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PS3 vs. Wii: The Holiday Edition

PlayStation 3The powerful PlayStation 3, with its multimedia functions, is much more than a game player.
By Mat Giordano Weekender Correspondent found at timesleader.com/ Wed, Dec. 20, 2006

With the holiday season upon us, itís more than clear that the next generation console war is at full throttle. Maybe the most common question would have to be: PlayStation 3 or Wii? As of late, this might be an easier inquiry to answer.

WiiBetween the buzz that was created and the rusty launch cycle that Sony put their next generation console through, one would almost tend to believe that the console itself doesnít even exist.

Well, I can assure you it does, even though you may not find one in your local electronics store until March.

Sonyís bad production cycle and shaky game launch is only the beginning of a deep functionality problem and severe shortage of what could have been the next gen beast. What it did leave room for was a little company called Nintendo.

Their next generation offering, simply titled Wii, has shattered the U.S. and European markets in sales in comparison to the PlayStation, who at last minute cut their shipment down to only 400,000 units to the States before the holidays.

Wiiís integrative controller scheme, largely based around Bluetooth wireless technology and recognizing movement in all three dimensions, has set this little underdog up for victory in a David & Goliath-type battle of the same biblical proportion. With one of the most incredible launch titles of all time (Legend of Zelda Ė Twilight Princess), a light-tipped price tag (USD $249.99), and a game included inside the pack, the Wii is looking like a big fat champion compared to Sonyís bloated $600 Blu-Ray embarrassment.

The fun factor of the Wii is beyond describable and will in turn totally change the way a user experiences gameplay. Actual movement integrated with wireless motion sensing control is beyond anything any other next generation console (PS3 or 360) can even begin to replicate.

Sony has always had the game selection down to a science, and now with their offering of a free online download service modeled after Xbox Live, they have expanded even deeper into the online gamers market. Nintendo, on the other hand, has made their new console have complete wireless integration right off the bat, tying in all the extra internet content immediately out of the box (assuming you have a home wireless network).

Itís a shame none of the games at launch support online play, but thatís a speck of problematic dust compared to the monsoon that will surely bug Sonyís technical support department for the next year. Shoddy controller response from Sonyís new Sixaxis Bluetooth control system, irritably long system updates, and relatively no backwards support for newer PS2 games will make you not throw that slim little old gen console back into the closet just yet.

In closing, the Wii has proven itself as a buzz worthy item above and beyond what was expected by the console gaming market. Itís upper hand far surpassed what Sonyís PlayStation 3 introduced on launch day to a bunch of excited gamers (a.k.a. scalpers waiting to make an eBay profit) and in turn slowed their European launch almost to a screeching halt. Good luck finding either before the holidays, but when you do, make the right choice and get yourself a Wii. It may not graphically blow you away, but what it has to offer is far beyond that of its distant second-place competitor.

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PS3 vs. Wii : Summary of Round 1

December 10, 2006 fond at http://www.waleg.com 

Filed under: Nintendo , PlayStation 

Now, the heavy weights have given it their best shot! They've all had their big opening days and dollars coming in. Time to sum up the points, pick up the pieces and clean up the rubble!

That battle was pretty much settled as Wii has an estimated 1 million Wii consoles already sold in Japan and the US alone in addition to another 50,000 sold across Europe with that much again sold in Australia. Compare that with Sony's meager 400,000 units in the US and Japan.

Now, yes Wii wins this round hands down but in Sony's defense I would have to say the war is far from over. Much of Sony's loss was due to logistics. Sony, being a company richer than many countries in the world, forgot the first rule of business: Supply and Demand!
Sony just didn't deliver more PS3s to the shelves. They lost mainly due to the large demand with no supply. If Sony had been able to deliver, things would have been different. But even with things the way they are, Sony probably made more money, although I don't have any figures, it's easy to calculate. Wii costs $250 and PS3 costs $600. So for every 10 PS3s sold, Wii has to sell 24 to match the price and still, PS3 is attracting customers with its graphics, online gaming features and Blu-ray DVD player, while Wii is luring customers in with its lower price tag and a motion-sensor that enables them to play virtual tennis and golf.

Letís wait and see as the giants beat each other's brains out during the Christmas sales.


PS3 vs. Wii: Power Takes On the Fun Factor

By Tom Ham Found at  The Washington Post Friday, December 1, 2006; WE49

If you're into video games, Christmas definitely came early this year. Not only did Sony release the PlayStation 3, but Nintendo launched its new console system, the Wii. Both have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and media functionality, so picking one over the other is a difficult decision. (And let's not forget about the Xbox 360. Having already been on the market for a year, it has the most impressive list of games, and the Xbox Live Marketplace just keeps getting better and better.) So which system is right for you? Is it time to upgrade?

PlayStation 3

Out of the box, the PlayStation 3 is one impressive piece of hardware. With its sleek shape and glossy black finish, the PS3 would definitely look nice in anyone's living room. Adding to its allure is touch-sensitive power and eject buttons -- all you have to do is gently brush your finger against it and the PS3 powers on. And like the Xbox and the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 can stand vertically or lie horizontally.

There are two versions of the PS3, a 20GB version and a 60GB version.

While the 20GB PS3 is all black, the 60GB PS3 has a nice chrome trim accent. Under the hood of the PS3 is the 3.2GHz Cell processor -- custom built using a single PowerPC-based core with seven processing units working together -- the most powerful console to date. The graphics are handled by an Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card. Compared with the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 is definitely more powerful.

A key component to the PS3 is the optical drive. Instead of using a conventional DVD drive (as does the Xbox 360), Sony decided to go with a Blu-ray drive. What is Blu-ray? Blu-ray discs can hold more than 50 gigabytes of data (compared with four to eight gigabytes on DVDs) -- making games deeper and more lifelike. Movies on Blu-ray are in true HD formats and have more visual clarity than conventional DVDs.

In terms of media functionality, the PS3 truly shines. On the front of the PS3 there are four USB ports. These can be used for controllers, thumb drives, USB keyboards and other accessories. The PS3 even has built-in Bluetooth. Not only can you connect as many as seven controllers to one console, you can even use your Bluetooth headset for your cellphone with the PS3 -- so you can chat with other gamers while you're playing.

On the higher-end 60GB version, there is a built-in multi-format memory card reader that can read all of Sony's memory sticks as well as compact flash cards and SD/MMC cards. The 60GB version also has built-in WiFi.

On the back of the PS3 you'll find an Ethernet port, an HDMI output, optical digital output and a PlayStation A/V output for analog audio and video. If you have component cables for your PS2, those will work just fine with the PS3. But to truly enjoy the PS3 in all its glory, you will want to go with HDMI. Via HDMI you'll be able to experience the PS3 in full 1080p resolution -- the way it was meant to be played.

The PS3 also has a new controller. Similar in shape to the PS2 controller, the new SixAxis controller is unique in its execution. Just by tilting the controller in any direction, it senses the motion and incorporates that into a game. For example, while playing a game of Madden football, just jerking the controller forward made our player run with more force and break through tackles. As a bonus, the SixAxis controller is wireless. On the negative side, it doesn't have the rumble capabilities that the PS2 controller has.

Once you boot up the PS3, you'll hear the familiar sound of an orchestra tuning before the start of a concert, then you're brought to a user interface that may or may not be familiar. If you have a PSP, you'll feel at home. The PS3 uses the same style of cross media-bar interface as is used on the PSP. Categories such as Photo, Music, Videos, Games and Network are immediately recognizable, and almost anyone can navigate the PS3. Starting a game is as easy as sliding it in (much like a Mac) and waiting for it to boot up. Compared with the Wii's interface, the PS3 is much easier to use.

But what sets the PS3 apart from the Wii and the Xbox 360 is what it can do with digital media. For starters, it is by far the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market. While most Blu-ray players are between $1,000 and $1,800, the PS3 is about half that. In addition to Blu-ray movies, the PS3 can display pictures from a DVD or CD, and read pictures from USB thumb drives, a PSP and most digital cameras. The PS3 will even create slide shows of your pictures and display them in full HD resolution. You like music? The PS3 can play back MP3, AAC, ATRAC and WAV files. You can even surf the Internet with its built-in Web browser. Just plug in a USB keyboard and mouse, and you're ready to roll.

Oh, yeah, the PS3 plays games, too. With a solid launch lineup, PS3 owners have more than enough games to keep them busy. Whether you're into action, racing, sports or adventure, there is something for everyone on the PS3. And don't think your old games are obsolete; you can play those on the PS3 as well. Virtually all games made for the PS2 and PSOne systems are compatible with the PS3.

All of this gaming bliss comes at a price. The standard 20GB PS3 rings in at $500, and the 60GB version will cost you $600.

Is the PS3 right for you? If you're a hard-core gamer or gear head, then by all means pick one up if you can. (Best of luck to you.) Nothing will show off that brand-new HDTV better than the PS3. Even if you're not a gamer, the digital media features alone are worth looking into. If you're just a casual gamer, you might be better off with the Wii.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo took a different approach with the Wii. While Sony and Microsoft compete over whose system is more powerful or has better-looking games, Nintendo made a new console that goes in a different direction. It created a console that doesn't match its competitors in terms of horsepower or graphical prowess but is focused instead on one thing: having fun.

Everything about the Wii is different from anything you've played before -- from the size of the console to the new controller. Nintendo took a gamble with the Wii, and it looks as though it will pay off.

Out of the box, the Nintendo Wii will surprise you. Considerably smaller than the PS3 and Xbox 360, the Wii measures 6.25 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep and is only 1.75 inches thick. The Wii is currently available only in white, although we expect that to change.

What's compelling about the Wii is how you play on it. The Wii controller comprises two parts -- the Wiimote and the Nunchuk. Both are connected by a single cord, and both have sensors inside that determine where the controller is in space and how you're holding it. It sends the signal to a sensor bar that mounts above or below your TV. So, for example, when playing Wii Sports (which comes included with the Wii), if you can swing a tennis racket in real life, then you can play Wii Tennis. The controller picks up your actual motion and translates it onto the screen. It's the same with Wii Bowling: Use the controller like a bowling ball, and it mimics the motion on the screen. It even senses how you twist your wrist, so you can change the way the ball rolls down the lane.

If action is your thing, Red Steel has you using the Wii controller to slash enemies with a samurai sword. The possibilities for this type of control are limitless.

Nintendo has made sure there are plenty of game titles available at launch. Zelda fans can get their fix with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Sports fans can play Madden NFL 07. Playing Wii versions of popular games does take some getting used to, but after some practice it will become second nature. Although the games are not in true HD (the Wii can put out only 480p signals), it doesn't detract from the experience. You'll have fun, no doubt about it.

GameCube games are compatible with the Wii. In addition, the Wii has a virtual console that allows you to play games from the original Nintendo (NES), Super Nintendo (SNES), Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis and Turbografix-16 systems.

The Wii, however, does not play DVD movies.

So is the Wii for you? For the price ($250), it's a good choice. If you're looking for incredible HD graphics and a plethora of digital media features, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a fun and innovative way to play games that everyone in your family can experience, then the Wii is what you want.

 

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