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kluang
07-16-2008, 12:45 AM
http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/e3-2008/e3-2008-blogs/1227326

Console wars heat up for 2008: Sony impresses, Microsoft surprises, Nintendo disappoints

by Mike Smith

In the two days leading up to the year's biggest video games trade show, E3, it's become something of a tradition that the competing console manufacturers face off in a series of lavish press conferences. Now that 2008's round of announcements, demonstrations, trailers, and posturing are over, which console came out on top?

Despite rumors of price cuts, Microsoft opted to expand the hard drive of its mid-range offering instead of delivering any real savings to consumers. All the same, the 360's Dashboard interface is undergoing a serious overhaul this year, and looks to be coming out cleaner, with more downloadable games, and including custom avatars that are, not to mince words, a complete rip-off of Nintendo's Miis. ("Where else could you get an avatar creation system but on Xbox Live?" one developer commented. We have no idea.) On-demand movie and TV programming courtesy of Netflix will expand the 360's already bulging video abilities, and a new motion-sensing microphone controller will deliver new horrors to the terrifying world of karaoke games.

Sony put together a similar performance, shuffling its PS3 package offerings to little real effect (although you might pick up a bargain as retailers clear stock of the older lines). It's also expanding its video offerings by offering online movie rentals from an impressive portfolio of studios -- and you can take them on the road on your PSP, too. Unlike Microsoft's offerings, which have a vague "fall" ETA, Sony's new online features should be available by the time you read this.

That wasn't all, though. Sony's press conference rolled out a set of game trailers that had fans cheering: a new God of War game on PS3, a vast-looking massive action game named MAG, and a couple of promising superhero games: one massively-multiplayer title based on the DC superhero universe, and one futuristic, open-city game from the Sly Cooper studio. It's a great selection, and one that leaves Microsoft's roster of Gears of War 2 and Fable II looking a little tired.

Mind you, that wasn't the end of the software story. Although the Sony execs weren't visibly injured, Microsoft's press conference delivered them a metaphorical punch to the gut: the absolutely huge Final Fantasy series is no longer a PlayStation exclusive. Final Fantasy XIII will be coming to the 360, and unless you count the oddball, massively-multiplayer XI (we don't) it's the first time any of the modern Final Fantasy games have gone cross-platform. If nothing else dropped jaws at the Microsoft do, this announcement sure did.

In contrast, it was hard to dodge the grumbling on the way out of the Nintendo event. Where were the classic franchises we all know and love? Where, for that matter, was Mario? Nintendo fans had to make do with a new Animal Crossing title, and an oh-so-vague mention of a Grand Theft Auto game on the DS handheld. Accessories like the MotionPlus controller plug-in and the WiiSpeak microphone (pictured below) are all very well, but don't we have enough bits of plastic cluttering up our houses already?

Which, naturally, is Nintendo's modus operandi since the release of the Wii. For every disgruntled Nintendo hardcore fan, there's a whole houseful of delighted non-gamers enthused at the thought of getting together to play music without needing a bunch of instruments or, you know, any skill. But can Nintendo really deliver a music game experience that's as compelling as Rock Band?

Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, this year's E3, so far, belongs to Sony -- and if you're still on the fence about which new system you're going to spring for, your decision just got a whole lot tougher.

Seems Sony can't be put down that easily.

Jaxon
07-16-2008, 06:24 AM
And thus starts the fanboy ranting, as people desperately try to defend their purchase of a single console, trying to convince the world that a company that no-one owes jack-shit to is better than everything else, ever.

Also, I hope this new dashboard update for 360 isn't going to be compulsory. Note to Microsoft: The 360 is owned by gamers. Not mentally unstable old-people, soccer moms or small children. So stop trying to make it casual. Some blatant Singstar rip-off, and some bullshit Miis tacked-on isn't going to divert sales from Nintendo's remote-controlled Gamecube re-hash.

Spiegel
07-17-2008, 01:57 PM
damn you Nintendo, you've failed me! at least Animal Crossing was squeezed in there.

YondaimeBunshin
07-17-2008, 02:44 PM
And thus starts the fanboy ranting, as people desperately try to defend their purchase of a single console, trying to convince the world that a company that no-one owes jack-shit to is better than everything else, ever.

Also, I hope this new dashboard update for 360 isn't going to be compulsory. Note to Microsoft: The 360 is owned by gamers. Not mentally unstable old-people, soccer moms or small children. So stop trying to make it casual. Some blatant Singstar rip-off, and some bullshit Miis tacked-on isn't going to divert sales from Nintendo's remote-controlled Gamecube re-hash.

LOL YES. I'm really tired of gaming getting farther from gaming. It's an odd evolution though, with them trying to cater to non gamers in order to win over gamers (?) the games and types of games we love do seem to get better alongside that. So it's not all bad. But there is about 90% bullshit with games that are completely pointless and functions/presentations that have no appeal to actual gamers. I know I could care less if I can check my email on my 360, that's what my computer is for.


Seems Sony can't be put down that easily.

Not sure why it would, there's equal if not more potential for a PS3 to become more of a permanent entertainment center fixture as the crossover machine that they want so badly. Plus the games are getting better, I foresee PS3 over taking the 360 within two-three years.

But the only thing I don't understand is, gamers, we will probably own all three consoles for some reason or another, I will save my pennies and go get them one at a time. And so appealing to non gamers is...nope...just answered my own stupid question. I guess even if I see the money grubbing that is involved with appealing to non gamers...I think it's completely retarded to try and get my mom to pick up her wii remote to play jenga.