By February 5, 2011

Next generation handheld’s: 3DS vs NGP

dm-nintendo-3ds Gaming heavyweights Nintendo and Sony are set to go head to head once again in the handheld market with their respective follow-ups to the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable (PSP), both of which are currently due to hit the shelves this year.

Nintendo has the first-to-market advantage as its new 3DS console is set to be released on March 25th, whereas Sony’s new machine, currently dubbed ‘Next Generation Portable’ or NGP, is pencilled in for release at some point during the fourth quarter of 2011.

The 3DS looks set to build on the remarkable success of the Nintendo DS with a number of new additions, chief of which is the inclusion of a display capable of producing 3D graphical effects without the need for the user to wear special glasses. The 3DS’ bottom screen retains the touchscreen technology used to such great effect in its predecessor, while the two cameras introduced in the DSi model also make it over to the 3DS. Further new features include an analogue input ‘nub’, which will allow enhanced control over in-game characters, and both an accelerometer and a gyroscope to allow developers to build motion control into their games.

Sony’s NGP looks set to be a refinement of the company’s PSP handheld, with a slimmer, sleeker body and the introduction of a larger OLED touchscreen display. New features also include two analogue sticks for increased control over proceedings onscreen, a rear touchpad for increased input versatility and Six-axis motion control technology – a system first introduced in PlayStation 3 controllers. It will also include both front- and rear-facing cameras.

From running down the feature lists it seems that both handhelds will offer largely similar functionality but time will tell on the subtle differences between the two. One major difference that does stand out right now is the issue of backwards compatibility; while the 3DS will happily play all of your old DS games, the original PSP games that came on Universal Media Disc (UMD) will not be playable on the NGP as it does not feature a UMD drive. Those PSP owners that bought digitally downloaded games will be able to transfer them to the new machine, however.

Both systems have a number of exciting titles announced; the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D are sure to have Nintendo fans eagerly awaiting their arrival, while Uncharted: Portable and new versions of Wipeout and LittleBigPlanet look set to be big hitters for Sony. Both systems will also give users opportunity to connect to an online store to download additional digital titles.

For those who don’t have the budget to pick up both handhelds at launch it’s likely to be a tough choice as both will play host to some incredible software. The best advice is to keep an eye on developments as the machines’ respective launch dates get closer and make your choice depending on which machine offers the software and functionality that best suits your gaming tastes.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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