Why the NGP will crush (and be crushed by) the 3DS

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Second, the control inputs are arguably better. While the 3DS added an analog “slider” (essentially a more comfortable nub than what was on the PSP), the NGP will have two analog sticks. Not only will this maximize comfort, this will also make it easier to play shooters and racers on the system. On top of that, there will be a multitouch pad on the back of the system that is a 1:1 replica of the front touchscreen. Games like Little Deviants make compelling use of this, as you “pinch” characters using both touch inputs.

And while we’re on the subject of touchscreens, why does the 3DS still come with a stylus? It’s mostly useless unless you have to input something on a tiny, on-screen keyboard. It’s like the last 4 years of iPhones and Androids never happened. As it stands, it’s just something that you might lose if you’re not careful.

The NGP’s online functionality will be worlds better

Oh, Nintendo. Every time they try to take a step forward, they make it in the clumsiest way possible. For example, friend codes on the 3DS are easier to manage than they were on the DS and Wii. However, your friends list is a cluttered mess. You have to scroll allll the way to the front of your list to add someone new, which becomes a pain as your list gets bigger and bigger. And while you can see what your friends are playing, you can’t send them messages or invites. It’s cumbersome as hell.

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With what we know about the NGP’s online so far, it should have zero issue making the 3DS look silly in this regard. We already know that you’ll be able to collect trophies as you do on your PS3, and connecting with your friends will undoubtedly be easier with the use of your PSN ID. With just this alone I’m already excited about going online with the NGP.

But why stop there? We know that Sony will offer 3G connectivity with the NGP, which depending on the data provider can be either a gift or a curse. How cool would it be to download a PSP mini on your morning commute, or to play Killzone against your buddies online while your bored at a family reunion? So long as Sony steers clear of buddying up with AT&T, it brings about some exciting possibilities.

Finally, think about downloading games. While it will be able to download old Game Boy and DSi/3DSWare games, it’s impossible to download full retail games to your system. While the argument that an all-digital download marketplace is still a long way out is valid, it will happen eventually, and probably sooner than we think. Sony and Microsoft have embraced this by offering full retail downloads for their machines, while Nintendo have neglected that part of the market completely. All NGP games will be available for download day and date with their retail counterparts; why can’t I do that with my 3DS? There’s a perfectly fine SD card slot sitting right there.

In typical Nintendo fashion, they’re already behind the online arms race before everyone else is even ready to start. It would be fantastic if they could one day get their act together — make it easy to connect with and play with friends, make it so people want to publish and buy games digitally, yada yada — but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

So there you have it. As it stands now, I’m extremely happy with my 3DS, even if it’s currently lacking in games. I’m also absolutely stoked about the NGP releasing later this year, and I’ll be there on day one to get my hands on it. While we won’t know how this handheld war will pan out until the NGP sees the light of day, I do know this: Round 2 will be a lot more interesting than Round 1.

Readers Comments (6)

  1. Great job. This prevented as much “flame bait” because it looks at it both ways. This is how gamers should think and they shouldn’t be one sided. They should look at multiple possibilities with open minds.

  2. I agree with wtfwtfwtf, this was really well written, and touches a couple of points I hadn’t considered, I don’t have a 3DS yet but I plan on getting one eventually, I still play on my DS Lite, but the NGP is a very tempting platform to acquire.
    Although “last gen” initially I completely ignored the DS in favor of the PSP, I still, to this day, only have ONE PSP game, I had another one but I sold it. I didn’t use it for AGES until I decided to hack it and load a bunch of emulators on it, the support Sony gave to it was kinda crappy, I loved Chains Of Olympus and every Metal Gear game that was on the PSP, but aside from that… not much.
    Then the DS, which I expected to be utter crap, caught my attention, I got the DS Lite, and I still play it to this day, no emulators or anything.
    So if that is any sign of things to come, then I still trust Nintendo to come up with cool things for the 3DS, but with the unofficial lineup the NGP has on its back (Uncharted, Resistance, et al), things will get very interesting!
    So… awesome article! 🙂

  3. Games that the system will receive is everything (well at least for the core market), the current sales of the 3DS is anything but spectacular because it is lacking any serious titles, I mean Nintendo’s presence is only found in Nintendogs (WTF?).

  4. Good article

  5. victorgodamnsullivan April 10, 2011 @ 16:17

    Great article. Not getting the 3DS because it has no games and I have a Dsi already. Will probably get 3DS if they get a pokemon or Fire Emblem. NGP looks great and by commenting on this site you know I am a huge PS fan so the big names coming to it are tantalizing.

  6. ive always beliewed that the dominant sistem is the one that gives us the best games, right now anything i say or anyone says is speculation
    but from what ive seen so far from bough sistems, its looking like the psp2 dosent limit the dewelopes as much as much as the 3ds…
    but we will se about 2 years after bough sistems get released worldwide when the dewelopes figure out bough sistems arhitecture…

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