I wanted to get a little more info before I went on my tirade about the new consoles due out later this year and in 2006.
For starters, the Xbox 360 is sexy. It isn’t sexy like a hot girl sexy but more like Apple and Sony got together and had a love child of a console sexy. It is sleek, has a nice theme going with the whole 360/Circle business and it shows that MS put some serious effort into the design of this thing. Throw in the 2 tiered Live and you have a super heavyweight that is setting the standard for the next generation. Unlike the PS2 who was first to market, this thing is packing so much power that even the late arrival of the PS3 and Revolution are going to have them hoping to compare in terms of hardware. Did I mention this thing was gorgeous? Now that I have solidified my position as a complete and total fanboy over the Xbox 360 despite it being a few months out I want to talk about the Revolution.
The Revolution should mark Nintendo’s realization that Piracy happens and it is cheaper to accept it and use DVDs than it is to use silly little discs. It also marks their realization that online play is where it is at. The Revolution is PSTwo tiny and plays GC games to boot. Wireless controllers and a free Live style service where I can play NES, SNES, and N64 games make this a perfect solution for someone still clinging to their gaming childhood (That would be me). Revolution is a no brainer and what I hear about the controllers is going to blow you away. Think Minority Report and you should be close. At any rate, that all could change but who knows. Revolution is tied with Xbox 360 as a must have.
Now we have the PS3. Sony did a good job of making sure the exclusive agreements they had for the PS2 sold systems. From a hardware standpoint it was mediocre and lagged well behind the Xbox and GC. This time around it packs a heavy punch in the form of a Cell chip. The problem? Besides having a controller that looks like a freaking boomerang the system is ugly. A slot loading Blu-ray drive should mean this fits seamlessly into any setup, but the silly round shape ensures this will be at the top of the proverbial component food chain. Obviously asthetics don’t play a role in the success of a console or the gigantor of an Xbox we all have would not have sold, but I expected more out of Sony than this and I really hope they toss that silly controller for something a little more ergonomic.
Obviously what sells these systems is going to be the libraries and with developers getting smarter and realizing that exclusive agreements hurt them I think you will see things really heat up this round. Cost of the consoles is going to be paramount and with Sony saying the PS3 will be “less than $500” worries me quite a bit. EBGames is currently listing all Xbox 360 titles at $59.99 which also worries me. The launch pricing of these consoles and games could very well push them just out of reach for most mainstream audiences. I have heard the Xbox 360 may be as low as $300 which I think is a very reasonable price for a machine with such a robust set of features. I will be back a little later to touch on some of the blockbuster games coming out of E3 this year.
If you haven’t seen the new consoles and the new GBA then I urge you to check out Gamespot as they have quite a nice gallery of everything that has been showcased.