My thoughts on the PS3 and Wii
I got some hands-on time with both the PS3 and the Wii this weekend.
Here are some short thoughts:
Who in their right mind would risk getting shot to drop $600 on this thing? Yes, the graphics are impressive. But that's it. The games I played were tired PS2 clones. Nothing original. Nothing impressive. The only energy being spent is on making the games look good. That's great - but it's not $600 great. Not even close to $600 great - not to mention $20 more for each game.
One of the best quotes I heard this weekend was that Sony focuses on hardware while Microsoft focuses on software. This is apparently true, since the user-experience on the PS3 is terrible from a software perspective. The XBox 360, which has arguably comparable graphics, is much more friendly to the consumer. TV and movie downloads, a $200 HD-DVD player, X-Box Live - yeah... it's better. For the hardcore gamer - The XBox 360 is the clear winner. (IMHO)
I really wanted to like this. I really did. I do like it - but it doesn't do a whole lot for me. The bottom line is that, in most games, the Wiimote felt gimicky. There, I said it. Unleash the fanboys.
Take Excite Truck. What's the difference between tilting a Wiimote and using a standard controller? As far as I'm concerned - not much. Neither feels real and both methods work fine. I enjoyed Wii Sports since it was the game that seemed to take the most advantage of the Wiimote. Every other game I tried just didn't make me feel that the Wiimote was anything special. It works well - but it's got to have a reason, and not just be a gimicky way of controlling a game. Red Steel was downright frustrating. I hope that we will see future games that really take advantage of the controller - but we're not there yet. I did want to try Trauma Center - that looks like it has potential. Although, I find it hard to believe that the Wiimote is better than a computer equipped with a mouse in a game such as Trauma Center. (or any FPS for that matter) And therein lies the problem. The Wiimote comes in second place for a lot of things. (e.g.: a pointing device, a steering wheel, etc.) Game programmers need to keep that in mind.
The one advantage of the Wii is that I expect to see more games that appeal to myself (a person whose age starts with a "3"). That, rather than the controller, is why I will probably purchase one.
The graphics were better than I was expecting. For first-gen titles, I thought the graphics were quite good. They are certainly good enough that the lack of processing power shouldn't distract from gameplay.
I was also encouraged to see how the teenage set seems to be excited by the Wii. I spoke with several younger relatives, and it looks like the Wii has a good chance of success judging by their reaction. Most of those teenagers are spending their own hard-earned money. And trust me, Sony has priced themselves out of that market.
So there you have it. My scores:
XBox 360: B
PS 3: D
Wii: B with the potential for an "A" if Wiimote integration improves.
Keep in mind... I'm not a huge videogame fan. I enjoy them, but there's a lot more to my life. My perspective is that of a casually interested member of the gen-x generation. I'm not a fanboy - I'm just an average guy. But, Nintendo needs to appeal to people like me (28 +) in order to make the Wii a success.