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PlayStation (Games) Wii

360 vs. PS3 vs. Wii - The Designer's Perspective 361

Posted by Zonk
from the both-have-motion-sense,-one-is-a-good-blunt-object dept.
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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360 vs. PS3 vs. Wii - The Designer's Perspective

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  • I have to disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:16PM (#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.
    • by Das Modell (969371) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:09PM (#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.
      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:24PM (#17341954) Homepage
        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.
        • by DarkJC (810888) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:37PM (#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.
          • Actually, I think the Final Fantasies (post-12) are going back to Nintendo.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by king-manic (409855)
              Actually, I think the Final Fantasies (post-12) are going back to Nintendo.

              No, the Wii is getting a FF: crystal chronicles sequel. !3 if confirmed to be PS3 exclusive. no plans after that so far.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            >Honestly I think it's impossible to have a very strong opinion on the PS3 until it's been released for a year.

            surely a problem in itself? back in the old days I don't ever recall the "wah! give me a year before you have an opinion! why do you have to be so mean! judging something is politically incorrect!" argument being too popular.

            >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.

            such as?
          • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday December 22, 2006 @08:48PM (#17344648)
            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.

            What do you mean, "unless Sony drops the ball?" Not only has the ball been dropped, but it's rolled down the driveway and is sitting in traffic! The only thing the remaining exclusives could be waiting for is to see if Sony can retrieve it without becoming road kill.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by carninja (792514)
            The next Metal Gear Solid (MGS4) has pretty much already been confirmed for the Xbox 360. Same with GTA, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before DMC makes it's way over there. So yeah, your argument sucks.

            I also find it funny how you say you can't have a strong opinion on the PS3 for at least a year, whereas everybody else seems to already have a very strong (positive) opinion on the Wii.

            I think the ebay prices pretty much show how this is working out for Sony: PS3s going unsold even at retail, W
      • by GeckoX (259575) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:52PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Total_Wimp (564548)

        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.

        I think the point is that you have more possibilities for great games with a more powerful system. Look at the Wii. It has a more "powerful" controller by many people's standards. That controller allows games that the others can't match. Similarly, the PS3 is more powerful in the traditional sense of the word. Theoretically, this could allo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MikeFM (12491)
      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
      • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:42PM (#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.
      • by ActiveNick (1039446) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ShadowsHawk (916454)
          "people do not want to stay alone at home" Speak for yourself. I don't have time to try to arrange to meet friends online and I don't really enjoy random fragging anymore. Quick, short games have been my main stay for quite a while now. When I do play a RTS or FPS, I would rather have the ability to save and walk away at a moments notice.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pboulang (16954)
            absolutely. I certainly don't want to play with random dipshits. I just want to come home from work, veg out for about 45 minutes playing a game, then get back to life.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by king-manic (409855)
          Online gaming still doesn't appeal to a wider audience. The whole "ass kicked by foul mouthed 12 year old" factor discourages wide enthusiasm for online gaming. Xbox live is only used by about 1/2 of all 360's and less then 1/5 of all xboxes. I mean the free accounts. Less then half of those renew. It's nto a huge motivating factor.
      • by 7Prime (871679) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:40PM (#17342790) Homepage Journal
        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.

        That is HIGHLY unlikely, if soully for the reason that no alternate controllers, even first party controllers, ever catch on on a massive scale, aside from slight alterations like the Wavebird (wireless) and XBox S controller (smaller). Even DDR pads are a fairly niche market, when you look at the grand scheme of things: it's justified for basically only one game series. The controller you're talking about would practically require exclusively written games for it... we're not talking Wavebirds and S Controllers, here.

        Secondly, why the hell would Nintendo want to give up the ONE THING that makes its console unique and attractive to the public (besides the feeling that you're buying into a company that is actually striving for innovation for the long term)? They'd be pratactically writing their own death sentance, at least in the hardware market. We're looking at a possible leader or strong second place in this coming generation, and you're suggesting they simply throw it away? No, Nintendo's got something to prove: that balls-to-the-walls processing power doesn't automatically make for a good game or a successful console. They could not have done a better job of proving that, so far. It's better for business, it's better for gamers, and it's better for developers, in the long run.

        Also, Nintendo spent years developing and honing the Wiimote to get it to the surprisingly usable piece of machinery it is today. The logistical hoops that Sony or Microsoft would have to go through, simply to include precision tracking (plug-in for LED sensor), would be staggering... and let's not even get into the legal reprocusions.

        No, Sony and Microsoft will, and should, stick to their guns in maintaining systems that target their prime demographics. I think it's really refreshing to finally see some real separation between consoles, this time around, with huge differences in design philosophy and gameplay expectations. It starts to kinda make all the various consoles in past generations seem redundant.

    • by Cadallin (863437) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:42PM (#17342836)
      Here's the thing: I really kind of had of had my doubts about the Wii as far as attracting non-gamers went (see below), but these claims of the Wii only appealing to the young and the poor are really bizarre in my opinion. Outlets that I consider "hardcore" (like Penny-Arcade and its ilk) are positively abuzz about the Wii. As far as I can tell, "the Hardcore" are adopting the Wii and Nintendo's vision for it with open arms. Of course, as I've said in many places before, we won't really know until there are enough units out there, as the 2 or so million units sold so far appear to be insufficient to satisfy early adopter demand.

      About my early doubts about the Wii and non-gamers, I've seen some very impressive things, that make me think Nintendo may just be crazy like a fox. Watching a forty year old stop at a Gamestop in the wall to play Wii sports, and responding with something equivalent to "This is fucking awesome!" and "When are these gonna be on sale?" impressed me very highly. Anecodotal reports of non-gaming girlfriends seizing controllers are also very encouraging.

      • Where the hell are people playing demoes? I have seen plenty of kiosks, but there are no controllers.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Of course this is Slashdot, and so you have to talk-up Nintendo at every chance, but I think there's something important people miss about the entire Wii/Xbox 360 thing:

      It's very very easy for Microsoft to add a motion sensing wand/controller to the Xbox 360. It's very very difficult for Nintendo to add the graphics power and multimedia capability to the Wii.

      *If* the Wii really starts kicking ass (and I'm not convinced yet, it's still far too new... all consoles sell out in the first month, even crappy ones
    • not only do i disagree with the author on the same point as the parent but i think this whole article is just a waste of time. all it is, is the same idle speculation that everyone else is doing on the internet with nothing of real substance to back up any of the claims. who cares if it's "from a developers point of view" if said developer is as uninsightful as everybody else out there. plus he seems to be sloppy on the details like this little bit:

      "In the optical media era, Sony brought out the Playstation
  • by posterlogo (943853) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:16PM (#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.
    • Middleground is bad. It doesn't distinguish you from your competitors.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        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 c

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Chosen Reject (842143)
          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.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dutch Gun (899105)
            No, he's being quite serious, and he's spot on.

            The Wii is most certainly a souped-up GameCube, but this detracts nothing from what Nintendo has done with it. A friend of mine, a Nintendo dev, were having lunch a few months ago. When I asked him a few months ago what the new Wii hardware was like, his response - "It's basically a Gamecube..." It rather surprised me. Obviously, it's been boosted in both performance (clock speeds have doubled approximately) and memory , but the point is that fundamentally,
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              I think you missed his point.

              The GGP asserted that the Wii is [i]only[/i] a souped up Gamecube, with the implication that this makes it not revolutionary. He then asserts that the Xbox360 and PS3 are truly revolutionary advances in gaming technology, with the implication being this is because of their souped up hardware. This should seem rather odd for the reasons the GP stated. In all technicality, the Xbox360 and PS3 are also just souped up Xboxs and PS2s (albeit to a greater degree).

              That, I think, was th
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by posterlogo (943853)
            "please do tell what the PS3 and Xbox 360 are capable of gameplay wise that the Wii is not..."

            First of all, I do like the Wii. But there at a LOT of things that 1080 graphics allow that 480 simply does not. One simple example is real-time strategy games. Pixel real estate is at a premium, and you would have a graphics nightmare trying to do that on 480 resolution. Now, one could say most Wii gamers could care less about RTS. But IF you did want to play one, you could not do so on a Wii. The upcoming

        • 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.

          No, what it means is that your competitors are doing a better job at targeting their demographics. The Wii is the affordable, fun device for casual and mainstream gamers, while the PS3 is the expensive, high-end device for serious gamers wanting top multimedia experiences. This leaves the 360 in the middle with its userbase leeched off on b

    • 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
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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

      • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:09PM (#17342522) Homepage Journal

        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 near

        • by smash (1351) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:01PM (#17344730) Homepage Journal
          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!

          Question: What percentage of the PS2's massive install base was sold on launch day/launch year?

          Question: When the PS2 was released, what was the most expensive console available?

          My 2c.... launch day/launch christmas is irrelevant. I, like probably 90% of console gamers out there, will buy one in a year or so when it hits $400AU or less (as I did with the PS1 - it was $799AU on release from memory), or when one of the "must have" game exclusives for me comes out on it (for the PS2, this was GT3). "It" being Xbox360/Wii or PS3, or all three.

          The PS3 has been designed to be competitive for the next 5+ years (which is where the extra BD capacity will be handy). Sure, lack of supply on launch day/this christmas may hurt sales a little bit, but in the scheme of things, I think christmas 2007 and 2008 will be far more important for all the current "next gen" consoles, when game selection is better and price is cheaper.

          Expect a "revision 2" of the PS3 that will fix a bunch of issues - in fact, I'm willing to bet that many of the current issues will be fixed in the PAL version, which is due in March 07.

          I'll probably end up buying all three consoles anyway, but that's how I see things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:18PM (#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 ...

  • by Rendo (918276)
    because the Phantom will destroy all the consoles in the end!
  • by andy314159pi (787550) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:22PM (#17341028) Journal

    an amusingly opinionated game designer.
    If you are getting worked up over computer games then you really need to examine your life.
  • Wii for the win? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:29PM (#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.
    • by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witness.yahoo@com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:45PM (#17342216) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • 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 alr
      • Dude, I was about to call bullshit on the "couldn't manage to turn a profit on eBay thing. I went to ebay to prove you wrong and shove it in your face. Instead, I found this [ebay.com].

        Basically eBayers aren't getting much above retail right now. After you count what they're paying for the auction, shipping (many are offering this for free) and whatever tax they payed when purchasing it, I think many of them could be losing money. It's good news and bad news really. If you're a scalper, well, we didn't like your
  • Useless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PHPNerd (1039992) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:29PM (#17341134) Homepage
    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.
  • Or, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oGMo (379) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:31PM (#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.

    • 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...
      • by kyouteki (835576)
        But not all of the last gen's at the time of launch. PS2 launched at $300, Xbox launched at $300, and Gamecube launched at $200. That's $800, which is more than even the most expensive PS3 model.
  • The Wise Muse hereby predicts a return to the 8-bit Nintendo: the game selection is large and the console is cheap.
  • The better quote (Score:2, Informative)

    by DesertBlade (741219)
    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!). "
  • by Dragoon412 (648209) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:41PM (#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.
    • by miyako (632510)
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jearil (154455)
      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 '
    • by grumbel (592662)
      ### 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,
  • 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
    • Bet Against the Cell (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cassini2 (956052)
      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
  • Winner: the PS2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:31PM (#17342030) Homepage

    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.
  • by notsoclever (748131) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#17342252) Journal
    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.
  • by mabu (178417) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:52PM (#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.
  • by rjung2k (576317) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:53PM (#17342342) Homepage
    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.
  • ...in that you call Ernst Adams a 'Designer'. If your main profession for over a decade hasn't been Game Design, then I think that term ceases to be relevant for you. Hopefully one day Gamasutra will realise that too.
  • The 360's problems (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cadallin (863437) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:53PM (#17342964)
    In my opinion, what's hurting/going to hurt the 360 in the race is not specs, and raw hardware capability, because realistically the 360 and the PS3 are pretty much dead even in terms of process power. The 360 is suffering from a horrendous drought of top tier content. Gears of War is the only thing thing out for christmas. Nintendo was able to put together a better line-up for the Wii for their launch window than Microsoft has gotten out for the 360 in a whole year. Microsoft needs more system sellers and they need them 6 months ago. I say this as someone who owns a 360. I'm an Apple fanboy, but I like the 360, I think its probably the best product Microsoft has ever produced. But it needs more top tier content. And for fucks sake, get some more stuff on live arcade. I don't know what's holding up "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" but I've been waiting on it since I bought a system in August. Microsoft needs to be making more agreements (by hook or by crook) to get as many of the PS1/PS2 classics on Live Arcade as they possibly can.

    So in summary, Microsoft, I don't care what you have to do, but get lots more top quality games out there. Both original titles, and Live classics. Steal from Sony's back catalog as much as possible.

  • Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo will easily lose out in this gen if they don't get developers to make plenty of worthwhile games. The 360 has the advantage here, as it's already got a large user base (relatively speaking) and devs know how to develop for it. PS3 may overtake the 360 if BluRay catches on and/or if developers are able to unleash the "unlimited" power of the cell processor to deliver compelling game experiences that the 360 just can't provide. Wii is sort of the wild card - how well will the c
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Friday December 22, 2006 @06:36PM (#17343534)

    First, the PS3 is not the most powerful game machine on the planet. Both Nvidia and ATI are releasing a new generation of very powerful video cards. The 8800 is already out. Any computer with a high end next generation PC Video card is going to be able to curb stomp the PS3. A significant performance gap between the PS3 and the Xbox 360 is far from proven.

    Second, the Wii is not that cheap. $249 is not that far off from the $339 for an Xbox 360 Core system with a memory unit. I would prefer a Premium myself, but to each their own. Anyone buying a Wii is buying it because that's the console they want, not because they're cheap. Gameplay is important, but I like decent graphics with my gameplay. We don't know whether the current heavy demand for the Wii is in the general gamer populace or from Zelda fanatics. I'm not trying to be derogatory, it's just that Zelda lovers REALLY love Zelda. 75% of Wii purchasers also bought Zelda.

    Third, the Xbox 360 is about to pass the 10 million mark in consoles sold. Whether it happens before Christmas (once the sales figures are calculated) or soon after, it will happen. The Dreamcast sold a total of 10.6 million consoles.

    Fourth, the demand for the PS3 has plummeted. Look on eBay right now and look at PS3s for sale. It has dropped down to $100 above MSRP. That's with a crippling shortage. Sony has placed an incredible burden on companies that develop games exclusively for the PS3. Every month, more games drop their exclusivity and are brought over to the Xbox 360.

    The Xbox 360 may come in third. Japanese sales are awful. But Japan is third behind the Europe and the U.S. in console sales (remember only 128 million Japanese). As well, many Japanese may opt for the Nintendo DS this generation and forgoe a console. The Japanese live in tight quarters and have long commute times, making a portable the optimal choice. The Xbox 360 is pricey, but the other consoles are pricey for what your getting. The Wii is based on the Gamecube architecture and really should cost about $199 with a game. And nobody wants to pay $599 for a game console. So Microsoft should drop the price of a Premium Xbox 360 to $299 with a game. It would be a much more appropriate price.

  • by kinglink (195330) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @01:50AM (#17346310)
    First off, my response is in no means authroritve. I only know 10 designers, and know their feelings, I also work at a studio of over 100 people in the game industry. That being said my "research" is more valid then Ernest Adams for a couple reasons. The main one is that most of the people I've discussed this with don't give a simple answer like "PS3 will win because it's more powerful" which is a flat out cop out. Or assumes you believe that buyers are morons who don't notice a 200 dollar price tag differential with out a 200 dollar perfomance differential. Only a few people bought the Neo Geo, and remember that was over "4" times more powerful then the other systems (at 3 times the cost) Hint. The Corvette, isn't oversold by Lamborgini Diablos.... Why?

    The prevalant view is that no one is going to lose this round. At least not drop out. If someone does it's Sony, pure and simple. They are not turning a profit, don't have a good starting position, their company is in ruins and looking to cut a lot of budget, and the system is asking for more commitment at both ends then the other two. In addition their "Entertainment center" idea is just flat going to fuck them, because unless people constantly buy games, they would have been better off just selling Blu-ray. That being said, they will sell a LOT of systems, the problem is how many games will the sell. No Xbox Live, and other Microsoft developer helpers hurts them. The motion controller is also difficult to work with and their processor is crap for a developer. It's full potential won't be reached not because it's so powerful but because it's layed out in such a poor style. A 360 can get full potential by any programmer who knows about multithreading, GPU vs. CPU, and simple optimization. You might not get direct control of the hardware but in these days no one really wants it. Why does renderware sell? Because it controlled the hardware, not the programmer.

    The 360 does a lot to help the programmer, and that's a big step, from match making, to networking code, to Directx, the programmer is put at ease. Porting a game to the 360 is a lot easier then to the PS3. That being said, what's important is sales and not developer's feelings. The point I'm bringing up here, is that the 360 is developer friendly, and with the big inroads that Blue dragon has made in a certain foreign market, Sony might have some issues. But this only talks about games. So let's look at current system sells.

    Ps3s will sell in Japan of course, but the fact I've walked into 3 stores in the last 3 days, and seen PS3s in them isn't speaking highly of what sony has done. The fact that people are returning ps3 mainly because they can't sell them on Ebay speaks of intent to buy versus intent to resell. Yes those systems might not last long, but Wiis are selling out instantly with over four times the quanities already hitting stores.

    Again is this important? No, This is just discussing what the trends to today is. So what's the prime goal. Well I'll explain who "Wins" The winner is the one who makes the most money and the most units. Note that this is NOT the same person, but the true winner the one you should care about but don't is the one who makes the most money. They will definatly continue to the next round.

    The 360 has almost 10 million units out there right now. That's a shit load of units, but in reality it is far from insurmountable for Sony to come back from. The extra year has given Microsoft a good lead. Great. On the other hand Sony is having trouble breaking 1 million, and Wii is probably going to get 2-4 in the next 3 monthes. The 360 has exclusive titles, as does the Wii. Sony has "announced" certain titles, but dates are getting fuzzy, and exclusiviness is being called into question. Sony has lost a couple. However They still claim to have the big 2 (MGS, and Final Fantasy) and after FFXII's big launch, that's good however looking at the other exclusives they've had one can notice I didn't meantion stuff like Assassin'

We can predict everything, except the future.

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