Especially with the recent indicators that the Wii is outselling the PS3, I'm beginning to think I'm seeing the PSP vs the DS again, but writ large. On the one hand you've got the Wii, a game console with a unique control system. Its graphically superior Sony competitor, the PS3, is more expensive, pumps out better graphics and …
I can see what you're saying, and I don;t entirely disagree. I have to pick-up on one point that keeps cropping up and I'm really getting tired of it. I'll type this slowly so that it hopefully sinks in:
The PS3 is new. There aren't many games for it because it's new. The graphics haven't really come into their own because it's new. The sound probably hasn't really gotten going as good as it will do because it's new. The on-line system isn't as good as it will be because it's new. It's new.
Consider every console launch, every new hardware launch that needs some sort of software (DVD, for example; remember flippers?), or DirectX version launch; the software doesn't fully exploit it because it's new. It's always, always, always the same.
Some hardware never gets going, it's true; let's wait until it's not new and see.
Innovative controls vs. hardware upgrade
Tim Hale might have a point about that it is slightly unfair to compare the PS3 and the Wii, as the later is more consolidated on the market.
Yes, there might come good games for the PS3. And there most likely will, when the developers gets into the new capabilities of the PS3. But I think this misses the main point of the article.
The PS3 is basically just and upgrade of the PS2. Yeah sure, it got a new fancy processor. But - so what?
Prettier graphics, smarter AI, etc. does not necessarily warrant more innovative gameplay - but the new controls on the Wii do!
Ok but but...
The PS3 is almost exactly as old as the Wii (regardless of when it was released in Europe). Therefore it should be on the same level of innovation, albeit in different ares. i.e. the PS3 should have progressed in using its sheer power in the same way the Wii has progressed with its control system. (I don't see the evidence of this.)
I agree that with time developers will learn how to harness the power of the PS3 better (and through this create better games), but in exactly the same way this will also be true for the Wii's control system. We're only just starting to see what's possible with the Wiimote.
Sad but potentially true
When the PSP arrived I thought that I had to get one. I'd seen a friend's and it was great. It had exclusive Grand Theft Auto titles and Gran Turismo was on the horizon. It would be the perfect companion on my daily commute.
But. Gran Turismo still isn't released. Grand Theft Auto was hard to control on the tiny joystick and the load times were way too long.
For me, the PSP's games weren't as good as the PS2's.
And I have to agree that it's looking like the same will happen for the PS3. Sure it's graphically superior, but the titles and teh controllers don't seem to be up to the standard of the PS2's.
I played Motorstorm the other day. The accelerator is one of the shoulder buttons similar to the XBox. The graphics were probably far superior to those of my PS2, but the gameplay was woeful and although I tried hard to like it, I came away feeling disapointed. The game felt more like an XBox title.
Gran Turismo HD seems to be a long way off and GTA4 will be released on the XBox at the same time as on the PS3. The PS3 has some amazing multimedia capabilities, but will it integrate with others? My iPod works with my Mac and my PC. The XBox 360 can function as a Media Center extender allowing me to browse videos, photos, music and more from my sofa.
I want the PS3 to succeed, but Microsoft seem to have a lot of good XBox 360 games coming up including a number of exclusives. Combined with proven media capabilities, my head says to spend less money on the more capable system.
I'll stick with my PS2 for now. Once GTA4 and GT HD are released I'll consider upgrading.
The thorn in both their sides though is the Wii. Wii Sports is great fun and SSX seems to have been given new life thanks to the nunchuck controller.
The PS3 is impressive, but jeez do Sony have to pull something out of the bag if they want to replicate the success of the PS2.
Both the same age!
As pointed out above in reference to Mr Hale, the Wii and PS3 were launched in a similar time, admittedly in Japan... sure we're behind in the UK but that won't have stopped many developers, i'm sure there will be fewer crazy japanese games of interest over here, but the whole "PS3 is new" thing doesn't really cut it...
And out of interest what ground breaking graphics/sound features does the PS3 have?? Dolby 5.1 and DTS aren't even modern, i have a 5 year old AV amp that does those.... as for the graphics, again not exactly revolutionary!
Sure it's a good and impressive unit, but i wouldn't replace my Xbox 360 with one, whereas i'd happily add a Wii to my game portfolio! If i could find one :(
And therein lies the difference.....
The wii is (primarily) aimed at younger gamers, not bothered about the graphical capabilities but who want to experience fun and innvovative new games via the wiimote controllers.
The PS3 on the other hand is aimed at gaming and multimedia - lets not forget it actually supports HDTV resolutions up to 1080p - TV's that are still way too pricey to take advantage of.
And yes, the Wii and the PS3 were released at the same time - there's been more development for the wii because its a damn side easier!!!! The cell chip (based around PowerPC Architecture) is a new concept that most developers are having to learn on the fly - we're talking about moving from (seemingly) multithreaded environment to a (seemingly) parallel computing environment - not easy!!
Would just like to point out that the 360 is based on 3 Power PC cores and the cell is a completely new design with IBM. Having said that, if Sony, who have their own development sources, and have the ability to provide development tools, can't support developers enough to show that their console can kick arse, then thats up to them. Whilst 360 and Wii are proven sellers, I did see WHSmiths still advertising £399 PS3's this morning. Just makes you wonder exactly how many Sony are actually selling....
Primarily at younger gamers? I think not...
I think the appeal of the Wii is much broader than the PS3 - my Mum (for example) has no interest in playing Virtua Tennis 3 but would happily flail around the room with Wii Sports; and the same goes for many of my friends, avid gamers or not.
That's why the Wii will succeed - the gameplay appeals to so many people and gets away from the 'console geek' image associated with lots of games machines while there's still titles like Zelda for the more commited.
Graphics are impressive but I think it's the gameplay that would make people return to a game (and console) again and again.
Scott Mckenzie asked: 'And out of interest what ground breaking graphics/sound features does the PS3 have?? Dolby 5.1 and DTS aren't even modern, i have a 5 year old AV amp that does those.... as for the graphics, again not exactly revolutionary!'
Sony have added support for Dolby's lossless TrueHD codec which is so new (apparently) that most AV kit doesn't support it yet! Like you I have an older amp and I'm finding the DTS sound to be more than enough at the moment.
The issue with the graphics is more one of developer familiarity with the hardware rather than anything else, I think. My original comparisson with DirectX was to illustrate that a change in the infrastructure (hardware/API) is followed by a delay in the software developers getting the most out of it and that the PC is as affected by this as anything else.
Having said that, the PS3 can output a new colour gamut (I'm going from memory now) to improve the picture quality so in some respects the graphics are cutting edge.