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360 vs. PS3 vs. Wii - The Designer's Perspective

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the both-have-motion-sense,-one-is-a-good-blunt-object dept.

PlayStation (Games) 361

Gamasutra is running a piece today written by Ernest Adams, a frequent contributor to the site and an amusingly opinionated game designer. He writes to weigh in on the console war debate from the perspective of a game designer. He runs down the usual list of pros and cons for each machine, and then digs into the most creative aspects of each machine. Finally, lays out what he sees as the end result of this hardware generation: "So who, at the end of the day, will be the also-ran in this generation of consoles? On the global scale, I'd say it could well be neither the PS3 or the Wii, but the Xbox 360. The PS3 will win over the hardcore gamers who have to have the fastest, most amazing machine available. The Wii will skim off the younger players and those who don't have as much money to spend. Both have the advantage of being made in Japan, so they'll crowd the Xbox right out of that market. In the US and Europe, it's harder to say, but I see the Xbox's early start as more of a liability than a benefit."

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I have to disagree (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340926)

"So who, at the end of the day, will be the also-ran in this generation of consoles? On the global scale, I'd say it could well be neither the PS3 or the Wii, but the Xbox 360. The PS3 will win over the hardcore gamers who have to have the fastest, most amazing machine available. The Wii will skim off the younger players and those who don't have as much money to spend. Both have the advantage of being made in Japan, so they'll crowd the Xbox right out of that market. In the US and Europe, it's harder to say, but I see the Xbox's early start as more of a liability than a benefit."

I don't know what will happen in total sales, but I expect that the so-called "Hardcore" gamer will likely purchase multiple systems and will be very attracted to the Wii because the nature of the titles it recieves; what I mean is that many of the so-called "Hardcore" gamers will buy pretty much any piece of hardware that has enough exclusive games, and pretty much all Wii games are exclusive due to the nature of the console.

The majority of gamers are not hard-core and are no where near as big of graphics whores as some people assume; gaming is probably not their only form of entertainment so they're probably less likely to spend too much money on it. The price of the Wii is probably very attractive to them, but they also haven't played enough games to care about how stagnant the industry has become.

Re:I have to disagree (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17340992)

Anyone who uses the phrase "at the end of the day" is an insufferable imbecile and should not ever be taken seriously by anyone ever. First offense should be a smashing across the teeth with a shovel. If the lesson remains unlearned, the claw end of a hammer must be employed.

Re:I have to disagree (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341032)

I'll have to consider that at the end of the day. :P

Re:I have to disagree (5, Insightful)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341746)

The PS3 will win over the hardcore gamers who have to have the fastest, most amazing machine available.

People who buy a console because of its hardware are not hardcore gamers, they're assclowns. Hardcore gamers are primarily concerned with games, as the term implies.

Ok, this wasn't terribly on topic but I had to get it off my chest.

Re:I have to disagree (5, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341954)

I couldn't agree more... I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer... I own every console from the last generation, and every console for the generation before that, I bought a 360 on launch day, I bought a Wii 2 days after launch... I have about 20-40 for each of the last gen console, I have about 20 Xbox 360 games already (only 3 Wii games). My Xbox 360 gamerscore is in the top 1500 world wide.

...and I have absolutely ZERO interest in the PS3. The price is ridiculous. I hated the controller shape back when they introduced it in 1995, and there aren't any exclusive games availble worth buying the console for. Not to mention with all the bad PR the exclusives are going cross-platform faster then you can say "dropping eBay prices".

If I really wanted the biggest and best gaming machine, I'd buy a PC.

As far as I'm concerned the only thing a PS3 is good for right now, is a cheap Blu-Ray player. But at the same time you'd have to convince yourself that it's even worth buying any blue laser disc player at all, nevermind the Blu-Ray over HD-DVD.

Re:I have to disagree (5, Insightful)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342118)

Available now, or available later? We all know that unless Sony drops the ball they're getting the Final Fantasy's, the Metal Gear Solids, and the Devil May Crys. They very well could drop the ball and all the amazing exclusives they've secured for their previous consoles will go flying to the 360, but I'm not counting on it. Honestly I think it's impossible to have a very strong opinion on the PS3 until it's been released for a year.

Considering you're a self professed hardcore gamer, you should know that the PS3 DOES have stuff going for it other than just Blu-ray.

Re:I have to disagree (3, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342328)

You're only partially right.

What system _doesn't_ have games? Certain systems tend to focus more on certain types of games...but what's being implied here is that the Wii will win out because of the games available on it. Other than the fancy controller, what's different about the games available this time around?

Some people prefer non-nintendo games, or at least don't care about them enough to only buy that system.

Most likely is that there will be a larger multi-console camp this time around. Why not? The Wii is cheap enough that even if it is a gimmick in the long run, no big deal.

But chances are very very good that traditional non-nintendo gamers aren't going to 'switch' to the Wii. If anything, they'll get the Wii too. Probably after the 360 if that's your thing, probably before the PS3 if you're more in that camp.

What probably won't happen though is people buying a 360 and a PS3. Yes, of course some will, but in general most won't. Why? Because for all intents and purposes, they're very very similar, and more and more games are coming out for both consoles.

The 360 and the PS3 are similar enough to PC's that this is where the bulk of games are being targeted. Most bang for your development buck. It just makes sense. There's still a few proprietary titles on each system, but that's getting to be fewer and fewer all the time.

Re:I have to disagree (2, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341916)

I think the XBox 360 will lead for the next year or so and then as games that fully take advantage of the PS3 come out and the PS3 gets cheap enough for more casual gamers to buy the PS3 will take the lead as the console of choice. In the end it's power and BlueRay will make it the champion.

Meanwhile I see the Wii as the runner up behind the PS3 largely due to it's low price point and classic Nintendo style. I see the XBox 360 becoming another Dreamcast. Like the Dreamcast, I'd consider buying a 360 but not until it's price drops down to almost nothing.

I can see both Sony and Microsoft finding ways to clone the Wiimote and add it's functionality to their games. Nintendo's best bet could be to prove the technology and then to license it to Sony and Microsoft. They could get a slice of the profits from all three consoles.

As to the power of the PS3 I think the real interesting stuff will not be the graphics, although those are nice, but improved AI and physics and other stuff that you can't see in a screenshot. Interactivity is as much in what you can do with the processing power available as it is in the interface.

The only real benefit of the XBox 360 is that it was out first and was a little cheaper than the PS3. If theyw ant to come out as the best selling console of this generation I think they need to really work on putting out some awesome titles and bringing their price down quickly. Adding some optional controller similar to the Wiimote, with enough good games that can support it, could help too. They should attack the Wii in the area of performance and the PS3 in the area of price.

Re:I have to disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342064)

I can see both Sony and Microsoft finding ways to clone the Wiimote and add it's functionality to their games. Nintendo's best bet could be to prove the technology and then to license it to Sony and Microsoft. They could get a slice of the profits from all three consoles.
I'd think that they are more likely to just use the Wii remote as it is. People have already proven that they can get it working on PCs, so how much further do Microsoft and Sony need to go to get it to work on their systems? They'd only need to release an 'interface device' [read: bluetooth host controller], possibly have a third party release it for legal reasons.

Re:I have to disagree (1)

keitosama (990483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342386)

I can see both Sony and Microsoft finding ways to clone the Wiimote and add it's functionality to their games. Nintendo's best bet could be to prove the technology and then to license it to Sony and Microsoft. They could get a slice of the profits from all three consoles.
I'd think that they are more likely to just use the Wii remote as it is. People have already proven that they can get it working on PCs, so how much further do Microsoft and Sony need to go to get it to work on their systems? They'd only need to release an 'interface device' [read: bluetooth host controller], possibly have a third party release it for legal reasons.
That wouldn't magically add motion sensing functionality to their games, now would it?

Re:I have to disagree (3, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342178)

As I said before, I don't really know how well each system will end up selling and I don't think anyone really can make an accurate prediction ...

What I can say is that in both the Sony PSP vs. Nintendo DS and Sony PS2 vs. Micrsoft XBox/Nintendo Gamecube "console wars" Graphics, AI, Physics, Media Playback and Internet Capabilities meant very little to the average consumer and the system that "won (is winning)" was the worst system in most of these ways. Gamers buy gaming systems to play games, the system that has the most games that fit their desired playstyle tends to attract them.

In general I would say that the XBox 360 is at a disadvantage because it lacks Japaneese development and Japaneese developers (unlike North American/European developers) tend to produce their games as console exclusives.

Re:I have to disagree (5, Insightful)

ActiveNick (1039446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342258)

The only real benefit of the XBox 360 is that it was out first and was a little cheaper than the PS3.
Excuse me, but have you tried Xbox Live? Every reviewer from any site agrees that Microsoft has the best online act compared to PS3 or Wii (which has no online gaming support yet).

Microsoft has proven that they can design a solid online offering, providing centralized friends lists, voice, chat, messages, easy matchmaking, really cool and innovative (as well as retro) games on XLA, coutnless downloads (that work in the background) and more. The PS3 forces each developer to provide their own online support or demand that gamers subscribe to a third-party service.

Online support on a console does not mean slapping on a badly integrated browser (every time I try to surf on my PSP I want to blow my brains out), it means seamless online gaming. We live in a day and age where people get connected for everything. From YouTube to MySpace, World of Warcraft to Instant Messaging, people do not want to stay alone at home, disconnected and secluded. Xbox Live brings gamers together, and that's the ace in the sleeve of the Xbox strategy, especially when paired with Live Anywhere which loops in the windows gamers too. Sony had a year to get their online act together and they have learned nothing.

I could cite many other reasons why the 360 will impress and endure, including community offerings using XNA, a non-Trojan horse HD-DVD drive, amazing non-Halo exclusives like Mass Effect, Lost Planet, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, but to me, Xbox Live carries a lot of weight on its own.

Yes, I am a huge Microsoft & Xbox 360 fan (although I also own a PSP and will buy a Wii as soon as I find one), and Microsoft might not beat Sony's numbers in this generation, but one thing is for sure, both the Xbox 360 and the Wii will eat a huge chunk off Sony's 70% market share.

Re:I have to disagree (2, Interesting)

Shabadage (1037824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342492)

I see the exact opposite happening. I think X360 is going to keep gaining ground, and hold it. Sony can't even get enough Ps3's into the hands of people who want them; add that to the low number of units out there now, and the fact that publishers have spent millions on million developing blockbuster games seemingly exclusive to the Ps3. The simple fact is, if Sony can't deliever enough systems to the poeple who want them by the time these "exclusive" titles launch; they're not going to be so exclusive anymore. I easily see an X360 Port of Metal Gear Solid 4 in the future. Assassin's creed has gone multiplatform; and so has GTA4. GTA sells systems. If there aren't enough PS3's to fill the gap; a majority of people will more likely just grab the X360 Version and console. Sony is screwing themselves more and more; I figure they've got about 6 months to satisfy the demand for their system. If they can't, Sony's taking that magical 3rd place in the console wars. As for the Wii; well, it's obvious that sales are EXPLODING. The combination of a cheaper system, and a new control system has worked wonders for Nintendo. I've seen many a people who didn't typically enjoy video games (my ex for example) pick up and play the Wii for hours. And if Nintedo's crazy plan of drawing in more and more non-gamers continues working as well as it has been; we might be looking at Nintendo taking back that #1 spot in console sales.

Doesn't that imply...? (3, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340930)

...that the XBox360 might be good middle ground for many people, and would thus do quite well in relation to the other two? Don't get me wrong, I wish I had all three, and maybe for now I'd be happy with a Wii. But an XBox360 isn't that much more, and can do much the same stuff as PS3. Maybe it will come down to killer games, and Halo3 will help out a lot there. Wii's got its own fan base... With all the launch glitches from Sony, and recent evidence that they want even higher priced, PS3-based home entertainment systems, makes me think that as gaming consoles go, PS3 may end up the lose. My 2cents.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341260)

Middleground is bad. It doesn't distinguish you from your competitors.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (1, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342014)

Middleground is bad. It doesn't distinguish you from your competitors.
That's not true at all. Being in the middle means that you're better than a Wii at graphics, performance, and probably have better games, and you're cheaper than a PS3. I *always* buy the middle of the road computer hardware when I'm upgrading because it offers the best balance of price and performance. For example, there's no way I'd pay $400 for a CPU when I know it'll be $150 within 6 months. The same goes for expensive graphics cards. The only people that buy the newest and most expensive things are people with too much disposable income and too little patience. I'll probably pick up a Wii... in 6 months if they drop the price. $250 is a little too much for what is essentially a console that belongs with the last generation. It's just a souped up Gamecube with a different controller whereas the PS3 and XBox360 are truly revolutionary advances in gaming technology.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (2, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342516)

It's just a souped up Gamecube with a different controller whereas the PS3 and XBox 360 are truly revolutionary advances in gaming technology.

Please tell me you were looking for a +1 Funny Mod here.

I'll grant that the PS3 has the new Cell processor, but other than that both the PS3 and the Xbox360 are just a souped up PS2 and Xbox respectively. Nintendo just decided not to soup up their console as much as their competitors and decided instead to spend their time and money on a new control scheme.

Perhaps you know more than me, but please do tell what the PS3 and Xbox 360 are capable of gameplay wise that the Wii is not. Perhaps extra enemies, perhaps slightly more sophisticated AI. But being able to push a few more polygons and higher res textures and lauding that as "truly revolutionary advances in gaming technology" is simply ridiculous.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341358)

But an XBox360 isn't that much more, and can do much the same stuff as PS3.

In the games department, the 360 definitely is very similar to the PS3 and I could definitely start a flamewar by saying that one has better graphics quality than the other because they're so similar it's hard to choose.

However, down the road I think that the other features of the PS3 will win over hardcore fans, especially those who like to show the latest and greatest off to their friends. Multimedia playback, internet capability via the web browser/keyboard/mouse, linux, and blu-ray built in have the PS3 off to a good start. The 360 doesn't have HD-DVD yet and the only way it's going to be available in the near future is via external add-on so I really think that will come into play as well. Finally, the PSP/PS3 combination is pretty neat. The fact that you can sync them up, and hopefully stream remotely to the PSP from the PS3 over the internet is an awesome feature for those who like to show off to their friends. Combine it with movie downloads to the PSP that will possibly be stored on the PS3 and you really have yourself a multimedia machine and not just a game console.

360 also has Xbox live, which you can't leave out of the equation. But are people really going to be willing to pay $15 a month in the longterm? Also, the Xbox will be hampered by competing factions in Microsoft to push Windows Media Center as a valid platform and I think that will limit how much multimedia will make it onto the 360 in the end. If Sony can pull it together in this environment, I really don't see how the 360 has a chance.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (1)

ShapeGSX (865697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341450)

The HD-DVD drive for the 360 is already out. It has been out for well over a month. And XBox Live costs $50 for a 13 month card. So that is $3.84 a month in order to have a best in class online service with an integrated GLOBAL friend's list. I don't know where you got $15 per month.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342144)

Multimedia playback, internet capability via the web browser/keyboard/mouse, linux, and blu-ray built in have the PS3 off to a good start. The 360 doesn't have HD-DVD yet and the only way it's going to be available in the near future is via external add-on so I really think that will come into play as well

First, you are wrong about HD-DVD. It is readily available for the 360.

As far as media playback, web browsing etc., go, I doubt those will be that appealing. If they were, people would be leaping all over the small systems from companies like AOpen, and the Mac Mini, to hook to their TVs. It's not like the PS3 is providing something new here.

General purpose computing in the living room is just not that appealing. Who wants to read their email on a screen where the rest of the family can see everything? Would any teenager want to IM with Mom and Dad watching? And what about conflicts with TV viewing: "you can't watch the 'American Idol' finale tonight, dear...I want to research my report for work tomorrow". That ain't gonna fly.

Because of these problems, the PS3 cannot REPLACE a regular computer. Which means its appeal is mostly limited to being a supplimental computer. It's pretty damned expensive for that. (Well, I've seen some Linux dreamers say people will get multiple PS3s--one for the living room, and one for the home office, and one for the kids to use for their computing. Nice fantasy).

And if you get into home office type use, it gets worse, because the PS3 is not very fast compared to a mid-line Dell. It's Cell processor basically consists of one general-purpose core (about equivalent to a G5) plus 7 things that are essentially DSPs. Those do not have direct access to system memory. To do anything with them, you have to use their DMA controller to transfer the data to them, and then run your program on them. When it finishes, you DMA the data back to system memory. This is not something that current or reasonably upcoming compilers can automate. You need to specifically develop your software for this architecture to use the SPEs. Things like spreadsheets and word processors won't benefit from them at all. They will only be using the G5-like processor (and there is only 256 MB of RAM, which will also hurt). Any recent Intel or AMD system with 512 MB will smoke the PS3 here.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342522)

Here are a few reason why I disagree. I guess time will tell which of us is right.

Multimedia playback, internet capability via the web browser/keyboard/mouse, linux, and blu-ray built in have the PS3 off to a good start.
  • The Xbox 360 also has multimedia playback. It can play DVDs out of the box, and one can purchase high def movies and television shows online to play.
  • I'm certain Microsoft has more in store as far as the Internet goes, but keep in mind that most people don't use their videogame console to browse the web.
  • Most users don't want to use a keyboard or mouse with their videogame console.
  • Most users don't care about Linux on their videogame console. Again, that's what computers are for.
  • Contrary to what Sony wants to believe, most users don't watch movies using media such as Blu-ray discs on their videogame consoles. I much prefer the Xbox's philosophy: If you want to watch high def movies, we have a piece of equipment you can add. We're not going to force you to buy one with every console we sell.
The 360 doesn't have HD-DVD yet and the only way it's going to be available in the near future is via external add-on so I really think that will come into play as well.

Yes, the 360 does indeed have HD-DVD. And yes, it is an add-on. I think that most people will like that. You have the choice of whether you want to pay for it or not. Microsoft isn't forcing you to buy it with their console. As a result, their console is considerably less expensive without giving up any of it's primary usage capabilities—gaming—and Microsoft was able to get a lot of the systems out and on the market a lot quicker than Sony has.

Finally, the PSP/PS3 combination is pretty neat.

Not very many people have PSPs. Honestly, I bought one because I thought they were going to be the Next Big Thing(tm). They're not. Their potential never materialized, and I've been sorely disappointed at the lack of cool stuff for mine. The games aren't that good, the UMD movies are dead, and I haven't even turned the thing on in a year or so. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself silly for buying one. Maybe now that the PS3 is out, I can get a little something back for it on eBay.

The fact that you can sync them up, and hopefully stream remotely to the PSP from the PS3 over the internet is an awesome feature for those who like to show off to their friends.

This sounds like a marketing clip if ever I heard one. This assumes that: 1) people even have a PSP, 2) people carry their PSP around with them, 3) people have wireless access to the Internet everywhere they take their PSP, 4) people's friends will care what's on their PSP or PS3, 5) people will actually want to watch movies on a four-inch screen. Is PSP/PS3 communication neat? Sure. Is it a reason to buy either? No.

When I can rip my DVDs onto my computer and have it stream them to my PSP or PS3, come back and talk to me. (Yes, I know there's probably some long, complicated, illegal procedure to do this, but we're talking about what average consumers can do.)

360 also has Xbox live, which you can't leave out of the equation.

No, you can't. Every review I have read says that the Xbox Live service is head and shoulders above Sony's online service.

But are people really going to be willing to pay $15 a month in the longterm?

As has already been pointed out, it's not $15 a month. It's less than $5 a month. And considering how much better the Xbox Live service is over Sony's, yes, I think that paying less than $5 a month for it is more than reasonable.

Also, the Xbox will be hampered by competing factions in Microsoft to push Windows Media Center as a valid platform

Not nearly as much as the PS3 has been hampered by Sony using it as a platform to push Blu-ray. Not even close. If the PS3 ultimately fails in the market, I honestly believe that the single greatest reason will because of Sony's fanatical clinging to the idea that it should be used more to push their format than as a gaming machine.

If Sony can pull it together in this environment, I really don't see how the 360 has a chance.

Even if you're right, I'd like to point out that the PS3's versus the Xbox 360's multimedia capabilities are not going to be the decider in which console wins this battle. I think it's going to be, roughly in this order: 1) The games (which the Xbox leads in right now), 2) the price (which the Xbox will always lead in), and 3) the availability (which will eventually become a non-factor, but that the Xbox is positively kicking the PS3's ass in right now).

Sony could have won this round of the console battle, if:

  • They had managed to get enough consoles out to satisfy the hype around launch day. Or at least come close. There's no telling how many people would have bought a PS3 that will or have already given up and gotten something else instead out of disgust.
  • They had managed to get enough consoles out to at least satisfy Christmas demand. Even if parents wanted to buy a PS3 for their kids this Christmas, they can't, so they'll have to get them something else. After Christmas, well, they're not going to spend another $600 on them!
  • They had priced the system around the same as the Xbox 360. If you could get all of that and a Blu-ray drive for the same price, maybe. As it is, though, it's just too durned expensive for average people to buy.
  • They had some sort of killer feature that everyone's got to have, something that's significantly different or better than the Xbox. As it is, the PS3 is just a very, very expensive Xbox with the potential of someday having games with better graphics. Ho hum.
  • Speaking of potential, if they had realized some of it at launch. After my experience with the PSP, I'm never going to buy a platform again based on its technical capability and what it may be used for someday. Show me what it can do now, not what's in store for it six months or a year down the road.

Re:Doesn't that imply...? (1)

disassembled (977342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341924)

The 360 may be a middle ground in terms of price, but not in terms of features. If you're looking for an innovative console, the Wii is the only game in town (so to speak).

'game designer' AKA former EB sales clerk (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17340950)

There are actual console developers with insight into the race between the PS3 and Wii, the problem is that anyone with an actual worthwhile knowledge is too busy actually making games.

So instead we get the worthless ramblings of the console dev world's deadweight:

'game designers' aka level monkeys
producers
testers ...

Doesn't matter (4, Funny)

Rendo (918276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341010)

because the Phantom will destroy all the consoles in the end!

An odd set of priorities (4, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341028)

an amusingly opinionated game designer.
If you are getting worked up over computer games then you really need to examine your life.

Re:An odd set of priorities (4, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341290)

If you are getting worked up over computer games then you really need to examine your life.

Bah! For a 6 figured salary many of these developers get, I'd be willing to get worked up over Barbie's Pink Pony Video Game Adventure if they gave me half of that.

Re:An odd set of priorities (1)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341378)

lol
    Didn't think of it that way.

Re:An odd set of priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341544)

You're willing to get worked up over Barbie's Pink Pony Adventure for a three figured salary? Man...

Wii for the win? (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341130)

I think it is interesting that everyone seems to be assuming that the fight for first/second is between the Wii and whichever of the other two win out. In the article above as well as the other slashdot comments already posted there is a base assumption that the Wii is going to do quite well. It is as if everyone is acknowledging that the Wii already has a certain segment of the market sewn up and that gives the advantage in the three way battle for the rest of it. Now, that could be completely wrong, but I think it is very interesting to see that unspoken assumption in so much of what I read.

Re:Wii for the win? (1)

Saint V Flux (915378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342212)

"It is as if everyone is acknowledging that the Wii already has a certain segment of the market sewn up and that gives the advantage in the three way battle for the rest of it."

It does already have a certain segment -- the same segment as the Gamecube did -- people who care about good game play and prices that won't cause you to bleed from your ass.

Re:Wii for the win? (5, Insightful)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342216)

I think it is interesting that everyone seems to be assuming that the fight for first/second is between the Wii and whichever of the other two win out. In the article above as well as the other slashdot comments already posted there is a base assumption that the Wii is going to do quite well. It is as if everyone is acknowledging that the Wii already has a certain segment of the market sewn up and that gives the advantage in the three way battle for the rest of it. Now, that could be completely wrong, but I think it is very interesting to see that unspoken assumption in so much of what I read.
I am really not surprised - but then again, I am very much in the camp of Nintendo will take the lead, and Microsoft & Sony will duke it out for second. Why? Because Nintendo realized that the market is not the 10 percent of gamers that make up nearly 100 percent of the hard core gamer market - they realized that there is another 90 percent of the market that is just not tapped - from the kindergarten kids to the elderly - not just the kids in their late teens and early twenties.

The Wii was made to reach all gamers, and be good enough for the hard core games but not with top notch specs. They're pulling from their backlog (which as registered will be larger than PS+PS2+PS3+xBox+xBox360 combined as, if I remember the statements right, they could release titles daily and go on for a century and still have titles to release) and adding new stuff that is truly innovative, fun, and entertaining.

I'll get a Wii - heck, even my wife wants to get me one so that we can play it together and have a lot of fun. We've been playing my old 2nd generation NES (the SNES form-factor styled NES) for quite a while now and love it. And with titles like ExciteTruck and and backwards compatibility, I'm all for the Wii.

So if anyone ever wonders why Wii is being thought to be in 1st place - it's because Nintendo did the job, and did it right. They remembered who their real market was and made a product for that market. Finally - the world can have fun gaming again, and it won't be on a PS3 or xBox 360.

Re:Wii for the win? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342318)

The reason for that is purely psychological: the Wii is where the excitement is. It's new, blazingly different in design, and calls up all the latent nostalgia that Nintendo has at its command. The 360 has been out a while, so even if it's good (and I've personally had fun playing a friend's copies of Dead Rising, Fight Night, and Gears of War), it lacks the brand-new, kid-on-Christmas-morning excitement factor. The PS3 might be good, but we mainly hear about the problems, and the price tag alone is enough to offend a lot of people.

I think, at the heart, a good many people who talk about games really want the Wii to succeed, and that comes through in the general discussion of it. Of course, I might think that just be because I really want it to succeed. Ah, well.

Re:Wii for the win? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342354)

I think the Wii has a definitive 2nd place strong hold... Nintendo can't make them fast enough, they're pumping out at nearly twice the speed Microsoft did last year and still retailers can't get enough stock to meet demand. So far they've already reached 20% of the Xbox 360's install base, which is fairly impressive. The only question in my mind is if they will catch up to the Xbox 360 as next year the Wii demand will take a dip after the launch window rush while the 360 will likely hold steady as it's already on auto-pilot. Not to mention the 360 will likely see either a price cut and or bundle which will push more and more units.

the PS3 doesn't seem to be doing too hot. I was at Gamestop last night picking up a gift for a friend and they had a sign on the door "PS3s are IN STOCK!" I asked the clerk about it and apparently they had 5 consoles, they got 3 in a shipment and after a week they couldn't sell a single one of them. Meanwhile they had 2 returns from launch day buyers who couldn't manage to turn a profit on eBay. I was in the store no longer then 10 minutes and during that time the clerk I was talking to received 3 phone calls from people asking for the Wii (of which they had none). He also told me that about the same time they got the 3 PS3s in they also about 20 Wiis and sold out within an hour.

the PS1 and PS2 did well because they were excellent, middle-of-the-road consoles, good for the everyman, they didn't have the best graphics, or the most innovative controllers and game, or the most features, but they had a wide selection of games that appealed to most people and they were reasonably priced. Sony has priced themselves out of that demographic completely with the PS3, and it's scary to think that they're only 500K units into this generation, it's not even Christmas yet and there are already consoles sitting on the shelves and eBay auctions deflated to MSRP prices.

Useless (4, Insightful)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341134)

This article is useless rhetoric about the "console wars". At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who has the best graphics or the best kind of control system. What matters is what you like to play, and which console will give you that. The people who want to play the games that only the PS3 offers will buy the PS3, regardless of what Nintendo and Microsoft do, and vice-versa. There will never be a winner to the "console wars", and thus ample opportunity for people to rehash the good and the bad of all of the systems to try and make it sound like a new angle, when they're really just kicking a dead horse.

Re:Useless (1)

LineNoiz (616971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342098)

What about the people who want to play games only offered on Xbox and also want to play games only offered on PS3? They have to either buy two consoles, or just not play some of the games that they would really like to.

Now, if one of those two consoles was no longer around... Well, those exclusives would have to go somewhere, right?

Those are the people that really care about 'console wars.' These are the people looking at the other console, pointing out every flaw, pronouncing with glee 'THEY ARE DOOMED!'

Nintendo's achilles heel (0)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341144)

Nintendo's edge can vanish in a flash if either sony, xbox, introduces a wii mote of thier own. Then Nintendo has the weakest machine and no input device advantage. Thus Nintendo's remianing advantage will be two fold.
1) the early sales lead gives then a critical market size where developers are willing to write for the wii-mote

2) ubiquity of the controller: if the controller is just an add-on for sony and xbox and not in every home then designers wont' design games thet require it.

  I'd assume the controller would add atleast $50 to the cost of a sony or xbox so bundling in every system might not work at their present price point unless its a loss leader for the game sales.

The nice thing for nintendo is that they won't have to plow money into game development to sell their platform. Xbox and sony will live r die on who produces the finest collection of games the earliest. Wii finesses that battle. Just build the remote and the games will come.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (4, Insightful)

elcid73 (599126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341326)

Good point. Nintendo will have to rely in the "whole product experience" and not the "added/kludge/hacked" approach the others will take if this input method catches on. But there is a lot to be said for the whole product experience.. it's a good reason the ipod keeps on top.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341488)

The PS3 controllers already allow movement through the air to control games, although the devs aren't really utilizing it yet. The best example I've seen so far is controlling the motorbike in MotorStorm. The controller acts like handlebars for steering and pulling wheelies and the like. In Fall of Man the chimera jump on you and you have to shake the controller to get them off, which is a rather limited poor attempt to use six-axis in the game compared to what the controller can actually do.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (4, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341936)

Yeah, but without an additional calibration method (ie: sensor bar) to fix the drift from the accelerometers in the Sixaxis, you'll never be able to use it for "aiming" at the screen or anything requiring precision... Just gross movements.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (2, Insightful)

ontheheap (824062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341588)

The problem with this is that users have to buy the x-box or ps3 "wiimote" separately instead of it coming with the system. I forget exactly what the percentage is of users who buy additional peripherals (such as additional drives, special controllers, etc) after buying the core system, but I think it's quite low. Obviously, developers want to make games that the greatest number of people will buy, not just the few people who bought a particular peripheral. Basically what I'm saying is that if MS or Sony do come out with a "wiimote" chances are only a small percentage of console owners will purchase it, which means you probably won't see many games taking advantage of it.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342034)

You didn't score well on the reading comprehension test did you? I'd say more but I don't think you will read beyond the first sentence.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341750)

That kind of controller is probably patented (bold for no particular reason)

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342116)

Sure, but patents on such devices have to be fairly specific, and it should be able to legally clone the Wii controller to a significant extent. In fact, Google turned up this patent [uspto.gov] from Sony.

Re:Nintendo's achilles heel (3, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342036)

I don't think people are rushing out to buy the Wii because it has an innovative controller. IMO, the game lineup over the next few months (plus the low price point) is sufficient reason to get one, controller or no.

Or, (2, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341164)

The PS3 will win over the hardcore gamers who have to have the fastest, most amazing machine available.

Or the gamers who, you know, like to have more than 3 games a year [slashdot.org] and care about more than Halo. It's not like the prices are going to stay fixed forever, and I know kids who have, on their own earnings, bought all three last-gen consoles.

Re:Or, (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341962)

Or the gamers who, you know, like to have more than 3 games a year

It's funny that you link to an article about how the Wii won't just have three games a year...

I know kids who have, on their own earnings, bought all three last-gen consoles.

Yeah, and one of this gen's consoles costs as much as all of the last gen consoles combined...

Advice of the Wise Muse (2, Funny)

WiseMuse (1039922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341166)

The Wise Muse hereby predicts a return to the 8-bit Nintendo: the game selection is large and the console is cheap.

PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341182)

The Wii appears to have one fundamental problem now that I've been around multiple people who have the system, including myself. The novelty wears off pretty quickly. For some people it takes only a few minutes, for others maybe a couple of weeks. But it seems like everyone has a moment where the Wii goes from 'amazing and revolutionary system with a controller that has unlimited possibilities' to 'eh, just a GameCube with a pointer for a controller that doesn't really work very well for most games'.

With games that look like this:

http://www.gran-turismo.com/jp/movie/d483.html [gran-turismo.com]

already on the PS3(free playable demo just released this week), after the holidays the Wii is going to have a hard time keeping up sales - especially when you look at how bleak the release schedule is for the system in 2007. Right now I am looking at nothing worth buying for my Wii until at least March and maybe later.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341312)

Not released until the 24th, but close enough, and true enough.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341500)

In the US yes, but I'm in Japan.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341598)

Um, no the 24th in Japan....q1 2007 in the US. Its not out yet, because as you should know, i CAN check the PS3 online store with my japanese master account.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341654)

I don't know what people in the US see or can download, but I've not only been playing the demo, I've been talking with other people in various forums who have too here in Japan...

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341656)

Don't argue with Anonymous Coward Sony Fanboy Troll ... Today he's in Japan ... Tomorow he'll be a game developer who thinks that the "Cell is the greatest"... The day after that he'll be in marketing claiming that the "PS3 ads have revolutionized marketing" ...

Re:PS3 vs Wii (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341314)

The Wii appears to have one fundamental problem now that I've been around multiple people who have the system, including myself. The novelty wears off pretty quickly. For some people it takes only a few minutes, for others maybe a couple of weeks. But it seems like everyone has a moment where the Wii goes from 'amazing and revolutionary system with a controller that has unlimited possibilities' to 'eh, just a GameCube with a pointer for a controller that doesn't really work very well for most games'.

I'll try to remember that to get people to stop asking me to bring my Wii to their Christmas party ... "Anonymous Coward Sony Fanboy Troll says that the Novelty wears off pretty quickly, so I don't think I should bring it over."

So far I have not seen anyone play with my Wii and not be immediately engaged. Honestly, from what I have seen, the novelty of shiny graphics wears out far faster than the Wiimote does; I've seen crowds gater for 5 minutes to check out the graphics of the XBox 360/PS3 only to disperse immediately to do something better with their time.

Most people don't care all that much about graphics when they're enjoying the game they're playing; in fact if you're enjoying the game you will probably not be paying too much attention to any of the graphical effects that are happening.

Pong vs Everything else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341976)

"Most people don't care all that much about graphics when they're enjoying the game they're playing; in fact if you're enjoying the game you will probably not be paying too much attention to any of the graphical effects that are happening."

That's why Pong is cornering the market.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342010)

I'll try to remember that to get people to stop asking me to bring my Wii to their Christmas party ... "Anonymous Coward Sony Fanboy Troll says that the Novelty wears off pretty quickly, so I don't think I should bring it over."

My friends just asked to have the New Year's party at my house so they can play with my Wii. On the one hand I'm happy, on the other hand I feel strangely used. ... Play with my Wii... I think Nintendo's marketing gurus are a lot smarter than the rest of us, in hindsight...

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342104)

Hmmm, dare one suggest that your friends see the Wii as a 'novelty'...

The Wii is a lot like one of those giant joke cowboy hats - everyone wants to try it on desperately and dance around like an idiot for a few minutes and then...

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342138)

"So far I have not seen anyone play with my Wii and not be immediately engaged." I married the last woman who played with my Wii...

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342170)

That's just his point I think. The Wii is a great console for a "bring it over and we'll have a blast" moment, but really if you're playing it all the time (or just a lot) I think that the novelty DOES wear off. It seems to be much more of a do stuff with people system. Not that that's a bad thing, but your friends asking you to bring your Wii to their Christmas Party for an hour or two of play is different from playing it for weeks.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342176)

Sure the novelty will wear off. Even a holodeck in of itself would be passe in a few weeks. You are proving his point by emphasizing that people want you to bring over that new fangled toy to their party. But just like the new fangled toy everyone was playing last christmas, this one will either continue to offer innovative solutions to its gimmick and succeed or else rely on the gimmick alone and fail. The point is, the gimmick itself will only last for so long, and then it'll come down to the quality of the product.

I remember a couple of years ago fishing controllers were all the rage. Since you couldn't do anything except fish, it lasted about one holiday season.

Wii likes to party (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342214)

The Wii is without a doubt the best party console. It's a blast to even watch others play and laugh at how stupid they look swinging that remote around. Unfortunately, I've only been able to play it in groups. But I do see how the novelty could wear off when you're not playing with friends.

There are games that just aren't any fun if you're not playing a local multiplayer game. I doubt every wii game would be like that, but I'd have to say I couldn't see myself playing Wii Sports by myself.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (4, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342236)

And quite frankly, let's say the novelty DOES wear off after a month. Well, see, that person has ALREADY BOUGHT THE WII.

From the almost viral effect the Wii is having, in a couple of years we might see 100 million households with Wiis that are just getting bored of it. Remember the old shampoo commercial? "I told 2 friends, then they told 2 friends" etc. Every last person who's been over to play with my Wii (insert joke here) is now lining up every weekend trying to get one. Once they have it, every one of their friends will be doing the same.

If having half the the planet owning your console, and bored of it, is a problem - I'd like to have that problem, thanks. You think these people will stop buying games entirely?

Besides the fact that "a controller that doesn't really work very well for most games" is complete and utter bull. I've never seen a new idea implemented so nicely on a release lineup. The games designed for the wiimote work amazingly well RIGHT NOW - imagine how good this will get in a couple of years.

I've been a Nintendo fan for decades. I've loved nearly everything they've put out. Yet even I didn't think they'd see a TENTH of the demand and excitement going around right now. It's almost scary just how many people are telling me they want one. And it's got hardly any games yet. Wait until this thing has a few hundred titles out.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342520)

I haven't bought a console since the N64, and I'm seriously considering buying a Wii. The "novelty" is what makes it unique. There's not much you can do on a normal console that you can't get on a PC (I don't give a crap about fighting/racing/sports games), but there's so much that can be done with a Wii controller. So for the first time in ten years, I want a game console.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341896)

Pretty graphics, but why the hell does it look like the car is driving on ice? Tires on paved roads don't work that way.

Re:PS3 vs Wii (1, Informative)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342392)

is that the PS3 release where your review mirror crops out building and shit?

the same PS3 that can't do lighting right in fight night round 3? yea Sony released a real winner with that one

People are getting sick of sonys bullcrap (1)

BrandonBlizard (1007055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341212)

I still can't see any way the ps3 can come out on top on this one. As a designer my self I see nothing but frustration with the ps3 as a development platform. And I believe price point is still an important factor in people's decision when they buy a console. As the lower common denominator out of the two the Xbox has the advantage of art assets being created for it's limitations, and being ported to ps3 for most popular cross platform games. This not only lessens ps3 graphical advantages but gets developers more familiar with the 360 itself. Sony's advantages are with it's exclusive titles, loyal fan base and its marketing, but I see more an more people becoming bitter from Sony jamming half assed stuff down everybody's throats. If Sony does succeed in this generation I think it will only serve to reinforce their hubris, setting them up for a failure next generation.

The better quote (2, Informative)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341218)

From the Article would be:

"So which do I want to design for? From a creativity standpoint, it's the Wii, hands down (or up!). "

WHAT?! (0)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341270)

You mean... a Slashdot contributor is predicting that the Microsoft product will be the biggest failure?

Man, I didn't see THAT coming.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341580)

You or your functional equivalent would have said the same thing, substituting Sony for Microsoft, had this guy said the PS3 was going to lose. Somebody has to sell fewer consoles than the others, that's how this market works, and I have no idea which company it will be (I have a strong hunch it won't be Nintendo), but since both the two roughly equivalent (and therefor most likely to knock each other out) machines are made by 'enemies of /.' it seems that either you or your Sony-twin is destined to continue to be upset somehow. This article is far from hard news, but c'est la vie d'/. (that is a punctutation disaster)

Re:WHAT?! (1)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342088)

> had this guy said the PS3 was going to lose

I would disagree, but I would not find the idea to be divorced from reality. The Wii is a powerful contender. I believe it may surpass the PS3, IF the developers step up with a vengeance. I believe this is unlikely, because I think the only truly revolutionary use of the Wii technology will be in first-party games. Third-party developers will generally either copy Nintendo badly, or do something new and ill-advised.

> Somebody has to sell fewer consoles than the others

I don't think the Wii AND the PS3 can BOTH surpass the 360. I think this race is either 360-PS3-Wii, PS3-360-Wii, or 360-Wii-PS3. In that order. I do not believe the Wii can be number one, and I do not believe the 360 can be number three.

The 360's real liability is its game selection (5, Interesting)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341328)

So, I've been kicking around the idea of getting a 360 for months, now. I was close, but put off by the sticker shock, and decided to hold off for a bit longer. Maybe until a price drop.

A couple days ago, though, I went over to a friend's place; she manages a small EBgames store, and has a 360 and just about every notable game for it. It was just a small get-together, so a bunch of us spent some time browsing through her collection of 360 games. I'm glad I didn't buy one.

Gears of War. Rainbow 6: Vegas. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. FEAR. YAWW2FPS (Call of Duty something, I think). Dead Rising. Saint's Row. Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Dead or Alive 4.

Incidentally, most of these games are the most popular on the 360. Notice something? It's almost entirely FPS. R6:V, CoD and GRAW are your archetypical boring, generic, sequel shovelware. Gears of War and FEAR are both good games in their own right, but considering the company they're in, they don't exactly stand out. Then you have yet another Splinter Cell game, which falls in the same boat: a good game, but reeking of been-there-done-that. Next is Dead Rising, a good game with a few very, very deep flaws, but basically fun, and Dead or Alive 4: an uninspired button-masher fighter that doesn't look like its had its sprites updated in years. Nevermind that the game ought to come with a jar of vaseline, as it's mainly beat-off material for teenagers.

It's not that the 360's game lineup is all that bad, it's just that the console's been out for a year now, and the best game on it is a FPS, on a console that's drowning in FPSes. Yet where are the RPGs? Oblivion and its broken leveling system and litany of cut-and-paste caves/dungeons? Bottom-of-the-JRPG barrel drek like Enchanted Arms (if you're not acquainted with how agonizingly bad this game is, take a look at some of the gameplay videos on Gametrailers [gametrailers.com] )?

If the 360 really has a weakness, its the utter lack of diversity in its games. It's a hell of generic sequelism. That's fine in a launch console, but not a year after release.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

Megajim (885529) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341646)

I agree with all of this, but, as a person who doesn't own either x-box system, I wonder if this is ultimately a case of giving people what they want. The Halo games basically defined the x-box, yet, again, they are just story-driven FPS. A friend just bought a 360 and he's excited about . . . yes, Halo 3 (whenever that comes out) and the next GTA (again, whenever that comes out). I have nothing but conjecture to support this, but I wonder if x-box owners are more into FPS than owners of competing systems. Regardless, a year into this system we should be seeing something new. It still seems that both the 360 and the PS3 are focused on the same games with better graphics.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341688)

I own a 360 and I have to agree that this is largely true. The 360 does have some decent games, but it mostly feels like they are all just PC games on a console.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (3, Insightful)

Jearil (154455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341690)

I have to disagree.. I think your friend just happened to be a FPS junky perhaps. Personally, I bought and played through all of Enchanted Arms (all 1k achievement points worth), and I was amazed by the quality of the game. It was really enjoyable, to me at least. As for other RPGs, Blue Dragon will be coming out sometime in '07 in the states (it's already out in Japan and sold pretty well), and I think that should be something to look forward to. Lost Oddessy is another RPG that should be coming out in '07 as well, as far as JRPGs go anyway.

As for other non-FPS 360 games, I'm personally greatly enjoying Viva Pinata right now. While it might look like a kids game (omg, a game with Color? What were they thinking!?), it's actually really good. I mean you get to beat things to death with a shovel and then see all of that things closest friends eat its entrails like a giant cannibal fest. Good Stuff.

The new sonic game that recently was released is pretty niffty. It's also on the PS3, though I'm not sure if it's been released there yet, but still a fun game as they finally returned Sonic to have that sense of oh-my-god-I-have-no-idea-where-I'm-going speed again.

There's also your sports and racing games if you're into that. I'm not, but I suppose some people are. Some of the arcade games are really interesting, but not all of course. And of course if you want soft-core porn there's always Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach 2.. It doesn't even have volleyball in the title now, seems like just a T&A fest.

Reguardless, the 360 definitely isn't where I'd like to see them as far as games go, but they're not really all that bad. Too many sports and not enough RPGs, true, but there are more down the line. I look forward to Blue Dragon and Lost Oddessy, but maybe we need a new genre, as everything has been so overdone that even without a number at the end of the title most games feel like rehashes in all categories.. and that applies to all of the consoles. The only console I'm really seeing anything "exciting" being done is the Wii, but even then companies like THQ screw it up with bad ports with poor controls.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342026)

Huh?

Oblivions broken level system? Thats a stretch. If it doesn't level the way you want, use the difficulty scrollbar. If certain stats don't increase much, it's not the games fault you planned your class poorly. I'm left wondering what RPG is so great that would make Oblivion a bad game.

Deep flaws in Dead Rising? Like what exactly?

Gears of War doesn't stand out? I can't even play any other shooter, not even Halo, after playing it. The seamless integration of cover has never been pulled off so well.

There are some weak games out there, and a saturation of shooters, but how you can dismiss Oblivion, Dead Rising, and Gears of War as generic or bad games? What games do you have I don't know about that would make great games seem so mediocre?

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342206)

"Gears of War doesn't stand out? I can't even play any other shooter, not even Halo, after playing it."

Right. So I guess you're not buying Halo 3 when it comes out? I agree Gears of War is a great game, but I don't cringe playing my other shooters after playing Gears of War. They're all fun in their own right.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342350)

Its the cover. And the multiplayer that doesn't let you respawn. When you go back and play other shooters, you feel like you are just standing there naked in a room full of people. Maybe if I don't play Gears for a month, I could go back. I guess you get so used to the urgency of getting out of the line of fire, it makes it hard to play a game where there isn't really a need or ability to take cover.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

megalomaniacs4u (199468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342416)

Deep flaws in Dead Rising? Like what exactly?
As I believe I stated here [slashdot.org] (that some twat modded troll despite being totally and utterly accurate) there is game breaking save system that is so flawed it can leave you unable to progress. This has been mentioned time & again. Checkout:
  1. "The problem i had with the game is the save system it is so broken its just frusterating." [animationarena.com]
  2. "the game has been crippled by the horrible save system" [metacritic.com]
  3. "Good Game Ruined by Horrible Save System " [ign.com]
    "The unforgivable flaw in this otherwise wonderful game is the horrible, broken save system"

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342512)

It's different, but it works as intended. If you save a game after you have missed a deadline, you do have to start over, but you do keep your stats and photos. It was intended to work this way. I don't see anything deeply flawed about it. That's just the way developers intended the game to be played. It's not like killing zombies after you start over is any less fun. If you didn't keep your character stats, I would agree that the save system totally sucks. As it is now, I think the save system actually helps drive the storyline and deadlines when it it otherwise just too easy to get distracted finding interesting ways to exterminate zombies. It's not like you can't do that, you just can't progress in the story if you choose to miss all the deadlines then save your game.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342444)

Very good points.

Personally I'm quite uninterested in the 360 simply because any of the games I would care to play on there have vastly superior counterparts available for PC.

I still can't bring myself to play FPSs on a console. The control schemes have gotten vastly better over the years, but it's still not even close to the trust mouse and keyboard.

Oblivion on a decent pc makes the 360 version seem like a steaming pile of poo, for a number of reasons. Foremost is the graphics of course, they're just not even close on the console. A very close second is the modability of oblivion on a pc, from fixing outstanding bugs to changing the leveling system to be more like a standard rpg, to having menus that are actually useful.

Anyways, just my reasoning for my own choices.

Re:The 360's real liability is its game selection (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342180)

### If the 360 really has a weakness, its the utter lack of diversity in its games. It's a hell of generic sequelism.

Will the Wii have more then another Mario, Metroid, Wario and Zelda next year? Will the PS3 have much more then its MetalGear, GrandTurismo and friends? I kind of doubt it. If you want you can get Viva Pinata, Geometry Wars, any of those EA Sports Titles or simply stick with Dead Rising, BioShock, Gears of War, Assassins Creed and friends, sure, some might come out of genres you already know, but many of these are, as oposed to yet-another Mario, not sequels but original franchises.

Xbox 360 No Longer Relevant (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341470)

While the race between the Wii and PS3 is not obvious right now as to who will come out on top, it is safe to say the 360 is no longer relevant. It is selling to the same Xbox demographic as the first system. No one who is a Nintendo or Sony fan has any desire to buy a 360 outside of people with enough disposable income to buy everything.

* Massive and unprecedented hardware defects
* Weak graphics - low framerates, screen tearing, texture filtering problems, and sub-720p games(the two big 360 graphic games PGR3 and GoW have to rely on bogus marketing shots to sell)
* Ridiculous online fees - no one but hardcore Xbox fans are willing to waste 50 dollars every year
* Joke backwards compatibility
* Miserable library of games - Shooters, shooters,shooters...
* Gimped storage - no next gen disc format - and the clunk and expensive HD-DVD add on that can't even be used for games

Blah, what a mess.

Re:Xbox 360 No Longer Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341722)

It's an interesting phenomenon.
Is it an artifact of the modern age of persuasion that people have to constantly justify their choices to themselves and others?

One aspect of modern advertising is to make the consumer feel good about their purchase, so that they do the word of mouth recommendations - a far more effective way to actually persuade people.

So is that the case here? A little anger and denial over the shaking up of that self image of some one who has "chosen" the best?

Or is this just a paid Sony astroturfer?

Re:Xbox 360 No Longer Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342288)

Not in the slightest. Throughout history, people have been constantly driven to justify their choices to themselves and others.

See Religion for more details.

From the developers perspective (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341496)

From the developers perspective, the Microsoft solution cen be the best choice - it allows (or will soon) to write games that are cross-compatible between the console and the PC, thereby minimizing the gaming company's efforts to get into both markets. I think that's a very lucrative incentive.
The next generation of MS console will most likely have a motion-sensitive controller as well. They've actually made motion-sensitive products before, so they can easily accomplish and likely top the feat, especially with the advances in technology made so far. I'm sure they already have a prototype already.
Their weak point, however, is lack of backward compatibility - hopefully that will change next time.

Bet Against the Cell (2, Interesting)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342234)

My experience is every parallel design fails to achieve its promised potential. Software programmers have a hard time making use of multiple core and multiple processor systems. Almost all programmers have learned software development on single-core/single-processor machines. The result is almost all programs run well on single-core/single-processor computers. Dual-core development isn't too difficult, because many programs have certain natural parallelisms that make it easy to keep two cores busy. If you look at most parallel processing curves, times get really tough when you have more the 4 cores. Not many programs are easy to parallelize at the 4+ core level. The Cell on the PS3 has 7 cores.

A general lack of availability of multi-processor/multi-core developers, and the high-difficulty level of multi-thread software development, will mean that the PS3 development runs late and over-budget. This is a big problem for someone thinking of developing software for the PS3.

Not to say I told you so.. but.. (0, Troll)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341548)

The PS3 will win over the hardcore gamers who have to have the fastest, most amazing machine available.


Oh, great. The hardcore portion of the market. What is this, 5-10% of the market, if that?

The Wii will skim off the younger players and those who don't have as much money to spend.


Again, what a tremendously huge portion of the market. Maybe check the gamer demographic to see who buys most consoles... You might be surprised at the average age. It's not 13.

Both have the advantage of being made in Japan, so they'll crowd the Xbox right out of that market.


Again.. right out of the huge Japanese market. The one that Microsoft is obviously depending on for survival. Or.. wait.. no.

In the US and Europe, it's harder to say, but I see the Xbox's early start as more of a liability than a benefit.


I can't find a single reason this statement makes sense except that it means the 360 isn't the newest thing out there... and some people want the newest thing out there. And guess what, that means they already have a 360 because not too long ago, it WAS the newest thing out there. And now they'll see the problems with their PS3 and that the graphics aren't much better and wonder why they ever bought the 360.

BTW, you can purcahse a 360 HD-DVD player and use it on your PC. It's $200. Or you can buy a PS3 and play Blu-Ray movies for 45 minutes before the system hangs. And there's no firmware update that will fix the hardware problems. Also, go ahead and feel free to be all warm and fuzzy when you find out that your return/replacement turnaround is months and months.

Not to say I told you so.. but the 360 is succeeding right now. In a year, maybe not so much. But by then Microsoft will have firmly seated itself in the console market. Something nobody thought possible, or at least many people didn't, not too long ago. Except me, and maybe a few others.

TLF

TLF

Re:Not to say I told you so.. but.. (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341608)

Sorry for the hasty post. Should've used preview.

Anyway, I meant people will wonder why they ever bought the PS3, not the 360.

TLF

troll (1)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341866)

I have watched 11 BD movies on my PS3 and none of them have hung the system. I have seen zero reports of BD movies hanging the PS3. You sir are a fanboi or a troll... or both.

Re:Not to say I told you so.. but.. NOT (1, Informative)

Yiliar (603536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342084)


Microsoft took the wrong (quickest) route to hardware buildout to launch. They also went as closed hardware as possible. Those decisions will bite them soom.

Think of this: My new PS3 doubles as my desktop.

Remember all the 'I will switch when all my games run on Linux' folks out there? They can now dual boot their shiny PS3 into Linux. Want to play a great game? Boot into PS3 console mode and play away. Need a larger hard drive? Any good SATA laptop drive will fit and work, and with a bit of cobbling you can hook up a 750GB SATA drive, for the true hobbiest.

Having a more open hardware platform lends itself to a richer and more diverse community. Oh wait. Microsoft has a community that you must pay a monthly fee to belong to! In contrast, Sony Online for PS3 is free, and also, Sony has donated code that has been accepted into the main 2.6.20 and above Linux kernels! That means that all PPC Linux builds from now on will work natively on the PS3.

Is the PS3 perfect? No. (512MB RAM) But it is definitely more than you are seeing.

Most folks look at the PS3 and see an expensive console. The wise look at the PS3 and see a great console, a BlueRay player, a desktop replacement, an amazingly attractive unit, and a HUGE, OPEN community.

Game on!

Re:Not to say I told you so.. but.. NOT (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342316)

They can now dual boot their shiny PS3 into Linux.

While I agree that its a neat ability with the PS3, thinking in pure numbers, this can't attribute more than a tiny tiny fraction of the console buying public.

You could argue the other side too, I have a computer, i don't need a browser on my tv, all I want is games and to stream my photos/videos, why pay more for some things I won't ever use.

But again i'm not trying to be argumentative. You're exactly right, some people will buy the ps3 because they can load linux on it. Some people will buy the 360 because they will soon be able to play the same game with their PC-only friends. And some will buy the Wii because of the controller... its all personal preference and we still have at least a year before we get some hints at who the "winner" will be.

Re:Not to say I told you so.. but.. NOT (2, Insightful)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342440)

There are some of us who just want a console. I don't need another computer, another DVD or CD player (or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray for that matter). I just want something to play games on. I can do all the other stuff on other devices I already have, or I can purchase them later and use them. While it's sometimes convenient to have everything in one device, to me that's more of a problem than a feature. There's more code and more hardware, which leads to more things that can go wrong. On top of that, if it does happen to die, you lose ALL that functionality rather than just the one device.

I'm probably not going to buy a PS3 unless they're really, really cheap someday. I'm not buying an XBox360 either because the games just don't interest me. My wife and I went with a Wii on launch day and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Now we can even browse the web on it, though it's probably easier to just get up and walk to the computer room. I'm not complaining that it does a few extra things, because it's taking advantage of hardware that's really already in the system. But, I don't want a living room desktop replacement, and I'd assume a lot of other people don't want one either. We buy consoles to play games.

Re:Not to say I told you so.. but.. (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342450)

I can't find a single reason this statement makes sense except that it means the 360 isn't the newest thing out there... Not to say I told you so.. but the 360 is succeeding right now. In a year, maybe not so much. But by then Microsoft will have firmly seated itself in the console market. Something nobody thought possible, or at least many people didn't, not too long ago. Except me, and maybe a few others.

I have only one word in response: Dreamcast

Though at the end of the day I really think Microsoft is going to win out over Sony in this generation... Just saying history has shown before that an extremely popular console with a year or more of lead time over the competition can still be doomed to failure...

Winner: the PS2 (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342030)

The current winner is the PS2.

  • Price: $129.
  • Plays audio CDs and DVDs too, so it's a full entertainment system for the kids' bedroom.
  • Plenty of games available, and more still being developed.
  • Huge installed base.
  • Small form factor.
  • Games look almost as good as on the PS3.
  • Price: $129.

Re:Winner: the PS2 (4, Insightful)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342254)

Everything you said I agree with. Except the "Games look almost as good as on the PS3" part. That's spoken like someone who hasn't seen either the 360 or the PS3 in action. I've seen a huge difference between games even on an SDTV.

Re:Winner: the PS2 (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342302)

# Games look almost as good as on the PS3.

be careful, someone might get pissed and stab you in the face with a jagged PS2 polygon

So which was the third-place one here? (2, Insightful)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342252)

In the optical media era, Sony brought out the Playstation, Sega gave us the Saturn, and Nintendo hung onto cartridges for one more generation with the N64.
From the context in the article, it sounds like he's saying the Saturn was the second-place one in that race.

Re:So which was the third-place one here? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342424)

No, Saturn bombed extra gloriously stateside... It did so-so in Japan, though.

Consoles no longer appeal to the mainstream (4, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342330)

Perhaps what Nintendo understands that no other maker does, is that the last two generations of consoles have cultivated a different kind of consumer/user than previous generations: the "twitch players" which represent a tiny portion of the potential market. Why have so many FPS and violent games come out? Why are developers pandering to this group? I suspect because these games are easy to crank out and don't require nearly as much creativity. As a result, most people don't really give a shit about the "console wars." I know I don't. My last console was the N64 which I abandoned after the dearth of quality games (other than the core Nintendo titles).

It's all about the software. It always has been. The console that has the best software will win. It doesn't matter what the hardware specs are. Great software can compensate for inferior hardware -- though most of today's developers don't seem to understand that. I saw games that ran in 16K of RAM that had more longevity that today's multi-gigabyte monstrosities.

The Wii's advantage (4, Insightful)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342342)

Quite simply, this [youtube.com] is why the Wii will come on top. There is no way you can do that with an XBox 360 or a PS3.
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