PS3, Xbox 360, And Wii Console Analysis
Microsoft Xbox 360
Microsoft has some seriously deep pockets, and way back in 2001, some gamers may have believed those pockets would be the only way MS could stay in the game. Technically, with the company having yet to turn a profit on any Xbox console, this is certainly the case. However, during that time, Microsoft has turned a deaf ear to the losses and provided gamers with some pretty impressive games; not to mention an unbelievable online service. Despite not being able to realistically compete with the PS2 last generation, the Xbox could only be considered a great success.
Some may argue the success of the Xbox revolved entirely around that blockbuster launch title, Halo, and while there is some truth to that, it’s hardly the whole story. Xbox Live was a much bigger draw than anyone may have anticipated, and while it took over a year for the system to really get going, they did contribute several of the best games of the generation. Ninja Gaiden was a sensation that succeeded on both the critical and retail fronts, and by continually producing the best version of multiplatform games, gamers had many reasons to own an Xbox.
The Xbox 360, unfairly dubbed the Xbox 1.5 by naysayers, experienced a slightly less-than-impressive launch, but Microsoft still managed to sell all 900,000+ systems they shipped in 2005 (and they’re on track to hit their goal of 10 million 360s shipped by the end of this year).. The “red button of death” fiasco that afflicted early consoles did spark some negative word of mouth, but we’ve moved past that now. And finally, 2006 saw the releases of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Dead Rising, and Saint’s Row, with the highly anticipated Gears of War right around the corner.
Microsoft may have lost another $93 million in their game division according to the latest quarterly results, but that’s down from a loss of $173 million last year. Xbox Live is as strong as ever, the system is reasonably priced in comparison to the PS3, and their third-party support is increasing even as we speak. Unfortunately, the 360 still suffers from a similar lack of diversity the original Xbox suffered from; there are very few – or zero – stellar titles in the platforming, rhythm/dance, strategy/RPG, and Japanese RPG genres. But they’re working on this problem, bringing games like Dance Dance Revolution, Kingdom Under Fire, and the upcoming Blue Dragon to Microsoft systems.
The question is, can the 360 win the battle with only one major exclusive franchise? Now that the PS3 is getting Ninja Gaiden Sigma, and retaining exclusive rights to those aforementioned massively popular franchises, is the 360 pinning its next-gen hopes only on Halo? Will it suddenly not have the benefit of being the platform everyone turns to for the best multiplatform versions of a game? Does the hardware itself have the same potential as the PS3? All of these questions are very important, but not so easy to answer, so let’s make the final word simple-
The Xbox was a success. So far, number-wise, the Xbox 360 is a success. They’re even getting a bit more recognition in Japan with that Blue Dragon bundle. Developers everywhere are praising its easy-to-develop-for architectural structure. Xbox Live ain’t slowing down. That’s just too many positives to ignore, and thus-
Microsoft Xbox 360- SUCCESS
11/3/2006 Ben Dutka