Sony NGP v Nintendo 3DS: game on
So, both Sony and Nintendo have finally shown their hand and unveiled their next-gen handheld gaming devices.
It’s great news for gamers everywhere, and just like portable computing has taken over where the desktop used to rule, we could be seeing a shift in the gaming world too: forget those full-blown consoles, handhelds is where it’s at in 2011.
But how do the newly announced pair stack up against each other? Let’s take a quick look…
Power: there’s only one winner here. The Sony NGP’s quad-core processor wipes the floor with the 3DS, and will deliver better graphics on its bigger screen.
Graphics: as we mentioned, the NGP’s 5in 960×544 display is comfortably superior to Nintendo’s pair of much smaller displays, but of course one of those is…
3D: fans of the 3DS will happily accept a beating in just about every other category knowing that Nintendo’s baby does one very significant thing the Sony doesn’t. So long as the selection of 3D games is there to back it up, this could be a major plus.
Cameras: both consoles have two, but they serve very different purposes. Nintendo’s pair of side-by-side 0.3MP snappers let you take 3D pics, while Sony’s are in the familiar front and back configuration, and at a higher resolution too, hinting at augmented reality gaming in the future.
Extras: neither Sony nor Nintendo have ignored the need for their gaming gadgets to offer more than just the basics. Both devices will come with Wi-Fi and supporting web stores, and content deals are already being put in place, while the NGP will also have 3G and GPS on board. One notable point about the 3DS is that it will be backwards-compatible with older DS and DSi games (in 2D, obviously). We doubt the NGP will offer the same.
Price: Sony says the NGP will be “affordable”, but it’s unlikely to be anywhere near as affordable as the lowest price we’ve seen of £202 for Nintendo’s handheld baby.
Availability: the 3DS will be available a full nine months ahead of the NGP, and that’s an awful long time. The fear for Sony is that 3D gaming will be so big by Christmas that it’s absence on the NGP will be uncomfortably noticeable.
Verdict: Sony and Nintendo have both done their best to usher in a new generation, yet it’s strange how similar both handhelds line up against each other compared with their full-sized brethren. Like the PS3, Sony’s NGP is more powerful, better connected, with better graphics and more features. Nintendo’s 3DS, like the Wii, is cheaper, will be here first and offers a wow feature its Sony rival won’t be able to match at launch.