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!