Will having the best graphics make the PS3 a success?

19 01 2007

As I discussed recently about the “console wars”, there are three main players fighting for market share : Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), and the Nintendo Wii.  The Xbox 360 was first to market by a year, so they have a sizeable lead, but that usually doesn’t determine who ultimately “wins”.  Many people (particularly PS3 “fanboys”) are expecting the PS3 to win because it has the most advanced graphics hardware.  While great graphics are helpful in selling a game initially, it’s not as important as many people think.

Let’s consider something about the last generation of consoles.  We all know the PS2 sold the most consoles by a large margin.  But which one of these had the worst graphics (according to hardware specs)?

A) Xbox
B) PS2
C) GameCube

Are you ready for the answer?  Be careful here, that you don’t get tripped up at this point in the discussion.  🙂  The answer is B, the PS2.  But didn’t it win?  Yeah.  So what gave it the edge?  It had a number of exclusive games, had good gameplay, was affordable ($300), and was backwards compatible.  If they were to keep those characteristics and improve the graphics, that would almost surely be a recipe for success, but that has not been the case.  They have lost a lot of exclusive games, and it is not nearly so affordable.  The basic PS3 costs around $600, and that’s without any games (which will set you back $60 each).  It is backwards compatible, although the emulation makes the PS1 and PS2 games look worse than they did on the original consoles, which obviously isn’t a good thing.

So which console in this generation of the console wars has the most similarities of the last generation’s winner?  The Wii.  It has exclusive games (both in-house and third-party, and they pledge to have more third-party support than with the GameCube), it has great gameplay, it’s affordable ($250), and is backwards compatible with all Nintendo games as well as a few other consoles (like Sega Genesis and Turbografx 16).

I’ve played a PS3 in the store, trying a couple of games, and while they looked sharp, they weren’t particularly any more fun to play than other games.  But I have a , and I’ve had a lot of fun playing it.  Even Wii Sports, with its elementary graphics, is so much fun to play, because the method of gameplay really immerses you into the game more than just pushing some buttons.  I think Nintendo is on to something…  I hope the Wii causes a revolution in gaming…




One response

24 01 2007

Ha ha – I liked your last sentence’s play on words. Nice touch.

I couldn’t agree more with your analysis of the current “Console Wars” and think it will play out with the Wii & Xbox 360 fighting for supremecy. The PS3 is just too expensive and has functionalities that most gamers don’t necessarily need or want…

Of course, I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo so I may be a little biased! 😉

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