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PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Oblivion Approaching PC Quality Visuals 242

fistfullast33l writes "After taking a beating in Gamespot's side by side Comparison of Xbox 360 and PS3 graphics, Playstation 3 owners may finally have something to hold over the 360 fans. Both Gamespot and IGN have previews posted yesterday that talk up the graphics and performance improvements over the 360 version. Load times and texture quality and draw distance have been improved, as well as 'new shaders dedicated to rendering the foreground cleanly with sharper details, so rocky landscapes now have craggy appearances instead of smooth, non-distinct surfaces,' according to IGN. They end with the ultimate hype, 'screens from the PS3 version should approach those from high end PCs running Oblivion, which is an impressive feat.' How is this possible? Gamespot reports that 'Oblivion will make extensive use of the PS3's hard drive by caching multiple gigabytes of data, which seemed to help with load times from what we saw.' While there are no official reports of this making it into the new 360/PC expansion Shivering Isles, a rumor on the Gamespot preview says that 1up might have the scoop."
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PS3 Oblivion Approaching PC Quality Visuals

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  • Alright (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:00PM (#17924146)
    These claims may be true, I care little enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    But the real advantage of playing Oblivion on a PC is the plethora of modifications. The marginal difference of graphical performance between xbox360, PS3, and high-end PC Oblivion is not really that important.

    So this article leaves me asking..."So what?"

    And the PS3 isn't a terrible piece of equipment, it's just an expensive one. I wouldn't be suprised to see nice graphics on it, I would demand it.
    • by joshetc ( 955226 )
      Plus, I bet they patched the dupe glitch on the PS3 version. Talk about lame.

      PS. I thought the PS3 was supposed to have superior graphics to high end PCs?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        PCs have the advantage of new hardware coming out all the time, so "high end" is a moving target. With console releases every 5 years there's not way it can keep up for long. Plus PCs run at much higher resolution in general.

        Still, the Xbox 360 spits out better graphics than any computer *I've* ever owned. You couldn't even buy a video card with equivalent power for 400 bucks, much less the rest of the box.

        Oh and good luck getting your PC to output HD resolutions that are compatible with your TV, running
        • It's cheap and possible to build a computer with muscle that performs evenly with an Xbox 360, including output to an HDTV. I made one almost two years ago that is on par with a 360 for approximately the same cost. It's probably cheaper now, or you could take the same hit on the wallet for more power.

          I didn't even think about outputting to an HD TV, but my computer is fully capable. It has the output for both conventional and component, all I need are the cables. If I was the kind of person who downloaded m
    • Re:Alright (Score:5, Funny)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @04:16PM (#17925166)
      At least it will give PS3 owners something to do besides play Resistance.


  • Approaching? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:01PM (#17924150) Homepage Journal
    I thought the PS3 was meant to be the dogs bollocks in terms of everything from graphics to love making?

    ps, the Wii is so much more fun - its peppy []!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "I thought the PS3 was meant to be the dogs bollocks in terms of everything from graphics to love making?"

      *note to self* Do not buy a used PS3 from Liquidcooled.
    • Exactly. This is more revealing about the disappointment of the (early) PS3 visuals than anything. What happened to the days when PC-gamers were drooling over the sparkling-new 3D games that only the PSX could do back in 94?
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:01PM (#17924164)
    "How is this possible? Gamespot reports that 'Oblivion will make extensive use of the PS3's hard drive by caching multiple gigabytes of data, which seemed to help with load times from what we saw.'"

    This would be very possible on the 360 if they could assure the 360 actually had a hard drive. Unfortunately, this assumption cannot be made due to the hard driveless 360s floating around out there. Not including one of the best features of the XBox on the value edition 360s was a big mistake and it looks like Microsoft is already beginning to pay for it.
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:15PM (#17924372)
      There's nothing preventing them from requiring you to own the hard drive to play the game. This was already done with the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI.
      • by Slithe ( 894946 )
        Nothing other than lost sales revenue that is! :)
      • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @05:03PM (#17925726)
        Nothing other then Microsoft issuing an edict that it won't happen. Only MMOs and similar games will require hard drives. Everything else MUST be playable with a core edition system and possibly a memory card.

        The other difference is the PS3 version is basically installing the game. What else do you call caching large quanities of data to a hard drive to be read back? Next generation every game is going to require 10 minute install times every time you switch discs. Oh joy, if only they gave us driver issues then it'd be all the reasons some of us got out of the PC market.
      • There's nothing preventing them from requiring you to own the hard drive to play the game.

        Yes there is. Losing half their target market is something preventing them from requiring to own a hard drive.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by StikyPad ( 445176 )
        Or, and I'm just going out on a limb here, they could do something like if hard drive is present {cache the fscking data}; else don't
    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )
      I think MS should definitely have had an HD with all versions. Quite why anyone buys Core, given the price difference between buying a memory card or two, and buying the premium version, I'll never know. Having said that, why can't the game just stream better graphics using the HD, if present? Sure, it's a pest for the developers, but...
    • Dumbest argument ever. It's trivial to code the game to load files from whichever source is available. If the file's on the hard drive, load it from there. If not, load it from DVD. The game will run much slower on driveless systems, but that's the price the PLAYER pays for going cheap.

      The hard drive adds NO capability to the Xbox, only speed. Games do not need the hard drive, they will run exactly the same either way, only with longer load times.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        If the file's on the hard drive, load it from there. If not, load it from DVD.

        Unless it's heavily compressed (e.g. high-end fractal stuff combined with procedural texture enhancement) on the game disc and less compressed (e.g. S3TC) on the hard drive, and the decoder and the game can't fit into RAM at once.

        • If the decoder can't run in real-time, then you don't *want* it in memory with the game. Load the decoder, decode the art, remove the decoder, load the game.

          It's still just a speed problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by (A)*(B)!0_- ( 888552 )

        "Dumbest argument ever."
        Here's some advice: even when you're right, saying something like that does not make your argument more convincing. I know Slashdot isn't known for being the most civil place but do we really need people saying things like that?

        And what you said isn't even verifiable. How are you judging what makes an argument dumb? What metric are you using?

        • Good point, I should have said you're pissing me off, cut it out.

          This argument keeps getting posted here, and it's FALSE. The HD adds nothing to the 360 that wasn't already there - There's nothing a game can do with the HD that it CAN'T do without!

          You can make the game load faster (after the first load) with the HD, but there's no reason for the game itself to be any different.
    • by trdrstv ( 986999 )
      "How is this possible? Gamespot reports that 'Oblivion will make extensive use of the PS3's hard drive by caching multiple gigabytes of data, which seemed to help with load times from what we saw.'"

      Ummm... Why the hell would I want to load up my Hard Drive with install data? They are compensating for Blu-Ray having poor read speeds.

    • That was the rare step BACKWARDS in a console generation (the original Xbox had a HDD standard). And even the hard drive they *DID* give us was only a lousy 20 GB. The fact that they're tauting the ability to download 7 GB movies on a drive that only has about 13 GB of free space just goes to show how stupid and short-sighted MS's 360 drive decisions were.


    • "This would be very possible on the 360 if they could assure the 360 actually had a hard drive. Unfortunately, this assumption cannot be made due to the hard driveless 360s floating around out there. "

      Umm... it's possible anyway.

      if(HardDrivePresent() == 1) CacheGameData();

      They don't need to assume anything, just use an if/then statement. Sorry, but some XBOX 360's lacking a hard drive aren't affecting the games like that. The only real damage they're doing is causing a developer to think about how the gam
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AnyNoMouse ( 715074 )
      Funny you should post this about Oblivion as that game actually does use the hard drive for caching on the 360. The game doesn't load as quickly on the core as it does on the premium, especially when going inside a building and coming back out again.

      Now, the 360 doesn't cache multiple gigabytes of data, so it's not likely as efficient as the PS3 version, but it doesn't really have to be as the data is loaded more quickly from the 360 DVD drive in the first place.

      Not having a standard hard drive does not pr
  • hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:03PM (#17924188) Homepage
    I swear, when I first saw the words "PS3 Oblivion" I thought it was going to refer to the PS3's sales record...
  • by ArmorFiend ( 151674 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:05PM (#17924218) Homepage Journal
    I'm confused. I thought that for the first year or so after launch, consoles generally out-performed $2000 gaming rigs, because of the simpler optimization environment of a non-moving target. After a year or so, it seems like Moore's Law kicks in and yesterday's console can't beat tomorrow's $2000 pc.

    That PS3 isn't mopping the floor with PeeCee right now is suprising, especially given that its halfway between the cost of a normal console and a new gaming rig (logarithmically speaking). What's more suprising is that the article submitter doesn't agree with my assumption.
    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )
      Yeah... let me rephrase the title...

      "Console sold for 50% more than nearest competitor, and claimed to be twice as powerful, shows graphical improvement over competitor in one game"

      This is not a win for the PS3. This makes the mess that is the PS3, is just a little less awful. When games are regularly coming out and show significant improvement over the XBox 360, we'll talk. In the meantime, like hell am I paying 50% extra for "Well, it's better in this game!"
      • Not really... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DaFork ( 608023 )
        First off, in reply to the OP (ArmorFiend):

        I'm confused. I thought that for the first year or so after launch, consoles generally out-performed $2000 gaming rigs

        At least you admit to being confused ;). The XBOX360 wasn't out-performing PCs when it was released either.

        Now for my response to the parent (Xugumad):

        Console sold for 50% more than nearest competitor, and claimed to be twice as powerful, shows graphical improvement over competitor in one game

        Compare the XBOX360 launch titles to the current XB

    • by clusterix ( 606570 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @04:06PM (#17925068)
      This has never, ever been true at anytime. It likely never will. Sony will have shills say such things and other marketoids have said things like that for various other dead systems in the past twenty years. The truth is that when games are compared head to head, consoles just don't match. It is about hardware price, there are no magical cheap chips. You get what you pay for even if you are Microsoft or Sony. If you want to beat a $2000 computer, you need to be selling a $2000 computer. Also even if your chip does cooler things than a chip already out on the market, if it changes the architecture ie. Cell versus x86 or PowerPC it will take years to get important software such as compilers optimized for it as well as a chip already on the market and gone through those growing pains.

      The original Xbox was nothing but a cheap PC that was OK performance wise for a $500 PC when it was designed. However, the PC equivalent in hardware actually was cheaper than the Xbox just a few months after the Xbox was released. Now that old Xboxes are dirt cheap, the equivalent PC is more expensive (prices for a computer can't go below about $200 no matter what is in them due to component count and size). Integration/elimination of excess components saves maybe $100 in real manufacturing costs. It was dumb to buy an Xbox and put all that effort into putting Linux on it back then, now it actually makes sense.

      If you want to make a console where the price point is below the integration sweet point of $200 based on common components that sells over a million somehow, then you can probably just beat the price/performance ratio of PCs. The Wii is actually pretty close to this where Nintendo is making money and giving people a somewhat reasonable box for the price. The only reason to buy a console is for their exclusive games and the console's simplicity/integration. Kind of like why Apple thinks it can sell Macs for a premium over PCs with the same hardware.
      • Not true (Score:5, Insightful)

        by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @04:41PM (#17925436)
        This is not true ...

        Consoles outperform a similar aged PCs because the game can be tuned to the exact hardware (it is impossible to optimize a game for a Geforce 6, Geforce 7, Geforce 8, Radeon X800, Radeon X1800 and also cover Pentium 4, Pentum Core Duo, AMD X2, and PowerPC. On top of that console's have historically had a massive advantage in that they have 'no' OS to run and have a much lower resolution.

        Just look at the Gamecube's best looking games Star Wars: Rogue Squadren 2 and the Resident evil games ... do you think a Pentium 4 in the 1GHz range with a Geforce 3 graphics card would be able to run Windows and a game like this?
        • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @08:47PM (#17928664) Homepage
          The optimization argument is true but applies mostly to late-era games. It takes time to learn all the tricks that allow you to get significant boosts from specific consoles, especially when you're "tuning" to get around limitations like limited main memory. Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader was a good showcase of next-gen visuals early in the GC's life, but compared to games released later on the GC (like RE4) it doesn't look so hot anymore. However by the time the ability to tune for the specific hardware is providing dividends for console developers, baseline PC hardware has already advanced by a generation and is twice as powerful running the same un-optimized code as before. In other words, optimization for a specific platform helps consoles keep up and have longer life spans, but it does not put them in front of PC hardware.

          I'm not going to call OS overhead a massive advantage. If you reboot your machine and refrain from running any services it shouldn't make that big a difference; it's not as though the console has no OS. This is an advantage, to be sure, but not one that is going to make up for the gap between PC and console hardware.

          Resolution is a red herring here. It's why consoles have been able to get away with having weaker hardware, not an example of why they are better. Consoles are just now starting to support resolutions that were standard in PC games five years ago. This is not evidence that they are equally powerful. It means they were doing less to begin with.

          By the way, I don't know about a Pentium 4, but the Athlon XP 1.66GHz and GeForce Ti 350 I bought in 2001 at the same time I bought my GC, was later able to run UT2K4 and Doom 3, both at resolutions and with effects that look better than what the GC could do. Could it have handled Rogue Leader? Yes. Absolutely it could have, and at a higher resolution too. Could the GC handle Doome 3? Eh... considering that the biggest problem I had with my hardware was the limited video ram, I'm going to say the GC would have choked and died.

          Of course the GC was cheaper, easier to set up, and doesn't crash (not that my Linux box crashes ever since NVidia and got their act together so crashing game != crashing box, but crashing game isn't something you expect either on a console). Consoles have advantages. Performance has never been one of them.
        • Consoles outperform a similar aged PCs

          No, they really don't. Neither the NES nor the SNES outperformed the contemporary Amiga or Ataris, the PlayStation did not outperform a 450MHz P2 with a VooDoo2, and the PS2 did not outperform a 1GHz Athlon with a GeForce 2.

          For example, Tomb Raider Screens on the PlayStation [] compared to the PC [].

          On top of that console's...have a much lower resolution.

          Which just brings your definition of "outperforming" further into question.
          • by cnettel ( 836611 )
            PlayStation 1994 (Japan) or late 1995 (rest of the world). Pentium II 450, 1998. Voodoo II 1998. They are only similarly aged if you try to measure arbitrarly from the view of today, then they are both "old". As the improvements were exponential, it doesn't really matter that it's long ago, the comparison is still quite unfair. Pit the PS against a Pentium Pro 200 and a S3 Virge. The fact that the performance was exceeded later in the generation was already assumed by the parent.
      • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @04:55PM (#17925640) Journal
        You offset the price of chips with the price of games and sell your console at under their cost of manufacture. So there are magical cheap chips.
        • Consider how many people make a profit on a good component for a PC compared to a console ... A BFG card will allow Nvidia, BFG and the retailer all to make a decent profit on every card, a Console will have Nvidia/ATI to make a minor profit (made up for in volume) and then the retailer will make a minor profit.

        • by antek9 ( 305362 )

          So there are magical cheap chips.

          Sorry to go all grammar nazi about this, but grammar makes a difference here: Selling a console below manufacturing costs is not a definition of magical cheap chips, but of magically cheap chips instead.

          So, yeah, you kinda missed the GP's point there.
          • My closing line was an attempt at irony (in the wrong sense of that word) to give my comment a sense of closure. I failed. But if you confused it with the actual message you may need to reread everything you've ever read in your life because you might be missing the point of a lot of things.
      • The only reason to buy a console is for their exclusive games and the console's simplicity/integration.

        The problem is that almost all major commercial titles that support single-screen multiplayer are console exclusives (e.g. Smash Bros.) or multi-console exclusives (e.g. Bomberman). Too bad for owners of set-top PCs.

      • 6 months. It was actually 6 months before the PC equivalent of the original XBox's graphics card was released.

        This type of delay (which Sony screwed up because they missed their original launch date) + the fact that there's a lag in PC games taking advantage of the latest cards + Standard definition television's free "anti-aliasing" have contributed to consoles always having a minor, switfly overcome, but real advantage to PCs when they launch.

        To my knowledge this is true all the way back to the NES and Ata
      • by jma05 ( 897351 )
        > prices for a computer can't go below about $200 no matter what is in them due to component count and size

        I see stuff like this all the time. Sure it is a sale, but a frequent one.

        866 MHz 128 MB PC for $60 ItemDetail&item=COM10685 []
  • So what (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RichPowers ( 998637 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:07PM (#17924252)
    Will the PS3 have a rich mod community that's constantly releasing fixes/updates/new content for Oblivion? Probably not. That alone makes me want to stick with the PC version...
    • The days of the static content consoles are over my friend. If it doesn't show up it is because oblivion is past it's prime. There is no technical reason for it to not get them. Same as my xbox360 version has lots of updates and mods.
      • I think you're misunderstanding the OP. The "mod community" for Oblivion on the 360 consists of Bethesda (and they charge for mods). For Oblivion on the PC, the same community consists of Bethesda plus any number of independent gamers/programmers, the latter of whom make their mods available for free, and often modify the games far beyond what Bethesda would consider or even desire (changing greatly the original game mechanics).

        I'm a console guy, but I'm still able to recognize that PC games have a signi
  • by js92647 ( 917218 )
    You can increase the quality of graphics as much as you want, but the gameplay will never change. A dead rat will still look like a dead rat. On top of that, given what Bethesda did with Oblivion (charging for quest-by-quest content in an SP game), I wouldn't entirely count this as "good publicity." Sure the game is still there, it has prettier graphics, but the people behind the game are drowning it in bad business decisions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      the people behind the game are drowning it in bad business decisions.

      Yeah sales of Oblivion totally tanked after the horse armor incident.

      wait no they didn't
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @03:10PM (#17924292) Homepage

    Given the PS3's architecture, that's to be expected. It has a decent GPU on the back end, and all those underutilized Cell CPUs to do things like generate procedural textures. The obvious approach for textures on the PS3 should yield a look like Pixar's All Renderman All the Time, with every pixel generated by little shader programs written in San Raphael, instead of compositing in real-world images like everybody else.

    The big advantage of procedural textures is that they survive zooming in. In the film world, this isn't as critical, because you know how close the camera will get to a background, and you only put in detail the camera can see. In games, the user can move around and get close to a textured surface, which usually looks terrible.

  • I would hope, since the game is coming out a full year later, that some improvements would be made.

    The real comparison would involve both development cost and quality of the game if they were developing for both platforms simultaneously.
  • From the IGN comparison:

    The PS3 didn't beat the 360 in this first comparison, but the games do look fine for first-generation titles. The real graphics battle will likely come next year.

    Now that the Oblivion developers have had a while to work with the PS3, I would say it would be likley to look better than the 360 version which was an early title for that console. In both tests it's a matter of timing as to what looks better where.

    Really both are about equal in terms of graphics ability, which we all knew
    • I don't know if console games have done that before (beyond patching up things like framerate issues I think).

      You just answered your own question. Of course console game engines have been patched. In fact, that's probably the game component most commonly patched for the simple fact that it's usually the smallest component on the disc, with models, textures, sounds and such taking the bulk of the space.
      • Patched for framerate issues and so on is not the same as patching for overall visual quality, which I would say includes new textures and so on (unless the graphics are all procedural). That's more along the lines of what I was talking about, it would be nice if 360 owners could possibly get a free patch that would increase the visuals to the level of the PS3 version?
  • ...and some of it has not, so mod however you see fit.

    I'm glad that they are making it look better. Too many games are on both the 360 and the PS3 in which the PS3 version pales in comparison...Fight Night Round 3 is the perfect example of this.

    In the case of Oblivion, they have taken a game that was fantastic when it was first released (and still is now) and vowed to make it better. While this seems obvious to many people, they still took the time and the effort to do it.


    My question to you PC Gamers
    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      > Fight Night Round 3 is the perfect example of this.

      Actually the only difference I could see in the side-by-side (other than the obvious default gamma differences in the other games) is that they toned down the ridiculous overuse of bloom on the PS3 version. Then again they didn't really show much of the game, did they? I think the PS3's real problem is that it has half the RAM of the 360. As procedural textures go, the PS3 will probably annihilate the competition ... but I don't see procedural text
      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        Not to shit on your asessment, but look again. The PS3 had inferior charector models, inferior crowd models...hell, even the textures of the fight venues were not as good...
        • The only difference I really notice is that the PS3 version seems to lack as good of shadows on the environment. This makes the crowd and some of the environmental placeables like drapes look better. But as the OP said, the Xbox360 version seems to have the lighting or bloom or something turned up too high. Maybe these are related issues, but I do think the 360 version looks better. The character models and their shadows look almost indistinguishable to me. Actually now that I look again, I see more muscula
          • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
            If you look at comparison shots, it seems that the 360 consistently has better lighting...not sure why tho
            • On all comparison shots... perhaps, certainly on EA games. But some of the PS3 exclusives have good lighting, like Genji which isn't a particularly good game but has beautiful environments. But also I find that the lighting in some XBox360 games like Fight Night and Need for Speed is set a bit too high for my personal preference. I fear that lighting may be like music in that people often mistake louder for better.
  • wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Aurisor ( 932566 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @04:43PM (#17925458) Homepage
    Wow, this is incredible! For the price of a high-end gaming PC I can get a machine capable of high-end gaming PC visuals!
    • Please spec me the high end gaming machine you mean, that can run Oblivion at these quality levels, at this resolution and without frame stutter for less than $600.

      Next question?
  • "After taking a beating..."

    I don't think the results of that comparison are so clear. Where the 360 does better, it is significantly so but not really a deal breaker. Where the PS3 does better is much more in-your-face stuff that makes the 360 look childish. Examples:

    * The rear view mirror and the street light in the last Need for Speed picture. Where are you looking? I hope you are looking at the rear view mirror or traffic signals while diving instead of the buildings. So... bad drivers should buy the 360
  • by amrust ( 686727 ) <> on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @05:09PM (#17925808) Homepage
    Who else out there paitently waded through all the game sections in the Gamespot article, waiting for some actual PS3/360 Oblivion comparison shots?

    Y'know... based on the /. post title, and all?
  • If you watch last week's The 1up Show, there a feature on Oblivion for the PS3 if I recall correctly. They talked in there that the PS3 version's rendering engine was completely rewritten (engine+shaders) for the PS3 and while doing that they figured out to fix the shaders for the montains in the distance. So they fixed it for the PS3 version. Since it's only a shader, it is apparently going to ship with the 360 version too.

    Now, given that the 360 version shipped at the same time as the PC version, it's rea
  • There are also reports that Quake 2 and other games that came out over a year ago will look just as good on the PS3 as it does on PCs!

    Seriously, I think people are missing a major point that seeing a console optimized game that is ported from other systems. This is actually a promising look for the PS3's future. While I own a 360, and want a Wii, I do hope the PS3 lives because I still hope for a new version of FF7.

  • It's a bit early to call the race won or done. From all reports the PS3 sold more then the 360 at the same point in it's life span. The Wii is kicking ass and taking names but it remains to be seen how long this will last. It's an amazing party machien and for non gamer it's the best thing since sliced bread. But the trade off is the games are mostly shallow (zelda exempted) and they need to broaden their genre choices. Success breeds success. So if the Wii can steal a few major serieis (MGS/FF/GTA/DQ/etc..

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp