Of the three consoles competing for market dominance in the latest generation, the PS3 and Nintendo's Wii are the most distinct from each other. While they are certainly both powerful systems, and similarities can be easily drawn between them, they have arrived on the market through very different design philosophies, with marketing strategies to suit. On one hand, the PS3 is pushing every technological limit it can.
Using an ambitious processor architecture, top-end graphics acceleration, and large stores of memory, the PS3 is one grunty system! It also includes a range of technologies that are either still at the bleeding-edge prototype stage, untested in mass production, such as the CPU that behaves like an eight-core chip and Blu-Ray Disk drive, or are considered the high-end of two alternatives, in the case of using licensed Bluetooth in favour of generic wireless technology, and the full HDTV support, HDMI output, and full 7.1 surround sound, rather than mere 5.1. If the E3 screenshots of the announced games are anything to judge by, graphically, they will challenge even the best-looking PC titles, which is rare for console systems.
Retailing for prices upwards of US$600 significantly higher in some countries and for pre-orders the PS3 is a truly extravagant system. Sitting in defiant contrast to PS3's whole design philosophy is the Wii. Nintendo opted not to simply load their system up with enough grunt to blow every competitor out of the water in fact, their approach was to not even try. Nintendo have opted to instead take a prudent path, by offering a well balanced system, not ridiculously overpowered, yet perhaps still on par with a medium to high-end PC gaming rig.
Like with the PS3, they have produced a system that is highly backwards-compatible with legacy games and accessories, includes Bluetooth support, which their innovative motion-sensitive controllers make use of, again like the PS3. The console has legacy memory card, Flash card, USB, and ethernet support, allowing for LAN and Internet use. It's the choice of games on offer is the first indication that this is a different sort of system. Certainly some of the same demanding titles are in the list, but it's populated more by simpler platformer and parlour games, which both attract their own significant fan-bases. The controllers, including the Wii Remote, and Sensor Bar, have been a huge hit with E3 and TGS attendees, already well-received by the gaming press. The main indicator to distinguish the Wii from the PS3, which may well give it the edge it needs to outperform the superior system in the marketplace, is its price.
It starts at a much more manageable US$250, with the highest prices outside North America only reaching $100 more. So marked is the price difference, that Microsoft and Nintendo reps quietly put the word out at 2006's E3 Expo, that people would be better served by buying both an Xbox 360, AND a Nintendo Wii, rather than a PS3. To compound The Case Against Sony as their critics may well be phrasing it supply problems have recently caused delays for the launch of PS3 outside Japan, USA, and Canada, giving the Wii launch window three or four months with only the Xbox as competition. When it comes to PS3 vs Nintendo Wii, the Wii does not compete on any technical level. It certainly has respectable system specs, but the PS3 is simply a more powerful system that will deliver better performance.
Whether this translates to more fun is clearly a choice for each individual to make, because Sony has no short of critics saying that it does not. The three biggest criticisms the PS3 has had to face are a perceived lack of innovation, an arguably outrageous launch price, and a lack of supply during the most crucial period. This all contrasts with reciprocal praise on the same points of the Wii. As it stands currently, both systems are pre-selling like hotcakes, so it will be some time before a clear leader emerges, assuming one will at all.
To find out more info on the PS3 you can find a full in depth report at ThePS3Report.co.uk Andrew Lawrence is the developer of E-bookz Online a site that promotes "How-To" guides for ba range of startup business