This past year saw many games come and go, but there were only a few standout gaming devices. The Nintendo DSi made a big splash in our office and your homes alike, while the iPod Touch made its mark on the industry as a legitimate gaming console. The PSP Go also made its debut at this year's E3, and there were too many game-worthy PC and Mac laptops to hit the market to count. So tell me — which is your favorite portable gaming device of 2009?
I've always thought of portable gaming systems like the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP as substitutes for the real thing. Don't get me wrong, I always slip my DS into my purse when I know I am going to have to wait for a plane, train or automobile, but it's just not as engaging and exciting as playing the game on a console like the Wii or Xbox. It's the big sound. It's the vibration. It's the big screen. When it comes to gaming, do you prefer one or the other or do you love them equally?
Well, if I actually squeezed it to death, I would kill my PSP. And who would want to do that!? But in all seriousness, I absolutely love Patapon, as it's quickly becoming one of my favorite games to play. Some of you DS'ers may be pretty bummed to discover that yes, Patapon is a PSP title. But honestly, with PSP's portability, Skype capabilities, and movie watching that's easier on the eyes than on your iPod, you just might want to fish out that $199 for the PSP/Daxter bundle (Daxter being no waste of money either) to get your hands on this portable monster.
From the same folks that brought LocoRoco, this rhythm and battle based side scroller sends you to help a tribe of Patapon reclaim their land from the devious Zitigon Army. You also must lead them to a place called Earthend, so that the tribe can swoop up a mysterious object known as "IT". Oh how do I love thee, Patapon? Help me count the ways when you read more
The DS may be my portable gaming device of choice, but I can't help but sit up and take notice of the PSP lately. At this year's CES, announcements came of Skype teaming up with Sony, allowing you to make free calls to any of the other 246 million Skype members over the PSP's wifi connectivity.
The free calling goodness will be limited to the Slim PSP though, which means the rest of us will have to fork over the requisite $170 to get in on the action. Thankfully, Skype offers some redeeming qualities like text messaging, video messaging, even conference calls! This kind of news might make the PSP a must have gadget for me in the future. Games, movies and a phone — all in one? What else could a geek want?
I know people often expect the "best" gadget in a category to be universal, however it seems each country's portable player tastes are as unique as their native cuisine.
The Zen Vision, $374, has long played second or third string to the iPod and other portables in the US, but apparently, Italians love the player's 2.5-inch high res LCD screen and the freedom to download videos and music in various formats.
Japan picked the Phillips PET725/44, Australia goes ga-ga for the fifth generation iPod, Brazil likes the Philips PET725/44, Japan loves the Sony DVP-FX810 and the US apparently adores the Panasonic DVD LS 91. To each his own, right?