From the Wii to the PS3

Dave Bolger

Companies to release long-awaited videogame systems this weekend

Credit: Jason Hall

Credit: Jason Hall

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Would you do anything to get your hands on a Playstation 3, or is it the Nintendo Wii that you have been waiting for?

Consumers seem to be divided over which soon-to-be-released game system to invest in. Videogame expert and host of G4 TV Kevin Pereira tried to help clear up any confusion.

“People have been camped outside of Best Buys all over the country for two weeks waiting to get their hands on one of the few Playstation 3’s that will become available,” Pereira said. “Because of a few technical setbacks, Sony was only able to release about 400,000 units worldwide on the November 17th launch date.”

The PS3 will be available in two different versions, 20 gigabyte and 60 gigabytes. The price for the 20 gigabyte version is slated to be $499.99, but consumers who want the full package will be paying $599.99. The PS3 features Blu-ray technology, wireless controllers, a web browser, the ability to output 1080p hi-def graphics, a DVD player and the ability to play MP3s and CDs.

“The Playstation [3] will sell out,” Pereira said. “Sony has all the hype, all the television commercials, but they just don’t have enough units to go around. I think part of the selling point for the PS3 is the fact that it’s going to be so hard to get for about the next year or so.”

Sony has exclusive rights to many best-selling game companies such as Squaresoft, producers of the popular Final Fantasy series.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Nintendo Wii is getting ready to make a quieter debut Saturday. The Wii will be the first fully interactive videogame console system. The controller, called the Wii-mote, responds to the body movement of the person holding it. For Nintendo, innovation is the selling point.

“The interactive aspect is really the first of its kind. You have to actually get up and move around to play these games . Zelda fans will love the new Zelda game coming out for the Wii; you have to slash to use your sword, pull back to use your bow and actually row in the parts of the game when you’re in a boat.”

The Nintendo Wii will be more readily available for Christmas consumers. Pereira estimates that about 1.2 million units will be made available on its launch day.

The suggested retail price for the Nintendo is Wii is $249.99, a difference from the PS3 of about $200 to $300.

Price and availability will be huge factors in determining which system will reign supreme for the hardcore gamers.

“I’ve been covering video games for about 15 years, and this is really the most incredible launch I’ve ever seen. This is the pinnacle of console launches, even when X-Box 360 was released it seemed like everyone was still just holding their breath waiting to see what would happen with these two systems.”

Pereira said Sony’s release of fewer than half a million units will “either be the most brilliant marketing ploy ever or it will be the biggest botched sales launch ever, we’re just going to have to sit back and watch.”

All consumers who seek to get their hands on a PS3 should plan to purchase other accouterments along with the system itself. Wal-Mart and Best Buy are offering bundle packages which include games, extra controllers and various other Playstation accessories. The packages are priced at around $1,400, Pereira said.

Videogame fans can find more information about both systems when Pereira hosts a special on Nintendo and Playstation tomorrow on G4 TV from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact ALL correspondent Dave Bolger at [email protected].

Nintendo Wii

Retail Price: $249.99

Color: White

Controls: Intuitive control for anyone using the physical motion of the Wii Remote controller, which resembles a television remote control. Up to four Wii Remote controllers can be connected at once using wireless Bluetooth technology. Both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers include a three-axis motion sensor.

Media: A single, self loading media bay will play single or double-layered 12-centimeter optical discs for the Wii console, as well as 8-centimeter Nintendo GameCube.

Communication: The Wii console can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off.

High Definition: None.

Plays DVDs: No.


Playstation 3

Retail Price: $499 (20 GB system), $599 (60 GB system)

Color: Black (different color skins optional)

Controls: Features the new SIXAXIS wireless controller which was built by refining the popular PlayStation controller. The new SIXAXIS controller features a highly sensitive motion-sensing system so users are able to maneuver the controller as a natural extension of their bodies in real-time and with high-precision.

Media: Single, self-loading media bay is backwards compatible so users can still enjoy virtually their entire PS one and PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system games as well as their CDs and DVDs. Also includes a built-in Blu-rayT Disc player so users can enjoy high-definition gaming and movies.

Communication: When connecting the PS3 to a broadband Internet connection, access to the Playstation Network is immediately available with free services including network gaming, access to the Playstation Store, web browsing, friend chat, and more. Several Playstation 3 software launch titles feature online-networked game play modes accessible through the PSN with no associated subscription fees.

High Definition: Supports a broad range of displays from conventional or standard TVs to the latest full HD (1080i/1080p) flat panel displays.

Plays DVDs: Plays both regular and Blu-Ray DVDs.