May 10, 2006

Your exclusive Chad W. Smith's E3 Update

Here's what I know so far. The Nintendo Wii is *THE* system for next gen. Innovative, intuitive gameplay, low price point, and most importantly *GOOD GAMES*. Super Mario Galaxy, the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wario Ware Wii, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Metroid, Sonic.... They are all there. And that's just the classic franchises.
ExciteTruck - a truck racing sim - has you using the Wiimote controller as a steering wheel to propel your high-flying truck through the course. There's a orchestra conducting sim - yes, I said an orchestra conducting sim - that looks awesome. Hey, if I told you a year ago that one of the biggest games for the PS2 would have people basically playing air guitar - you would have thought I was an idiot too. And there is a game called "Red Steel" -! An adult FPS with Wiimote-based *SWORDFIGHTING!!*

That being said, Nintendo isn't the only horse in this race. There is Sony's PS3 as well. My mom tried to convince me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything. And since it's almost Mother's Day, I'll just end this paragraph.

Okay, (sorry Mom), I have to rant. Look, giving a speed boost and what will soon be a useless BlueRay drive to a PlayStation 3 does *NOT* warrant a $500 / $600 price tag! This is what they did. The took a PS2, added a hard drive (ala the original Xbox), added standard Ethernet (WiFi is only on the $600 one), which the first Xbox also had, added a BlueRay drive, (which, much like the UMD and the MiniDisc, no one other than Sony will ever use).

Now, let's talk about the controller. Everyone remembers the crappy boomerang controller shown with the model of the PS3 as recently as last month, right? (I say "model of the PS3" because Sony *STILL* hasn't put everything in the case yet.) Well, it's gone. What they've done is basically made a wireless version of the current "Dual Shock" controller for the PS2 - except, no Dual Shock. That's right, there is no shake, rattle, rumble, or roll in this controller. No force feedback at all. The official "reason" is because of the new motion tracking.

That's right, motion tracking. Where have I seen a video game controller with motion tracking before? Oh, that's right! The WII! Sony *STOLE* Nintendo's design, only they couldn't do it right. The WII tracks your movement in 3D space. The PS3 controller only has tilt detectors. And they blame the tilt detectors for the lack of force feedback. The only thing is, the Wiimote, with it's superior, far more sensitive motion tracking, *still has rumble!* The real reason Sony is dropping Dual Shock, is because they stole it in the first place!

Now me move on to what Sony stole from Microsoft. I already mentioned they stole online play and a hard drive from the Xbox v.1 - but they've also stolen from the 360. Sony plans to make the PS3 a media hub, just like the slevt white Xbox, and they plan a sort of online marketplace, again, just like Microsoft.

As already mentioned, they are planning (ala 360) to release 2 SKUs. I don't really know what a SKU is - but there are 2 different kinds of PS3s you can buy (in November, supposedly). The $499 model sports a 20 GB Hard Drive, no WiFi, and nothing else special. The $599 model (the one people will actually want if they actually want one) has a 60 GB Hard Drive, WiFi 802.11b/g, a Memory Stick, SD, Compact Flash reader, and a HDMI port. See, all that extra stuff for an extra C-note. In my book, that's worse than the Xbox's $299 HD-less SKU.

What else is there to say? Plenty, I'm sure - but for now, I will let you go read someone else's blog. I can't wait until I get my Wii.

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