Monday, May 15, 2006

Post-E3 Thoughts: Systems

I've ripped Sony up and down in previous posts. Maybe many people think I am pro-Microsoft or Nintendo...really, I'm not. I'd say I own more PS2 games than Xbox or GameCube games and I usually believe in Sony. I think they have a fantastic first party game lineup (Ratchet and Clank, Jak, Sly Cooper and God of War among them) and they've done a good job through 2 generations of systems now. With that preface I'll get into my thoughts on the systems coming out of E3.

Playstation 3

Sony has put itself in a precarious position. They've come out with 2 SKUs, much like Microsoft did last year. However, the lower SKU isn't worth its weight at all and the only way you'll get a competent system is with the $600 option. In the end, given that the Nintendo Wii will probably sell at around $250 that means a person could pick up an Xbox 360 Premium ($400) and a Nintendo Wii ($250) and come out with two systems for $50 more than the PS3 and only come out with one.

Sony showed off a few PS3 games, but they neglected to say what would be out at launch at their pre-E3 press conference. If you watched Gamespot over the course of E3 you'll see that Resistance and Warhawk are expected to be out at launch. Those aren't exciting games, but arguably neither was the 360 lineup outside of Project Gotham Racing 3 for me.

I think Sony has painted itself in a corner. Yes, we could all be wrong and the PS3 will sell like gangbusters come this holiday, but I also think Sony is going to play the short supply/great demand card again like they did when the PS2 came out.

Xbox 360

Microsoft stayed the course for the most part. They showed off Live Anywhere and their commitment to the PC gaming platform now that all the gaming divisions have been brought under one umbrella. To me it sounded like PC games will be sharing space with videogames if Microsoft has anything to do about it. I'll talk more about the games in the next post.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo easily had the most sought after system at the show with upwards of a 4 hour wait to play it. I don't know whether that excitement is going to translate to the general public or not. Nintendo is being innovative again, something that has helped the Nintendo DS be where it is today even though it is far less powerful than the PSP. The only problem with the Wii is whether the third party support is going to be there or not outside of the launch. Nintendo could very well come out at #2 this go around.

Next up are my thoughts on the games...