Although it’s been months since I’ve played a videogame (the brilliant Katamari Damacy around Christmas time), I’ve been watching the coverage of the annual E3 Expo with much interest. Like everyone else, I’m watching the announcements of the upcoming next generation game consoles.
It’s amusing to me how the console market appears to be heading down the same route as the PC industry. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3, much like Dell and other computer makers, seem to be focusing on raw horsepower. That power typically translates into the main selling point of each console generation – more life-like graphics. That’s nice, to a point, but prettier pictures with the same old story and gameplay is the electronic equivilent of polishing a turd.
That’s why I feel Nintendo is such a breathe of fresh air when compared to Microsoft and Sony. While their consoles are even sequels (Xbox to Xbox 360, Playstation to Playstation 2 to Playstation 3), Nintendo is choosing to compete things other than horsepower and the kitchen sink mentality. By renaming and rebranding its upcoming console from the Revolution to Wii, they’ve taken a lot of crap from the hardcore gamers, but they’re making themselves more friendly to the majority of the population – the nongamer. More importantly, they’re focusing on innovating gameplay with a truly unique controller that will change the way people interact with their games.
Amusingly, Sony appears to have tacked a motion sensing feature onto the PS3 controller after dismissing Nintendo’s Wii interface. Thankfully, gamers are seeing though the announcement, which just seems – lame.
In any case, this fall should be interesting when both the Wii and the PS3 arrive. It’ll be the battle of the same-old versus the risk taking innovator. I don’t know about you, but I’m placing my bets on Nintendo.