412 of 476 people found the following review helpful
My take on the three consoles, WITHOUT the fanboy rubbish,
This review is from: Xbox 360 Elite Console (120 GB Hard Drive) (Console)If you're like me, you'll be absolutely sick of reading the glut of pathetic, immature "reviews" left for each of the three next-gen consoles by teenage fanboys with ridiculous prejudices for/against the various manufacturers. Well, I own all three machines and I'm far too old for all that 'Nintendo Roolz, Sony Sux!" garbage, so let me offer you my objective opinions on each of the systems. They all have good points and they each have a couple of negatives too. I'm not going to tell you which is 'best' or which you should buy, just give my impressions.
The X-Box 360 -
The first next-gen console to be released, with worldwide sales now at almost 12 million. The 360 is about 18 months old, which means it has a far bigger library of games available than either of the competitors, and a number of those games are excellent, including PGR4, Oblivion, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Viva Pinata, Lost Planet, Forza 2, Dead Rising and of course Gears Of War. There are also an impressive number of forthcoming exclusives to look forward to, with Bioshock, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect and the mighty Halo 3 all due before Christmas. It has a DVD player, but HD-DVD is not built in - you have to buy a seperate unit (this was probably a wise decision on MS's part, because it seems the rival BluRay format is proving more popular, at least in the USA).
It has a terrific online service, Live, which costs about £3 a month and is well worth it. Even if you don't play games online, there is a ton of content to download such as trailers and demos of new games, and you can also buy extra levels / expansion packs for some. There's also XBox Live Arcade, with a wide range of reasonably-priced 'casual' games available to download. The quality of these titles varies greatly, but there are a good few such as Worms and Castlevania which are well worth the money.
The console itself is fairly big but still aesthetically pleasing, and at about £250 for a premium kit (I wouldn't advise getting the cheaper 'core' kit, because you really need the hard drive) it's fairly reasonably priced.
HOWEVER, it does have a couple of problems. The initial batch of consoles released at launch and soon after have proved notoriously unreliable, with about 20 - 25% of them overheating and breaking down. Microsoft now include a three-year warranty, which means you can get a free replacement, but although the percentage of breakdowns has markedly decreased, it IS still happening - and while a long warranty is very nice, I'm sure most people would be more impressed with some improvements made to the system to try to prevent these problems. I bought a 360 at launch and it died about six months later - then I got a replacement which has been fine ever since (touch wood). Apparently, if you keep your 360 in the horizontal rather than the vertical position, it is less likely to develop a fault - but still, it really shouldn't be developing faults at all. MS is working on a cooler model, which should be ready by Christmas and will hopefully see an end to all these hardware problems.
The other issue with the 360 is that it is horribly noisy when playing a game or watching a DVD. The DVD drive is soon to be replaced - by the end of this year, apparently - with a far quieter, cooler model. If you had an early PS2, you may remember how noisy that was, but after the drive model was changed it became much quieter. If you think the noise could be an issue for you, you may be better off waiting until Christmas when the 360 will have its new components fitted.
My overall rating for the 360 so far: 4.5 stars
The Wii -
Nintendo's Wii is the smallest, cheapest and quietest of the three consoles, and the big selling point is its motion-sensing technology. Wii games are controlled with two gamepads instead of the usual one; the Remote and the Nunchuck (although some of the simpler games don't use the Nunchuck). The idea behind this is to make games easier to play for people who aren't used to a traditional controller, and it can certainly prove fun when you have a party or just some friends round. The console does have an online service, which is free to join, and it has its own 'Live Arcade' equivalent called the Virtual Console. Here you can buy and download past Nintendo titles from the NES all the way through to the N64. As with the XBox service, the quality of titles available varies widely, but there are definitely some classics there including Super Mario 64 and Ocarina Of Time. The rest of the online service consists of 'Channels', where you can find news, weather, and opinion polls. The Wii has only been out for about 7 months, so it has a fairly small library of games so far, but these do include a new Zelda game, new Wario Ware and Mario Party titles and Resident Evil 4 (if you haven't already played it).
The Wii is proving very popular at the moment, having sold about 6 million consoles in its realtively short lifetime, BUT it definitely has its downsides. First off, it has no DVD support - although so many people have a DVD player now, that isn't really much of an issue. The online service may be free, but it has very little content other than the Virtual Console games I mentioned, and there are very few proper Wii games so far that support online play. The games themselves are also a problem - the Wii has a pretty poor range so far, and apart from a couple of big Ninetndo titles such as Metroid and Super Mario Galaxy, ther isn't a whole lot to get excited about for the rest of 2007 either. A huge proportion of Wii games are either puzzle titles or collections of mini-games, and other genres such as shooters and RPGs are woefully under-represented. This is mostly the fault of lazy third-party developers, who seem to be short on ideas about how to implement the Wii's unique controls. The Wii is also technically far outclassed by its two rivals; at best Wii games look the same as Gamecube titles, and some of them barely match the seven-year-old PS2 in the visual department. Of course, graphics and sound quality aren't as important as gameplay, but they do make a significant contribution to a game's level of immersion, so this is definitely a problem. Lastly, the Wii's biggest feature, the motion-sensing controls, are not all they're cracked up to be. Sure, on simple games like Wii Sports they are easy to grasp and work brilliantly, but on more complex titles you find yourself not only having to remember button combinations but specific movements at the same time, which can actually make some Wii games more of a pain to play than their XBox and PS3 equivalents.
If you have kids, or you only play games with friends or at parties, the Wii can be a lot of fun, as it has far more 'family friendly' and sociable games than its rivals. However, for mature gamers who want a wide range of titles or who enjoy online play, the Wii is a far less attractive prospect then the PS3 or 360.
My overall rating for the Wii so far: 3 stars
The Playstation 3 -
The newest and most expensive of the three consoles. So far, the PS3 hasn't made much of an impression on the market; Sony are being very cagey about actual sales figures, but it's estimated PS3 sales worldwide could be as low as just 2 million so far. However, the PS3 actually does have a lot to offer - if you can afford it.
It had a built-in BluRay drive, and BluRay discs have significantly larger storage capacity than the HD-DVDs the 360 uses. The system hasn't got a massive library of games available yet, but it already has a handful of great titles such as Resistance, Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Motorstorm, with promising future games like Unreal Tournament 3, Haze, Lair and Heavenly Sword all due by the end of the year. As with the 360, the best PS3 games look great on a standard TV and absolutely stunning in HD. Despite constant petty quarrels between fanboys, right now there is no real difference in quality between the two systems, and certainly no PS3 game so far can hold a candle to Gears Of War; however, that may change in the future.
The PS3's online features are free, and are definitely better than the Wii's service (although still a long way behind XBox Live). The console is very large and weighs a ton, but is much quieter than the 360 and there seem to be few complaints about it overheating or breaking down. Finally, Sony have been the leading player in the games industry for over ten years, so it would perhaps be unwise to bet against them this time round. The PS3 has had a bumpy start and may well not win the console 'war' this generation, but I'm sure it will eventually find a significant audience.
By far the biggest problem with the PS3 is its price. It's true that, if you take into account the inclusion of the BluRay player in the system, it actually represents good value, and it may prove to be a good selling point in the future, but right now very few people care about either BluRay or HD-DVD, and it will be several years before either format will be replacing DVDs as the general public's format of choice. I suspect many gamers would happily give up the BluRay support in exchange for a big price reduction. Sony have actually just announced a price cut for the PS3 in the USA, but here in Europe we're not getting one - we're getting a 'value pack' instead, which seems like a big mistake.
Like the Wii, the PS3 controller has motion-sensing technology, but in Sony's case it's a bit of a half-hearted gesture which few games have so far taken advantage of. What's worse is that the motion control was included at the expense of any rumble feature - although after an outcry from irate gamers, Sony have announced the rumble will be added back sometime next year.
Online gaming is growing all the time, and while Sony have made a better stab at it than Nintendo, they are still light years behind Microsoft in the online arena. The Playstation Store has trailers, damos and casual games, like XBox Live, but there is a meagre amount of content available so far. However, they wil be starting a new online service called 'Home' at the end of this year which looks like it could be interesting, although it will have a long way to go to equal the reliability and ease of use of the well-e3stablished XBox Live service.
My overall rating for the PS3 so far: 4 stars
So, that's my take on the three new consoles. They all have good points and they all have potential; if you are a dedicated gamer and you have the cash, you owe it to yourself to buy all three. If you refuse to consider one of the systems because of some absurdly juvenille prejudice, you are only hurting yourself because it will be you who misses out on that system's exclusive games. If you only need or can only afford one of the three, which one you should choose depends very much on what you want from a gaming console; I hope my impressions may have helped a little with your decision. Whichever you choose, I'm sure you'll have some great times with it.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2007 12:54:38 GMT
David Bowers says:
Your figures on console sales are now very out of date - check http://www.vgchartz.com/ for up to date figures. The games you mention for the systems are old too. The Wii has a much larger selection now, as does the PS3.
Posted on 30 Dec 2007 17:16:40 GMT
I. Jamieson says:
nicely done, not the usual type of breathless pubescent drivel.
Posted on 17 Jan 2008 15:55:02 GMT
Exactly, what the fanboys dont seem to realise is that the games market is large enough for the 3 consoles. So why people want to slag of other consoles is beyond me, good review.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2008 20:16:08 GMT
Hmmm i think your wrong there reg the market is large enough for all three consoles , take a look at the history of the console race as it were and you will see that three don't work to well ( just ask SEGA the last of the three way battle victims and thier machine the Dreamcast was great ) one will go sooner or later and looking at how deep Microsofts pockets are and how their aim is to have a simple pc style box under the tv will keep them in this race to the end as it is in their long term stuff so that leaves Nintendo will their next machine be another hit or like the N64 and Gamecube a floop ? and Sony hmmm what has happened the PSP being a hohumm and the PS3 struggling ? although the PS3 is a fine bit of kit now just needs thoughs ELUSIVE EXCLUSIVE games to help it because that is what sells machines .
In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2008 12:51:58 BDT
A. G. Purker says:
Have to disagree mainly because the Wii appeals to a completely different type of gamer. I wouldn't say the Wii competes with the Xbox or PS3 in the slightest. Unless they're the type of person who'll play anything, a hardcore gamer isn't going to consider a Wii, and the type of person drawn to the Wii isn't going to consider an Xbox or PS3. Throw in the fact that the Wii is more of a multiplayer party console it means there's even less direct competition.
The Xbox and PS3 on the other hand can co-exist, and gamers are reaping the benefits of their battle for supremacy. Ideally neither will dominate, and both continue to see develop quality products to ensure their slice of the market.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2008 16:16:48 GMT
Wilf D says:
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2008 19:06:22 GMT
"a hardcore gamer isn't going to consider a Wii, and the type of person drawn to the Wii isn't going to consider an Xbox or PS3."
Posted on 6 Jan 2009 22:08:50 GMT
Quite right Mr Smart, even though the original post is quite old now.
I am also of the 'old-school' gaming world having started on a BBC and have moved up through PC's. A lot of complainers online don't seem to realise how good they've got it! Back in the day you used to have a tape player attached to your computer, with no 'save game' to speak of and the damn thing would take 30 minutes to load... If it loaded at all!
I've recently bought a 360 Elite even though at the back of my mind is still the worry it will crash. As Cerberus says in another post, it's a lot to do with exclusivity of content. I mean the selling point for me was Halo 3, Mass Effect and Fable II as i'm more into escapism type gaming. Where you are right there with the story. Sure Halo is a bit of a 'run and gun' but i had to finish the trilogy!
Thanks for your insightful review and i have no doubt i will be buying the PS3 soon. Might as well pick up a resonably priced bonus Blu-Ray player eh?
Posted on 30 May 2009 11:34:41 BDT
Jonathan Simmonds says:
Thank you for a rare balanced point of view. Admittedly out of date but still just as relevant.
I own a Wii and am considering buying a new console. I think the Wii appeals to everyone whereas the other two consoles appeal to just hardcore gamers, HOWEVER i literally never use my Wii unless I have friends round/a party - I personally just don't find the console suitable for single gaming sessions - hence why I am looking for a new console I can play on my own.
I think there is little between the 360 and PS3 at the time of writing this, and I will be making the decision based on what people I know own, the price, and the games I am interested in.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2009 08:22:16 BDT
Mr. Eamonn M. Mcginty says:
Thanks for this.
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