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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

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Game Profile
EA Games
GENRE: Action
March 02, 2010
Dante's Inferno 2

Dante's Inferno 2

Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno

F1 2009
Dante's Inferno
F1 2009
Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins
 Written by John Scalzo  on May 01, 2009

Editorial: An editorial on the baffling trend of some companies porting PS3/Xbox 360 games to the PSP and not to the Wii.

After all the pronouncements from Sony about the "Year of This" and the "Year of That", it looks like 2009 might actually become the Year of the PSP. The PSP's release calendar is being filled with tons of new titles from both Sony and third parties after a horrible year-long drought that saw few new games besides the March 2008 releases of God of War: Chains of Olympus and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. But with the recent recent announcement of a slew of PS3/Xbox 360 ports for the PSP (including Tekken 6 and a 1-on-1 Soul Calibur fighting game), it makes me wonder why more companies aren't leveraging the similar computing power of the PSP and the Wii and bringing titles to both systems.

In this console generation, game development seems to done on three parallel tracks: the DS track, the PS2/PSP/Wii track and the PC/PS3/Xbox 360 track. The PSP and Wii have shared a similar number of games since the Wii's debut in 2006. From Capcom's Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law to EA's Medal of Honor Heroes 2 to in development games such Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings and F1 2009, the connection has been made in the past and will be made again in the future. But strangely, even after pledging to support the Wii more, the company leading the charge with PSP announcements of formerly PS3/Xbox 360-only games is EA. They have announced multiple games for the PSP and PS2 (such as Army of Two: The 40th Day, NCAA Football 10 and Dante's Inferno) while skipping a Wii release for these games.

The similarities between the PSP and the Wii make the decision not to port games from the former to the latter all the more baffling. The PSP has four face buttons, a control pad, an analog nub and two trigger buttons while the standard Wii controller setup of Remote and Nunchuk has four buttons on the Remote, a control pad, an analog stick and two trigger buttons on the Nunchuk. There's also the Wii Classic Controller, who's control setup mimics the PSP's exactly (and with an extra analog stick and two extra shoulder buttons to boot). So it's not a control issue. And both systems output video in 480p, so it's not due to PSP games containing any intensive HD graphics that the Wii can't handle, which is usually the reason given for why PS3/Xbox 360 games aren't downgraded to run on the Wii. Supposedly it's impossible to recreate the "game experience" of a game designed on the PS3 or Xbox 360 on the Wii (at least that's what some developers and the forum fanboys would have you believe). So it's not a graphical issue either.

Let's face it, there's no way to compare the power of the Wii and the PSP and come to the conclusion that the Wii is the weaker machine.

F1 2009: PSP version (top)/Wii version (bottom)

Having access to some of the PSP's downgraded PS3/Xbox 360 ports (or better yet, original games like Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins) would go a long way towards removing the "casual" stigma from the Wii's game library. While Nintendo can't command a third party publisher to release their hardcore games on the Wii, opening the massive Nintendo war chest and "encouraging" said publishers with stacks of green paper to make Wii versions of hardcore fare like Assassin's Creed or Midnight Club: LA Remix would probably result in even more sales for Nintendo's system.

Yet, the unwillingness of publishers to put PSP games on the Wii is is no less confusing when you consider the fact that there are just as many Wiis in the wild as the number of PS3s and Xbox 360s combined. That means there are plenty of people out there who only own a Wii and if they want games like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, they are being ignored.

It would be wrong of me to end this editorial without mentioning that publishers are also missing a golden opportunity when they don't bring PSP games to the PS2 either. My PS2 is currently gathering dust, but if the ability to play Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins without buying a PSP arose, I would jump at it. Making games exclusive to handhelds made sense when the Game Boy or the Game Boy Advance was a generation behind the games being offered on the current consoles. But PSP games are so similar to their PS2 and Wii counterparts, that a PSP-exclusive game makes little sense.

To sum up, don't these companies like money?

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