Why PSP can still compete with 3DS

Nintendo’s new baby is making quite the splash, but don’t count out Sony’s grizzled veteran just yet.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, June 24, 2010


The high point of my Electronic Entertainment Expo (and, I suspect, everybody else’s)? Nintendo 3DS, by a country mile. Hardware reveals always chalk up a spike on the gaming Richter scale, but this one was thermonuclear material even by E3′s seismic standards. The sight of Naked Snake’s scowl protruding from the depths of that pin-sharp new top display was enough to sell most attendees a unit right there and then.

One thing and one thing only, to my mind, could have matched the impact of the 3DS announcement, and that was a successor to PlayStation Portable, heavily rumoured in the preceding weeks and months. But this, alas, was not to be. Instead, we got a renewed Sony commitment to its ageing pocket warhorse, showreels larded with footage from games already known about, a teaser trailer for yet another God of War, invisible blue monkeys and ‘Marcus Rivers’, latest in a long line of patronising attempts to spark a ‘cult of PSP’.

[Update: we've changed the headline in light of its mild ridiculousness.]

‘Step your game up’ goes the refrain, but most commentators were left wondering when Sony would step its game up, and wash its hands of a console pronounced dead in the water (outside Japan, at least) as long as two years ago. But just how past-it is the old slab, in fact? Can it be dismissed so easily?

Much has been written about the fact that 3DS marks a return to Nintendo’s imaginative heartlands, with big brand action-adventure titles, rail shooters and platformers dominating the press releases. What doesn’t seem to be getting noted is how much this reorientation is directed specifically against its traditional rival. Forget the parallax screen for a moment, and give your attention to the other thing that sets the new handheld aside at a glance from the rest of the DS family – an analog ‘slide panel’, comparable to the PSP’s nub.

Can Peace Walker single-handedly reverse PSP's fortunes?

Can Peace Walker single-handedly reverse PSP's fortunes?

While disliked by many and outright loathed by some, the nub has proved its worth in the field of ‘move/aim’ third-person action gaming, with Syphon Filter, Metal Gear Solid, Resistance and Grand Theft Auto all making serviceable use of it. Nintendo’s nabbing this feature suggests that the Mario-maker wants those experiences for its own stables, and this in turn suggests that there’s life in PSP yet, both as a commercial proposition and as a venue for great entertainment (not always synonymous qualities, sadly). After all, why bother imitating a dud product?

Another reason to believe that PSP can compete with 3DS is that the latter, though bigger-brained than its predecessors, is not the Xbox-360-level processing juggernaut we were led to expect. 3D capabilities obviously give Nintendo’s fold-up the edge, but in terms of the underlying complexity of the games they can render, the two handhelds appear to be practically neck-and-neck. (I’ll leave the serious analysis to HardcoreWare.)

13 Responses to “Why PSP can still compete with 3DS”

  1. wryguy says:

    couldn’t agree more. the psp is an amazing system and is funtionally a playstation 2 on the go as well as its own platform. the ability to play psone games, ps2 quality games like god of war and crisis core and mgs, as well as original games like patapon, locoroco, and echochrome lends it to be very versatile. the 3ds being close in specs will likely mean more cross-platform games with portability in mind, in this respect the 3ds may lengthen the psp’s stay. i personally love my psp and hold it in regard as one of the best consoles ever released, the ones who are really harsh on it are the apple loving rag-mag game sites who criticized nintendo for being too casual, but love apple for it and despise the hard core essence of psp.

  2. xino says:

    if you still believe PsP has a chance for 3DS. You are nuts!

    I’ve always disliked Nintendo’s products! But this is no brainer, 3DS is the death of PsP!

    Developers will be edged to make more 3D type games, other developers will be motivated to make more sweet looking game. Since Metal Gear looks better than the PsP version.

  3. todd says:

    fuck you Edwin Evans-Thirlwell! nintendo had done joysticks on their part b4 sony. even the old game boy had an add on to put joystick on it. If nintendo wants to add some thing to their stuff its because they have done it before on other systems and now want to bring it to the handheld so what. Fucking sony has copied nintendo time after time and fucking pp like you that were born yesterday think sony made ever thing and nintendo copies. nintendo had motion and they had it on the power glove on the nes and also on the nes light gun. Sony will always be behide nintendo and no matter how many times the internet will spin it to make sony seem they invent, pp will real gamers will no who made what 1st. your just a sad psp user that dont no what the fuck to do w/ur psp. better yet go sell it and buy ur self a gamegear!

    • griingolink says:

      i totally agree with todd 3ds is clearly alot better than the psp joysticks hav been with nintendo for a while now and sony’s pussy ass had to copy wii with ps move wich is a huge rip off of the wii 3ds has better graphics more powerful system and it has those awesome classic games that sony cant compete (star fox 64 3d,loz oot3d,mgs sanke eater 3d)and it has assassin’s creed and super street fighter IV 3d… sure psp has gow which is prob the only real good game

  4. TheTingler says:

    Change the title again to “How the PSP can compete with the 3DS” or “Can the PSP compete with the 3DS?”

    It’s still somewhat impossible as it is.

  5. FinalOmegaS says:

    This is a failed topic, please if you are looking for hits then try and post something truthful. The honest truth is the DS and every iteration have kill every competition, Sure the PSP has had some saving thanks to the Sony fans that love the sony products ( ahem watching p0rn on the go). But look at the honest truth of sales for 3rd parties and the truth is the nintendo handheld is a gold mine for the 1st and 3rd parties.

    Now Nintendo just announced a new handheld that can produce gaming graphics much better than anything on the market in 3D without glasses, if a company doesn’t wish to use the extra processing power they can make the games 3Dless and have some major kick ass graphics. Just remember MGS:PW for the PSP is 5th gen graphics so we can say that is as good as the PSP will be getting… 3DS had a demo that killed that… There is no competition from the PSP, Sony needs to release the PSP2 which will probably look like the 3DS without the 3D but that’s going to be an other war to wage. But Nintendo getting all major devs with major software is going to put a VERY BIG RIP TOMBSTONE OVER THE PSP’s GRAVE.

    Get over it this will put the PSP 6 feet under.

  6. Brush says:

    Don’t see how it’s going to compete with the 3DS. It has it’s merits, and may continue to get good 1st party support, and some 3rd party perhaps, which means it’s still a good thing. But the 3DS is going to hit the market and FLY

  7. Game-Review-Truth says:

    Dear Edwin Evans-Thirlwell,

    I wanted to reply to your God of War 3 review, yet it was locked, and I apologize for posting this comment on a topic that is different. I wanted to defend your review from the many ignorant comments placed against you. I am a huge fan of the God of War franchise. Even though I have enjoyed Sony products over many years, I am very balanced, and not one to play favorites with one particular company and so forth. Obviously I am not a long time fan of your work, as this is my first time here on your website. I read your full review, and I read every single response comment, professional and unprofessional alike. I believe your website to be an excellent source for balanced information, without the fear of encountering bias nonsense. I don’t like seeing people trash talk a person such as yourself, one of which that has definitely placed a lot of work and effort into this website. I’m not a professional game reviewer per say, yet I do recognize when site viewers lack the ability to place themselves into the shoes of the people that work hard to give us some, if not a lot of insight into a product. I want your site to always be around and active, as I will come to it to read your insights, while I read other sites in the process. People who have ill will against you, for whatever reason, they need to make their own complete website on video game products foremost, before they say anything ridiculous to you. People that bash you when they don’t even have their own functioning websites to back up the credibility of their words, now THAT is pure ignorance.



  8. Funksta says:

    PSP needs to compete with DS /.DSi never mind 3DS.. Just look at the basics. PSPs analoge nub is poor, D-pad is also poor, especially compared to the DS’ s. Both 3DS’s nub and D-pad Are MILES more responsive.. then u have lack of dual screen and lack of touch-screen.. DS is/has sooo much more potential and much more functional. Touch screen for handheld devices is a must, and opens up much more gaming capabilites.. Then u have Nintendo; their 1st party software cannot be matched.. Nintendo really have mastered the art of creating a AAA title which seems to capture the market, at the right time.. 3d pictures, 3d movie store? Home button and constant contectivaty, Dam.. Nintendo is not just one step ahead but Ten steps ahead. Then the 3DS’s launch line up just kills it.. PSP is dead and 3DS will bury it.

  9. Brush says:

    Hmm..people haven’t tested the slide pad, so not sure about that (it sounds good).

    But where i would agree is the 1st party lineup…sony’s is simply ps3 (or 2) lite, here’s a bunch of our big games on the home console, in a portable and slightly less appealing format. Nintendo have something like Bowsers Inside story, which, whilst somewhat like paper mario, is not a shitter version of a console game, but something which their home console just doesn’t offer..Sony need to look at that, because otherwise PSP is just for playstation fanboys and….?

  10. Very visual wordpress theme! I like the setup of this site.

  11. PSP.still.Packs.a.Punch says:

    *sigh* poor fools criticizing the PSP….I feel sorry for you lulz, considering when the PSP was launched and what it has achieved is in itself a feat worth boasting ( yes I got a psp) but I wonder if the 3ds can play HD quality movies, music, read e-books? Well I had the dsi for a while but the thing failed so bad that I eventually just gave it away. Gonna get the 3DS too and I hope it does better than the ds/dsi. But yeah I admit 1 thing and thats the 3DS’s 3d displaying feature which looks promising. Well maybe I shouldent be so harsh but guys your gonna get the 3DS and thats cool but dont insult the PSP dudes. Both consoles are revolutions in their own respect.
    Currently owned consoles:-
    Wii , PS3, X-Box 360, PSP, oldies like GBA and Micro and dsi(gave it away)

  12. rationality says:

    what kind of guy likes the ds? its for little kids, and its intended for little kids. thats why the games for it are simplistic and repetitive. psp has much better graphics and gameplay, because its for hardcore gamers. everyone needs to shut up and look at the facts – the psp is a much more powerful system. ds is successful because every 7 year old has one because they want something simple. psp is a true platform.


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