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My Nintendo DS

My god this is an inferior piece of machinery. Its games are severely limited in space, I assume this is related to the big N’s insistance upo the continued usage of obsolete “cartridges”. In theory, cartridge-based systems should have the one redeeming feature of virtually no loading times, but as we all know, this is simply not true.

I guess the reason all videos in games for the DS look like they come from some poorly-designed FMV game from ’93 is because A, a cardridge can only hold so much information, and B, the DS’s hardware simply isn’t good enough to play back decent-quality video. It all looks very, very horrible – I just saw the intro for Final Fantasy XII on the DS, and my god, Square hasn’t had this amount of MPEG-artifacts since… well, not even FFVII was this bad.

The DS has two small screens, which combined would form, I guess, roughly 2/3 of the PSP’s screen. OK, one of the DS screens is a touchscreen, but in most games this is used either very little or very badly. Color me unimpressed. The DS also lacks an analog stick, and while there are plenty of problems with the PSP’s sorry excuse for an analog stick, at least Sony tried.

So, hardware-wise, this feels clumsy, ugly, and simply inferior to the PSP in every aspect I can think of.

On the other hand, the DS has something the PSP has been lacking, for the most part. It has games. The PSP thinks it has games, but really, most games for the PSP are badly done remakes of PS2 games. 99% unplayable. Still, there are a few gems for the PSP, and I won’t pretend the DS doesn’t have its fair share of really crappy games,  but still – the DS has a shitload of games, and by sheer statistics, it’s bound to have more really good ones than the PSP. That the same games would be much, MUCH improved by the PSP’s superior hardware is a moot point.

All in all, I’m not that disgusted with the DS. Sure, it’s total crap hardware-wise, but it’s got Front Mission and a bunch of Final Fantasy games, as well as a few rather interresting puzzle-type games. And after all, I don’t need to pick one over the other – the PSP and the DS are now both in my posession, which means I can get whatever portable game that suits my fancy, without having to worry about the hardware.

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