I've been hearing so many people state their boundless love for their Nintendo DS that I thought it time to articulate feelings for the handheld of my choice, the Sony PSP.
As far back as 1996 you could make these observations: the Nintendo 64 had an analog stick, the PC could render Quake with 32-bit color and OpenGL, 3DO developers had 650 megabytes of space to utilize, and Sony's large, beautiful Trinitron CRTs provided the most gorgeous pictures ever to grace a display screen. Meanwhile, handheld video game systems shared more in common with calculators than video game systems.
About the time the Neo Geo Pocket Color came out in 1999, a certain malcontent gamer (which was me, btw) had a vision. He recalls telling his father, "Someone should make a cd-based handheld. Imagine, it could do Redbook cd audio, games could have voice acting, have high resolution textures! Then imagine if it had stereo speakers and this huge screen. Oh! Oh! And they could give it an analog stick! Wouldn't that be unbelievable?" His excitement grew further as he exclaimed, "And what if it had a 3d accelerator! I would buy something like that in a single heart beat!"
I held onto this dream, this image of the absolutely perfect handheld for years. I held on this dream until, in 2004, Sony unveiled their new handheld to the world; it was everything I had ever envisioned! It supported a cd format that could hold 1.8 gig worth of data, it had an analog stick, a powerful GPU, a gigantic 16:9 display, stereo speakers, and even 802.11b! Not only that, but it was, bar-none, the sexiest piece of electronics I had ever seen, and have yet seen to this day.
I have spent hundreds of hours already with Sony's masterpiece in my hands. It debuted with a great port of my favorite 3d platformer of all time, Ape Escape, featured an unbelievable adaptation of the amazing Winning Eleven franchise, and introduced me to digital crack in the form of Metal Gear Acid, a combination of Metal Gear, Magic the Gathering, and Pathway to Glory. And now, I can't seem to pry myself away from the likes of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, Loco Roco, and Metal Gear Portable Ops.
I don't doubt that the Nintendo DS is a fun device. But in my estimation, its Fisher Price appearance and primitive N-Gage style visuals will never live up to my dream-came-reality, the Sony PSP. Perhaps no other handheld ever will.