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The console wars
Posted on Friday, January 11 2008 @ 03:02:37 PST

This is getting crazy.

i'll start by giving my background, i started gaming on the atari 2600, mum played asteroids almost religiously while i was still in the womb, legends tell of her ability to "clock" the game three times on a good day. even many years later when we pulled the 2600 out for some nostalgia she hosed every last one of our bests.

then one Xmas (i don't care) my parents gifted me and my brother with a 7600, new with that shiny chrome-ish pin stripe down across the middle, we wore out those cheap controllers like no-one's business, i broke two thumbsticks and a rubber button pad in no time at all.

and then two more 7600's later and lots of combining part a with b to get a working one, some relatives pooled resources and got me and my brother a mega-drive (genesis) with 21 games

we thrashed those games, wore out more gamepads, wore out the replacements, a year later me and my brother had enough cash for a playstation. we never wore out those controllers, my brother moved out at some point and i maintained the ps1, while the controllers lived, the laser did not. it wasn't too long after the release of the ps2 that i actually NEEDED to upgrade.

so i bought the gran turismo 3 pack, i'll come back to this later, but i got maybe 2 years of decent gaming and poor dvd support from the ps2.

another xmas has rolled around and mum has offered to split the costs of an xbox for my gift, the xmas of 2003 i received an xbox beast pack. bigger than the ps2, but it made up for that with far more amazing visuals than the ps2 could ever hope to muster. one of my first thoughts was "wow the ps2 could never do a steel grate that looked like that" the texture resolution was by far the most noticeable improvement. and the cross platform games i ended up playing were by a large margin vastly superior in framerate. while i initially had planned to support both platforms. i actually never bought another ps2 game again. it wasn't out of spite or malice. it just looked and played better on the xbox. so why fight it?

things changed and i finally bought a pc in 2005, i needed a pc to make xbox live work. i have never really gotten used to mouse aiming and still suck to this day at using one. however a long lost love of game creation was reawakened with this pc.

finally the x360 was released, i was one of the tools waiting in line at the midnight release, finally able to enter the next generation of console gaming. as i'm in Australia that meant oblivion was a launch title, possibly earning the x360 the best launch line-up of any console.

i said i'd come back to that gran turismo pack ps2, and here's why, the purchase price of that year old console design with a game was higher than what i spent on my x360 at launch.

a year of very solid gaming later i bought a nintendo Wii, i somewhat regret that now as a year later i'm yet to buy a single game for it. the only bastion of hope that nintendo actually release a decent fun title for people who aren't drunk or underage is zakk and wiki.which is still 2 months away down under.

so in the interest of full disclosure that's my gaming history, from the ps2 on i've always ended up with at least 20 games, strangely i achieved those numbers far more quickly on the microsoft platforms than i have the sony platform.

so what i'm about to say is fair and even handed, i have tried many consoles over the years.

firstly buy the console that has the games you play on it. i should never have bought the ps2, gran turismo ended up being about the only decent exclusive i bought. the rest i found played far better, when i tried demoes, on the xbox.  the same still holds true now, don't buy a ps3 if solid snake sounds like a porn star, or you don't care about emo's saving the world after a bout of amnesia. don't buy an x360 if you like your avatar to have a face or even a personality. and lastly don't buy a wii. all the bloody games are identical and it comes with the first one.

secondly, don't buy into hype, anything said by a sony executive is complete horseshit. the ps3 may be a personal computer but how many of you use it for wordprocessing tasks? the x360 will never sell a billion units and the wii IS nothing more than an overclocked gamecube, a very poorly overclocked gamecube. the x360 failure rate isn't absolute as many flamewars may indicate. even at the extreme estimate of 33% that's still 66% working since purchased and it's likely far more positive than even that. the ps3 is not a freakin supercomputer. do some numbers and you'll see it's barely any more powerful at thinking than an x360 and falls behind in gpu horsepower.

anyone willing to argue about the gpu comparison go find a sony approved site that discloses the gpu information. there isn't any, it's been left undisclosed to keep that little secret unprovable.

the two consoles (x360 and ps3) are basically fairly even in terms of raw grunt. so don't buy one because of it's potential. buy the ps3 because you enjoy games like ratchet and clank, metal gear, and uncharted. buy an x360 if you enjoy games like halo, grand theft auto (it has more clones than ps3 so far) and the old arcade games from many years ago.

honestly i can't recommend a Wii to anyone but young families and casual gamers who have a shorter attention span than an adhd kid. essentially if you have trouble sitting through an entire movie without losing the plotline then the Wii is perfect for you.

but don't let the marketing wankers get to you and brainwash you, as a closing statement i subscribe to google newsalerts on playstation 3, ps3 and x360

the two ps newsalerts are almost exclusively some sony executive claiming how awesome the console is doing, the next firmware release date, the next firmware release review or more commonly someone comparing a ps3 to an x360 and telling me the x360 sucks

strangely the x360 blog/news alerts are mostly reviews of released games or announcements about upcoming titles, with the occasional clone of the anti MS pieces in the ps3 alerts. so that alone keeps me in the x360 camp at least i know there is some hope for the games

ps, the x360 also wins for me because i hate fingerprints on glossy surfaces, seriously how do you guys actually live with that, the prints would drive me mad

i'm sick of these console wars arguements, most are ill-informed rubbish, even the wiki entry for the ps3 is wrong, the gpu is not 550MHz it was planned to be and dropped to 500MHz to improve yields. a rare case of sony admitting to something not positive from before launch. not that anyone noticed it would seem.  why can't people just let it go and buy the right console for them?

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