Friday, May 12, 2006

Nintendo vs Sony: War of the Press Conferences

So, I'm stuck on the couch after hurting my back yesterday, so the computer gets hooked up to the TV to watch the press conferences from Nintendo and Sony online via Gamespot. I wasn't too interested in the Microsoft conference, so didn't watch it.

Sony - The PSP and the PS3
Sony's conference was the longer of the two. Starting off with a lot of factual information (sales dribble for the most part), they eventually go to the meat of what people wanted - the games and hardware.

From the looks of things, the PSP is trying hard to do too much at one time. It now will include the ability to download games via the wireless connection to a memory stick. They showed off Ridge Racer from the PSOne as a demo.

There were also a lot of short videos all crammed together (including PlanetPSP). The name sounds like a map program, but looking it up online it's a puzzle game. All flash, no substance. A mishmash of videos all slapped together that just confused me.

It doesn't look like the PSP has much more coming along on its own, but will provide interconnectivity with the PS3.

The Playstation 3
Overall, I was disappointed with the PS3 demo. They started off with a showcasing of upcoming games. Most of these were nothing more than 5-10 seconds of CG rendering from the looks of it. The vast majority I have no idea what the actual game is about. For example, Getaway. It showed a city, then the camera backed into a hallway showing a man with a gun, and another man on the ground. That was it. PlanetPSP was even more confusing.

I did enjoy the demo of Eight Days. It looks to be an action game that plays like a movie. The characters ducked from windows, one crashed through a plate glass window into a dinner, and the gunfight looked awesome. Watching it though, it just seemed like a movie, and it felt like a CG rendered movie with the way that the camera moved around. If that is the real gameplay, the PS3 will look wonderful. Unforunately, it looks like an old EA game add that touted the CG rendered video as the actual game.

I wish I could have seen Gran Turismo in full HD glory as they are beautiful games, but the stream left much to the imagination. I felt that it was a CG video as well since it used a lot of the 'TV' camera angles to display the video, which is also impossible to drive in.

The other games that they demoed looked really nice, but that's about all that I could say.

And the controller... Let's put it this way: Nintendo does it better. The demo with Dylan Jobes playing the game made him look stupid as he played. Twisting the gamepad around like that doesn't really make me want to play the games. At least they decided to keep the controller as the dual-shock design, not the boomerang.

I'm not even going to say anything about the price except that I won't be paying $600 for a game console.

Nintendo - The Wii and the DS
Nintendo's motto is 'playing = believing'. They are emphasis gameplay over graphics, unlike Sony and Microsoft.

The Wii
Nintendo started off right away with a demonstration of the Wii and the new Wiimote. The demo of Zelda looked fun to play, using a combination of the nunchuck and the Wiimote to aim the boomerang and the bow and arrow. I also like the nice touch of the sound effect in the controller allowing a fluid motion of sound from your body to the television screen.

They also demoed Red Steel, a new FPS for the Wii. I think I may enjoy using the new controller setup to play FPS since you don't have the use the dual analog sticks to look and move around. You actually get to use your hands. Metriod Prime 3 uses the same basic control setup, and should be great.

The Wii will also seem to have some of the same standby features of the DS, and the bundled Opera browser will be available instantly as soon as the system turns on. They are trying to emphasis the quickness of loading times on the new Wii.

There were 27 playable games at E3, though they are not saying how many will be available at laugh. There will be Red Steel, Zelda, and a Mario game for purchase, but it's up for grabs who the others will be.

Nintendo also showed the tennis game with 4 players. I'm not a big tennis fan, but I could see myself playing it just because it looks fun.

The Nintendo DS
The focus on the DS is the overall package. The online services, the new games, and the new DS Lite. The DS Lite will be smaller and have a brighter screen than the current DS, but otherwise be the same.

They plan on lauching over 100 new games this year for the DS, including the Brain Age games and more. As with the PSP, there didn't seem to be much in the way of innovation other than a restyling of the system.

My Impressions
I was much more impressed with the Nintendo conference. I know that I did miss a lot of the 'wow' factor by watching a low rate streaming version of the Sony conference, but all I really saw was a showcase of graphics. I come from an age where games didn't have to have flashy graphics (heck, I play a text-based D&D game). Nintendo overall looks like I'll have more fun at a cheaper pricepoint.

Sorry Sony, but like a lot of other people are saying, I think you've lost this battle.


The Clark said...

Super Mario Galaxy is the new hotness. Every single thing about that game just seems to ooze and emanate fun. Also, I am interested in Excite Truck to a surprising degree. It looks like the beautiful bastard child of Excite Bike and Burnout.

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