May 11, 2007 - Please son, put the knife down. Come on kid, violence isn't necessary. We know you didn't like what we had to say about Console X, but we were just speaking our mind. No, don't come any closer. You know that we love gaming just as much as you do, and we were hoping you'd benefit from the experience we've had with all three. We love you son, we always will, just like we love something different in each of the three next-gen consoles. But there comes a time for hard truths, and that time is now.

The Launch

Bennett: Just to screw with the whole system, I'm announcing a tie for this category. I think all three had great launches. In terms of selling units, when you factor in the price of the console and the time of year that each launched, they're neck and neck (and neck). For launch systems, they all had pretty decent software ranges as well - a hidden bonus in us having to wait longer than the rest of the world. Doesn't change the fact that Sony's midnight launch was rubbish though.
Winner: Tie

Cam: Yeah, well I'm going to screw with the whole system even more by declaring that this category is meaningless. Nah, just kidding. 360 takes the prize here. By the time our launch rolled around it had a good line-up of titles - certainly better than what was on offer at the Wii and PS3 launches, and for me that's the most important aspect of a system's launch. First week sales ultimately don't mean that much, but a good software grounding has a flow on effect.
Winner: Xbox 360

Patch: What else is left to say apart from the PS3's launch was a massive miscalculation on Sony's part, Nintendo's… erm, Melbourne launch was huge, and Microsoft managed to shine on despite torrential rain. Microsoft gets my vote, not only for gaining the most momentum, but also delivering a solid launch line-up of games and making good on its promises.
Winner: Xbox 360


PS3 launch chaos! Ah, this image never gets old.

The Hardware

Bennett: I love the principle of the Wii control system but I'm not sold on whether it truly delivers what I need from a controller - the ability to head-shot a zombie from three kilometres away. The PS3's adverts make it sound like there's a processor from the year 2015 inside, but I'm yet to see anything that proves it. So I have to give the thumbs up to the 360 - malfunctions aside - as having the best hardware. It's definitely got the best visuals, the wireless functionality is seamless, and the expandable nature of it means it can grow with me over time. It's quite a sexy little number to boot.
Winner: Xbox 360

Cam: To some extent we're watching three titans with different philosophies butting heads here. Sony is the narcissistic Adonis with a silver tongue, promising to take us into a glittering vision of the future where unicorns surf hoverboards across the brain waves of Ken Kutaragi. The only thing is, it's something of a mirage right now. The future is still under construction - the architects have only just finished the MC Escher-esque plans, and the payment plan's a pain. Still, kudos for thinking big.

Microsoft is like the spotty kid with incredibly rich parents who wants to hang with the cool kids. At first you think he's just a spoiled geek, but slowly you begin to realise that - aside from having a dope mansion that you can hold parties at - he's more than he seems. Turns out he moonlights as a suave, well-connected man-about-town (like a less extreme version of Urkel/Stephan). Plus, he has an underground lab where he's prototyping everything from erm, Metal Mickey 2.0 robots to real virtuality systems. (Yes, I know these analogies are getting out of control. Better than just saying "Xbox 360 is teh awes0mXor right? Fine, be that way.)


Yeah, don't try to deny it - Nintendo is totally the BFG of gaming. Cam, you're a genius and I salute you.

Now, Nintendo. Nintendo is like a Japanese Salaryman BFG (Big Friendly Giant - y'know, that Roald Dahl book?). He still has the same occupation - visiting people all over the world, blowing dreams into their open windows as they sleep, only, these dreams all revolve around mushrooms, plumbers and pieces of shattered stars that must be collected. He also still wants to protect innocent children from the other evil giants, such as the Childchewer (Sony), the Manhugger (unsolicited contact over the internet), the Fleshlumpeater (Microsoft) and the Bloodbottler (online play). Oh, and rather than eating Snozzcumbers, he eats sushi.
Winner: Xbox 360

Patch: Cripes, I'm starting to see a trend here. And I'm not going to go against the grain here, either. I love the 360 - I have not had even a single issue with my launch-release hardware; I haven't had to return anything, it's relatively quiet and it is demonstrably powerful to boot. The Wii is slick but drastically underpowered by comparison, and the PS3 is a mishmash of ideas wrapped in a trendy suitcoat. It's got arguably more potential and depth than the 360, but very little has been brought to market that puts it beyond the 360. So you can see where I am heading.
Winner: Xbox 360

1 http://wii.ign.com/articles/787/787600p2.html

Thanks to http://wii.ign.com/articles/787/787600p1.html for sharing the news with us!