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Final Verdict: and the Best Portable Gaming Console Is...

PSP Go vs. Dsi and iPhone

Which portable console is the best?

We found Nintendo’s DSi to be the best gaming console overall, both because of its wide range of available titles and its unique gameplay functions. It is the technologically weakest of the three devices, but developers have learned quickly how to use the DSi’s user interface properly, and many of the games available for the DSi are excellently designed. The PSP may have larger, better looking, and more intensive games, but worse battery life and limited collection of available titles for the Go keep it behind the DSi. The Touch, alternatively, is excellent for casual titles, but it has a very limited number of intensive games that are properly executed with the given controls. If a true gaming interface were introduced for the Touch/iPhone, we would seriously revisit this issue.

However, the DSi  has weaknesses that could be problematic for some users. It is the least portable, the worst media player, and offers the least amount of downloadable content. It doesn’t try to be anything but a strict gaming device.

While it has the most highly rated games available (Touch games are not rated by Metacritic, but we have kept track of a large number of Touch games available), the DSi still seldom gets a new title, and for gamers who spend lots of time on the road and want a console to play lots of games over long periods of time, the PSP or Touch are better options. The original PSP (not the Go) has a large number of intensive, long games, some with online play, as well as decent media options. The Touch, alternatively, has a giant and growing database of available games and is a better media player.

If price is a serious issue, the DSi is the cheapest device, new or used.

The PSP Go, while an excellent device, seems overpriced at $250. The standard PSP offers a much wider selection of games for nearly $100 less, only sacrificing portability and internal memory. For today’s money-conscious consumers, we cannot recommend the PSP Go unless portability is the requirement of the console.

One thing is clear after testing the latest portable gaming consoles: there is incredible room for growth. While we don’t expect to see any new hardware from Nintendo or Sony for another two years, or a significant upgrade from Apple within the same time frame, the mobile gaming market is the largest part of today’s gaming industry. We can’t wait to test the next batch of portable consoles and see where the platform evolves.

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