I’m a proud owner of a PlayStation Portable. It was the first video game console I’ve ever owned. I bought it because I had a dream one night when I was visiting my sister in the Netherlands where I had one. It’s very convenient when travelling. I later bought a PS2 since I was mostly playing games at home. A few months ago I moved to another city and started commuting to work by train, so I’ve really put the PSP to good use.

A few days ago I read a topic over at AHN where one of the users was talking about getting a Nintendo DS. I felt inspired and went and bought one the same day. As I own a PSP and don’t have many nostalgic memories of old games and previous Nintendo consoles, I’ve favoured the PSP for it’s superior graphics. One of the reasons I decided to get a DS is because it can double as a kanji dictionary where you can look up kanji using the stylus pen. But mostly it was about acting on a whim. I usually think long and hard before buying expensive things. Not this time.

Along with the DS I bought Final Fantasy III which I’ve spent over 11 hours on the past 4-5 days (which is a lot for me). Mostly on the train, but also after coming home at night. It’s hard to put down. It only took me a couple of hours to get over how crappy the graphics are on the DS compared to the PSP. It actually feels more natural to play a game like this on the DS. I’m more critical about the sound and graphics on the PSP because I know how good it can be. If a game looked like FFIII on the PSP, I would be upset. On the DS I don’t really care and can relax.

People say that the DS has many more good games than the PSP. I don’t know about that. The impression I’ve gotten when I’ve looked around in local game stores is that when the PSP shelf says “Killzone: blood and gore”, the DS shelf reads “Barbie Magic Princess” and “My Pony”. The DS does, however seem more diverse when it comes to software like dictionaries and stuff. I’m also looking forward to trying strategy games where you can use the pen like you use a mouse on the PC.

I never bothered with trying to “hack” the PSP to play downloaded games and stuff. I’ve felt like I could afford the games, and instead I’ve sold games I’ve finished or grown tired of to save some money. I was planning on taking the same route with the DS, but in the same AHN topic someone mentioned M3 Simply. That is a “game cartridge” with a slot for a micro SD memory card where you can put downloaded games. As the games for the DS are usually under 100 MB each, this felt like too good a thing to pass up, so I ordered an M3 Simply cartridge and went and bought a 1 GB memory card (which costed virtually nothing).

I mentioned using the DS as a kanji dictionary. Well, I ordered the Rakuhiku Jiten: Kanji sonomama DS dictionary from YesAsia, but yesterday I received an e-mail stating that their supplier didn’t have any in stock, so I’ll have to cancel it. Luckily it was easy to find a ROM for it online, so I’ll run it on the M3 Simply instead which should arrive any day now.

Anyway, I really like the DS and I’m looking forward to playing lots of games on it. I still think the PSP is superior, but both consoles have things to offer. Especially when you ride the train a lot like I do.