If this generation’s videogame console war will be known for anything, it will be the stream of ridiculous stories regarding both the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. The PS3’s low supply and high demand has caused an unreal frenzy among potential buyers. A customer was hospitalized from an injury received while racing for a place in line inside a Milwaukee Wal-Mart. A Minnesota radio show host offered to give callers a free PS3 if they would give him their infant child for 24 hours and received more than a dozen callers not realizing it was a gag. On the other hand, the Wii has been responsible for numerous household mishaps due to the game controller accidentally slipping out of players’ hands. Just check out www.wiihaveaproblem.com for a list of these incidents.
With the Microsoft Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii now all available on the market, a more in-depth comparison can finally be made between three of the industry’s top competing consoles. I was able to talk to Kevin Pereira, co-host of G4TV’s “Attack of the Show” and an expert on the videogame industry, shortly before the PS3 and Wii launched. We talked about which of the systems were worth their money and speculated about the possible winner of the console war.
“At the moment, it’s not justified to spend your money on the PS3,” Pereira said.
Even with its Blu-ray and song-ripping capabilities, the PS3 simply cannot be just looked at as a $600 investment in high-tech media. According to Pereira, some retailers are only selling units as part of a bundle with other games, at a price totaling well over $1000.
“Sony has been having problems producing units up until launch due to issues such as the Blu-ray laser,” Pereira said. “Microsoft has been on task with keeping 360 units available. So has Nintendo.”
So, not only is the PS3 the most expensive, but it’s also in the lowest supply with very little games to choose from. Pereira said that perhaps in six months to a year, the PS3 will be able to seriously compete with the other two consoles since games such as Metal Gear Solid 4 will have been released. Hopefully, by then, there will also be enough PS3 units to match consumer demand.
“Right now, Microsoft is at an advantage to win the console war, but it’s still too early to tell,” Pereira said.
Having both a 360 and a Wii in the household, I agree[, for the most part, with Pereira’s views. What it all comes down to isn’t graphics, supply or price. What attracts people to a particular console is the quality of its games.
Microsoft, with a year’s head start over the competition has over a hundred titles to choose from. Nintendo has an innovative controller scheme whose novelty will eventually wear off, despite my roommate’s hyperbolic fanboy claim of already forgetting how to use buttons on a non-Wii controller. Fortunately, the Wii has some engrossing franchise titles like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Trauma Center: Second Opinion. Sony may have impressive hardware, but its problem is a lack of currently available titles, compounded by the near impossibility of finding a PS3 to play them. Many of the games that are on sale can be found in comparable quality for the readily available 360.
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on the newest gaming system, both the 360 and the Wii make great buys. Otherwise, wait for a price drop and/or more games to become available. In the meantime, you can focus on playing the thousands of games already out for the Xbox, Playstation 2, GameCube and other antiquated systems from yesteryear, and learn more about it all by checking out Pereira’s show on G4 TV.