Console Wars

This coming holiday season, there will be a new battle between video game systems. Sony is planning to launch its much-anticipated Playstation 3 system mid November in North America, while Nintendo is expecting on launching its next generation system, the Wii, shortly after. These late entries will now be battling Microsoft's year old Xbox 360 for market share, which will create a very competitive environment. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have each pursued different strategies in targeting and marketing their consoles to consumers. Sony has taken the approach of offering a technical superior console which will offer 1080p output & Blu-Ray capabilities, while Nintendo has focused on offering a console that provides a captivating playing experience through its Wii remote. Microsoft has focused on creating an innovative online community through its Xbox Live service.
Technical specs aside, all three of these consoles have a chance of becoming the market leader. Sony has traditionally controlled the majority of the console market with its Playstation 2, but both Microsoft and Nintendo have come a long way since their last consoles, Xbox & Gamecube, were released. With the critical holiday buying season approaching, there will no doubt be a major pricing war between these companies. Already, Sony has cut its initial launch price to make its PS3 more attractive to consumers. The Wii is expected to be priced the cheapest, at around $250. There is no doubt that this console war will last for several years, as it just beginning to take place. Within the next month we will see the launch of these 2 new consoles and we will be witness to the reaction of the marketplace and consumer.


Which company do you think will come out the winner this holiday season?
Is anyone planning to purchase a PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii? Why or why not?

1) Zi-Xiao Liang Writes:

I think the Wii stampede at this years E3 already has determined the most popular console. The size of the Wii line is also a testament to its popularity (video 1). In addition, both Microsoft and Sony have essentially said, "Ok, we know your getting a Wii... but hey, also consider OUR product!" (can't find official E3 transcript/video maybe someone can lend a hand?). Wii's success stems from its sheer innovation and quirkiness (I mean what kind of name is Wii?). The new motion sensing remote is also another prize under Nintendo's belt along with inventing the game pad, the analog stick, and (I believe) shoulder buttons. Looks like after 3 decades of innovation, Nintendo's still got game.

In 2nd place is probably the XBOX 360. Already with an impressive library and lineup of 3rd party games, XBOX 360 won't just be another novelty product like it's predecessor. Microsoft has definitely learned where it's weaknesses lie and has hired/bought all the right people to fix it -_- (ya ya no one likes the rich guy). That said, it's still simply another console that fails to capture new demographics. XBOX live is the 360 (and the original's) saving grace; turning the XBOX into a hub from which all sorts of interaction can take place. For people too lazy/dumb to join network games on their PC, XBOX Live offers an intuitive (somewhat), low affordance interface that a constipated monkey with a seizure could figure out. That being said, the lack of complexity has resulted in XBOX Live having a (mostly) lazy/dumb population (because as mentioned earlier, they couldn't figure out how their PCs worked), and has driver the more intellectual players away. Good for business, bad for art but hey what does Microsoft care right?

Finally in 89th place is the PS3. Wait a minute! What happened to 3rd through 88th place? Well, those were given away to various cell phones and PDAs that support java games... and those aren't even really consoles, but then again neither is the PS3. This thing is simply a technical nightmare. From the beginning Sony had no strong focus on just what the PS3 was supposed to be. The price of the PS3 suffers greatly from an overload of converging technologies having to integrate both a PS3 AND a Blu-Ray (hope I spelled that right... In fact there's lots of spelling errors here I'm sure) player; of course this is how Sony has justified the price of their console to begin with. Sony bet ALL it's chips that the Blu-Ray will become the standard format of movies but the big movie distributors recently announced that they will NOT be using Blu-Ray format for their movie distribution chains! "OH CRAP!" say the Sony executives. Ya, that's what you'd say too if suddenly realized you were holding a big piece of steaming shit... which is exactly what a REALLY expensive console with a thin lineup of games integrated with a player that plays..... nothing is (by the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, thats the PS3). Oh, Sony also tried copying Nintendo by incorporating a motion sensor into their control pad.... but that's like trying to prevent a 747 from crashing by using one of those army men parachutes (as a side note, the motion sensor doesn't yet function properly as of this writing). Way to go Sony, way to go. You guys really lost it after the PS2. For some cheap entertainment, check out video 2.

1) Wii Line

2) PS3 VS Wii

3) Wii VS PS3

2) Paul (Yuh-Chi) Peng writes:
From my point of view, I think Sony PS3 will be the winner of the console war. As the owner of the PS1 and PS2 systems, from my previous experience of purchasing PS1 and PS2, in which these two systems were sold out immediately after it was introduced during the Christmas period. Even though Sony didn’t reduce the price for PS1,2 when it was introduced during the Christmas season, they were sold out before I stepped into the video game store. It took the video game store a few weeks to get the console systems in stock. Play Station is considered as one of the pioneers of the console system that it has been on the market for approximately ten years already. Currently, there are 12 genres of games in the Play Station database and there are approximately 3000 games in total (Source: Majority of these games are popular among teenager or even adults. Therefore, Play Station is targeting the teenagers and adult customer base. Although, some of the bad points stated by Zi-Xiao Liang (Contributor in the above) are the drawbacks that Sony faces. However, I am sure there will still be a lot of Play Station fans out there who will keep on supporting Play Station. I think X-Box will be the toughest challenger facing PS3 because X-Box also targets teenagers and adult customer base. PS3 and X-Box are considered as the main stream of the console system realm. As for Nintendo Wii, I think it has a tough chance of becoming the winner among these console systems. Nintendo tends to target kids and pre-teen customer base such that majority of its games are more cartoon oriented, games like Zelda, Mario brothers and Pokemon. As for both X-Box and PS3, they tend to focus more on fine detail computer graphics and more mature game contents such as Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, NBA live and Gran Turismo. The types of games that Play Station and X-Box offer tend to attract teenagers and adults. Therefore, I think the console war should be segmented into adult/teenager section and child/pre-teen section. As for the adult/teenager section, I hope PS3 will be the winner, since X-Box is a very strong competitor such that it might be the winner. As a Play Station fan, I’ll definitely support PS3. As for the child/pre-teen section, Nintendo is the winner since there aren’t any other console system manufactures in this section competing with Nintendo.

3) Yuan-Sheng Chien writes:
It is really hard to say, I think Xbox 360 dominated the market share when it came out, and has been ahead since. Even in WCG there are 2 official game titles for competition just from Xbox 360! The other games were all PC, no games from PS2 or gamecube or any other game systems. (
For those of you who are not familiar with WCG, short for World Cyber Games, it is the world's largest online gaming organization that is hosted every year at select cities for players all over the world to compete against each other in several popular game titles, with prizes awarded. Basically like the olympics, but instead of sports, its online gaming.

a global tournament in which sport is conducted within the medium of cyberspace, also known as e-sports.
a rapidly growing international olympics in which nearly one million players complete against one another for the title of world champion in separate events.
a gaming industry conference drawing industry leaders and technology experts as speakers and attendees to share ideas about the present and future of e-sports and their cultural relevance to society.
a worldwide youth festival inaugurated in 2000 and held annually.
the only single e-sports event organizing competition from six continents.
the largest cyber-gaming event serving what is becoming the largest sports market in the world.
Czech Rep.
Saudi Arabia
Chinese Taipei
Hong Kong
New Zealand


Therefore we can get an idea of how big of an event WCG is, and the popularity of Xbox360 because 2 of its popular games are chosen as a category for WCG competition. We can safely conclude that Xbox360 was the most popular game system out, until now. With the launch of PS3 and Wii, it is not easy to tell which one will totally dominate the market. But one thing is for certain, things are definitely looking good for PS3. With high-tech goodies like blue-ray disc and 1080p output (the best picture quality that is available now), it is well prepared for the future of gaming at 1080p and blue-ray disc gaming and movies. Having owned PS2 since it came out many blue moons ago, I was constantly impressed by the picture quality of it, and have faith that the new PS3 will once again surpass all gaming systems out there. We would just have to wait and see if the jaw-dropping price tag of the PS3 will hurt the sale of it.

4) Erick Ko Writes:
I believe that the Playstation 3 will dominate the market. It has been very successful with the Playstation 2. Despite the fact that the XBox has dominated the market share since it released their newest generation console, many gamers have decided to wait for the other two systems to be released. However, the cost of these systems are very expensive and it is hard to determine how the market will react to these current prices. When the PS2 was released, people bought the system not only for its gaming purposes, but also for the DVD capability. Many people bought the PS2 and just used it as a DVD player as its main purpose. However, the PS3 has a higher price tag and it would not be worth it to buy a DVD player for that much. Nintendo Wii is a much cheaper system, and has a different type of gameplay which may help it in the competition. However, the graphics are not up to par with the competing systems, but it is much cheaper to buy. Nintendo has had a slump in sales ever since the Nintendo 64, and has not gained the market share it has once had in the console market. One thing i noticed is that there are some people are buying the Nintendo Wii because there is a rumor going around that pirated games for the Wii have already been put into production which gives users an incentive to buy the Wii so they do not have to wait for pirated games to be released for the 360 and PS3.
The hype of all these systems are all subject to change as there are many factors that play a part in the competition. I personally believe that the PS3 will dominate the market, but it will take some time as the PS3 is sold out and new copies of the console will have to be put out onto the market to see how many more units will be sold in mass quantities. Since XBox 360 has had the time of presence much before the release of the PS3 or the Wii, both Nintendo and Sony will have to catch up.

5) Able Lee write's

I think the Nintendo Wii will come out as the winner over this christmas holiday. The price for the console system is fairly cheap compared to the XBOX 360 and the PS3. Nintendo really introduced a new form of video game playing with its innovative controller. I believe that many people who are serious gammers or people who do not typically play or purchase video games will start playing with the Nintendo Wii. While the Nintendo Wii does not have the graphics and under the hood components like blue ray or a hardrive like the xbox or ps3, i believe it will come out as the clear winner.

6) Waseem Kala writes
personally, i think the PS3 will dominate during this holiday season. However, not because i think it is superior to XBOX 360, but because there is a lot of hype about it and XBOX 360 was released earlier this year and most fans have already bought the system. Also, i think people will purchase the PS3 over the Wii because play station systems have been better than Nintendo systems. I own an XBOX 360 and ive played Wii and PS3 and i think the 360 is superior to the latter two.

7) Matthew Denomme writes:
This holiday season the Nintendo Wii will undoubtedly sell the most units of the three consoles. A tremendous launch, unbridled media hype, a budget price, and a console-selling killer app in the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, will ensure its popularity into the new year. More importantly, Nintendo has a steady supply of the currently sold-out Wii console on the way. They expect to ship 4 million units by the end of 2006. That's not to say that Sony's Playstation 3 will not sell this holiday season. Then again, it might not, at least beyond what was initially shipped on November 17th. Supply is scarce for this unit thanks to production woes at Sony. They have had much trouble mass-producing this highly intricate and expensive machine. Of the 400 000 Playstation 3s expected to arrive on launch day, it is being said only about half that number actually made it to consumers. (Surette) It is uncertain whether more Playstation 3s will make it into stores before the end of 2006, meaning Sony cannot possibly compete with Nintendo in the short-run.
I expect Playstation 3 to come in second this holiday season in console units sold, with Xbox 360 coming in at a close third. Microsoft will clean up on the software side of things with huge releases like Gears of War and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas seeing release. Nintendo will come in second with Zelda and Red Steel leading the games lineup. Sony's less than stellar launch lineup will put them in third for software sales.
On a side note, I have purchased a Nintendo Wii after waiting all night outside of Wal-Mart on November the 19th. I have only played the console for a short time (as I have unhooked and packed it away until the semester is over), but I can truly say it offers a video game experience totally different than available on the other consoles mentioned here. The motion controls really add a fresh feel to the games and work just as they should. Picking up the wand and playing tennis for the first time was awe-inspiring. I highly recommend the Wii to anyone who is even slightly interested in the system or its concept.
Surette, Tim. "The Last Word." Gamespot. 1 Dec. 2006. CNet. 3 Dec. 2006 <>.

Playstation 3 Line-Up Log

Update Nov. 16, 1:01am

After several drinks and several hours of contemplating, me and my friend have decided to line up to get purchase a PS3. It is about 1 o'clock am, and we have already heard reports of people lining up. We have decided that if we are going to have a decent chance at getting one of these systems, we might as well line up now. For the purpose of this course, I will log my experience. If I am successful, I will have a PS3 by 9 am, Friday morning, about 32 hours from the time of this entry. I do not intend on keeping this unit for myself, but rather selling it on eBay for a ridiculous amount. Wish me luck......

Update Nov. 16, 10:03am

So after waking up in my friend's car, I have just realized the task we have taken on. Even though we got to Future Shop around 1:30am, there were already a couple people in front of us. We are numbers 7 & 8 in line, and there are so far 13 people in the line. Spent most of the night sleeping in the car, and have been awake since around 6am. The line infront of the store has turned into a bit of a camp; there's a couple tents and coolers. The manager came outside, and informed us that this store would have 16 units total, 12 60gig and 4 20gig. Its starting to rain, and its cold.... I'm asking myself why did I do this? Hope eBay pays off.....

Update Nov. 16, 12:15pm

Its just a bit past noon, and the line-up is officially full. The last 3 people to join the line said they went to 3 other locations, all of which were packed. Considering this, I think this line is pretty tame. Whats more amusing is the reaction were getting by people walking by. Their faces are a mix of confusion followed by disgust once they find out what we are doing. Out of the 16 people in the line-up, about 13 plan on selling their systems on eBay, myself included. It will be interesting to see how flooded eBay will get come tommorow, and the effect on the auction price of the PS3. Luckly this Future Shop location (Crossroads plaza @ 401 & Weston) has lots of amenities, such as McDonalds, Tim Hortons, and of course the LCBO. There are rumours in the line that a party may break out latter on tonight. Also talk of watching the Leaf game in the store.... Just have to wait and see.....

Update Nov. 16, 3:00pm

Rain sucks. Cold sucks. Lines suck. Waiting sucks. This sucks. The waiting continues..... 17 more hours to go? yea......(Either James got the PS3 by now and is some trance, or his body can be retreived at 401/Weston.)

Update Nov. 17, 12:48pm

31 hours. Thats how many hours I've lost of my life to a parking lot that I will never get back. Whether or not it will be justified will be if my expectations are met on eBay. The rest of the night camping out in front of Futureshop turned out to be alright. The line we were in had to be the most liberal out of all the lines in the GTA, because people could freely move in and out while stilling enusring that they would still have a spot. Me and friend even managed to go off to the local bar to watch the the first 2 periods of the Leaf game, and watched the third period inside of Future Shop before it closed. Sleeping wasn't too bad either; my spine has adjusted to sleeping in a car seat. We also somehow managed to get the cops called on us because of a noise complant? I'm not too sure how this happened seeing that we were surround by a sea of pavement and closed stores. But luckily the cop was nice, and just told us to keep it down abit. Lucky for us he failed to check the cooler..... We awoke bright and early at 6am, were in the store by 8:00am, and I was home by 8:15. All and all it was an interesting experience, but I'm not sure if I'd do it again. eBay will be the judge of that.

Picture Gallery

Play Station 3:
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X-Box 360:

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Nintendo Wii:
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