The Situation: The close of the 2005-2006 Hardware Battle, of the better-known Great Console Wars.
Ladies and Gentlemen, another round of the on-going war between hardware developers to control the hearts and minds of console gamers everywhere has come to a close. In the last 18 months, action on the front has heated up as each side rallied and delivered new blows, introducing new consoles to the gaming public.
The Parties: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony
Over the past several decades of battles, three major powers have emerged to dominate the field.
Microsoft - One of the newest competitors on the scene, Microsoft started shakily and gained footing over time, slowly building a fanbase, and bolstering their efforts with solid developers allying to create a wide selection of desirable games. Microsoft has released their second foray into console development with this round's Xbox 360. Their big idea: Do everything we were already doing, but bigger and better. And beat others following this same plan to the punch - on both release date and price.
Nintendo - The "old guard," if there is such a thing in this realm. It depends which country one is in to measure it, but Nintendo has now released about half a dozen consoles. The latest, the Wii, showed Nintendo's willingness to take a gamble and take the less obvious, and more risky, route to victory. Their big idea: Fun. Make the Wii fun for all people of all ages. Increase the Nintendo lovers' ranks by winning them over with unassuming, uncomplicated fun.
Sony - In the previous round of battles, Sony was the clear victor, gaining more ground than the other two major powers combined ... and then some. In this round of battle, however, Sony's PlayStation 3 is starting a bit behind their second place rival in the previous showdown, Microsoft. Their big idea: We didn't beat them on price or release date, but we'll beat the others on sheer brute force and shiny gadgetry.
The Objective: In this issue of The Escapist, "Launch Telemetry," our elite corps of writers analyze this round of the Great Console Wars. Please continue reading for the in-depth briefing. Enjoy!