Failure to launch

The Next Gen Console Wars  
April 25, 2006 2:41:41 PM

PS3: Potentially.Sony seemed to have the right idea for competing with the Xbox 360: let them launch first and go through the requisite growing pains, and then capitalize by bringing out the PS3 when the gild had fallen off the 360 lilly. It looked like a good strategy when the 360 launch was beset by problems back before the holidays: not enough supply to keep up with demand, and an awfully buggy product. Only one problem for Sony: Spring 2006 is now here, and the PS3 is nowhere to be found.

The blogs are abuzz with rumors that it’s going to be a while. Several sites, including SPOnG and Kotaku, reported that PS3’s presence at this May’s E3 would be severely muted — limited hands-on demos and hardly any presence in third-party company’s booths. In other words, unless you’re part of the accredited press, get in line, sucka.

All this is only fueling speculation that there are still some major issues to work out with the system. The Inquirer reports on its site that it appears that Sony is even still bidding on some of the system’s components — and the components are currently too large to fit into that slick-looking case they’ve been showing off all over town. In other words, the system itself is nowhere near complete.

Meanwhile, all this focus on the PS3’s many potential problems has obscured two other developments on the next-gen front.

First, those of you who bought an Xbox 360 in anticipation of Halo 3? Well, get comfortable, Master Chief. The most recent reports indicate that the game will not be released until March 2007, and nobody from Microsoft or Bungie has refuted those claims. The initial assumption was that Microsoft would wait for the PS3 to launch for the Halo 3 release, thereby taking a huge chunk out of Sony’s sales. But with Sony’s launch in flux, Microsoft is taking a radically different approach: instead of bringing out their marquee game in time for the holidays, they’ll be releasing it first quarter when they have the stage to themselves.

Meanwhile, the Revolution is still generating tremendous buzz. Nintendo already has announced the first title for the launch: the noir-esque Red Steel. Also, rumors have been flying that the Revolution is closer to launch than the PS3, complete with, get this, twenty possible additional titles around the time of launch.

Okay, so the Revolution’s controller looked a little goofy. But then again, the DS’s stylus is just as awkward in theory, and some of the most innovative games of the last year were released for that system. If Nintendo can channel its DS energy into games like Nintendogs and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (the latter of which is officially a GameCube title that should have enhanced features when played on the Revolution hardware), then the system could live up to its name.

But the coolest feature of all? Revolution’s virtual console. We’ve all heard rumblings about its ability to download games going all the way back to NES, but now details are emerging about the scope of one’s ability to play 16-bit style, and gamers are giddy. Why? One word: Genesis. Yes, you’ll be able to download and play some “best of” Genesis titles on your Revolution. So what if it doesn’t have the raw horsepower of the other two systems? If it delivers the goods on fun games ranging from Kid Icarus to Red Steel, in the minds of many gamers, it will not matter.

awesome... I want a 360

POSTED BY Veector AT 04/25/06 4:54 PM

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