X-Box 360 was released on November 22. The question on the mind of every gamer is whether coming out of the gates early is going to give Microsoft the leading edge over Nintendo and Sony, which aren’t releasing their new systems until spring 2006.
Sony and Microsoft so far seem to be the major competitors while Nintendo’s Revolution is so experimental it will make it hard to determine how it will match up with the competition. Nintendo has been reluctant to release any information about their new console.
The hope for all involved in the industry is that, with this new generation of game play, video games will be as commonplace in the living room as a DVD player. The trend over the last 20 years shows a five-year lifespan for game consoles. This, of course, started with the competition between Nintendo and Sega back in 1985, with Nintendo being the overwhelming leader.
This healthy competition led to ever increasing development in how the games were made as well as how the consoles were constructed. Although arcade gaming had been popular all though the eighties, household gaming really hit its stride in 1990 with the Sega Genesis. Nintendo, not to be out done, shortly followed with Super Nintendo.
Sony realized in the early nineties that the market was increasing. They jumped in with the Playstation in 1995 and elevated game play into the adult realm. It was the first gaming system intentionally marketed to a more mature audience. This risk has obviously paid off over the years, but at the time it was considered to be a bold move.
Then along came Bill Gates and his Monolith of a company Microsoft. He brought the X-Box to the arena in 2000 and replaced Sega in the trio of competitors since Sega had dropped out of the console wars with the flop known as the “Dreamcast.”
In the world of video games, the demand for better graphics and stunning game play are a high demand. The leading three companies—Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo—try to deliver just that.
Microsoft is offering players two options with the X-Box 360. The Premium Edition will run gamers a pretty $399. Included in this bundle is a removable hard drive to store game data, HD output cables, a wireless controller and headset.
The next option for the X-Box 360 is the $299 “Core” system. The thing that separates this bundle from the other is that it lacks the hard drive system that the other one has, wireless remote and HD cables.
Also, people who buy the “Core” system will have to buy a memory card separately since it is lacking the hard drive needed to save games. Although the hard drive is not included in the Core system, it is sold as an accessory for around $100.
Microsoft says that just because you have the “Core” system doesn’t mean you will lose out on any X-Box title. The advantage, the company claims, is that you will have a shorter load time with the Premium Edition than with the “Core.”
With suspected prices of a $399 X-Box console, Sony plans to watch and wait to see how consumers in the US react to such a high price tag. With an early 2006 release date, Sony is launching a new system, the Playstation 3
Playstation 3 will feature things that no console in history had ever thought of. The new system will have memory stick slots and SD slots and will support CR-ROM, D-RW DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and DVD+R formats. Some of the interactive aspects of the counsel are video chat, Internet chat, digital photo viewing, digital audio and video.
Nintendo has remained silent, however, about its “Revolution” which is said to be as tall as a three-stacked DVD case. Nintendo also says it will feature an accessory for playing DVD’s, an aspect that bombed on the “GameCube” system in Japan, never making it into the US.
The new wireless controller for the “Revolution” will look like a nun-chuck remote control, featuring interactive play.