Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.

"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980

Monday, 20 February 2012


Hi everyone and happy Family Day from everyone here at our blog.  Recently, we've posted about the top DS games for kids with ASDs.  So in this post, we're going to take a look at some of the best hand held gaming systems on the market.  Then we'll compare them to the specific needs of children with ASD's.  We're going to look at five handheld systems in total.  They are the Nintendo DSI, DSI XL and 3DS.  And the Sony PSP and PSV.  We're going to compare each and talk about the positive and negative aspects of each.  We're going to start with the newest and end with the oldest of the systems.

PSV or Play Station Vita  -  The PSV is the newest hand held gaming device on the market and it's actually a PS3 in the palm of your hand.  It's cool looking and has great graphics for gaming.  It also hold pictures and movies and it can also act as an MP3 player.  It comes with cameras and has a built in GPS.  This is leading edge technology.

Nintendo 3DS  -  The Nintendo 3DS is the newest hand held device that Nintendo has to offer and it's the first hand held device with 3D technology.  And you don't have to wear any special glasses to utilize the 3D feature.  The 3D feature can be turned off at any time. 

Nintendo DSI XL  -  This is a larger version of the original DS and as such it has 2 huge screens for gaming.  It's actually 93% larger in screen size.  It comes with games preinstalled and can access the web with ease.  It also comes with digital camera and it can store music and capture sounds.

PSP or PlayStation Portable  -  The PSP is the predecessor of the PSV, but it still comes loaded with many features.  It can play music and has tons of great games for everyone.  This is like having a PS2 in a hand held system so the graphics are good. 

Nintendo DS Lite  -  This is the original hand held gaming system.  So it doesn't have as many features as the other systems, but it's trusted and reliable.  It still comes with a camera and it's Wi Fi capable.  There are over 1100 games available on the Nintendo DS.

                               PSV                 3DS                 DSI XL                PSP                    DSI

Weight (OZ)           9.15                   8.3                    11.1                   9.8                       7.5

Battery Life               6                     3 - 5                 13 - 17                 6                       9 - 14

Camera                   Yes                   Yes                     Yes                   No                      Yes

MP3                       Yes                    Yes                    Yes                   Yes                     Yes

Wi Fi                      Yes                    Yes                    Yes                   Yes                     Yes

Movies                    Yes                    No                     No                    Yes                     No

# of Games          Under 50         Under 100 3D     Over 1100         Over 200             Over 1100
                                                     Over 1100

Game type              Disc              Cartridge             Cartridge              Disc                Cartridge

Can it bounce         No                       Yes                    Yes                  No                      Yes
down stairs

Price                    $249.99              $169.99            $169.99             $139.99               $99.99

Now the positives and negatives of each system.

PSV  -  Cutting edge technology, but really expensive.  You'd have to spend $500 initialyy when you but this system.  There are limited games today, but that number will increase steadily over the year.  I have concerns about my son using the PSV.  It has disc games which get scratched and I don't think it's that durable.

Nintendo 3DS  -  Innovative in 3D technology, but there are limited 3D games.  There are still over 100 games to be played on this system as all DS games are compatible.  I'm not sure how a child with an ASD would react to a 3D image, so it may be a waste to buy something that may not be fully utilised.

Nintendo DSI XL  -  This is the biggest device with the biggest screens available.  But it's also the heaviest.  My hands get tired when I use this puppy and when Jacob plays it, he sits it down.  This unit surprisingly has the best battery life of all the units.

PSP  -  I love my PSP, but they don't seem to be that kid friendly.  Again you have to use discs which make me nervous.  You can watch movies on the PSP, but poor battery life means limited use between charges.  There are lots of games available, but not many for young kids as it's geared towards an older crowd.

Nintendo DS Lite  -  This is the original gaming system.  It has tons of games and it's the least expensive to buy and accessorise.  It has good battery life and it's the lightest device of the five.  It's perfect for little hands and has tons of games for kids.  Also the Nintendo has sole license of all Mario and Pokemon games.
As an adult I like the looks of the PSV as I own a PS3 already, but I'm leery of a game system that when you buy a few games, rivals the price of a laptop or IPad.  Also, I'm not too concerned about MP3 playback because you can't play games while you listen to music any way on any of these systems.  This is an issue that must be worked out.  I shouldn't have to listen to music on one device and play games on another.

So that's why we recommend the DS Lite for kids with Asperger's or ASDs.  It's just way easier to use, it's much more affordable and they can take a beating.  I also like the games themselves because they're not discs and therefore can't get scratched up.  For the price of a PSV console, you can buy a DS Lite with 4 new release games.  Another thing that bugs me is the battery life per charge.  The PSV and PSP have limited use between charges.  Whereas a DS can last a couple days on a single charge.

Hopefully this chart and information helps you make an educated choice when it comes to purchasing a hand held gaming system for you or your child.  


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