As I have now got both consoles in my hands, I shall attempt to give those without either console an idea over which to get, if you can only afford one. Nintendo DS Firstly, the DS seeks to appear different, to break out of the box, as it were with the touch screen capability. At first it seems like a fantastic idea. When I bought my Nintendo DS, I got it with Project Rub and Warioware, the two games that utilise the touch screen more than any other. It certainly is fun, and the stylised graphics of both are quite good, and don't make it look naff at all. Although after a while, it does feel a bit gimmicky, especially as Warioware only has 2 or 3 hours of gameplay in it, although the micro-games can be replayed, you lose the will to play it, without a spine of storyline behind it. Super Mario DS uses the touch screen as an analogue controller, much like the Metroid demo. This is quite hard to get to grips with, and I ended up with a sore wrist after a while, and it isn't a very tuitive control method. However I can see room for improvement, and the new Kirby game and Yoshi Touch and Go both look good, and I am looking forward to both games, and their ability to utilise the touch screen, rather than the gimmick it feels like at the moment. Battery The DS also has quite a substantial battery life, I have been playing it for nearly a fortnight before it needed charging, and can reportedly last 8 hours between charges. This is very good when you consider it has 2 backlit screens. The DS is very bulky, and isn't really a pocket console like the GBA SP was/is, and the loss of portability with ease is a bit of a downer, but it is roughly the same size and weight as the PSP. Although the build quality doesn't seem as good as the PSP it is a robust machine, and the clam shell keeps the screens safe. Graphics The graphics, once you get used to them are fine, and Super Mario DS displays the best graphics I have yet to see on the console. Loading times are very quick, and it has a very clear, crisp display. Wifi Capability I can't comment on the wifi capability, as I have yet to use it, but as informed that it can support up to 16 people ad-hoc, I had a play with the pictochat, but that seemed like a gimmick to be honest. Touch Screen control The stylus is good, although the thumb strap is a bit of a let down, and I haven't been able to use it properly with any of my games as yet, maybe it takes some getting used to, but it just feels unweildly and unnatural, so I consigned it to it's box. Also I have noticed quite a few scratches on the touch screen, which is a bit annoying, but can only be expected. Overall, it is a very good console, and a great attempt by Nintendo, both to deliver an innovative product at an exceptional price point. Software will inevitably tell whether it is a bit of gimmick or not, and hopefully there will be some good bits of software to utilise the touch screen, but at the moment, it does feel a bit gimmicky. I'd give the Nintendo DS 8/10 Sony PSP The Sony PSP is quite remarkable when you consider what they have managed to cram inside a machine so small. The screen is enormous, and enables great clarity of picture, and when you play back movies on it, it takes the console to a whole new level. It can play games and movies via UMD, as well as music and photo playback via memory cards. Instead of trying to take gaming in new directions like the DS, Sony has decided to concentrate on raw processing power and functionality, and becomes more of a portable multi-media centre than a dedicated gaming console. Battery The battery life isn't half as good as the DS, and it tends to die after 3 or four hours of use, which for a portable console, is quite abysmal. This takes the potential score down a notch, as the idea of a handheld is that you can play it on the go. A play on it on the way to work, at lunch, and again on the way home means that it will need to be fully recharged. However, I am informed that Sony will be releasing a battery upgrade in the near future. Graphics The graphical capability of the PSP is good, however I was a bit left down, hand on heart. Gretsky hockey was a bit poor, and the lack of commentary on the game was a bit of a shock. Wipeout looks good, as does Dynasty Warriors, but to me at least, it looks more like a PS 1.75 than a PS2. This is probably due to the fact that a chunk of the processing power has been locked away by sony at the moment, so hopefully when the battery upgrade is released, we will be able to download a firmware upgrade to enable the true horsepower of the PSP to be unleashed. Wifi Capability Again, I don't have wifi at home, and have been unable to use it on the PSP. However the PSP enables wifi in infrastructure, which means that it is effectively online when you are able to use it. Also there are programmes in development at the moment that will enable the PSP to have an internet browser, further expanding the broad repertoire of the PSP's capabilities. Controls The control system on the PSP is excellent, and the analogue controller is also very good. The shoulder buttons are at a comfortable position, unlike the Nintendo DS, which due to the top screen, means that it is difficult to utilise the shoulder buttons effectively. The console as a whole feels very ergonomic and is an absolute joy. I'd give the Sony PSP 9/10 The Sony PSP, like the Nintendo DS, is a very good console, and a fantastic first foray into the world of handheld gaming. The build quality of the console is everything you would come to expect from Sony, and when you consider that it only cost me £5 more than a UK model Nintendo DS, completely blows the Nintendo out of the water, like for like. However, when the PSP is released over here, you can expect to pay almost double for the PSP than the DS, and for some people that is a lot to swallow, especially if you are considering choosing one for a child. That is where the two consoles differentiate. They are clearly aimed at different markets, and have a different perspective on handheld gaming. To really appricate the whole spectrum of handheld gaming, I would recommend purchasing both, but if I had to choose one over the other, I think I would go for the Sony PSP.