23.12.06

Decision 2007: Wii Want Consoles

Hello. Since this is my first post, I wanted to tell you a little bit about who I am, and then we can get into the topic of this blog. I am Fox. This is my blog. I are here to give you some insight into issues that need “insighting”. I know that isn’t a word, but I feel like it best conveys what I am trying to do. I was thinking about a topic that I thought could really kick off this series, and I thought what better way to start than with the thing that is leaving every single American who still breaks out from a hamburger and who hasn’t emerged from their parents basement since 1997, totally and completely unsure of themselves. Decisions, decisions, decisions. In fact, Decision 2007. You may want to lock yourself in your room, and stop looping Lost (or is it Heroes) for the next 15 minutes while I help you make the biggest decision of the year. Whether to buy the Playstation, the Xbox or the Wii.

The first question that the would-be next generation gamer should ask himself (or herself, or itself as the case may be) is whether or not an upgrade is the right thing to do. I know my dad would be more than happy to play Mario Karts on the N64, but Halo makes him break out in a cold sweat. Sometimes better graphics, a next generation global gaming network and more games than women at the Playboy mansion isn’t the right way to go. If you’re a noob! But there’s also another way to look at it. In about two years there’s going to be an Xbox 720, a Playstation 4 and a Nintendo Wii Wii with next-next-generation everything, and people are going to lining the streets awaiting the revolution in gaming. So why buy Halo 3, when you can buy Halo 4? I have compiled a list of personal attributes that I think best describes the group of people who would most benefit from a console upgrade:

* The number of people on your Xbox Live Friends list outnumbers the average number of people you see in a day.
* Your skin looks like it has been bleached.
* You are still living with your parents.
* You spend more time on the Internet than doing any other activity.
* You have read anything by Charles Petzold or Andre Lamothe.
* The penguin is your favorite animal.

If you fit any of these criteria, you should definitely get into this round of next-generation consoles. If you don’t, then wait another couple of years, because Super Mario is just fine for you.

First let’s start with the Playstation. If you are looking to buy a console for this winter season, the Playstation is not the way to go. Though it is sleek, its graphics are excellent, it has a Blu-Ray player and its PlaystationNETWORK is free, getting a Playstation is like giving a xenophobe a board game that requires 16 players; it’s basically useless and expensive. For me the part of the game that keeps on giving, or gaming, is the online multiplayer. Once the campaign is done, I can play online for months and months without tiring, but with nobody else online but the 300 Sony diehards with frostbitten thumbs, and a gullibility that rivals Jessica Simpson, who waited outside Walmart for hours on end, amid gang fights, yes gang fights, just to shell out $600 for console that is basically useless. It has about five launch titles, none of which utilize its graphical capabilities, it is expensive, its in short supply which means that instead of $600 dollars at BestBuy, you have to spend $1200 on BesterBuy, otherwise known as EBay and to top that all off, the controllers don’t even have a rumble pad. My Nintendo 64 had a rumble pad for Christ’s sakes. But, all that is not to say that in a few months when supply is up, costs are down and games start to come out, that the Playstation will not be a viable contender, but for now, unless you are a diehard fan or you just have a lot of money to waste, the Playstation is definitely not the way to go.

With the Playstation out of the running, that leaves two viable contenders each with their specific strengths and weaknesses. One console is not right for everybody, depending on what type of gamer you are either the Wii or the Xbox will suit your fancy.

The Xbox. Let us go over its strengths: It is nicely designed, it has over 100 games out, it is HD ready out of the box, and Xbox Live makes World of Warcraft look like a MUD game from the early 90’s especially now that it offers movie and T.V downloads. It has a rumble pad, yes I know a rumble pad, such high technology, as well as basically the same graphical capability of the PS3. Also, the Halo series is only playable on the Xbox, and don’t pretend like it didn’t influence your decision to buy one, because it did. With all of these pros, there are only three main cons that I can see for the Xbox: it doesn’t come with an adapter to hook up with your wireless network, (the last I checked to buy one it was $100), the controllers are not motion sensitive, and the big one, the games are not accessible to people of all skill levels. Games like Halo and Madden, may seem like simple conquests for Junior, but for Senior, though they may be fun after he learns how to play, most do not want to invest the time into a video game. Memorizing controller layouts for a game that your kid is only going to want to play for maybe a month is not at the top of a parents to-do list, especially now that there is Viagra.

And now onto the last item for Santa’s list of good boys and girls: the Wii. Besides the fact that an unobservant and uninformed person could mistake the Wii for an external hard drive, or an alien space ship for that matter, the Wii provides accessibility for everyone not just the people who can spend $600 and don’t need an ED pill. It is relatively cheap at $250, and it comes with Wii Sports, a graphically lacking but still incredibly fun assortment of sports games. Wii sports, coupled with the innovative motion sensitive wireless controller package, provides good clean fun for the entire family, and though the hard core World of Warcraft junkie of the clan may scoff at its deficiency of graphical capability, he may yet crack a metal filled smile while playing with his ‘rents.

In closing, I believe that the Wii hit the nail on the head in terms of appealing to the widest range of consumers, while Xbox will satisfy the demanding gamer with Xbox Live and a plethora of games to tickle his fancy. As for the Playstation 3? I would say wait a few months, the prices will drop, shipments will come in, and the Playstation will again become a contender.

1 comment:

Haanz said...

While I still feel no remorse for Sony's PS3 after all their arrogant remarks on next-gen and their competitors, it almost seems wrong to see their consoles sell so few at launch. The store I buy from is practically giving them away, selling them at trade price with 0% markup, yet no luck. The damndest thing (is that a word? i hope that's a word..) is that the PS3 had a very impressive UK launch lineup - Oblivion (complete with content packs), Resistance, Motorstorm, FEAR, Condemned.. In fact, a whole load of titles already out for the Xbox 360.

Alright, sure. They're out for the Xbox 360 - but had I been a fan of the PS3 and held off until it's release, I'd have had a great time from day one. Unless one already owns an Xbox 360, the PS3 owner has more than enough until the system sellers roll in. Yet, no dice.

Like you said, we'll need to wait until Sony's system selling games roll in before the PS3 becomes a contender.. though the number of these 'system sellers' is dwindling by the months.

We shall see.