Sep 11 2006 12:00AM
For years, the world of video gaming was ruled by Nintendo, but after the release of the Playstation and later the X-Box, the hardcore gaming community was split into three groups: Playstationites, X-Boxians, and smart people.
With the next generation of video game consoles well into effect, the war for the coveted title of “top dog” has begun. The contestants? Microsoft’s recently released X-Box 360, Sony’s PS3, and the Nintendo Wii.
Microsoft’s brainchild, the 360, offers an impressive CPU, composed of three core processors, which runs at 9.6 GHz as well as an ATI graphics card which runs at 500 MHz. For those who don’t speak nerd, that’s very fast.
As for game play, however, the 360 falls short. Sure, the graphics look nice, and sure, there’s very little load time, but when you have fewer hits than the CD-I then it’s time to start worrying. Don’t get me wrong, “Halo 2” is one of the greatest FPSs I’ve ever played, but I just can’t justify paying $400 for a game that’ll be on PC by next year.
If one more PS fanboy tells me that “the Blu-ray is the future,” I swear I may snap. Mark my words, Blu-ray will be the death of the PS3.
A lack of key components in the Blu-ray hardware has already lead to the PS3’s European release being pushed back to March of 2007, and Sony’s cutback to 500,000 units being shipped worldwide for its November release. However, that’s not the only problem the “future” technology poses.
Because Blu-ray is such a new and expensive technology, game prices will be, to say the least, quite outrageous. “Somewhere between $60 and $100 USD,” said Sony President and CEO Kaz Hirai in a press release, not to mention the $600 price tag for the premium version.
The Nintendo Wii will boast an impressive 512 megabyte internal flash drive and will have over 40 games within six weeks of launch.
The Wii’s new approach to game control, via a remote and toggle peripheral that looks more like a pair of nunchachu than a controller, puts an exciting new twist on gaming. The controller’s Bluetooth technology allows for a more interactive experience.
There is a downside to the Wii’s “uniquness” though. Because the gameplay is so much different than its competetors, third-party game publishers will be less likely to develop Wii versions of games they make for the PS3 and 360. That means there will be few, if any, games playable on all three platforms. But, hey, who buys a Nintendo system to play third-party games anyway? Right?
With the Wii version of “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” going widescreen and the new “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” in production, there’s really no need for a Wii version of the latest GTA knockoff.
The next generation of gaming will bring many things: fully wireless gameplay, movie quality graphics, and an onslaught of 13-year-olds tossing insults at each other over the Internet. Be warned.