A recent article on Kotaku that reported on some statements from statements from Gavin Cheshire, VP of Codemasters, sparked some interesting debate in the comments section regarding the current state of the PSP. Being an owner of all three of the current handheld gaming platforms, I felt compelled to join in the discussion.
View the original article here. The discussion I took part in can be found here. Kotaku probably has the best comments section of any online blog I have ever seen.
The PSPgo does less than a PSP 3000, but costs substantially more. There is no logical reason to buy a go over a 3000, because you can do everything you can on the go with the cheaper system. That is the ultimate failure of the go.
My main problem with the PSP is that it is essentially a PS2 with one less analog stick. Since I care less about portability and more about unique gaming experiences, there is no compelling reason to play games on the PSP versus just playing them on the PS2. Chains of Olympus felt like the GoW games on PS2, only with slightly gimped controls. I also love how people always mention how good the PSP is for homebrew and emulation (the only homebrew I've ever known anyone to partake in) and then the masses wonder why publishers to embrace the system. Piracy is one of it's selling points for a lot of folks. I have a friend whose only purpose for still owning a PSP is as a NES emulator.
On the other hand, the truly great games on the DS (notable exception taken for New Super Mario Bros.) offer up an experience that really can't be had on any other gaming platform. When implemented intelligently, the dual screens offer up a completely new and unique play experience. On top of that, the DS Lite was cheaper, lighter and, imo, more portable than the PSP ever was and the games usually trended about 10 dollars cheaper than those on the PSP. In short, it was a portable system that understood that most people didn't want a full blown console experience in their hands.
I am not a fanboy, by any stretch. At this point, my portable gaming platform of choice is an Ipod. Being a fan of puzzle games, first and foremost, there is no simply no better handheld platform out there for me. Apple absolutely nailed their online store and pricing. Sooner or later, maybe Sony and Nintendo will figure it out, since the online stores for both those companies is a joke. Hey, Sony, release IQ somewhere that isn't Japan and I'll buy a PSPgo to play it. I swear.