Nintendo Does it Right With Wii
I've read the articles portending the demise of gaming as a whole, and that there are no more really innovative things that anyone can do with a video game system, however I do have to say that the Nintendo Wii is in a league of its own.
First of all, and the most obvious thing that is incredible is the controller. It is so much better to be more physically invested in a game by moving in reality to match your character's moves in the game. The controller is a breakthrough, but it still really isn't all that new. There have been other gaming systems that have tried this, but they just haven't gotten it right. The Wii seems to have the right combination of old school technology, the infrared, and new school implementation, the motion sensitive rumble controller.
The next thing is the ability to play the original Nintendo games, the Super Nintendo games, the Nintendo 64 games, and the ability of the system to be backward compatible with the gamecube is sweet. Its cool to know that if I want to play the original Metroid or the Legend of Zelda I can just download them and play.
The final thing is the form factor and appearance. The system itself looks really good. Nintendo is making it appealing for adults as well as children. The last thing is that they need to come out with some really intreaguing titles and they will have a grand slam. From what I have seen from all the footage around E3 it looks like Nintendo won't have a problem in the quality games department.
While I like Sony, and I love my PSP, it seems that they are having a little bit of a problem with an overblown ego. It was clear ages ago that incredible graphics don't make a system excellent, especially if it has an insane price tag. I mean, look at the Neo-Geo system, it cost $399 back in the day and no one, well almost no one, bought it. The Genesis and Super Nintendo spanked it even though those systems had less graphical quality. I guess the PS3 is going to be Sony's Neo-Geo. I am certain that people will buy it, but they are going to have to drop the price on it, and I'm not sure that they will be able to recoup their losses. The PSP is another example. The graphics on the PSP are excellent, and the games are good. Everything about the system is solid, and it has really cool features. The problem is that the Nintendo DS has incredible games, even though it is less sophisticated. The result is that it is outselling the PSP in almost all markets. I don't understand how Sony isn't getting this. As a business, you can't afford to be outflanked like that. Clearly its too late for Sony to do an about face. I think they will make the PS3 work because they have to. Once there are a few hundred million units sold, the costs of producing the console should come down, and blue-ray should help with the depth of games, but I think that Nintendo may have too much of a lead once that happens. It is conceivable that Sony could drop to No. 2 in the gaming race, and I don't really see any way they can avoid it.