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Do PSP games have dumber AI?

There's been a bit of jabber about the same game titles coming out for both the PSP and home consoles, most of it coming from us. Ports, for instance, was something I eschewed  because I felt it used resources that could have been directed towards making more original titles. However, some readers made a few comments that I consider to be, to say the least, very reasonable.

First, the ports that have come out for PSP haven't been all bad; in fact some, like SOCOM and Burnout Legends, have been exceedingly excellent. Second, ports are exactly that: portable versions of the same game that you can play anywhere, and there's nothing wrong with having that. In light of these observations, it's obvious that ported games do have a place in the PSP's repertoire.

An article by USA Today supports the notion that the PSP version of games can match up with their home console counterparts. But on the flip side, the report also dredges up a few weaknesses and briefly cites the PSPs lack of buttons and less-than-impressive AI as the system's more glaring shortcomings. With that said, given the portable's ample but less powerful hardware, are PSP ports really dumber than their original home console version?

In regard to SOCOM, the article implies that the AI of opponents in the game is inconsistent, a fact that's also said is present in Madden NFL 06. I've observed strange and stupid behavior in GTA:LCS as well, and more than a few instances of wonky driving from the bots in Wipeout Pure. Granted, these are not game-ending, joy-killing instances that prevent us from enjoying the overall experience, but are we fine with taking such a performance hit just to be able to take our games out on the road with us?

It doesn't help that companies like EA often charge full price for these titles. If they considered the possible issue of a somewhat reduced quality gaming experience and lowered prices because of it (or just because they decided to be our pals for once), then that would be ideal.

I say it all depends on several factors: Are the games playable? Does having weak AI make it difficult to enjoy? I believe the ability to enjoy a game thoroughly rests on a phenomenon called suspension of disbelief. When it comes to relating an experience (which all games essentially are), the capacity of the player to be completely immersed in the reality of the game, to essentially believe in the rules and bylaws within the game, is what determines its success as interactive entertainment. If there are way too many moments in the game when stuff starts to go outside of those rules, and all without the player's input or control, then that leads to frustration, which in turn leads to fear, then anger, then...well, you know where that ends.

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