The Great Debate

It seems clear that I’m going to have to get a new portable system sometime in the near future. The DS’s library… well, I haven’t tapped it, not close, but the only really must-have game that I haven’t played yet is the new Pokemon (and the new Fire Emblem, if it ever comes out). Plus, while my DS Lite is still functional, it’s not in the best of shape — the R button is a little unresponsive, the touch screen is pitted with scratches and smudges that I can’t seem to clear, and there was a disturbing incident a year or so back where it lost power and would not turn on for something like twenty-four hours, and I live in fear of a recurrence. It’s probably better for all concerned if I put it out to pasture sometime soon.

The question is what to get. The obvious choice is the 3DS, as it’s the new hotness, and I know that eventually there will be games that I absolutely have to have for it — Paper Mario and Super Mario 3D chief among them, but also a few other games like Kid Icarus. It’s expensive, though, and right now and for the near future the software library is fairly barren of games that I actually want to play. The Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 ports are due sometime during the summer, but they’re just that — ports of games I’ve been playing more or less continuously since they came out. Tales of the Abyss would be a good buy, but a system-seller? No way.

Surprisingly, I find myself drawn to the PSP. I haven’t really paid all that much attention to the system, but it’s half the price of a 3DS and it’s quietly built up a very nice library beneath my notice. A quick perusal of Amazon reveals dozens of cool games at fifteen dollars or less, to say nothing of PS1 classics. However, the recent PSN issue makes me a bit wary of giving Sony my money, and its lifespan looks to be only slightly longer than the DS’s at this point, so I’d be banking on a “If I haven’t played it, it’s new to me” attitude carrying me for a while. I’ve never really tried getting into a system at the end of its life cycle before, so it may be that it’d be agonizing to read about Super Mario 3D and Ocarina of Time 3D and not being able to play them even if I was having fun with Tactics Ogre and Dracula X Chronicles.

What I think I’ll do is buy Pokemon, then wait for E3 and see what kind of 3DS news pops up. If we get solid release dates for key software like the aforementioned Mario games, I’ll take the plunge on the 3DS. If not, though,  the PSP may be a better use of time and money until that must-have software begins to appear. Yes, that sounds like a plan. Then: Project Cafe. Man, I hate the system turnover period.

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