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2007 the Best Year Yet For PSP & DS

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-case-to-be-made dept.

Portables (Games) 158

ElFozzie writes "From a handheld perspective, Pocket Gamer has posted a couple of features offering a positive viewpoint on the reasons why both PSP and DS might have a very happy new year. Tellingly, whilst the PSP piece focuses on a range of new potential developments from new peripherals and downloadable video content to price drops and even a new version of the handheld system, the DS article simply highlights 10 top games titles due to hit the streets in the next 12 months. On one level this could be argued as a reflection of the divergent strategies of the two devices and companies, with Sony trying to establish all-singing, all-dancing, all movie-music-and-gaming 'entertainment platforms', whereas Nintendo have focused solidly upon one core area. However a simpler argument would suggest it's merely underlining why Nintendo has raced ahead this year and the lesson Sony are going to have to learn if they are to have any chance of a truly prosperous 2007 — "It's about the games stupid!""

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Prediction (4, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422240)


The development of MMORPG's for handhelds is going to be simply enormous.

Just wait until the crack addiction can be taken anywhere...

IMHO, the company that gets there first (and does it well) could easily win the battle.

Re:Prediction (4, Insightful)

Martin Foster (4949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422444)

That would probably be popular for a certain segment of the population. However, I would imagine that there are still several people out there who want a handheld gaming system to be able to play short quick games in between intermissions in their lives. Something as demanding as a MMORPG game is not something you can turn on, play for five minutes while the kid takes a nap and close up when (s)he cries.

There is an entire market of novelty toys that play games like poker, sodoku and so forth. This shows that people want something small, portable and quick to put down in a matter of seconds. Again a game that requires online play, cannot be really saved in a current position (put down, change diaper and take up again) is not really suited for this type of gameplay.

Besides, to play online you need STABLE hotspots and LOTS of battery power since WiFi will generaly kill your batteries faster (so the PSP may not be a great candidate for this). Hardly what I would call portable with the current connectivity available in a city now.

Yup (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424126)

That's why I have a PSP and not a PS2. It's nice to have a device I can use on the train, waiting for an oil change, etc. It's also why I almost never play online games on the PC. When I was young, single and childless I could afford to spend hours at a time. Now, when I play, I always have to expect interruptions of one sort or another and therefore need games I can turn off instantly.

Re:Prediction (1)

eugene_roux (76055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424168)

There is an entire market of novelty toys that play games like poker, sodoku and so forth.


Can we say Vexed [sourceforge.net]? Those bastards! I hate them; they've stolen many hours of my life...

It's the one game, though, that would fully justify me replacing my TX if it had to depart this world for Valhalla prematurely...

Re:Prediction (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425172)

I am sorry, but I have to clear up this total misunderstanding. The PSP battery is really not as bad as people make it out to be. The only time it takes a real hit is when you're watching UMDs or playing a game for 6 hours straight, even online. The reason it gets such a bad rep for battery is because, yeah, it still is about half of the DS battery life, but it is by no means a short battery life, who the heck plays a handheld for 6 hours in one sitting?

Re:Prediction (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426888)

who the heck plays a handheld for 6 hours in one sitting?
1: It's 6 hours per charge, not per sitting. I sure as heck don't use my PDA for eight hours straight, so that eight hours per-charge lasts me a few days.

2: Just about anyone who would need a portable game console can go through six hours per day. Kids on car trips, college students stuck and college with neither a ride nor homework between classes (Yes, that happens), and moms playing in small breaks around the house can all pretty easily get to six hours.

Re:Prediction (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427832)

1. It's not difficult to plug it in while you're not using it. For instance, while you're sleeping. I fail to see where plugging in a device to charge it every once in a while becomes a hinderance.

2. See #1. The only thing you listed that would last more than 6 hours in a single day might be a road trip. If you're going to be road tripping for that long though, you may as well invest in a power inverter.

If things get real bad, just buy a second battery. It's not the most convenient, but the battery is easy to change out, and it's small. Plus they make a battery that holds a bigger charge, so it lasts even longer. I can only remember one time where I ran out of battery.

Re:Prediction (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422484)

With Pokemon Diamond and Pearl taking the long needed step forward to online play, I'm waiting until the Pokemon MMORPG comes out. Given the formula of Pokemon from Pokemon Red and Blue I think it would definitely convert well to an MMORPG.

Already Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422634)

It's called a Crackberry, but the interview process for joining up is harsh. You have to join a company and promise to grind and grind...

Re:Prediction (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423064)

It's like crack... you can take OUTSIDE!

Wait, no, that actually makes sense and would never make it past Sony's marketing execs.

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423694)

Right cause everyone has wireless access while they are on the train or in a car where portable gaming systems are designed to play.

it's certainly ironic (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422266)

On one level this could be argued as a reflection of the divergent strategies of the two devices and companies, with Sony trying to establish all-singing, all-dancing, all movie-music-and-gaming 'entertainment platforms'

If that's their strategy, it's certainly ironic; Sony's content arm (Columbia, Sony Music, etc) has historically hobbled their hardware divisions like SCEA (playstation, psp, digital walkman) to the greatest extent possible. What they don't seem to understand is that the more they tighten their grip on digital media, the more hardware sales will slip through their fingers...

Re:it's certainly ironic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422320)

Sony will never learn that lesson - they tried to tighten their grip on the Sony Beta videotape format only to watch control of that market slip through their fingers. They came out with the first and consistently the best videotape format but kept it proprietary. Guess which format made in the US because of their attempt to keep a tight grip on their format?

Re:it's certainly ironic (4, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422640)

If that's their strategy, it's certainly ironic; Sony's content arm (Columbia, Sony Music, etc) has historically hobbled their hardware divisions like SCEA (playstation, psp, digital walkman) to the greatest extent possible. What they don't seem to understand is that the more they tighten their grip on digital media, the more hardware sales will slip through their fingers...

Tarkin references aside, its worth elaborating on this a little, as it is emblematic of a bigger fight.

Sony's various content arms have tried like hell to hamstring their electronics divisions over the last few years, ever since 'the gloves came off' as far as the RIAA/MPAA goes - but with what I would call limited success. Sony BMG were able to roll out their rootkit with no input or interference from Sony Electronics for instance.

But here's the thing - hardware sales dwarf content sales. Absolutely dwarf them, something like 10-to-1. This is not just true of Sony but the entire industry. Hardware simply generates a hell of a lot more money.

This is why the iPod goes like crazy, and Apple does its placating DRM-lite (although any is bad) on their content, so they can get the juicy hit singles that power iTunes while really making the money off the hardware sales. Its also why Microsoft created the Xbox and Zune.

But you end up with a crazy situation. As Lessig points out often, the content people swing way above their weight class legislatively, when you take into account the actual money generated. They get the protectionist laws passed that they like. And the hardware guys mostly sit mum, with Intel putting their hand up every so often, offering to be helpful. The content guys know they are fighting for their lives, and need to fight dirty to keep anything like the level of cash flow they are used to. (I choose that word carefully - they fight dirty - there is no other way to put it really). Hardware guys maybe know that they will be around forever, who knows why this is.

Now, back on topic, as far as Sony Electronics goes, we can see evidence of the backlash in recent products. Keep in mind that 'recent products' is a wide area for a slow-turning behemoth like Sony. But the most recent and prevalent example, the PS3, plays no DRM'd files. Not a one - its all straight down the middle MPEG1/2/4. And it has regular card readers - compact flash, SD etc. Won't play WMA, won't play anything DRM'd at all. And runs foreign code. Contrast that with the PSP which plays open formats but not unsigned code, contrast that with previous Sony products prior to that which have Sony-special hard drives, memory cards, fucking power plugs, everyting. It seems like a trend. Even the phones follow this, they are backing away like crazy even as their co-branded record label and movie studio scream their fool heads off.

Who knows where it will net out but lets hope that Welsh guy they have for a CEO now has given the electronics guys their balls back. Where they belong, not as cat's-toys for SonyBMG. (Also lets hope they medicate Kutaragi. Yeesh.)

Re:it's certainly ironic (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422768)

This is why the iPod goes like crazy, and Apple does its placating DRM-lite [...] while really making the money off the hardware sales. Its also why Microsoft created the Xbox and Zune.
I thought the X-Box was sold at a loss on the hardware itself (and a significant loss at that), and they make their money from sales of licensed games for it. Isn't that how the major consoles work? Otherwise, interesting post.

Re:it's certainly ironic (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423000)

I thought the X-Box was sold at a loss on the hardware itself (and a significant loss at that), and they make their money from sales of licensed games for it. Isn't that how the major consoles work?

That's part of the story. It really depends on which console you talk about. The Xbox plan has always been similar to the Playstation one, which is to make money of game licenses as you said. However the mass production of these machines is aimed partly at driving down the cost of the components as demand ramps up, so the original xbox (console, not division) probably made a profit sometime within the first year as those components came down.

The Wii probably makes a profit now - hard not to, on 88 megs of RAM and a 700Mhz proc.

The PS3 certainly costs Sony money now, but they have taken a bigger gamble than MS, assuming they can bring Blu-ray and the Cell chip down from their current high cost by riding on their brand's success. It actually doesn't bode well for a price-drop on PS3 hardware anytime soon, as Sony will want to recoup as much as they can once they begin to break even on that hardware. But look at what they did with the PS2 Emotion Engine; it shrank to a single chip (from 3) a long time ago and basically provided the design for the PSP. Its quite complicated when you try to work out all the angles Sony is looking at.

Re:it's certainly ironic (4, Interesting)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427740)

That's not really true. If the PS2 did make a loss initially, it was very small, and was only for the first couple of months.

Contrary to popular belief, what Microsoft did, and what Sony is doing now is not standard in the industry. Especially in the case of the original Xbox, which was never profitable on the hardware, which is why Microsoft killed it so quickly and thoroughly. The reason is, unlike every other company, Microsoft purchased the parts wholesale and put them together into the Xbox case. All other consoles (including the 360), the company contracted to fabricate the parts themselves, so basically they pay a license fee to the original developer of the hardware, but they build and combine the hardware in their own fabrication plants. That's why there are usually hardware shortages when a system initially launches, because the company has to either open up, or convert, fabrication plants, and get them up to speed.

Because they're actually building the hardware themselves, instead of just buying it prebuilt, when the cost to build the hardware is reduced, the company saves money. In the case of the original Xbox, when the cost to produce the hardware was reduced, it wasn't Microsoft who was making more money. They were still paying the same amount per chip to Intel & Nvidia, even though the chips became cheaper to make.

Microsoft learned their lesson, and the 360 is both designed and constructed much more like a home console gaming machine than the original Xbox, which was basically a miniature pc sold for about half the price an equivalent pc would cost.

Also, while hardware does produce more revenue than software, software produces more profit. There is a reason that Nintendo is the most profitable of the console makers, and always has been. They concentrate on software, so have the smallest revenue of all, but still end up with the greatest profit.

Nationalism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426162)

As Lessig points out often, the content people swing way above their weight class legislatively, when you take into account the actual money generated. They get the protectionist laws passed that they like.

Because copyrighted entertainment generates American jobs, while hardware generates Chinese jobs. Except for Sony, all six MPAA members are headquartered in the United States.

Re:Nationalism (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430024)

News Corp is owned by Aussies, and Universal up until couple of years ago was owned by the French.

Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422350)

Silently, like a stealthy ninja...

The PSP has never been stronger, but its only partially because of what Sony has done. Dark Alex, and the ocean of other homebrew hacks have open up the power of this truely awesome little piece of hardware that was way ahead of its time, *IF* you are comfortable flashing firmwares, reading FAQS, and copying files across to a USB drive device.

The DS, PS3, and Wii aren't even in the same league. Simply because they aren't very hackable. A side by side comparison between tweaked out PSP makes an IPOD or ZUNE, makes the later look like an unattractive brick. You've got a beautiful screen on the PSP, wifi, inet browser, run ISOs right from the memory card, play movies, music, streamcast music, trillian style chat with afkim, thousands and thousands of ROM games with the slew of emulators out there, the list goes on... not to mention its portable. Install a homebrew firmware, get a huge memstick, tons of ISOs and ROMS, and a good clear fullbody protective case for it, and find nirvana.

3.02 OE-B Released!
http://www.psp-hacks.com/2006/12/25/302-oe-b-relea sed/#comments [psp-hacks.com]

PSP sites:
http://psphacking101.com/ [psphacking101.com]
http://psp-hacks.com/ [psp-hacks.com]
http://noobz.eu/ [noobz.eu]
http://pspupdates.qj.net/ [qj.net]

The only better gaming platform, IMHO, is a laptop, or PC. I don't even consider most consoles as viable gaming platforms simply because they can not or are anethma to running homebrew. Sony is hostilily opposed to homebrew, but in the case of the PSP, they were pwned by a lot of dedicated hardcore fans... and I think in the end the fight between both factions produced a truely marvelous state of affairs for the PSP.

Sony should of came out with a next version, upgrading the wifi to G or better, scrapping the UMD and substituing a harddrive, maybe adding a second mini joystick like many wanted, and some sort of keyboard interface. Still the PSP is very neat the way it is. More fun and useful than a PocketPC or Ipod by a lot.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (3, Interesting)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422450)

And meanwhile, for every "dedicated hardcore fan" that buys a PSP to hack to pieces, there's 1+x people from many other groups buying a DS. The homebrew may be infinitely cool, but I think you're being a little delusional if you think that's going to propel it past the DS (which, i've heard, has homebrew options of its own). Last time I saw some (Japanese) sale numbers, the DS was beating the PSP almost 4:1 in sales.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (1)

Lynxara (775657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423590)

If anything, console manufacturers view extensive homebrew communities as a sign of failure. That's why Sony is constantly updating the PSP's firmware, and frequently just to break homebrew apps. After all, if people are buying PSP's to hack them, then they probably aren't too interested in buying games or other accessories that let Sony turn a profit.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426046)

Lol, Homebrew game are a SYMPTOM (or sign, as you said), of failour, not a cause, as Sony seems to think. Do they really think that chopping off the homebrew market is going to save them? People aren't buying PSPs because there's many homebrew games on them, they're not buying them because they don't have very many good games (well... now they're getting a few, but it's a little late). Their whole emphasis on the hardware is totally misguided. I thought the PS3s hardware emphasis was misguided, but at least with a TV console, there's always the fascination of sitting around tinkering with it (I find myself tinkering with the online side of my Wii). Portables, on the other hand, have always been about playing for a few minutes while waiting in line at the DVM, or with Tokyo and New York, playing on the subway. Sony should throw all their weight behind making it a quick and friendly portable to pick up, it's the only way they'll have a chance against the varitable monolyth of a system that is the DS.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422454)

Do you mean that ds isn't very hackeable?

I don't think so, there is a hacked firmware for ds called flashme that allows you to run unsigned code, there are also lots of homebrew developers, those people have released programs such as dsorganize(pda), beup(msn clone) and lots of other different programs, there is a wide variety of flashcarts which allow you to run wathever you want

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422480)

What? The PSP's homebrew scene is pretty god damn stagnant. Most of the homebrew released nowadays is related to being able to run ISO's and the latest firmware without updating from the hackable firmware (1.5). The other stuff being released is mainly utterly useless and shitty LUA scripted games. Typing on the PSP is painful, making IM apps absolutely useless and even browsing the net is slow. Emulation of anything newer than the NES or Master System is slow, fastpaced Genesis games like Sonic run like crap and detailed SNES games like Chrono Trigger are unplayable without turning the sound off (which ruins the atmosphere of the game).

I keep tabs on the PSP homebrew seen every day, I own a PSP and while it's a neat piece of hardware homebrew is not gonna allow it to win this war. 80% of people out there aren't comfortable doing stuff like screwing with firmware, and even if they were most of the PSPs available for sale at the moment have firmware that you can't downgrade or run homebrew on.

It's a device that tries to do everything, but ends up doing nothing well. Controlling most games is tedious due to the absolutely shit analogue stick. The battery life isn't really good enough for it to work as an MP3 player and it's too clunky to use for that anyway and the battery life also diminishes its movie playing use.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (1)

Retron (577778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429776)

I keep tabs on the PSP homebrew seen every day,

You do? From your post it sounds like you stopped checking about this time last year...

The current "in thing" is to run a hacked version of the latest firmware, rather than last year's emulation of firmware on 1.5. Get a SNES emulator which uses the Media Engine for sound and you'll find most things run just fine, as does Sonic on the Mega Drive emulator that I tried last year.

The release of emulators has slowed a fair bit recently, granted, but that's because there's an emulator for pretty much everything out there already. Having said that, just two weeks ago a Commodore Plus/4 emulator was ported, much to my delight - that means I can play games from all of the previous consoles and home computers I've owned all on the PSP.

The latest firmwares come with a Playstation emulator which runs many NTSC games at full speed - originally it was locked to games downloaded from Sony's online store, but it's been hacked and with custom firmware you can run a heck of a lot on it.

As for the MP3 comment, I use my PSP in the car for a weekly journey that takes around 4 and a half hours. And you know what? With the screen turned off and the power switch set to "hold" I still have 70% or so battery life left when I get home. I've not yet tested to see how much I can squeeze out of it, but it should be at least 12 hours of MP3s on a full charge.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (0)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422514)

Most people buy a hand held gaming device to play games on. Wow, who would have thought!?

If you want a hand held that you can bring along with you to do various other tasks, there are plenty of other party devices. http://craig.gp2x.de/review/GP2XReview.html [gp2x.de]This one looks pretty good for that.

Let us first look at the specs - 240mhz dual core CPU (can be overclocked in software), 64M of RAM and 64M of NAND, 320*240 backlit LCD with custom graphics hardware and TV out. The specs are very good for the price, the TV out feature is especially nice. For comparison it is about four times as powerful as the Nintendo DS. It costs $189 / £124.99 and is available now.

It can play games, it can watch movies, it can play music and it can pretend to be other games systems. That last bit is what attracts most people and scares some people.

See the thing is, that unlike the PSP and DS anyone can develop software and games for the GP2X - there are no restrictions and no special licences or hardware required. If you have a GP2X you can make programs for it. This results in a fantastic sort of organised chaos of software with the most popular programs being game ports and emulators - so you can run other systems games on the GP2X such as Quake, Doom, MAME, Duke Nukem, Megadrive, NeoGeo, SNES etc...
Buying a PSP with your main purpose not being to play games sounds like the dumbest idea ever.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422590)

Buying a PSP with your main purpose not being to play games sounds like the dumbest idea ever.

This is why the next year should be interesting ...

The DS has created quite a large margine in hardware sales worldwide and is outselling the PSP in all regions; on top of that the DS has far less expensive development as compared to the PSP. Over the next year the DS will probably recieve far more game development from third party developers because the risk is far lower.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (2, Interesting)

ADRenalyn (598918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429380)


Buying a PSP with your main purpose not being to play games sounds like the dumbest idea ever.


I guess I'm the dumbest person ever.

I have 3 UMD games for my PSP, which I rarely play. My main reason for getting a PSP was to have a portable device that I can watch movies on, listen to music, look at (and share) my babies pictures, scan for wifi spots while traveling (without opening my briefcase and turning on my laptop), and to occasionally play some Lumines, GTA, or any of the free homebrew games that interest me.

Of course, I think the UMD format is a waste for movies, I just convert the ones I already have to MPG (PSP-compatible) and throw them on to one of my 1 or 2GB memory sticks, which are getting cheap these days. One of my sticks holds a collection of Family Guy episodes and other videos. Another has 2GB of music, and my third has a bunch of photos and videos of my baby girl. It's very quick and easy to swap them out.

Games may be all there is for some people, and maybe those people should buy a system that focuses solely on that. Personally, I don't like having a different device for everything, and the PSP is more than adequate for my non-gaming needs. If I want to play a game, I'd rather fire up one of my computers or consoles and immerse myself, instead of holding the system in my hand and moving the screen every time I hit a button.

Just my opinion, I don't think anyone is dumb for thinking otherwise.

After looking at that GPX2, I think it might be more of what I would want, since it has TV-out and can emulate old game systems. Too bad I never heard of it back when I made the decision to get a PSP.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422516)

Unfortunately for Sony, the homebrew market is not big enough to support a console. In the grand scheme of things, there aren't enough people interested in it, and the very nature of homebrew means that its enthusiasts are going to be buying less PSP games, and games are where the real money is made.

There's nothing wrong with the PC, do-it-yourself mentality, but it's not why most people buy consoles.

Re:Wii doesn't win. PSP wins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422908)

Sony appears to be thrashing for ideas. They are a hardware manufacturer. They've done their bit. If they can't get others to develop for the platform then it's over. Homebrew has little appeal for most. As if Sony is saying, 'we can't figure out what to do with this machine, but you can have a go.'

Nintendo is a game developer. Users know there will always be good/great Nintendo games to look forward to.

But are those really exclusive PSP advantages? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426330)

The DS, PS3, and Wii aren't even in the same league. Simply because they aren't very hackable.

The DS Lite is more hackable than any 2.81+ firmware or TA-082 motherboard PSP [wikipedia.org]. All you need are a SuperCard, an SD card, an SD writer, a dollar store eyeglass screwdriver set (to remove the battery cover and bridge a pad on the motherboard behind it), and two minutes' use of a friend's NoPass card [pineight.com] to flash the firmware.

You've got a beautiful screen on the PSP

Also on the DS Lite.

wifi

Also on the DS Lite.

inet browser

Also on the DS Lite, everywhere but North America :-(

run ISOs right from the memory card

But can one easily create the ISOs from one's UMD games?

play movies, music

MoonShell on the DS Lite.

streamcast music

There are proof of concept demos for the DS to do this, but granted, it appears that the PSP software for this is much more mature.

trillian style chat with afki

There are AIM, MSN, and IRC clients for DS homebrew. In addition, the touch screen makes a better pseudo-keyboard than the D-pad and buttons do, and the touch screen allows for "ink" chat using the PictoChat firmware or the homeberw MSN client.

thousands and thousands of ROM games

But can one easily create the ROMs from one's cartridges? And who owns thousands and thousands of cartridges anyway? Besides, the DS has working NES, TurboGrafx-16, and Super NES emulators.

Install a homebrew firmware

Can one reliably do this on a TA-082 motherboard and 3.0x firmware without bricking the PSP?

get a huge memstick

Huge SD is cheaper than huge Memory Stick PRO Duo, right?

tons of ISOs and ROMS

Which major commercial game publisher has authorized free redistribution of ROMs?

and a good clear fullbody protective case for it

The DS folds to become its own case.

The only better gaming platform, IMHO, is a laptop, or PC. I don't even consider most consoles as viable gaming platforms simply because they can not or are anethma to running homebrew.

What is the "laptop, or PC" equivalent to the Bomberman or Smash Bros. series?

I picked up a DS for my little one this Christmas. (2, Interesting)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422352)

Gave my 7 year old a DS this year. I am just astounded by the hardware. Great battery life, wifi (sans built in browser), touch screen, a microphone. Nice solid feeling unit. Her cousins had the Nintendo units as well, so all of them were able to play together in a virtual world (Animal Crossing) with the built in networking. As a nice touch, it also had a slot where it could play the older gameboy as well as the newer DS kit.

After playing with the kit and getting past the 'fun' part of playing games, one of the things that has me wondering is what does the SDK look like/cost to get into developing for the DS. Can anyone comment on what it costs to develop for that platform? I've heard that the Wii is ~$2,500. Anyone know what the DS SDK goes for?

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422542)

As a nice touch, it also had a slot where it could play the older gameboy as well as the newer DS kit.

Since when is the Gameboy Advance an "older" system? Holy crap man, you're the one with kids, and you're making me feel old. TIME PARADOX.

Also, I suggest getting a screen protector. Even the most careful person in the world will eventually scratch up that touchscreen.

Also also, you can get a "free" SDK if you do a search for "ds homebrew". Getting one from N costs most of your soul (plus money).

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (1)

muzthe42nd (598331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424812)

As a nice touch, it also had a slot where it could play the older gameboy as well as the newer DS kit.
Since when is the Gameboy Advance an "older" system? Holy crap man, you're the one with kids, and you're making me feel old. TIME PARADOX.

Well, it is older than the DS...

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422934)

For loading your own programs on a DS, the quickest route is to look into "homebrew" applications. All of them require some method of boot-loading, which can vary from the expensive to potentially hazardous. The DS-Xtreme ( http://ds-x.com/ [ds-x.com] is probably the best out there, although I've never owned one myself. The interesting thing is that DS games are stored on simple memory cards with about 128MB of storage, but they also use a form of digital signature via RSA, as the tag on the bottom of you kid's toy will proudly state. I'm not holding my breath that the private keys will be stumbled upon anytime soon. And as for the official Nintendo DS SDK. It's called the "Nitro Emulator." Big blue box of a thing, but I don't know how much it costs. "Nitro" was the codename for the DS before it was released. Again, a bit of trivia: if you look on any of the accessories that you undoubtably bought, they all say "NTR-xxxx". NTR for nitro.

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424222)

I haven't looked into it yet (my daughter just got her DS for Christmas, and it's hard enough resisting the urge to pop in Advance Wars whenever it's unused), but looking here [aaronrogers.com] and elsewhere, I can't help but think that the bootloading equipment might be more convient but not exactly necessary... Downloading a homebrew through your laptop's wireless into your DS seems less seedy.

To the grandparent, official development isn't even a possibilty on your own unless you've got 20,000 and a decent portfolio of some sort. :)

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426378)

To the grandparent, official development isn't even a possibilty on your own unless you've got 20,000 and a decent portfolio of some sort. :)

On which platform should one build the decent portfolio? Which handheld system sold in North America doesn't have a lockout chip? And then where does one get the 20,000?

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422984)

The big issue with the dev kits isn't the cost - it's convincing Nintendo to sell it to you. You have to be a legit company. They won't sell it to you if you work from home.

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17426280)

Homebrew equipment is going to run between $70 and $120, depending on how sleek/convenient you want your setup to be. Software tools are developed by the community and are free. The official SDK is something you won't be able to get unless you have the resources to propose an upcoming game to Nintendo.

Re:I picked up a DS for my little one this Christm (2, Informative)

reybrujo (177253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430278)

Some friends are trying to port Allegro, an amateur gaming library, to DS. I should be helping them as soon as I get the homebrew tools. You can use libnds (see general instructions for installing here [tobw.net]). Unfortunately, Nintendo does not sell their SDK to single users, only to companies with a determined profile. You can learn more at Nintendo Software Development Support Group [warioworld.com].

It's interesting (4, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422360)

I picked up a PS3 (for Linux) and I've been hanging out with PS3 users. It's fascinating. They have no idea about content restrictions. When I posted a comment on my blog about how annoying HDCP is (if I didn't have it, I'd be running my PS3 at 1920x1200... But it's impossible in my setup because of HDCP), I got a bitchy remark from someone who insisted that Linux has full access to the hard drive, and just doesn't read the PS3 filesystem. No, Sony actually virtualizes the machine so you see only the part of the disk that doesn't have any Sony data on it.

The war between Sony's content and hardware people is pretty vivid here.

Re:It's interesting (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422670)

I picked up a PS3 (for Linux) and I've been hanging out with PS3 users. It's fascinating. They have no idea about content restrictions. When I posted a comment on my blog about how annoying HDCP is (if I didn't have it, I'd be running my PS3 at 1920x1200... But it's impossible in my setup because of HDCP), I got a bitchy remark from someone who insisted that Linux has full access to the hard drive, and just doesn't read the PS3 filesystem. No, Sony actually virtualizes the machine so you see only the part of the disk that doesn't have any Sony data on it.

The reason they don't care is because they are happily converting their files to MPEG-4/AVC, right up to 1080p, and merrily playing them back off the harddrive or DVD-R. HDCP is not an issue.

Re:It's interesting (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422840)

HDCP is, in fact, an issue.

See, there's a common claim that HDCP applies only to blu-ray movies.

NOT SO!

If I connect my PS3 directly to an HDCP monitor (using HDMI->DVI), I get playback in everything -- XMB, games, Linux.

If I connect it through a console switch, I get static. If I connect it to a non-HDCP monitor, I get a blank screen.

HDCP is on 100% of the time on the HDMI output, no matter what you are viewing. There is no way I can find to disable it, even if you're running the Linux console in 640x480. You always get HDCP.

Now, you can just use component outs, and those will work fine up to 720p or 1080i. (You can, if you want, forcibly assert that you can do 1080p through them, but the signal is too degraded to be much good.) Then there's no HDCP, either.

But if you want the digital output, you get HDCP. And yes, so far as I can tell, this applies even when you're in VESA modes rather than NTSCP modes.

Re:It's interesting (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423068)

HDCP is, in fact, an issue. See, there's a common claim that HDCP applies only to blu-ray movies. NOT SO! If I connect my PS3 directly to an HDCP monitor (using HDMI->DVI), I get playback in everything -- XMB, games, Linux. If I connect it through a console switch, I get static. If I connect it to a non-HDCP monitor, I get a blank screen.

I don't quite understand what you mean. I've played back 1080p files through both HDMI and Component. Now, my TV doesn't go to 1080p, only 1080i. But what is the limitation? What were you prevented from doing, other than using your switcher? If you used an HDMI-DVI converter, then I would have to guess the issue is not HDCP but something else? (as you've now converted the signal successfully?) I apologize if I missed something.

By the way I disagree with your comment about component vs HDMI - to my eyes they are awfully close, so close only an expert could tell. I am an expert as it happens, but the difference is so slight as to be practically indistinguishable. Again this is abviously all for 1080i - 1080p is impossible over component. (I'm not quite sure how the Xbox360 claims this actually - it was supposed to get a 1080p 'update' but it only has component video out.)

Re:It's interesting (2, Informative)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423188)

HDMI->DVI does not bypass HDCP; it's just a question of wires. The cables are $20 or so. It's just a bunch of wires. The signal coming out of the PS3 is still HDCP-encoded.

So what I'm prevented from doing is connecting the PS3, via DVI, to ANY device that isn't HDCP, including my console switch, so I can't put the PS3 on the beautiful 24" HDCP-capable monitor I use for everything else. Since I am not about to buy another monitor just for the PS3, or spend extra money to replace a perfectly functional DVI switch with a DVI switch that also does HDCP, just for one stupid games machine, it means the PS3 gets dumped on a lower res display.

More generally, it means I can't just hook the PS3's DVI output up to a generic PC monitor; it has to have extra features, and the list of warnings about failure modes in my monitor's manual was beautiful. Apparently, if you interrupt the signal for a while, you may have to reboot to recover it, because the negotiation may need to be restarted. All this extra hardware just to try to keep people from copying movies.

1080p vs. 1080i is a pretty big difference. HDMI allows 1080p. It also, under Linux, allows 1920x1200.

FWIW, I have successfully set my component cable to 1080p output, and it was even possible to see the screen, but it looked like crap.

Re:It's interesting (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424954)

So what I'm prevented from doing is connecting the PS3, via DVI, to ANY device that isn't HDCP, including my console switch, so I can't put the PS3 on the beautiful 24" HDCP-capable monitor I use for everything else. Since I am not about to buy another monitor just for the PS3, or spend extra money to replace a perfectly functional DVI switch with a DVI switch that also does HDCP, just for one stupid games machine, it means the PS3 gets dumped on a lower res display.

Ah, ok - thank you. I didn't quite get that you had actually run out of HDMI inputs, you must have a lot of very new AV gear. I was also not aware that HDCP somehow 'carries' over a DVI converter - I will have to research this more.

Re:It's interesting (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425254)

It's a DVI switch, not an HDMI switch. I have nothing with HDMI except the PS3. I do, however, have a DVI switch for my computers. I would connect the PS3 to it, too, but I can't because of HDCP. The "converter" is just wires.

It's not a shortage of inputs in general -- the monitor also has component, and so on -- it's just that I'd love to be able to have a single switch, because then I could have my regular keyboard, mouse, and monitor when using the PS3.

They make HDCP-compliant DVI switches, but they cost lots extra, and I don't have the spare money.

Re:It's interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17426548)

In your prior post you claim that "I am an expert as it happens." An expert in what? Anyone who claims to be an "expert" in the A/V world who also happens to be up on his stuff knows that HDMI is simply DVI+SPDIF audio, all bundled neatly into one cable. This means that "extras" like HDCP also get carried along for the ride. Seebs seems to be making a very valid point and all you're responding with is "Nuh uh, cos I'm an expert and I said so." Offer a legitimate response instead of claims of being an "expert" and you might actually get somewhere here.

Re:It's interesting (1)

supermank17 (923993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426968)

The thing you need to realize about HDCP "carrying" over the DVI converter, is that DVI and HDMI are compatible with each other. There is no real "conversion". All a HDMI to DVI cable does is switch the wires around into a different pin-out.

Re:It's interesting (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424170)

That's not about content protection so much as it is about preventing anyone from doing real game development for the PS using Linux, something that would hurt their business model. It's a balance between homebrew as a selling point and making money charging people to make games.

Forget the MMORPGs (0)

genessy (587377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422374)

I'm much more interested in finding out when they're going to release something in the survival horror genre for the PSP. I'm old school. Social gaming is like social masturbation. You only do it with your really good friends!

It's not about Games... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422384)

It's about getting the worst assclown fanboys with false advertising. Make them recognize your video game console as a status symbol and you won't have to care about quality, price or content anymore.

Look at the PS3. It looks like a status symbol. Not like something you have fun with.

PSP vs DS (1)

MrNash (907751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422390)

I can't help but wonder if the boat has already sailed for the PSP. A lot of what these articles discuss as being a boon to the handheld will take a fair bit of time to implement before any beneficial results will be seen. In the meantime, the DS is doing extremely well for itself, and has a number of highly anticipated games in the pipes in comparison to the PSP. Even if these steps by Sony do help the PSP improve its market share, will it put a dent in development costs for the system? That there could remain a major impetus to publishers supporting the handheld. Why make a game that could very likely have a PS2-esque development budget when you can make a DS game for a fraction of the cost/risk? It makes me wonder how much the userbase for the PSP will need to expand in order for game publishers to feel that they'll get a decent ROI from supporting the handheld.

Re:PSP vs DS (1)

Odonian (730378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422874)

My (very unscientific) sampling during the holiday shopping rush seems to support this. After stopping in several mall game stores (EB Games, Gamestop, etc.) that take trade-ins, I saw dozens of used PSPs for sale, and new ones could be had just about everywhere. Several stores were out of new DSes though, and I don't think I saw any used ones for sale at these shops.

Re:PSP vs DS (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423024)

To add to the anecdotal evidence: My brother also abandoned his PSP after less then a year, but he does do that with every console (GBA, PS2). It makes me quite happy because he buys the consoles and I get to play them :D

Re:PSP vs DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17425614)

Maybe it is because, unlike Nintendo, Sony wasn't playing games with stock and trying to create artifical sortages to build up hype.

They didn't meet their Wii numbers, but it will look good in the financial report that they sold out of DSs and they were hard to come by....

Re:PSP vs DS (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427000)

Maybe it is because, unlike Nintendo, Sony wasn't playing games with stock and trying to create artifical sortages to build up hype.

They didn't meet their Wii numbers, but it will look good in the financial report that they sold out of DSs and they were hard to come by....


I think you meant to say:

Maybe it is because, unlike Sony, Nintendo didn't shoot themselves in the foot in every stage of development and marketing and actually figured out what consumers want, in both the handheld and console markets.

PSP has the chance to shine (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422428)

The PSP is a great handheld but its been dogged by shoddy PS2 ports and unoptimized content which takes too long to load. Thankfully its had a lot of great titles appear in the last 12 months (LocoRock, Tekken, MGS: Portable Ops etc.) and finally looks like its shaken off these issues. It also makes for a great multimedia device and I often rip movies, music & shows to watch on it. Even so, the justification for the built-in UMD is rather tenuous, especially with near zero-interest in UMD videos, thanks in part to their rip-off prices.

Where I think the future lies for the PSP is in downloadable content and Sony shows signs of thinking that too. Recent versions of the firmware allow the PSP to play downloaded demos from memory stick, and emulated PS1 titles too. I expect that soon enough we'll see a Sony store on the cross bar selling downloadable games, movies and music for the PSP. It wouldn't even surprise me if / when a PSP Mk2 appears that the UMD drive is an optional external add-on and that games can be played from a large chunk of internal memory and managed via firmware, PC / PS3 or downloaded directly from the store to be played.

Re:PSP has the chance to shine (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422704)

I expect that soon enough we'll see a Sony store on the cross bar selling downloadable games, movies and music for the PSP. It wouldn't even surprise me if / when a PSP Mk2 appears that the UMD drive is an optional external add-on and that games can be played from a large chunk of internal memory and managed via firmware, PC / PS3 or downloaded directly from the store to be played.

Well, we already can see a rudimentary store for this in the PS3 'Playstation Store'.

But I think you are absolutely right. Memory card prices are falling like crazy - it makes sense to drop the UMD and release a PSP 'lite' that is thinner/smaller overall.

Re:PSP has the chance to shine (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424510)

The problem there is that Sony would then be abandoning the market they've already created. While that market isn't matching up to the DS, it's still a significant population, and a population that has been "loyal" to Sony in buying their handheld. Considering that at least part of the magic of the DS is the ability to play the back-catalog of GBA titles, it seems like people would consider it another strike against Sony if they released a new handheld that wasn't backward compatible with the first PSP's games.

Personally, I'm just about ready to jump on the PSP because they've finally got enough games that I wouldn't consider it a ripoff (I'm not the "homebrew" type) - maybe after I finish Final Fantasy III. Of course, that's after a year with the DS and buying many titles for that system. :)

Re:PSP has the chance to shine (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424996)

The problem there is that Sony would then be abandoning the market they've already created. While that market isn't matching up to the DS, it's still a significant population, and a population that has been "loyal" to Sony in buying their handheld. Considering that at least part of the magic of the DS is the ability to play the back-catalog of GBA titles, it seems like people would consider it another strike against Sony if they released a new handheld that wasn't backward compatible with the first PSP's games.

Yeah - I thought that too. But if you do the math on the actual size of these games, it really doesn't look so bad if they went all-download. A UMD, if I recall, is 1.8 GB. Most PSP games don't max that out, some are significantly smaller. With 4GB memorysticks from Sandisk going for around $100 (CDN), it becomes a viable option. They'd have to pack-in at least a 1GB stick with the 'new' PSP though. And if I am being totally realistic, they'll probably hang onto UMD through sheer inertia as you said and then its just Yet Another Game Format. I'm hoping Sony looks at the phenomenal success of the DS and releases this lite PSP with maybe a camera built-in. And a pony of course.

Re:PSP has the chance to shine MOD PARENT UP (1)

imasu (1008081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423784)

This is a really excellent point. It's been a really great year for PSP games. Also the direction you mention for the device totally makes sense to me.

FailzorsX? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422476)

exploited that. A want them there. with the laundry Official GNAA irc Baby take my posts. Therefore there are Usenet is roughly the bottoms butt all servers. Coming oBse5sed - give came as a complete crisco or lube. won't be standing

An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (2, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422970)

I haven't bought a new system since my gameboy and then a few years later my playstation (although I do, have access to a Playstation 2 and Gameboy Advance I take advantage of). So looking at the PS3, Wii, DS, PSP and Xbox360, I am considering perhaps its time I upgraded. However none of the 3 big consoles have really sold me yet, while the handhelds are gaining my interest much more.

Now to be honest both the PSP and DS had a pretty terrible year in 2006 for me as an RPG fan living in Australia. The DS only had:
* Lunar: Dragon Song - Doesn't look that good according to most people. The description of it also sounds sub-par. I'll skip this one most likely.
* Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - I'll pass. I'm a Pokemon fan so I obviously don't have a very high bar, but this game falls below it by the sounds of it.
* Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team - Even though I'm a fan of the Pokemon games, even I have my limits. Can't say this idea really grabs me.
* Pokemon Ranger - Sounds like an interesting twist, but the story seems lacking.
* Children of Mana - Eugh. No thanks. I want something more then dungeon crawling.

The PSP only had:
* Breath of Fire III - I've already got this one. Nice try though Sony.
* Kingdom of Paradise - Eh. Gameplay sounds interesting, story not so much.
* Monster Hunter Freedom - I prefer my turn based games.
* PoPoLoCrois - Sounds interesting.
* Tales of Eternia - Definitely want to get this one.
* Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade - Yikes, it sounds like it has a Baldur's Gate combat system. No thanks.
* Ys: The Ark of Napishtim - I have to admit I've never gotten into the Ys series and given this is a Zelda type combat system, I probably won't get into it with this game.

So for 2006 only 2 RPGs came out in Australia that I want, and only one of those is one I'm keen on. But the PSP does have a 2 game lead over the DS going into 2007.

Now for 2007 the DS games I'm looking forward to are:
* Dragon Quest IX - If this comes out in Australia, I'd like to find out more. However current info points to an action type combat system which is one I dislike. So while I do want more info, my hopes aren't too high.
* Final Fantasy III - No, we haven't got it yet. Yes, I do want it :)
* Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - I was quite surprised to see this when looking at 2007's line-up for this post. But I'm definitely interested, if we get it in Australia (which is extremely likely if its released outside of Japan, which again is extremely likely ;)).
* Pokemon Diamond and Pearl - This is the big draw for the DS for me. And given it has online functionality I'll be able to trade. As a 22 year old pokemon fan, I don't know anyone in person who is a fan.
* Vandal Hearts - Vandal Hearts was the first game I ever played on the PSX, so I'm a fan. However there's no indication it will get released in Australia.

So only 3 games for 2007 by the looks of it. Not a very good line-up. Now moving onto the PSP. It will have:
* Crisis Core - I'm a FFVII fan from when it was first released. How could I not be interested? Well easy, it looks like they did away with turn based/ATB/anything not too action oriented battles.

Well shit. That's not a lot. So it looks like 2007 will be the year of the DS, although will it be enough for me to lay out the money for it? I'm thinking I might wait until 2008, but don't quote me on that. It could quite possibly come down to whether or not DQ9 and Vandal Hearts make it to Australia and if they do, what they're gameplay is like. If both come to Australia with a battle system I like a good story, then I can definitely see myself getting a DS. Otherwise, I can see myself waiting until 2008.

Now as for the articles, I found the PSP one to be as telling as the submitter. It only confirms my suspicions that the PSP won't be the console for me in 2007 (however I do have access to my brother's, so it's pretty much as if I already own it as he's already abandoned it. However with only 1 game on it from 2006, not 2007, I'm not exactly going to be calling it the year of the PSP for myself). The DS article was also inferior to my own research, but thats because I have very specific tastes.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423442)

Hi,

If you are an RPG fan, forget *every* other system until you have a PS2. The best RPGs of this generation were and are still being published on the PS2. Forget the DS and PSP entirely -- as you have noticed, both are quite lacking. Get a PS2, and FFXII, Grandia 3, DQ8, Digital Devel Saga 1 & 2, Tales of Legendia, Shadow Hearts 1-3, Star Ocean 2, etc.

The best handheld platform for RPGs remains the GBA: look at all the Atlus games put out recently: Summon Night Saga 1&2, Super Robot Wars 1&2, etc. Not to mention the FF ports, as well as the existing titles.

* Lunar: Dragon Song - Doesn't look that good according to most people. The description of it also sounds sub-par. I'll skip this one most likely.

This game is AWFUL. Nothing like the classic SegaCD Lunar games at all. You can't control your characters in combat, you lose health for running (wtf?), and the gameplay has two mind-numbingly idiotic "modes" which make zero sense whatsoever. I pre-ordered this game because of the word "Lunar" attached to it; don't make the same mistake I did.

* Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - I'll pass. I'm a Pokemon fan so I obviously don't have a very high bar, but this game falls below it by the sounds of it.

A very "meh" game. Tailor-made for Nintendo fanboys, but I found it dull.

For the DS, maybe wait to see if Contact is getting released in Australia.

* PoPoLoCrois - Sounds interesting.

Generic as all hell turn based RPG with sprite graphics. The word "uninspired" was created for games like this.

* Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade - Yikes, it sounds like it has a Baldur's Gate combat system. No thanks.

Yes, a real time hack and slash. Another generic SOE dungeon crawler. Dull.

Hth

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427430)

Get a PS2, and FFXII, Grandia 3, DQ8, Digital Devel Saga 1 & 2, Tales of Legendia, Shadow Hearts 1-3, Star Ocean 2, etc.
As I said I do have a playstation 2 that I have access to and that I take advantage of and I do have a few games on it (I'm waiting until I complete those before I buy more). Its my brothers so it would be pointless for me to buy another ;) But thanks anyway :) And I'm glad to hear my suspicions on the current DS roleplaying games and PSP games are on target.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427594)

In that case, get a DS. It gives you access not only to the DS RPGs out now and in the future, but also to all the GBA RPGs, which there are quite a few of, going all the way back to Golden Sun & Golden Sun 2 (which are great). Since all handhelds are region free, you can also import GBA & DS games that were never released in your region and play them easily.

A few more than that (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424072)

Er... 2007 will also have D&D Tactics and Disgaea for the PSP off the top of my head. More from IGN's release list [ign.com]:

  • Legend of Heroes 3
  • Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure
  • Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner
  • Valhalla Knights
  • Elder Scrolls: Travels

All of these are Q1 releases, including D&D Tactics, so that's six RPGs before April. Check the above list or RPGamer's list [rpgamer.com] for more.

Re:A few more than that (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427890)

I didn't know of a a few of those, although I knew of the others and didn't mention them because I was only mentioning those I'm interested in ;) Of those mentioned on the site for the DS:
* Archaic Sealed Heat - Sounds interesting, but there's no indication it will be released in Australia unfortunately.
* Atelier Lisette - Terrible story.
* Chibi Robo: Park Patrol - See Atelier Lisette.
* Heroes of Mana - I've never gotten interested in the Mana series, but I'd like to check this out as I enjoy good strategy RPGs. However the story will be the final determining factor. That and if its released in Australia (good chance if its released outside of America).
* Luminous Arc - If its released in Australia you can firmly put this in the I want column.
* Lunar Knights - Not the sort of combat system I enjoy.
* Marheaven 2 - Nothing is known but it looks like its predecessor was only released in Japan. Never a good sign.
* Naruto RPG 3 - I see no signs this will be released in Australia.
* Tales of the Tempest - No sign this will get an America release let alone an Australian one. But I am excited if it does come out here.
* Brave Story - Didn't find any details but didn't look too hard. No knowledge if we can expect an American release let alone one for Australia.

So once again, while there's definitely some I missed, it all comes down to which come out in Australia.

Now for the PSP:
* Brave Story - Didn't find any details but didn't look too hard. No knowledge if we can expect an American release let alone one for Australia.
* Disgaea Portable - A PS2 port and one that was released in Australia by the looks of it. Nice try Sony.
* Dungeons & Dragons Tactics - Looks like the story is the typical fare for a D&D game. I'll pass.
* Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lions War - Yet another remake. Although a remake of a game never brought to Australia, I got the American version (I have a chipped Playstation so when I went to America in 2000 I went crazy in buying PSX games).
* Gurumin - Not the sort of battle system I like and a peculiar (not in a good way) story. I'll pass.
* Innocent Life - AAARGH! Keep away.
* Jeanne d'Arc - A strange enough idea I'm willing to take a closer look at reviews when it comes out.
* Magna Carta: Tears of Blood - Another port. This is a problem for the PSP.
* Monster Hunter Portable 2nd - Doesn't look like it will have the type of combat I like.
* Tales of Destiny 2 - The PS2 version wasn't released in America, I don't see why the PSP version will be.
* Tales of Phantasia - Another remake, but this one seems worth it. I also don't have the GBA version yet.
* Tales of the World - I would be interested if its released in Australia.
* Tengai Makyo: Daiyon no Dajiroku - No indication Australia will get it.
* Valhalla Knights - Despite its combat system, I'm interested. If its released in Australia.
* Wild Arms XF - I'm interested if its released in my country.

So of those I'm interested in 4-6 games (my interest is weary of 2 of them) versus the DS's 2 games. So with the games covered in my original post, it brings us to 4-6 games for the PSP and 6 games for the DS. However once more, which make it to Australia is very important.

Re:A few more than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428014)

Er... 2007 will also have D&D Tactics and Disgaea for the PSP off the top of my head.

Yes, but he's talking about AUS specifically.

Doesn't matter (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428752)

Assuming since he posted here on slashdot and in English, he can also read English, which means that he can import the games if he wants: PSP games are region-free.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430444)

Plus, it is much cheaper to import games from the US than it is to buy them locally. It's often half the price.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424214)

Untold Legends is more like Diablo if Diablo were unbalanced and mediocre.

Dungeon Seige is a bit better (so far) but still not great.

Your research sucks (1)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425108)

mostly because you forgot about about the Final Fantasy Tactics remake and the new Disgaea game due out on the PSP, and the new Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games on the DS.

Also, Magical Starsign came out in 2006 for the DS, and is a pretty good RPG from what I hear. On top of that, there's a whole ton of RPG's out (and still coming out) for the GBA, which the DS plays just fine. The re-release, with new translation, of Final Fantasy VI ranks high on my list this year.

Living in Australia isn't much of an excuse, since the DS isn't region locked. Importing shouldn't be a problem.

Re:Your research sucks (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425956)

FF6 will not have a new translation. Four and Five did, because their original translations were shoddy. FF6, on the other hand, has one of the best translations in the series. From what I've heard, they're changing very little. I would have been MUCH happier had they used FF6 to make the 3D cross over, instead of FF3, as FF6 felt like the creators were actually THINKING in 3D, but having to use 2D hardware. FF6 is the first modern jRPG, IMO, but one of the few (along with Chrono Trigger and the Lunar games) that are completely 2D, and deserve another chance to shine.

Re:Your research sucks (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427938)

Your research sucks mostly because you forgot about about the Final Fantasy Tactics remake and the new Disgaea game due out on the PSP
I only mentioned games interested in, neither of those interest me as I don't like remakes for portables if I already have the original system its on.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
I did not see that, thankyou. If you're information is correct on imports from America, this will most definitely help sway me towards the DS.

there's a whole ton of RPG's out (and still coming out) for the GBA, which the DS plays just fine
Nice try but I already have access to a GBA. That won't be a factor in which handheld system wins me over.

Living in Australia isn't much of an excuse, since the DS isn't region locked. Importing shouldn't be a problem.
Finally! Finally, finally, finally! Oh for this alone I think the DS has won me over :D About fucking time the game companies went this route.

Re:Your research sucks (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427956)

Also, Magical Starsign came out in 2006 for the DS
Forgot to mention this. Simple story doesn't really thrill me. I might rent it if it was released in Australia.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425282)

If you don't like action RPGs stay away from the Tales games, if you want to perform at your best in battles in those games you need to take direct control of one or more characters and pull off combos like there's no tomorrow. I think I do 50% or more of the damage with my active character in Symphonia and Phantasia so leaving all characters to the AI will greatly reduce your party's damage output.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427972)

The Tales games are an exception to my "don't like action" rule. I find their system is different enough that I can use it.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17425660)

The Mario and Luigi game is actually a lot of fun.

What I particularly like about it is that the battle system does not get boring. It is turn based, but with an arcade or action element thrown in; and you are even given the opportunity to inflict damage on an attacker through defensive actions during the computer controlled players 'turns'.

Definitely recommended.

Re:An Australian RPG Fan's Viewpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17426428)

Don't let the lightheartedness fool you, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time is a phenomenally good RPG. It is the game Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door should have been - a real evolution of the turn based/timed attack hybrid.

What? (3, Informative)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423048)

I don't like articles like this when they ignore product releases, because it's not in their region.

You can play Metal Gear: Portable Ops, SEGA's star gazer title, and use the mapping software in Japan for the GPS unit already. Even the US Firmware has had PSP camera support for a long time now. The thing is with PSP you can use hardware from any region with your PSP. I have had several of add-ons for some time on my PSP. Vaporware? My ass. The more 'region-free' game hardware get the more annoying these articles become. Often it's cheaper to import some add-ons than buy them local anyway if you buy bundles with software.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424910)

Add-ons?? Who cares??!! It's all about the games, and the selection and quality of games available for the PSP sucks big time.
All the other stuff, movies, accessories, etc., is just fluff - interesting options only and by no means justification for buying into an otherwise great device with a piss-poor selection of game titles.

I predict the PSP will go the same way as the Clie.

Re:What? (1)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427368)

Nintendo is making add-ons like the mp3 player and Opera browser already. You can't be taken serious with a luddite attitude that you should make a games only handheld. You'll be shocked to find out once Nintendo starts using higher speced hardware the portables made will be more like the PSP than the DS. Why would you not want to be able to browse the web, watch a movie, or listen to music in addition to playing games? I'd rather have all the new hardware add-ons than another Pokemon or Square/Enix Branded Edition DS Lite. I'm glad you like the DS, but don't be floored when Nintendo starts focusing on the same non-gaming features you decry. I don't see any plans for virtual console titles on the DS, but I do see PSOne titles on the PSP right now. It all comes down to personal preference, and for me the DS is not even going to do half of what I want in a handheld.

As for your comments about not liking PSP games, I have to say most developers only make certain a few specific genres for PSP -- just like the DS only has a seperate narrow selection as well. I personally don't like even the most popular DS titles, and I perfer games like Talkman, Portable Ops, and Disgaea on PSP. I just can't get into old rehashes of games I played ten years ago. I also like something besides what feels like a collection of cheap minigames or a gameplay gimmick, and most DS games feel like they're for kids with ADD.

Also since I know some Japanese it's nice to be able to import games at will from Japan for every single title w/o the worry of region locks. I can even use the PSP to study Japanese with reading and audio material when I get a bit of free time even if all that material isn't commerically provided. You say the "PSP sucks", however I say the DS just plays some old games I don't want anyway. =)

What I want from a PSP (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423438)

It would be nice if there were some decent 2-3 player games on the PSP. Racing games are awful, as there is no AI player. My friends and I reverted to Worms World Party on the NGage, it's the best multiplayer for a handheld in my eyes. WWP is awful on the PSP, there's no cool weapons!

troll comment but still relevant (1)

musicphreke (1027380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424088)

When someone posts a news post on here they need to use the & instead of just the straight & because it looks like @$$ in an RSS reader. just FYI :)

Can't believe they forgot.. (1)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424244)

"phoenix wright justice all" for the DS that comes out this month. The first Phoenix Wright did so well that the demand outpaced the supply, the company had to do a reprint of the game to keep up. This is one game on my MUST HAVE list.

Re:Can't believe they forgot.. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429056)

Tell me about it! I spent over six months trying to find that game, finally found one of the reprint copies.

And man, was it fun. Ask any of my roommates what I did for the first week or so of our big studio vacation. OBJECTION!

Also for Zune! (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425258)

I heard Microsoft is going to double the number of Zunes it sells in 2007, compared to 2006. There's no way Apple can beat that!

(Don't you hate when people use percentages when they are dealing with small numbers?)

I like the PSP (1, Flamebait)

Reapman (740286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428338)

Personally for those of us that like the idea of an all in one device, I think the PSP is great. I just picked one up about a month ago, and I wish I got it sooner. Yeah I like my DS... has some good games. But I'm not going to take my DS to work, on the train, etc etc.. I'll take my PSP, where I can watch movies (well not at work!) and listen to music as well. Yeah I know a lot of people like dedicated devices, a game unit, an MP3 Player, etc etc... but I like limiting what I carry around with me. And the PSP feels much more solid and well less kiddiesh then the DS.

Both have their place, but right now I'm really enjoying my PSP more then the DS... in fact my game library for DS is now about half what my PSP library is, and I've had a DS since almost day 1.

No more wind waker, please! (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428736)

Did I read that right? They are making a DS zelda like Wind Waker where you have to travel island to island? NOOOoOoooo!!!11!!

Re:No more wind waker, please! (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428860)

It will likely be a lot of fun this time around, given that you won't have to adjust the wind constantly. Or so says TFA.

No credibility... (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429966)

They said "We hope it will be much better than the overrated Mario Kart DS.". Mario Kart DS cannot be overrated, it's awesome. There's no way Diddy Kong Racing can beat it, despite the N64 Diddy being a classic.
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