS Lite for, if no other reason, to be contrary. Too, I liked the idea of the stylus and touchscreen. Even before the massive advertising campaign last autumn, it seemed like the DS skewed a bit older with its games. Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and The Sims 2 all offered familiar, but interesting challenges…for about a month.

Since Yusuf’s been hardcore studying for the last several months, I decided to be a Good Samaritan and confiscate his PSP. Despite the apparent Shiny Shiny preference for the DS Lite, I have to say that the PSP really captured my heart. While I had to go online and find cheats for Trauma Center that would circumvent the rubbish touchscreen, the PSP was like a return to the good ol’ days of simple controls. Other DS Lite games, such as The Sims 2, had me reading the instruction booklets, pausing the game, and returning to the booklets. I didn’t have the booklets for the PSP games and even though on-screen help is available, I rarely referred to it.

Verdict: I found the PSP’s games and controls to be much more intuitive than the Nintendo DS Lite. Admittedly, too, I started off thinking the DS Lite’s white casing was cool. However, after noticing the PSP accompanying other Londoners on the bus, I changed my mind and now conclude that the PSP in black is the daddy lick. Finally, though I’m a ‘Pod person, I can see watching films and listening to MP3s on the PSP— capabilties that are included—unlike the DS Lite and its various media add-ons. The PSP’s ability to do more might account for its poor battery life compared to the DS Lite.

In this episode of gadgetry smackdown, I concede the battle to my buddy/nemesis and will go get myself a PSP…or just hope he forgets I have his.

Kimberly Springer will return to teaching American Studies at King’s College London after a tasty, year-long sabbatical. In the meantime, she wishes Yusuf good luck on his exams and achieving a first-class degree!

Related stories: Games | Nintendo DS Lite | PSP

By Kimberly | April 11th, 2007





  • n3os33k3r

    so ur basically choosing the psp because its shinier?

  • cupcake

    I would go with the Ds over PSP – Nintendo have always looked after their customers… i wish i could say the same about sony.

  • http://babygirlzbitchbox.blogspot.com/ Baby Girl

    After a month of comparing I purchased a DS lite. Game titles being my main factor. I already have an mp3 player and I can watch movies on my mobile. Those two PSP features didn’t hav enough weight. And It’s not like you can rent movies for it either. A ourchase was a purchase I wasn’t going to re-buy my favorite movies just to say I’m really getting my $200 worth. The titles that Yusef purchased were the only games that caught my interest for the PSP and the frequency of new titles is very slow.

    My vote has to go for the DS lite.

  • kondizzle

    So, basically you like the Psp more because you’re too slow to understand the ds’ controls? They’re not very difficult, but even if they were wouldn’t that make them more intuitive? Meaning that the touch screen can be used in a variety of precise ways. Or maybe you just don’t know what intuitive means. Though, there are plenty of games which do not utilize the touch screen and just use the buttons if that’s more your style. And you obviously aren’t very knowledgeble about the ds if you don’t realize that the selection and quality of games is better than that of the psp. Maybe you should do your research before typing an online article. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it…

  • flying high

    PSP kicks DS’s ass in multimedi. games kick ass too. all DS has is mario…boring

  • romain

    I dont get why it is good to say the ds rocks, and why, when it comes to praise the psp, hordes of fanboys ( or fangirls ) come to spit on the face of the editor.

    I have both, i have chosen the psp for all the same reasons as the editor. The fonctions of the ds are limited, when the psp offers all ( and i have an ipod wich i now use as main player in my shop ). The control ? I had a pocket pc so i was a lot more familiar with touch screen, but this is no newssplash. Touch screen is fun, i agree, but take a game like phoenix ace attorney, it is clearly esier to use the buttons, it was made for it on the gba version. And all the marios are playable with the pad almost exclusively.
    I dont say the games are better on psp though. But they are deepper.
    I finish every single game i bought on psp. so i dont need plenty. Like on a home system. On the ds i figure out that i have the same syndrome as my gba: more than 20 games, more or less 15 that i will never finish. Not deep or engaging enough. Suitable for short moves not for long runs.

    It is my opinion of course, and i am not biased since i have both system. I just see around me ( my girlfriend included ) loads of people judging the psp before trying and choosing the ds. And now are in the situation that they would like to buy a psp but havent got enough money even after selling the ds ( The major flows of this system is the price…but it comes to change )

    So please try the psp more than 3 seconds, and try to see what games suits you, there are hundreds out there and really for all catagories ( if you like animal crossing, try harvest moon psp, much more interesting )

  • http://angelsan.free.fr AngelSan

    32 years old girl here…
    I first bought a DS because it looked funnier, and the stylus was an interesting feature.
    But games coming out for DS were either Mario, or brain training, and I got fed up with the DS.

    My boyfriend is a strong PSP fan, and I ended up buying a PSP with Locoroco. And now I have to say I’m a big PSP fan myself. The game library is huge with a great variety: my games aren’t my boyfriend’s. I like puzzle games and cute things. He likes killing things. And you can find it all on PSP. Plus the multimedia features. Movies on the train, showing off pictures to grandma who doesn’t have a computer. Music.

    So I tried both, and PSP won ;)

  • Yusuf

    The editor had the decency and tried both systems. She then gave her opinion on which system is best. She didn’t say you have to buy the system she recommends or that she was right; however in her opinion the PSP won. Whether she likes it because she thinks it is more shiny, or because it plays videos better than the iPod, those are her criteria for judging a system, and many would agree that they are good standard benchmarks.

    If you are judging your system on different criteria, on the basis that you have other devices and the DS is only for games, fine. Go write an article about it. Don’t flame someone who has a different viewpoint to yours.

    “They’re not very difficult, but even if they were wouldn’t that make them more intuitive?” How does that figure? If something is more difficult I think that automatically discounts it also being more intuitive. “Or maybe you just don’t know what intuitive means”. It is quite clear undignified reader, that actually – you don’t know what intuitive means!

    “And you obviously aren’t very knowledgeble about the ds if you don’t realize that the selection and quality of games is better than that of the psp. Maybe you should do your research before typing an online article. Again you are confusing concepts – you cannot do research on a subjective concept such as quality and state your answer as right over all others. You can only state the criteria you have have used to judge quality (or whatever the concept may be), and hope that your intelligent readers will compare the criteria you have used to the criteria that they have for judging the same concept. If they match, the intelligent reader will go and purchase said item. If they do not, intelligent reader will do some research of his/her own and decide for his/her self. I think you also don’t know what qualifies as research, quite evident from the article, the editor did do research. Trying both systems constitutes research.

    When you decide to post a flaming message in the future, at least honour the editor with some clarity, as she has honoured you.

  • Ban Strife

    Well said, AngelSan.

    In my OPINION (please do note that it is an opinion), I like the PSP better than the DS (I have both of them, you see). This is because of the PSP’s features and come-back titles. I should give credit though for the DS for having such creativity and taste.

  • bkitty

    I bought the DS Lite for Brain Training and I got bored with it very quickly, my total play time was less than 2 hours, the games are not even affordable, Nintendo still wants £29.99 for Tetris!

    my friend bought the Wii for Wii Sports and the same thing happened, we got bored with it very quickly, Nintendo is very good at tricking people into buying their products with hype & gimmicks

  • Anonymous

    lol you tk him 2da bar|?

  • Anonymous

    ITT vapidity and magpie-like attraction to OOOOH SHINY.

  • Naomi

    Nintendo freaks are on the attack. Living up to the childish fanboy image.

  • bakuretsu

    I was swept up by the DS hype in the beginning, claiming I would never move away from Nintendo for a handheld system. I still have my DS and now DSlite but rarely use them. There are some fun titles, ala Mario Kart, Metroid, Animal Crossing etc but I find myself moving more and more to my PSP (which I bought some time after my DSlite) for games like lumines, locoroco, burnout (OMG, sooo much fun!) and other great titles that I can’t get on the DS.

    I’m not dissing the DS in anyway, and all ‘extra multimedia features of the PSP’ aside, I believe that the PSP is a great handheld. I also believe that anyone who bashes the PSP obviously hasn’t played with one long enough to realize it’s a great system.

  • http://myspace.com/travisroxmysox Gage

    ok i have a psp and there is soooo mcuh to it than a lot of people know about like the hacks and homebrew it adds a lot more to the psp to make it even funner lol if thats a word but yea the psp has photos music internet vids games podcasts tv ps3/psp play and you can also download movies and games for free! so yea thats the psp 4 ya!

    <3Gage

  • Deathdog Dirus VII

    Well. I have to say that I have both consoles. I have been to video games for over 30 years now, and more or less have every console in existence.

    I will start my rant. First, I bought a DS lite. A month after the year release- in fact. Why? I don’t go for nintendo, because they have children’s games everywhere. their adverts are annoying, and quite frankly, I prefer sony.

    But this is not the reason that I am downing the DS. it has some relatively fun games, such as MarioKart DS, Metroid: prime hunters and of course, nintendogs. But, the DS is tacky. They break a lot easier than the PSP and this annoyed me. My problem, was that my instruction booklet for the console was for some reason in japanese, and the English language section didn’t come with instructions on how to put the wristband on. So, I ended up putting it on wrong and then the console fell off of the wristband and it hit the floor with a thud. ={

    Guess what happened? The hinge broke. the console still fully worked, it’s just the hinge broke. and in about three months the console was reduced to nothing but a Gameboy Advance, because the top screen did not function anymore at all.

    So, I had on broken DS lite and a shiny fully working PSP at the same time, and at this point I had a PSP for about a year. And surprisingly enough, it was shiny, and had hardly any scratches. So, the PSP is much more durable we know, now.

    Secondly, the PSP is much better in terms of interactivity and can even be hacked into. Myself? I have custom firmware 3.03 OE-C, and I can run homebrew. normally, I can view pictures and watch videos, and listen to my favorite songs, and play brilliant release titles, such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and LocoRoco, and Metal Gear Ac!d, the list goes on forever.

    The DS on the other hand takes cartridges, Miniature cards in a matter of speaking, which are much easier to lose than UMD’s(which the PSP takes) and can hold a hell of a lot less than UMD’s too.

    The DS may have one unique feature, it’s touch screen, But the stylus is horrible to work with. if your stylus is damaged slightly on the tip, then it can heavily scratch your screen and seriously piss you off. It did me, and I only had it about 3 months!

    The PSP has a lot more features. you can brose the net and even update to Sony’s newest firmwares, or download custom one’s and enjoy hacks. The pathetic DS cant even connect to a computer. It just isn’t as good.

    So what do we now know? well, nintendo are crap and produce little kiddies games, whereas Sony are brilliant and produce amazing games, and R rated games, Gory games and don’t annoy you with “It’s me! Mario!” and “Pikachu! I choose you!”. The PSP has a LOT more features and higher interactivity, the wireless feature is better, and there are more buttons to press, which = more fun.

    Take my expert advice. the DS is okay if you are 7, but if you are 13+, you simply have to get a PSP instead. It’s just Better.

  • http://fromthegutter.org guttertalk

    I own a DS, but I considered both, and I play my brother’s PSP. Using homebrews and a slot 1 cartridge, I can use the DS for watching movies and other activities besides games. But I just don’t use those non-game features much. So, here are the gaming criteria I used (though buying a PSP is still a possibility).

    The game library for both are a similar number, though slightly higher for DS (not counting the GBA games that it can play).

    The DS has more original games than the PSP, as opposed to ports.

    Reviewing the games for both platforms releasing in the spring and summer, I saw more DS games that had something different or innovative in the gameplay, such as online trading of cards or using the mic to perform certain actions. While this doesn’t guarantee that the game is good, it has the potential to both good *and* different.

    Both have multiplayer (LAN and online) capabilities.

    Both have some form of download play ability, though I think the DS’s is slightly better and more commonly available in its games.

    I’ve seen a couple of games common to both platforms that had more gameplay on the DS than on the PSP, such as Star Wars: Lethal Alliance. While not a great game, the puzzles added some diversity to the gameplay that kept me interested to complete the game.

    Load times are better on the DS than the PSP. Both have them, but they are more tolerable and seemingly shorter on the DS.

    The DS has a much longer battery life.

    The DS is lighter. Maybe it’s because I’m older, but my hands got tired after playing the PSP for a couple of hours.

    The PSP graphics are clearly superior to the DS. But the price is the battery life and load times.

    I play primarily RPGs, and there are more available for the DS. Based on released games on tothegame.com, the DS has 23 and the PSP has 14. Based on metacritic, the DS RPG had an average ratin go 68.7 and the PSP RPG averaged 64.3. Only 2 of the PSP games rated an 80 or above whereas 5 DS games did. While the DS RPGs used characters found on other platforms, only 2 of those were ports (including FF III, which hadn’t been released in the U.S.). Three of the PSP RPGs were multiplatform (2 of which were rated 80 or above).

    As for the controls, sometimes the experiments fail in some games, but I’ve yet to play a DS game that required any longer to learn to control than a PSP game. But the stylus play has been a nice addition in several games. Clubhouse Games often works well, and the stylus allows gameplay not really possible on the PSP.

    The homebrew game scene seems very similar for both, though the PSP has more, it seems. I’m not sure how many of those are originals and how many are homebrewed ports.

    The bottomline for me was a very subjective one: looking at the games, I saw nothing on the PSP that is great and is found only there. On the DS, there are such games.

    That said, I would buy a PSP save for a couple of things: I would like to get either a 360, PS3 or Wii, as well as another DS for my son so that we can play multiplayer games. The PSP, even with the price drop, is squeezed by too much to choose from and too limited a budget.

  • Dew

    I have convinced four friends to get the PSP. I don’t know or see anyone with a DS. Are people are ashamed to bring it out? I don’t know. But I see people with PSPs everyday. It’s the perfect gadget to carry around.

    The low battery talk is bullshit, I think it lasts long enough. You can always get one that lasts longer. It’s not that difficult to carry a replacement battery.

  • guttertalk

    Dew, the low battery life is not b.s. I’ve seen it on two new PSPs. It does depend on the game that you play, but for an EA sports game, for example, 2.5 hours was about long as the battery lasts. In contrast, my DS Lite easily gets 9-11 hours on a charge, sometimes, even longer if I switch to the low brightness setting.

    I don’t get the fanboy mentality. They’re both good platforms, with their own advantages and disadvantages. And plenty of people are buying and playing the DS, in spite of what you don’t see (or don’t notice). I know half a dozen people who have either traded in their PSPs for a DS or sold it, but that doesn’t prove anything.

  • bakuretsu

    I don’t seem to have any problem with battery life on my PSP. I only own 6 or 7 games but most of them will last a good 6-8 hours before I have to recharge.