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Daddy is Only Going to Buy You One Console this Year

Today Sony announced the 40 gig PlayStation 3 to be released on November 2nd for $399. Unfortunately we lose PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility and two USB ports. The 80 gig model will also see an immediate price drop from $599 to $499. What does this mean for you? Absolutely nothing. You can run and scream to mommy and daddy that it’s cheaper and they should buy you one, but what are you going to play on it? Not a damn thing. If you want a PlayStation 3 this Christmas, get your parents convinced they need a Blue-Ray player. The games will come eventually, but sell them on the movie stance. Sony claims the backwards compatibility was a second priority and could be brushed aside. I don’t know about you, but I’m still running a first generation PlayStation 2 that will open the bay if you ask real nicely and won’t allow me to get any further in Final Fantasy XII due to some loading issues.

The video game industry has always been criticized for not operating on the cannibalistic strategy most other technology companies use. The idea is when a new product is released it must consumer the previous generation. Nintendo did this with the Game Boys even though there wasn’t a real paradigm shift with that system until the DS which will only run GBA software. Microsoft sort of did it with the Xbox360 by allowing select titles to run with backwards compatibility. The PlayStation 3 needs this feature unless you never owned a PlayStation 2. I won’t be buying the 40gig version. Consumers holding out on the PS3 has led to price drops and new models. Just hold out a little longer for and I think we’ll finally get what we won’t, but again this doesn’t mean anything without good game.

Onto the Wii. Yeah I want one too for Christmas, but again no games other than Wii Sports. Wait until next Spring for Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart. I don’t think Super Mario has the draw it once did after Super Mario Sunshine but that may be a reason for you to snag a Wii as well. However, if you are waiting to get a Wii for those titles to come out, I would expect the console drought to continue well into their releases. People are going to snag Wii’s just for these titles. Oh the fun that will be had. At least for now, you can play all your Gamecube games on it.

Xbox360? Alright, I have to say something first. You may have picked up on this, but I am an Apple fan. I run a Mac Pro and a Powerbook. I never look forward to having to use a PC at work. However, I LOVE my Xbox360 and I’m not even playing it that much once I beat Tiger Woods ’08. Other than the lack of integrated HD-DVD player, the Xbox360 is a pretty solid console. The dashboard works really well and it’s a pretty effective media center. Although, I think the PS3 has more potential for this purpose in the long run. The most important thing is Xbox Live. This is the way online gaming should be. You pay a flat rate and get to play all the games you want. Subscriptions aren’t based to a single games. Microsoft got online gaming right (if you ignore EA titles because they’re too cheap to let Microsoft run servers for them). The 360 has also just seen the release of Halo 3 and Bioshock which people are eating up. I don’t care for first person shooters on anything but a computer so I won’t be picking them up.

If you want my ultimate advice, the silent assassin in all this and the console to ask for at a cheap enough price to be able to ask for more, the Nintendo DS. I’m not kidding. It’s incredibly portable and a complete blast to play. There are a lot of great games for it. My personal collection Final Fantasy III, Pokemon Diamond, Mario Kart DS, and New Super Mario Brothers. My only main gripe with the DS is how awful their online system works. It does work, but it could be SO much better. I bought my DS before I went to Europe for 3 weeks. When you spend night on trains every few days, it comes in handy. My recommendation will probably change next holiday season, but I think the major set-top consoles need to be hashed out a little more.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 19, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I’m still saving up to get a 360. I like how it runs, feels, and has such amazing games. Iwon’t be getting a DS, though, cause I just don’t have the patience to play on such a small screen. I used to love hand-helds, but not anymore.

    Halo3…I’m saving up for you! I hope it eventually comes out on Vista, though. It will be nice, then I don’t have to pay so much for the 360, which I will only play once ina blue-moon.

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