All 3 consoles (XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and the PS3) are sitting on top of my pool table and connected to a projector right now. Friends and I just had a session of a few hours trying out various games and compare the next generation consoles. Each has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, only one console was able to draw the most laughter, and smiles from people's faces. Here are some initial thoughts about the battle of the next generation gaming platform.
The xbox 360, released their consoles last year in an attempt to secure a foot hold in the market place before any of their competitors (Sony, and Nintendo) are ready. The end result is that Microsoft enjoyed an entire year of zero competition, while consumers purchased whatever consoles they can get their hands on. This also resulted in additional revenue streamed from XBox360 Live and game sales. The number of launch titles were fairly impressive, utilize realistic graphics and sound to draw their audience.
Now, fast forward a year. Sony will launch it's much anticipated console on November 17th, and Nintendo with it's wii on November 19th. I am sure you have heard your share of horror stories associated with the ps3 launch, due to the limited supply of PS3 available world wide. The limited quantities of PS3 helped Nintendo and Microsoft significantly, as consumers purchase whatever next generation consoles they could laid their hands on. We tried out a few genre of games, from sports game (NHL 2K7), racing game (Ridge Racer) to first person shooters (Resistance). The graphics is truly stunning, with unparalleled amount of details. However, the PS3 are better suited for certain types of games and players. Sports and Racing games are pretty impressive on the PS3, however, the improvement over the XBOX360, and/or the PS2 doesn't justify the price tag IMO. The game play is similar, the controllers is familiar, with slightly better graphics.
Now, Nintendo decided to change the battle ground for the console wars, by focusing on game play, and fully integrating the revolutionary controllers into its games and focus on the fun aspects of the games, instead of processing power, and graphical displays. A lot of the games available on the WII are targeted for group play and VERY interactive. The control for the games are intuitive, and easy to pick up. What Nintendo did, was to lower the barrier to entry, such that everyone can have fun playing the games on the Wii. The Wii sports that comes bundled with the console can provide hours and hours of fun for a small group.
I invited a few friends over the past weekend to try out the wii, and the ps3. The common consensus is that the wii is much more fun and enjoyable. We tried Rayman Raving Rabbids, wii sports, Need for Speed Carbon, etc for the wii. The games are very intuitive, and interactive. The only exception is Need for Speed - Carbon, as the lack of high resolution graphical display actually took some points away from the game.
I know I will be playing a lot of Wii over the coming weeks. Have you picked your winner yet, for the next console war? I know I have.
David in Vancouver