Sunday, 15 July 2012

BLOG -- My Preferences for Video Game Console / Handhelds

So... a week ago, I got into a brief discussion about PS3 games and Xbox 360 games with my friend. Currently, I own a PS3 and an Xbox 360. When it comes to buying video games, any games that are available for both the Xbox 360 and PS3, I always try to buy the PS3 version. That essentially means that I have a very small collection of Xbox 360 games. This got me thinking:

For other gamers who own both consoles, how do they decide which version to get for which games?

My friend said that he sometimes bought Xbox 360 games out of pity. Then a couple of days later, I read my friend's blog, which provided another reason. That got me thinking: maybe I should blog about video games, too, haha. So this blog will be about about which consoles / handhelds I personally prefer and why (some of these reasons may be very obvious).

I hope I do not offend anybody. Being a gamer pretty much all my life, I do have my biases (which will probably show throughout the blog). If you disagree with anything I say or if you have anything to say, feel free to comment :)

DS vs. PSP
My Preference: DS

I prefer the DS over the PSP, because... well... it has a longer battery life than the PSP, haha. Whenever I think about the DS and PSP, I always think of this VG Cats comic. Switching out games while commuting is much easier as well (I can be pretty lazy sometimes over the smallest things). Having touch functionality isn't always a benefit, but it does make the DS more versatile (you know, for times when I can play video games with only one hand). I also love that it's backwards compatible with GBA games. There's also a lot of great games, but I don't that to be a major factor for preferring the DS over the PSP.

The PSP... I personally don't get it as a handheld. I think the PSP is better suited as a console instead of a handheld. In a way, I think Sony believed that, too, after releasing AV components so the PSP-2000/3000 and even the PSP Go can be hooked up to the TV. To me, that just doesn't make sense for a handheld. If you're going to be home in front of a TV, you might as well be playing video games on a console. 

I also found the PSP too bright, even at its minimum brightness level. I can't play on it for more than an hour or my eyes will burn. That really makes it difficult for me to progress and finish almost every game I want to play on the PSP.

PS3 vs. Xbox360 vs. Wii
My Order of Preference: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii

Even though the PS3 no longer has backwards compatibility with PS2 games, the PS3 is my preferred console because it is region-free; meaning I can import games from other regions and the PS3 can play them. It is the only console that is region-free. I also think it has the best controller design -- and it doesn't use batteries (yay!). Being a blu-ray player is also great. Headset use isn't always the best, though (for some games).

The Xbox 360 comes second... simply because it does. Besides not having too many exclusive games (that I'd want to play) on the console, the controller being a little clunky, and having to pay a membership if you want to do online play, I don't have much beefs with the actual console. I do for the Wii, though.

The Wii comes last, because... well... you know how I mentioned I sometimes get lazy over the smallest things? Well, the Wii is great in offering a number of options -- you can play Gamecube games; you can play with a regular controller instead of the Wiimote for many games; you can do online play for free... the Wii can be very versatile with game selection and control options. Here is my beef: the prep work that comes with it. Those of you with a Wii might wonder, what prep work?


If I want to play Gamecube games, I would have to get my Gamecube-specific memory card and Gamecube controller and stick them into their slots. Then when I'm done playing for the day, I'll have to remove the controller and memory card (I don't want that area getting dusty) and put them away. And I would have to do that every time I play a Gamecube game. 

If I want to play with the classic controller instead of the Wiimote, again, I would have to take the classic controller out of my box of controllers and then hook it up with the Wiimote, and then put it back when I'm done. I can't leave the classic controller in the Wiimote, 'cuz the Wiimote has to be recharged pretty much all the time. 

If I want to do online play, I first have to get my friend's friend code for that game specifically. Every time I want to do online play with that same friend for a different game, I will have to get a friend code for that specific game. Uh... it's a bit too much. By the way, I haven't done online play on the Wii for many years now -- if it's actually different from what I just described, please let me know.

So... yeah... the Wii comes last because I'm too lazy. Often when I think about playing a Gamecube game, I'm turned off when I think about all the motions I have to do in order to start playing. Of course, it won't stop me all the time. But it still stops me. I don't have to do any extra hookups of any sort for the PS3, unless I need to recharge the controller (and I don't mind that because I know it's not using batteries). The only extra thing I do with the Xbox 360 is popping in the batteries for the wireless controller or hooking up the wired controller.

The Wii also has horrible storage capacity, but that's a given.

3DS vs. PS Vita
My Preference: Neither

My overall opinion on the future of handhelds, well... I think it's going in a wrong direction. I have next-to-no experience with these handhelds -- this is just what I'm speculating, based on what I know. I think both the 3DS and the PS Vita are doing something right... and wrong. I don't own either right now, but chances are I'll own a 3DS first.

Why the 3DS first? Simply because I'm betting it will have a game that I will absolutely want first (Phoenix Wright vs. Professor Layton -- please, please, please be released! Lol). It's great that the 3DS is backwards compatible with DS games (though my DS Lite is still kicking so I don't need a 3DS for that) -- that's what the 3DS is doing right. The 3D function is neat, but I could care less about it (I'm betting it would make me dizzy, and I'm not for anything that sucks the battery life dry like a vampire). What the 3DS is not doing right, in my opinion, is this: region-locking.

I can understand that region-locking is there for online components (just like how there's region-specific content for PS3 owners. ie. if you have a Japanese PSN account, you'll be able to access the Japanese specific content on PSN. If you have a North American PSN account, you'll be able to access the North American specific content on PSN, etc.). Why region-lock the games, though? Nintendo's history with handhelds, at least from the GBA and beyond, they were region-free. And I did import a number of DS games -- a number of Nintendo DS games. Now, if I want to play a 3DS game that's only available in Japan, I'll have to buy a Japanese 3DS. It just sucks. 

Alternatively, the best thing about the PS Vita is that it is region-free (thank goodness!). The worst thing about the PS Vita is that it is not backwards compatible with UMDs (physical PSP games). It's fine that PS Vita games are in, what I'd imagine to be, a better format, but backwards compatibility would have been nice, since it can actually play PSP games (digital copies only).

Hahaha, the 3DS and PS Vita are complete opposites in terms of those factors. And because of that, I have no sure-fire choice. 

After laying out my thoughts about these consoles and handhelds, I've come to a couple of conclusions: 

1. Having backwards compatibility and being region-free are very important factors to me when considering a video game console or handheld. 

2. It's gotta be easily accessible (aka I should be able to start up a game with the least amount of effort -- turning on the system, TV, and popping in the game would be ideal).

Backwards compatibility is so important to me because I don't always have the time to play all the games that I buy. When I do get to them, it'd be nice to know that I can still play them on a current console / handheld and not one that I stored away just for that purpose.

Being region-free is extremely important because I would simply like to have that option to import, and not have to spend the extra money to get an identical piece of hardware (that just plays different games). Can you imagine just how many extra consoles / handhelds that would be? And all the space it would take up?!

Being easily accessible is kinda a given, at least for me. If there are lesser amounts of obstacles, even small stuff, then chances are higher of whatever you want happening, to happen.

And that's all I got to say for now about this, lol.

Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts, please comment :)


  1. Hey, thanks very much for plugging my blog!

    Though it would be fun to pretend to be offended by the PSP bashing, you are absolutely right. There is a battery life issue, and there is that whole thing where if you want to play on a TV, then just get a game for the TV. Easier said than done sometimes because there are games... good games... that are PSP exclusive.

    Now the PSVita, on the other hand, is a wonderful machine but there`s a bias there. It`s because Gravity Rush is such a good game! Still playing it, and loving every second of it. If (and it`s a pretty big if) Sony can keep pumping out games on the same level as Gravity then the Vita will be the best handheld ever! The screen and the graphics are also oh so good. Ahem. Sorry. Just had to hype it. I have to admit that, even despite my bias, the 3Ds would probably be the better choice just because right now, I think the Nintendo system will get more good games. :( It really is too bad because I think it`s also a vastly inferior machine but games are everything right...

    A little side note on backward compatability... It seems that the longer a system has been on the market the less it matters. Every new system, for the first year or so, have very little new releases. This makes the ability to play older games indispensible. But as the new games start coming out... well, there are always great games on the way! Then the ability to play older games isn`t as important. Yes, I understand that you have a lot of older titles you want to play but be honest here.... do you really have time to play them all even if you want toÉ

    1. Yes, I will find the time to play them all! Mwa ha ha ha. Just need to take some more vacation days... haha. It is quite true that if you really want to play a game, you will make the time for it, even when you really don't have any time at all.