the PSP (PlayStation Portable): the most undeservedly successful video game platform of all time by a country mile.

I just learned that the PSP has sold or shipped or whatever almost SIXTY MILLION UNITS. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT?!?!! Argh. Let’s put this in perspective with the sales for some other successful or, at least, high quality systems . . .

Nintendo 64 ~33 million
Genesis ~29 million
Dreamcast ~10 million

All of these systems had libraries and especially exclusives that would make the PSP blush. I bought a PSP back in 2007 because I just had to play Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. I had a few other laughs with the system, like Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and especially Ultimate Ghosts n’ Goblins. There are also a couple of exclusive series that the critics like (Loco Roco and Patapon) but beyond that there are very few high quality exclusives for the system. Most of the financially successful and/or critically admired games for the system have been available elsewhere, especially PS2, and the PSP version ALWAYS suffers in the comparison. And please don’t mention the terrible Monster Hunter series. That won’t earn you any points. Rockstar was kind enough to release a couple of original Grand Theft Auto games for the system, which both made their way to the PS2 within a year or so. Originally, I tried to give it a go on the PSP but it was pretty unbearable due to the PSP’s other big problem outside of its shitty library . . .

The terrible controls. Why the designers failed to include to include a double analog stick setup would baffle any logical person, especially since the internal guts of the system are so similar to the PS2. The SINGLE analog controller that is present is a funny little nub/button that looks like a speaker or microphone. It’s not great but I reckon it’s a decent solution; after all the whole package needs to be kind of flat – it’s just a shame there’s only one. (<—-wtf? A semicolon and a dash in one sentence?) Unfortunately, the d-pad is just a total farce for which there is no excuse. Whose idea was it to make the thing so stiff and unforgiving? The face buttons aren’t much better. For some reason Namco released a Katamari game for the system and for some reason I bought it. Having to play with a nub and stiff face buttons was not enjoyable. In fact, it was literally painful.

There are rumors that Sony is sharing a PSP2 with 3rd party developers. I’d love to snidely say, “Good luck with that,” but chances are it will sell a bucketload even if it’s terrible.

NOW, I know some people are probably thinking, “Hey. This guy can rot in Hell. The PSP sucks but the Wii is the most undeservedly successful video game platform of all time by a country mile.” Sorry, but I must disagree. While the Wii is indeed super overrated and its library is generally shitty, it does have many strong, exclusive entries that make it a much less worthless than PSP, Atari 7800, Atari Jaguar, CD-i, Game Gear, etc. These releases include Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, New Super Mario Bros., Metroid Prime 3, Zack & Wiki, Little King’s Story, Punch-Out!!, a handful of interesting retail games on the way, and the many high-quality Wii Ware games like Contra Rebirth, Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth, and LostWinds 1 & 2.  I realize this is not a super impressive list, it’s just not as awful or as barren as the PSP exclusives library.

That is all.


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