Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3. (BTW, XBox wins for best and easiest to find website. Googling PS3 doesn’t even get you the official site as the top result and ps3.com and playstation3.com don’t go there either…. and it takes 2 clicks from playstation.com.) They are all finally here and the battle is engaged. It’s funny, when I set this blog up I went back and grabbed my favorite posts from my old blog and posted them on here with their original dates. When I did that, I noticed a post from November 28th, 2005 – exactly one year ago – discussing the Xbox 360 launch. That was the only one of the consoles that I made a half-assed attempt to buy on launch day, but I wasn’t there early enough so I missed out. I later bought an Xbox 360. At first I wasn’t blown away by the few games I tried. Perfect Dark sucked, for example. Halo 2 was fun to play in higher res, but not a big change.
Then my friend, Adam, introduced me to Call of Duty 2 (buy) and it was the first Xbox 360 game that I thought was really cool. That was fun to play for a while, but I never really became a junky. Probably because I was too busy playing World of Warcraft (which still, in my opinion, beats any console game). But I did keep paying attention to the coming next gen console wars and followed that story with interest.
The outcome is one I never really expected. First off, Microsoft really did a good job of throwing a monkey wrench into the PS3. Gears of War (buy) is a great game (it has already sold one million copies) and it launched just before the PS3, accomplishing two things:
- Keeping all the Xbox 360 owners interested and excited about the Xbox 360. It’s much easier to run out and buy Gears of War than it is to wait in line to get a PS3. And a lot cheaper than paying a premium. So I think it was a powerful mechanism for keeping the existing base excited about the X360 platform.
- It is a powerful, and cheaper, consolation prize for the people that wanted a PS3. Microsoft got a bit of a boost since the PS3 got some bad reviews early on. Everyone already knew it would be hard to get, but a few bad reviews, a lack of good games, and the general plethora of negative Sony news (exploding batteries anyone), wasn’t good. The only really interesting PS3 game (IMO) that isn’t on another platform is Resistance: Fall of Man (Gamespot: 8.6). But it looks pretty similar to Gears of War (Gamespot 9.6). And you can get an X360 and Gears of War, and still have almost $800 left over (given eBay’s PS3 resale price averages of $1,186). So what would you choose? I have chosen to think about buying a PS3 in the spring when they are plentiful, not marked up, and maybe have some games I am interested in. Although if Microsoft feeds enough Halo 3 info before then, I might never buy one.