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Console comparisons are premature

by Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

Who'd have thought a few years ago, when Nintendo was getting whooped in video games by rivals Microsoft and Sony, that the venerable Japanese company would now be the one laughing? According to the Financial Times, Nintendo's Wii has officially surpassed the Xbox 360 in sales, despite Microsoft's console having a year headstart. Sony's PlayStation 3, by the way, is a distant third.

The Wii, which launched in November last year and is built around simple games that use its motion-sensing controller, has sold approximately 9 million units worldwide as of the end of July. The 360, which launched in November of 2005 and is built around high-end graphics and online gameplay, has sold 8.9 million units, according to the FT. The PS3, which was released at the same time as the Wii and features the most advanced technology not to mention a Blu-ray DVD player, has sold only 3.7 million. It's a remarkable turnaround for a company that finished last in the last round of video game console wars, where the Nintendo Gamecube sold less than the original Xbox and the PlayStation 2.

Many industry analysts are pointing toward the Wii's lower price and the fact that it appeals to an audience beyond just hard-core gamers as the reasons for its success. Indeed, Wii games can be picked up by just about anyone and learned in a matter of minutes, as opposed to many 360 and PS3 games, which are often quite complicated and require manual dexterity and button-mashing ability.

Still, the possibility that the Wii is a novelty lingers and the current console war is far from over. This holiday season will be the real showdown, with all three consoles now established and poised to release their heavy-hitting titles. Microsoft is bringing the latest version of its flagship title, Halo 3, to the Xbox 360 and could cut the console's price before the holidays. Both will result in the company selling a pile more consoles. Comparing overall sales numbers in January, after the smoke of Christmas settles, will give a real idea of who's winning the console war and, in the bigger picture, which way video gaming is going.

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Monkey

Winnipeg

Well of course Wii has passed everyone else and no, it doesn't come as a surprise either.

Nintendo played it smart, stuck to their guns and their fans, and created something revolutionary.

And lets not forget cheap. That's the reason they beat the crap out of their competition in sales.

Sony and Microsoft nailed their feet to the floor with their high end weaponry and by doing so lost the race.

But I'm sure it's not over.

Xbox will keep trying to get all the hardcore gamers to their side by building stronger machines.

Sony will keep trying to hold on to Xbox's waist, crying and telling him to stop with the madness.

Nintendo will sit there watching, pointing and laughing. All the while pleasing everybody.

Posted September 17, 2007 12:23 PM

Ryan

Ottawa

It's not remarkable. Nintendo has always offered some of the best games and innovations in console gaming. Before the Nintendo 64 we didn't even have 4 player split screen gaming? Can you imagine a game like Halo without it nowadays? Nintendo also offers very fun oriented games - you can have amazing graphics in a game but if it isn't fun - you're done. PS3 is going to tank hard - their only saving grace would have been the Final Fantasy 7 Remake which they showcased a Demo Version of. If this had beena launch title PS3 sales would have sky rocketed. Their loss.

Posted September 17, 2007 12:24 PM

Mark

Peter, Microsoft already dropped the price of the Xbox 360 not too long ago. Just so you know.

Posted September 17, 2007 03:52 PM

Andrew

NL

I bought a 60GB PS3 a few weeks ago for a total of $626. Sure, it was a hefty price tag on it, and everyone tells me that the Xbox 360 has better and more games...but with me, I only like certon games. I only really play Racing games (Gran Turismo Series, and the EA Sports NASCAR Games), Hockey games, and ofcourse Grand Theft Auto Series games. Thats about it. I don't care for Halo 3 for Xbox, Final Fantasy games or any other Shooting games or RPG games. The only real shooting game I like was Goldeneye for The 64. That game was epic. I'll play it today if I owned a 64 and the game.

I also finally got an Wireless Online connection for my PS3 yesterday. And I love it. You can browse any website at anytime and download demos and videos and stuff...compaired to Xbox 360, that you have to pay monthly to play online, and pay to download some of the Demos...PS3 wins over Xbox in that catagory.

Posted October 3, 2007 09:17 AM

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