Wii’s Toyota hybrid versus Sony’s PS3 Camaro

I love to hate on Sony and the PS3. It’s a sad little hobby I cultivate via my alias J B Cougar on other gaming blogs on a fairly regular basis. My pet project for hatred began almost as soon as the PS3 was announced, because I despise arrogant corporations that demand my hard-earned money without showing any kind of real return on investment for me the gamer. Rendered screenshots on high-end computer dev kits that will never see the light of day inside the average gamer’s house does not a successful system make.

What’s so fascinating about this console battle is that it has taken on many attributes of great stories we’ve all heard before. David and Goliath (how a big company like Nintendo was able to craft its public image into “the little guy” I haven’t a clue, but it’s brilliant); the tortise and the hare; Sonny and Cher. Well, maybe not that last one, but regardless it ignited a passion for gaming that hasn’t existed in quite a long time.

Now, we all know every system is going to sell out this holiday simply because that’s what brand new systems do. EBay will be awash in $2000 PS3’s and Gamestop will inevitably sell $1200 pre-packaged Wii bundles. It’s mind-numbingly stupid, yes, but that’s how it is. After that though, look for the true colors to emerge. Whereas Sony will play the sleazy used car salesman and stop caring about gamers after the sale (Blu-Ray is akin to that useless undercoating they get you to buy extra), I believe Nintendo has the buisiness model in place to hold the gamer’s hand, so to speak, all the way to the end. They have to, because that’s what their entire pitch is based upon. Include everyone. Make things fun. Buy this system for $200 and start playing right away. Use you hard earned money for what it’s supposed to be for when playing on a console — games.

In this sense I find it very ironic that Sony, a Japanese company, resembles an American car company every day. They promote power and big ticket options in an era when the previous generation’s hardware isn’t fully explored yet. They give us more of the same with rehashed controllers during a time when experts agree the industry needs change to survive. They are the Hummer of game machines; they offer a huge, slick candy shell, but underneath is a shoddily prepared monstrosity not built to last. On top of that, they regularly abuse the trust of the consumer with fake ports on the back of demo systems, unfulfilled promises and demand we take a second job to afford their game machine computer!

When you boil it down all Sony is offering today is power, which begs the question: Do we need it? Is that what the next-gen is going to be remembered as in 5 years? Nothing but the shiny? If you find it difficult answering that question, let me help: Save yourself $600 bucks and have fun. It’s only a game, which is something you don’t get for $600 because that’s just the price of a PS3 and one controller.