Why Xbox 360 Will Continue to Win the Console Wars

by Jon Minners

Well, here it is 2007 – the crazy Christmas that saw people rushing out for the latest hardware from both SONY and Nintendo is over and now in the New Year, there are plenty of PS3 consoles available and still a shortage of Nintendo Wii consoles, but as the smoke begins to clear the true winner of the great console wars of a new generation is still Microsoft’s Xbox 360

My girlfriend, who actually stood in line for the launch of the Wii and bought one of the consoles, only to sell it for only a small profit to a family she felt truly deserved the system, bought me an Xbox 360 for Christmas when she heard how much I wanted one over the interactive Nintendo device.  I was very happy with her selection. 

The Wii is all the rage these days and Nintendo is all the talk after they sold over 1.8 million units during the holiday.  A shortage still exists, but over time, those sales will decline and level out.  Why?  Well, the Wii is great and all, due to its truly interactive approach that allows people to become more physical whilst playing video games. 

In a day and age where children are becoming overweight and just plain sloppy as they sit in front of their televisions all day to play video games, Nintendo deserves kudos for its decision to get people off the couch while not straying away from their television sets, but how long before the Wii becomes a novelty, collecting dust while games for the Xbox 360 get more attention? 

The Wii is one of those devices where people need bigger spaces to enjoy.  If you don’t have a large room, playing tennis in cramped corners is not as much fun as it appears to be.  In addition, if you do not have a lot of friends coming over to play the Wii, then what is the point of having one?  The Wii is a party system designed for groups of people to enjoy.  Eventually, once the initial awe over the system is over, people will go back to their everyday existence and over time, the crowds of people coming over to enjoy the latest title will start to grow thin, eventually disappearing all together.  And then the Wii gets pushed aside. 

In addition, Nintendo sometimes starts out strong with a system and then begins to push back titles.  Those who remember the Gamecube remember how long it would take for titles to come out.  Those who really love their consoles also love a healthy stream of games to enjoy.  Nintendo’s track record is shaky and therefore it makes the Wii unreliable when looking at the greater picture. 

As far as the PS3 is concerned; well, simply put – the system is just too pricey.  I just do not understand why I must pay $600 for a console from a company that has not even released too many titles to make the investment seem plausible. 

One of the things that also bothers me about the system is the Blu-ray disc player, which is probably one of the reasons the console comes with such a hefty price tag.  When there is a war between Blu-ray, HD DVD and regular DVD, investing in a system that may just turn out to be a Betamax player with a few good gaming titles scares me.  Plus, when you consider that you have to buy a HD Television to enjoy the Blu-ray device to begin with, the price tag for the PS3 becomes even steeper. 

Truth be told, the games that came out for the PS2 were weak and over time they got better, but that was when the Xbox was not even out yet and SONY had exclusive titles to offer.  PS2 already had a market, but this time, Xbox 360 came out first and is already hitting its audience with great titles and it has yet to even release the SONY killer, Halo 3.  When you consider the choice to make, the answer is simple – The Xbox 360 is definitely the right choice the make. 

According to research firm NPD, Microsoft sold two million Xbox 360 consoles in the United States from the beginning of November through Christmas Eve. Over the same period, Nintendo sold 1.8 million Wii consoles, while SONY moved some 750,000 PlayStation 3 units.  As an older system, that is quite a statement. 

Now, as of right now, I only own one game for the Xbox 360 and that is Gears of War, a game released to coincide with the release of the PS3Gears of War is a reason why people buy the Xbox.  The game plays just like a movie.  There is no lag in load time and the graphics are amazing.  The characters move with such fluidity and everything around you just looks overly realistic, making it very hard to pull yourself away from the action. 

Gears of War is amazing.  Play on your own or play with a friend; either way, the title guarantees fun for days.  Add in the online component with new maps being uploaded on a consistent basis and there is enough to keep gamers occupied even when they have already finished the game. 

I can go on and on about the Xbox 360 and Gears of War, but in reality, that has already been done to death.  There are too many reviews out there and there is no reason to appear stale when discussing the console wars; a subject that is continuously being discussed today. 

I will say that a very simple reason why the Xbox 360 is better than most systems is the already proven Xbox Live online capability.  Sure it costs almost $50 a year, but it is well worth it.  Forget about playing Gears of War online.  That’s always a great thing, but consider that the game the Xbox Live comes with, Cubix, is actually more addictive than any title PS3 or the Wii could release.  Cubix is the new Tetris, plain and simple, and one can play that game for hours straight.  I know…I did and then I went to sleep and saw the damn thing in my dreams. 

For a few dollars, you can buy Uno, which is probably the most addictive online game on any system.  For hours more, I played against three human opponents from across the globe and heard funny banter as Draw Four cards were dealt out like bullets and skips were thrown down in an attempt to mock and ignore an opponent.  Who thought a simple game like Uno could be so much fun on a console.  My next purchase is certainly going to be Texas Hold’em, another seemingly addictive arcade game. 

On the arcade section, one can purchase so many games, including favorites like Pac-Man and Frogger and compete against others online.  You can also download television shows, movies and demos.  The Xbox Live system alone will keep gamers happy. 

But the strangest reason why the Xbox 360 system is more powerful than most other systems is its alliance with Burger King.  Laugh all you want, but for $3.99, many people picked up the three games featuring Burger King characters and the game itself has proven to be very successful, with even the most hardcore games enjoying the action.  Future licensing could give gamers a lot more interactive and reasonably priced titles, making the system a safe bet from a financial perspective. 

Add in the fact that Grand Theft Auto will be coming out for the system and is no longer exclusive to SONY, and you have no real reason to go to the alternative.  Stick to the proven winner.  Xbox 360 is the way games should be played. 

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