Console Pros and Cons? Hardly.

next gen consoles

Over at VG247.com, our very own GT alumnus Stephany Nunneley has posted a little snippet of an article from The Guardian UK. In this article, the Guardian purports to list the pros and cons of each gaming console in an honest effort to provide consumers with buying information.

Unfortunately, it’s all too obvious that whoever wrote this piece either hasn’t actually touched any of the consoles, has been away from the gaming scene for months (if not years), or has inserted their head firmly in a certain orifice of Microsoft’s.

Let’s examine exactly what they say, and then counter it with some actual, useful information.

We’ll start with the Wii. The Guardian says, in part, “the graphics aren’t as pretty as its two more technologically advanced rivals, and really ground-breaking Wii games come along very infrequently.” OK, that’s true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve sold a blue million of the damn things.


More importantly, they’re selling them to people who wouldn’t normally buy a console, thereby expanding the gaming market as a whole. The Wii targets a substantially different audience than either Sony or Microsoft, as such, could stand to be considered on its own rather than be compared to either of them.

Now, let’s talk PlayStation 3. The quotes: “The PS3 is a disappointment for gamers,” and “at £250, PS3 is still too pricey. An attractive purchase only for those with an obsession with the PlayStation brand.” OK, this might have been arguable at the launch of the PS3, but luckily for gamers, it’s 2009 already! I could be wrong, but I am quite certain that exclusives like Uncharted, Little Big Planet, and Metal Gear Solid 4 were all released in the UK, so there’s no excuse for this willful ignorance.

With the price cuts earlier this year, you can purchase a 120GB PS3 for 299 US Dollars, or exactly what a comparable XBox 360 would run you. Additionally, the value in the purchase of a PS3 has always comparable or better than a XBox 360, since it includes things like WiFi, Blu-Ray Player, etc. The price argument died an ignominious death already, so please stop with it.

And finally, the XBox 360, of which the Guardian says, “If you fancy something more heavyweight with the best games portfolio and aren’t scared of using a “joypad” to control the action (primarily with your thumbs), the Xbox has the edge over Sony’s PS3.” Now, I won’t deny that I like my 360. Heck, I’ve been playing The Saboteur on it nonstop of late.

However, the argument that it owns the best games is no longer valid. It’s a tight race, with both Sony and Microsoft having their premiere titles. In fact, Metacritic just released their Best of 2009 list in which they name the PS3 the platform of the year, and a PS3 exclusive (Uncharted 2) as their game of the year.

Last but not least, there are no words to quantify the idiocy that marks their assessment of the PC / Mac gaming market. The quote: “Many consol [sic] games are available on the PC, but the best require a powerful 3D graphics card. Because few Macs have these, most publishers ignore them.” WHAT? Most publishers have ignored Macs in the past, that’s true.

What isn’t mentioned is that with the introduction of Windows on Macs, more games are appearing on the platform. The PC, as it has for years, continues to be a viable gaming solution, offering a far superior experience in many games. To wit: Dragon Age: Origins. DAO suffered greatly on the 360 graphically, was somewhat better on the PS3, and truly shone only on the PC. Additionally, player-made mods are already appearing all over the web for DAO, something console gamers won’t be able to partake of, to their detriment.

I’d also mention that a “powerful graphics card,” is completely misleading. Sure, you’ll get better framerates off a high-end $600 card, but to play current games, you can easily get by on a card that runs in the $150 – $175 range, such as the Radeon 4870 (pricing via NewEgg), which will easily run Dragon Age quite well, thank you very much.

Yes, each platform has its pros and cons. However, attempting to write a definitive list of them in a grand total of 194 words (including headings!) isn’t just futile, it’s intellectually dishonest, and a little bit ridiculous.

I’ve never understood the vitriol spewed amongst the various consoles and their fans. After all, the very existence of viable competition drives innovation and lower prices for all of us to enjoy. Shouldn’t that mean we welcome the so-called ‘console wars’ and reap the benefits they bring? That’s what I’ve been doing, and I have to say, it’s worked out fine so far.

How about you? Do you think the Guardian has any kind of a clue? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Comments on Console Pros and Cons? Hardly.

Dude

On December 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

What the f*ck is wrong with Microsoft? Yes I’m saying MS because most likely it was them with the tones of money they have. They’re just that desperate for PS3 to be doomed.

sd

On December 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

Heh, something like this is almost always expected when mainstream media tries to get their hands dirty with gaming. Instead of being informative, they just end up flaunting their ignorance. Guardian, just stick to what you know. Doll out Political commentary and health scares.

There are already bazillion sites that cover gaming, so yeah, lets just leave it to them, okay?

Pyret

On December 13, 2009 at 12:54 pm

In a nut shell

Wii – For Non casual Gamers
XBOX – For heavy gamers
PS3 – For basic gamers and Media lovers

A Super-powered PC – For dedicated gamers who care about graphics and physics.

Personally I prefer playing ANY game on a PC. 100 buttons is better than 9 or 10 :D

GameDev

On December 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I wish these rebuttals to refutations to nay says to third-hand console bashing “articles” would stop already. I’ve had all 3 consoles since they launched – PS3 being my favorite because of Blu Ray, then 360 for Gears of War and then Wii. Actually my PC/Mac, iPhone and DS before Wii, but I won’t nitpick.

Sure Wii has a been a blockbuster in sales, but it’s sales figures are starting to show signs of fatigue and it’s a pain in the balls to develop for as a third party. That’s why good games outside of the Nintendo brand are few and far between. Nintendo of Japan and America know that they’re selling the console to people who are probably content playing some flavor of Mario, Wii sports or a fitness game.

The thing about the 360 and PS3 that people fail to realize is that sinking 100′s of hours into an RPG like Dragon Age or a competitive FPS like Modern Warfare keep people at the console longer. Once the novelty of dancing with Jenny McCarthy or waving your hands around in your living room wears off, most people’s Wii’s are sitting at home getting dusty. Also the chance to sell things like DLC, Netflix, indie games just simply isn’t going to catch on with the Wii – making it a very limited platform for the future.

Rovelius

On October 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Pyret is obvious fanboy