Showdown: PSP vs DS lite
January 31, 2008 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I own a PS3, and my gf has a DS lite. Should I buy a PSP or a DS lite for myself? Would it be more fun to play games against/with my girlfriend on the DS, or to be able to play PS3 games remotely on the PSP? What games are able to be played remotely on the PSP?

So I have a PS3, and my girlfriend (we live together), mother, and some other friends have DS lites. I am interested in the opinions of the MeFi community on whether I should get the DS lite to be able to play with my friends, or if I should get the PSP so I have a greater variety of available games to play (since I can then borrow the DS lite from the girlfriend). Basically, does anyone use the DS with friends, and how easy is it to do, and does it greatly increase the value of the system to you? As for the PSP, does anyone use it to play PS3 games or stream stuff from the PS3, and how easy is it to do, and does it greatly increase the value of either system to you?
posted by Grither to Technology (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
With a few exceptions, I've found DS multiplayer gaming to be kind of gimmicky unless both of you have the same cartridge. The feature that lets you download part of the game to other DSes tends to be restricted to minigames and demos, so assume that you'll be buying new copies of the games she already owns. (Even then, I haven't gotten a ton of mileage out of multiplayer, but that might just be the disconnect between my girlfriend's tastes and mine... Mario Kart being the big exception here!)
posted by svolix at 11:33 AM on January 31, 2008

I would say the DS. I have both, and rarely play with the PSP. Just the idea of multiplayer would be enough to push me to the DS, even if you have to buy extra carts to get good game play. (Age of Empires!)
posted by crickets at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2008

I suppose it depends on what kind of games you like. My fiancee and I both have our own DS and we love playing the 4-in-1 Yathtzee/Battleship/Monopoly/Boggle cartridge. Mario Kart over WiFi is hella fun too, and the download play is not as restrictive as it is in other games. Worms 2 just came out and I'm starting to get her into that as well.

Games like that are great on the DS. I won't speak to the PSP, however, since I don't own one and don't follow its 'scene', excet to say what I do know of it seems to say its games are more on the typical arcade/action game side of the equation. It seems to me that the DS offers more variety than the PSP.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:55 AM on January 31, 2008

A few years ago I bought a PSP for myself. My wife discovered she liked portable gaming enough to go and purchase a DS for herself. I then discovered I liked her DS enough to purchase a second DS.

We're now a two-DS, one-PSP household. We've occasionally dabbled in the two-player modes on the DS but generally the stripped-down version of games that can be run off of a single cart are not enough to keep our attention for long. The one exception would be when we're over at a friend's and we can get three- or four-player games of MarioKart going. The main benefit of having two DS'es is that I don't have to borrow hers - there are times when we'll both be hanging out in the living room playing different games. And I can take mine with me to play Phoenix Wright on my way to work while she plays Animal Crossing.

I had to get rid of one of the handhelds, I would get rid of the PSP before I got rid of the second DS. There are some great games for the PSP, but generally when I get a PSP game I want to play, my PSP has gone untouched for long enough that the battery is dead. That's never happened with the DS.
posted by Gortuk at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2008

I love my DS. It's such a great little system. It's got a lot of great games, and the multiplayer is fun. My friend and I could play Mario Kart against each other for hours.
posted by radioamy at 12:08 PM on January 31, 2008

Response by poster: Gortuk:
Do you have a PS3? Do you have any experience with synching your PSP with one?

And it does seem that the DS lite would be a good purchase, as I do like my gf's a lot, but I usually am able to use it when I want, but it could be a lot of fun for both of us to have one. And the fact that someone just said Worms 2 just came out is definitely another plus for the DS. Thanks for the help!
posted by Grither at 12:15 PM on January 31, 2008

There are more than little games available for single-cartridge multiplay on the DS (Burnout Revenge, I believe is an example). Also, I think PSP-PS3 remote play is still pretty new, which might limit its usefulness.
posted by rhizome at 12:19 PM on January 31, 2008

My girlfriend got me a DS for Christmas, and I'm obsessed with it. You should absolutely get one, and get a couple of flashcarts as well. (Feel free to MeFiMail me for more info) Flashcarts open up a world of possibilities, including:

-Homebrew games/productivity applications
-Audio/Video Playback

And so very much more.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:24 PM on January 31, 2008

DS-lite. It'll be a bonding experience ;)
posted by samsara at 12:25 PM on January 31, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, overwhelming response in favor of the DS! Doesn't ANYONE think the PSP is worth a damn? Haha!

SpiffyRob I've actually been thinking about doing some of that stuff on my gf's DS, but have been too scared of ruining her DS. So maybe with two I'd be able to do the experimenting on mine since I'd have hers as a backup....I might just send you an e-mail when I eventually get the second DS, thanks!
posted by Grither at 12:33 PM on January 31, 2008

I've had both and I've simply found the DS-lite more useful to be honest, especially with a homebrew cart. It also functions as a simple PDA and alarm clock.

The PSP, while technically superior on paper, has way too many ported console games which really don't play the same on a handheld. There are a few gems for the PSP however, like Loco Roco and Final Fantasy Tactics (and others depending on your likes/dislikes). The DS-Lite however comes out ahead I believe on availability of fun games and overall usefulness. Also, FPS games (like metroid prime) are really intuitive with the stylus compared to the thumbstick of the PSP. Just my opinion though...
posted by samsara at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2008

The PSP has a bad history of games that are rehashes/ports of existing PS2/PS3 games, while DS games are only vaguely similar to the ones on the Nintendo Wii (which you don't have). I would highly recommend getting the DS Lite. Multiplayer makes even bland games fun.

You can probably use each other's friend codes to play WiFi games with each other too.
posted by meowzilla at 12:41 PM on January 31, 2008

For multiplayer, it's the DS, hands down. The PSP is more of a traditional console, only handheld, and for sure there are a lot of great games for it, but the DS is just geared for casual multiplayer, both in terms of design and its library.

I work in game development, and can always find someone wanting to play some DS game or other. I have yet to find anybody interested in PSP multiplayer anything.
posted by Durhey at 12:45 PM on January 31, 2008

DS! I'd only advise the PSP if you are really really into: 1) console-type games in your hand 2) homebrew apps.

I know some guy at work who streams stuff from PS3 to PSP. He says it's kinda cool, but that's really it....
posted by gnutron at 12:47 PM on January 31, 2008

Response by poster: meowzilla I suppose I should have mentioned that I have a Wii as well. I didn't think there were any synch-ing possibilities with the DS and the Wii though, are there?
posted by Grither at 12:53 PM on January 31, 2008

Oh, and if you're going the homebrew route never flash your DS...just use a cart like the M3-lite, DS-xtreme, G6 or R4 (probably the most positively reviewed one). With the PSP you're likely to choose the flashing route and load everything off of a memory stick, which isn't too bad as the PSP has a nice homebrew selection...though you run the slight risk of bricking it too. (there are workarounds to a bricked PSP though)
posted by samsara at 12:55 PM on January 31, 2008

Grither, there is the ability to download demos using the Wii but I've never personally tried it.
posted by samsara at 1:00 PM on January 31, 2008

....because it isn't out yet, that's why I haven't tried it...reading comprehension ftw :P
posted by samsara at 1:02 PM on January 31, 2008

There really is almost no reason NOT to have a DS. I have both a DS and a PSP, as well as a PS3 and I've never been able to reliably get remote play to work, usually because of network settings outside of my control (work, etc).

I almost never use my PSP, and my DS goes with me everywhere. I used to play games with my coworkers on the DS ALL THE TIME when we had a chance until they cracked down. We still do so when we can. Tons of great DS games to play with others, at all age levels. Even playing Pokemon with 7 year olds is a blast and a half.

DS all the way.
posted by tittergrrl at 1:19 PM on January 31, 2008

From my vantage point, the two platforms are geared to different age levels. The DS toward younger kids and the PSP to teens and older. I've found that *most* games match themselves towards that audience. If you find you like her DS games, get one. I've not seen the reason to match my PSP to my PS3 yet.
posted by rholly at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2008

nthing the DS recommendation. Admittedly I know little about the PSP, but I see so many more people playing PSP than DS on public transit. I want to shake them and demand to know how it could possibly be better than my DS fun time.

Re: Wii Synching... I am sure there will be some functionality there, but not much as of yet. You can fight your Pokemon battles on your DS and see them in full 3D on the Wii with Pokemon Battle Revolution though! It wouldn't surprise me if there was more of this kind of thing to come.

You might want to wait a few weeks on a DS though, rumour is they're coming out with a sweet blue and black model mid February!
posted by yellowbinder at 1:42 PM on January 31, 2008

I heart my gold Zelda DS.

PS3-PSP Remote Play is not very useful for gaming IMO. I tried Crash Bandicoot (from the PlayStation Store) streaming over an 802.11g connection and it was too choppy to be playable.

On the other hand, Remote Play works really nice for video, transcoding DIVX on-the-fly and streaming nicely.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:24 PM on January 31, 2008

Best answer: As mentioned by yellowbinder...

samsara's right on about not needing to flash the DS. There was a time when it was needed, but that time is happily past. Slot-1 Flashcards are cheap, reliable, and 100% compatible with basically everything. (No, I didn't just modify an absolute. You're seeing things. Move along.) Slot-2 memory/GBA compatibility isn't too much more to give you the whole package either.

Long story short, there's essentially no risk involved anymore.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:26 PM on January 31, 2008

Best answer: Geometry Wars
Advance Wars
Contra IV
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Trauma Center
Clubhouse Games
Brain Age
Lego Star Wars: Complete Collection
Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

My life would have been poorer had I not played all these games.

The DS is not just for kids. There are so many great games that aren't just ports from a traditional console.

Think you're hardcore? A good gamer? Contra IV will bring you to your knees.
posted by utsutsu at 2:44 PM on January 31, 2008

DS. The PSP library isn't very deep, and there isn't much in there that wouldn't be much better on a console.
posted by box at 2:49 PM on January 31, 2008

Think you're hardcore? A good gamer? Contra IV will bring you to your knees.

Contra IV will stomp you like an earthworm. Good grief, this game is hardcore.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:56 PM on January 31, 2008

I'm 37 and bought a PSP for the heck of it last year.

I almost never use it. I have yet to find a compelling game for it, and I've got about eight of them. The one that I liked the most was Jeanne D'Arc. A handheld just isn't any good for twitch, or 'action' gaming, and that seems to be the standard type of game for the PSP.

BTW, I have never tried a DS, so I have no opinion on it. Also, I love my XBox 360, so it's not like I'm a curmudgeonly-anti-gamer.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:21 PM on January 31, 2008

Adding on to the original question:

Did any of you (now) DS lovers think you wouldn't like it before you bought it? I just couldn't get over the 'kiddy-ness' of it, and the (seemingly) cutesy-poo nature of its games.

Anyone here used to feel the same way? (Thinking about buying one)
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:24 PM on January 31, 2008

Yep....and I had the pleasure of having my friends (psp owners at the time) ridicule me and suggest the pink model. Well...they rarely use their psps anymore for the same reasons mentioned above (sold mine before grabbing a black ds...and couldn't be's simply a more fun and convenient handheld to use, despite that it is technically underpowered compared to the psp.)
posted by samsara at 7:03 PM on January 31, 2008

Did any of you (now) DS lovers think you wouldn't like it before you bought it? I just couldn't get over the 'kiddy-ness' of it, and the (seemingly) cutesy-poo nature of its games.

I kind of thought that before I got one. A bunch of my hard core gamer friends had them, though, and after owning one for a few months, I don't think it's inherently a kiddy platform at all. Obviously you can get the cutesy games if you want, but stuff like Advance Wars, the aforementioned Contra 4, FF3, and Phantom Hourglass aren't cutesy at all. Even something you'd think would be cutesy, like Mario Kart DS, is actually remarkably fun.
posted by paulus andronicus at 7:07 PM on January 31, 2008

jeff-o-matic: "Did any of you (now) DS lovers think you wouldn't like it before you bought it? I just couldn't get over the 'kiddy-ness' of it, and the (seemingly) cutesy-poo nature of its games."

A little. But I knew in the end what would matter more to me was the fact that it would have games I wanted to play on it (Mario, Zelda etc). Thankfully it also ended up being the more successful handheld, which resulted in a tonne of other great games being made and released for it. There are cutesy-poo games on all systems. What should influence your choice of console most is whether it will have the games you actually want to play available for it.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:08 PM on January 31, 2008

"Did any of you (now) DS lovers think you wouldn't like it before you bought it? I just couldn't get over the 'kiddy-ness' of it, and the (seemingly) cutesy-poo nature of its games."

I got my DS (phat) at launch, and at first I was a bit concerned with it because the games that came out for it were ok, but nothing super amazing. Often the use of the dual screen seemed a bit tacked on (go fig), and eventually I found myself just playing old Advance games on it. I surprised myself when the PSP came out by buying one (also at launch, hooray for disposable income and living close to a Best Buy) and enjoying it for Lumines and a few other games. I was really hot on it and forgot about my DS for a few weeks. Then I just lost interest in the PSP other than for Lumines or watching movies.

Then the flood of excellent DS games came in, and that was it. The PSP was dead to me. I seriously didn't play it more than a few hours over the course of a year until Final Fantasy Tactics came out for it and my friend convinced me to get it. So I played PSP a lot then, but again lost interest and am back to my trusty DS (now Lite!) which I have easily over 20 games for. I only have a handful for the PSP. The PSP just does not have a good stable of games that aren't retreads or remakes, and in the end isn't that what matters? Good games!

I had a lot of friends give me grief about the DS love for the same "kiddie" reasons. But then they got addicted to Mario Kart DS, Phantom Hourglass, Fifa soccer, and other stuff. And if you can import some Japanese games, things get even better. Things can be "kiddie" and still be fun... people give Pokemon a bad rap, but really after playing it for the first time (Pokemon Pearl), it really is a fairly classic game that has nothing to do with age. It's addictive as hell.

If addictive, fun gameplay with personality (!!) means a game is kiddie, then call me a fan of kiddie games because I can't get enough of them. And then there's Advance Wars: Road To Ruin and Contra IV to shake you out of the "kiddie" zone.
posted by tittergrrl at 1:01 PM on February 1, 2008

I decided to go with a DS, and I´m glad to report that, while there are hundreds of "cute" games and games about horses and sudokus, there are also some great fun games for adult types like myself. My recommendations are:

* Contra IV - This is REALLY hardcore. I confidently offered my brother $100 if he finished level 1 on Easy without losing all of his 10 lives on his first play, and promptly got to keep my $100)
* Geometry Wars - Asteroids for 2008, great for small waits.
* Final Fantasy XII - Good RTS
* FIFA 08 is quite good (tough I´m not sure USians would like it as much as us foreigners)
* SlitherLink (JP Import) - THE ultimate puzzle game
* Call Of Duty 4 - Nice Portable FPS. Obviously it doesn't come close to looking like the console versions, but quite fun nonetheless.
* New Super Mario Bros. - A traditional Mario game
* Lego Star Wars The Complete Collection - (NOT THE FIRST BUGGY ONE)
posted by fjom at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

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