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I have just read an article about the MS disc read error and waded through some of the comments that followed.
As you might expect there are a great deal of Sony fanboy's chiming in about Xboxers getting what they deserve for dumping on Sony in the PSN security debacle. As a Wii only owner I like to keep my nose clean and stay out of this petty rivalry that has started up. Really, to what end is the great 'System War' any good?
It might be a little unfair to comment on how childish it is to argue who's toy is better since I was involved in the argument at one point. That point was 10-15 years ago when I was about 10 years old. The war was Nintendo and Sega, more specifically Mario and Sonic. I enjoyed my edition of Nintendo Magazine (monthly) from the newsagency. That's right, war back then was fought with pen and paper, not a laptop and a modem. This meant that only a few comments and letters made it to publication each month keeping the argument to some structure and only focusing on the meaningful issues between the rival systems. Now any 5 year old can get online and anonymously slander anything they want. With greater power comes greater responsibility.
Fast forward to 10 to 15 years and we are still having the same general argument about what console is better. Sega having lost the war is now on the sidelines in the software department but Nintendo fights on against the new emerging Sony and Microsoft. I will clarify that Nintendo is fighting on from on the fence because Nintendo isn't REALLY in direct competition with either of these consoles. That's the genius of the marketing strategy that Nintendo executives have adopted. They have stood on the sidelines and let the more powerful consoles go toe to toe while they quietly chug along all the way to the bank. The best way to win the fight is to not be in it at all.
This does not detract from what the PS3 and Xbox360 have achieved while fighting for the top spot (which the Wii has held down almost entirely this generation). The competition has pushed the industry to heights it would NOT otherwise reach. If Sony and Microsoft had never come along at the end of Sega and allowed Nintendo to hold a monopoly on the console market, gamming would be in a much different (and probably worse) state than it is today.
Getting to my point. All the fanboy's in the world (and I might be guilt of being a little Nintendo biased) should appreciate all the consoles and the role they play in shaping the games they play. I have and will always own the latest Nintendo and in my opinion anyone that disregards what Nintendo and the Wii can offer is just limiting their own entertainment to save face. As a student I can't afford or justify getting a second console but if I money wasn't a factor you can bet I would have one or both of the others. It only increases the number of games available to me which in my opinion would be a good thing.
Pointing holes in another console doesn't make your console of choice any better, it cheapens it. Sure, all the Xboxers that were all over the PSN collapse probably are getting a little bit of karma back at them but you PS3ers should take the moral high road and resist the temptation in saying 'ne nur ne nur'.
I made this comment and decided I liked the wording so I am keeping it as a blog
Nintendo have something, lets call it magic, that the others don't have. How else would they succeed hand over fist against superior graphics in a time where everyone is screaming for better pictures? A bellow-par online system in an age of world wide connections. And dwindling third party support while the others games numbers are growing.
Nintendo win with magic that's why people will buy and play their 'inferior' games while the other consoles try and work out how they are losing against a slingshot and a boomerang while they have air strikes and Assault Riffles.
I just read this article here http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/14/new-technology-force-video-game-consoles-extinction-evolution/
It details the opinions that in the near future the consoles that we are used to, whatever brand you subscribe to will be obsolete. What do you think about NOT going out and buying the next Nintendo that has been in development for a couple of years? What if the next Playstation you buy is the last traditional console that Sony decides to make? (To keep the Xboxers happy) What if Microsoft shun the console approach and return to a PC approach?
I personally remember my gaming experiences as a kid, getting up early and sneaking to the lounge room on weekends. The volume on the TV turned down so me and my cousin didn't wake anyone up. Spending the whole morning and most of the afternoon playing games like Mario, Megaman, Donkey Kong…. Etc. The console was symbol of worship for me and many kids I would imagine. What if that were all to change, a concept no longer fit for the current level of technology. Instead of sneaking into the loungeroom you just stream the latest Mario from your smartphone or iPod or tablet or whatever the future in technology holds from the comfort of your bed. Your connection with others is now done wirelessly with people you don't really know (some you might).
Consoles currently cost money ($300-$600+) for the most part depending on when you buy it after launch. Franchises in games don't always cross over in the console wars meaning that if you have only enough money for 1 console (as I would imagine many gamers do) than you are faced with a choice of what games you would like and what 1 console will give you those games. Limiting the pool of games to choose from to 1/3rd. Games cost money ($50-$120) depending on the popularity, the console and the time you buy it after launch. Games content can vary greatly in those price ranges. Some games you can buy and beat in the same day, others you can have 500+ hours of game time and still be enjoying the experience.
Imagine now if the games you play weren't limited to the label of the box you bought. Imagine you don't even need a game box at all. All of a sudden anything in your house that can connect to the internet is capable of playing the latest game that you want. Is this a good thing?
I think that the article has some truth to it. Games consoles as we know them are going to change, it's inevitable. Sony probably started this trend when they introduced the ability to play DVD's into their console. This addition moved consoles from simple games machines to home theatre systems. Now Sony and Microsoft offer DVD and Bluray playback as standard. There is also the inclusion of Play TV and internal hard drives for media storage. The Wii has channels such as the Internet Channel and Wii Shop Channel that allows online interaction and added content. Consoles are now far more than just games devices.
I also think that for consoles of the future to survive they at least need to offer more than what was previously available. Spartphones and tablets such as the iPad are now capable of playing handheld games at far cheaper prices while still offering more than just a gaming console (phone, eReader, schedule manager, address book,…. Etc). In the near future I believe that consoles will need to take the place of our current home theatres (PS3 and Xbox360 are already capable of this). They will need to connect people online through more elaborate ideas than the Wii's Channels. Their games will have to be more advanced than what your phone can manage. They will need to be cheaper but still offer more.
I would like to be able to watch/record/store/upload TV/DVD's/ BluRays/Games/music/pictures from the one device. I want to be connected to the net/to my computer/to my handheld device from the one point. The consoles of the future shouldn't be trying to spread themselves across the technology, they should be trying to consolidate it.
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