Console Wars: A New Generation
I’d hate to be the Debbie Downer for Nintendo on this one especially right out the gate, but I’m gonna have to pass on the Wii. Now as a kid growing up, I never sought interest in the Wii as the whole motion control stuff just wasn’t the type of gimmick I was into, and I was already mentally built to actually use my controller instead of flailing around like a nutcase. Now I’m not discrediting the Wii at all as by the sales and by the numbers, they won, but the wow factor lasted as long as a wet fart in church. Not only that, I actually don’t know too much about the Wii besides Wii sports, CoD was on it, used to be backward compatible with GameCube games, took it off, motion stuff. That’s about the extent of my knowledge of the Wii and I’m sure that the Wii was a decent console at heart, but most gimmicks don’t tend to last very long, and since most people do prefer to be couch potatoes instead of standing and probably breaking their TV for swinging too hard. That and it was just a shovelware machine full of games that were good for about five minutes and that’s it, plus there’s not a lot of memorable games for the system that isn’t Wii sports. It did become a meme machine at least, so it gets that nudge of approval from me, but unfortunately, Nintendo went a completely different direction in this portion of the console war, but it made sense since Nintendo basically went to war with Sega and the Genesis, and went back to back with both PlayStations that Sony released. In a way, this was a bit of a break for Nintendo and probably a well-needed one since Nintendo basically was basically going through a burnout.
Although Nintendo did win by sales, they by no means won by the quality of games, and yes, WiiSports was the most lit game to own, but still, they didn’t really compete in this console war, as the true console war was between two consoles that everyone is familiar with.
The Xbox vs PlayStation war truly started with the release of the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, and these two consoles were the absolute pinnacle of the console wars. Remember when you would get bullied in school if you owned an Xbox 360 and not a PS3? That’s how ruthless it would get, as people saw Xbox as an absolute joke of a system, yet all of the most popular videos on YouTube in the Seventh Generation, came from the Xbox 360. I will be going more in-depth on both of these systems clashing together, but let’s have a rundown of both systems first before we continue on.
The PlayStation 3
After the overwhelming success of the PS2, everyone wondered what the PlayStation 3 was going to be like, and what could they possibly do to this next PlayStation that could possibly be better than its predecessors. Well, we got the PS3, and what a rough start. Released on November 17th, 2006, the PS3 retailed for 500 dollars for 20 GB of storage, and 600 dollars for 60 GB of storage. First of all: Jesus Christ on a bicycle that’s expensive. Second: What in the blue hell is that storage? Well back in 2006, that much storage was actually necessary as games weren’t so big in storage. As for the reason as to why the pricing was so high at first, it was because the PS3 was basically the PS1 and PS2 clumped together and it took some heavy steroids. If you owned the old fat daddy PlayStation that was thicc with three C’s, it was backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games, as well it can play Blu Ray DVDs, regular DVD, and albums. So in fairness, you were getting the absolute unit if you purchased the OG PlayStation, but unfortunately that would make sales not so great at first as not a lot of people were willing to drill a hole in their wallets for a console that had as much storage as a five-year-olds brain. Keep in mind that 600 dollars was a lot of money. Nowadays that’s chump change. Their console did start to fly off the shelves however with the release of the PS3 Slim in 2009 and with a whole lot more storage to be released with it. It was a lot cheaper compared to the original, however, you would lose PS2 compatibility if you bought the slim model. The slim model is probably the model everyone owns at this rate and it’s easily the most popular of the three models released for the PS3 and it’s what made the PS3 have a heavy rebound against the 360, while belted out exclusive title after exclusive title to go against them with games like Killzone, Uncharted, Little Big Planet, God of War, the entire PS1 library, Patapon, well unless that’s a PSP exclusive but it also had the PSP to go along with it, Army of Two, Monster Hunter for a quick spell, Ratchet and Clank, and the list keeps on going. Their third model was released in 2012, and that’s really it. No one really cared for the super slim as the PS4 was coming out the very next year when it was released. It had a sliding door though, so that was neat.
The Xbox 360
Released on November 22nd, 2005 the Xbox 360 had a one year head start on the PS3 and it was pretty much ready for war. Retailing at a nice 300 dollars for the Core Edition and a swallowable 400 for the premium edition, the system started production only 69 days- stop giggling back there. I can hear you laughing. 69 days before the system had launched and I can’t really think of a reason as to why they would wait over two months to start the mass production of the system, and while it is impressive that they managed to pull something like that off, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot for doing that. Microsoft, unfortunately, caused the most infamous thing that the 360 is known for, and that’s the Red Ring of Death. You know your reputation is pretty scuffed when red rings is what defines your console, and what the RRoD was, was an error within the console. Now I’ve actually been a victim of the RRoD but luckily it was two rings, which means my system overheated, and I had heard stories prior to getting it and I nearly shit a brick the size of the console’s power adapter when my Xbox suddenly shut down while I was playing Battlefield 3 in an extremely intense game of 200% Tickets on Operation Metro, and that wasn’t a pleasant feeling at 3 AM in the morning. If you had two rings, all you needed to do was let the console rest for a bit, while having one ring was nothing bad as you would get an error pop up on your screen. If you got four then you probably forgot to plug the AV cables in, but the one you never wanted to get were the three rings. The three rings is the cause of a general hardware failure, which means something in the system is completely screwed inside of it. And you know your system has complete infamy when your system failure has its own Wikipedia. But despite these failures, the usual suspects came back to play with their own exclusives like Forza, Halo, Toy Soldiers, by the way, the 360 was a hell of an indie machine at its time, the Kinect when it was… decent, Gears of War, Crackdown, Minecraft which was another spell, except it lasted 7 minutes and many more.
Now although this article is rather short, I really cannot declare a winner on this at all. While Sony won by the numbers by a few million units, the Xbox had sheer popularity even though you had to pay for online services while the PS3 was free (that rhymed, #bars). Like I mentioned before, anyone who’s watched a YouTube video of Modern Warfare 2 or literally any gaming video during the Seventh Generation came from the Xbox 360. But besides that, both consoles had powerful exclusive titles to battle each other out. And I feel like a lot of the ideas where people think that PS3 won is mostly because it had a handheld that was basically its backbone at times, the PSP. And while it is a great handheld and both the PS3 and PSP were practically the exact same system, the 360 didn’t really need a backbone as it was just the console that had sheer popularity and infamy behind it. There really can’t be a winner by game quality or sales numbers, but by the sheer popularity of these two behemoths going against each other from 2006 up until 2013 when the next generation began, and I’m gonna have to leave this up to you folks as I’m not even sure who won this one.
And as we continue on to the current generation of the PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U and Nintendo’s second chance with the Switch, we are nearing the end of our journey of the Console Wars, we’ve got another generation of consoles to cover with the Ninth Generation coming soon in the holiday season of this year. But I’ve brushed over a war that we all know happened, it’s just that someone keeps winning all the damn time, but with good reasons of course. Yes indeed, I am talking about the war that has a history dating back to the Bit Wars: The Handheld Wars.
To be continued…