In the video game industry, there have always been debates among gamers over which company delivered the best hardware on the market. Years ago, that debate raged on between Sega and Nintendo fans. After Sega was knocked out of the market, the attention shifted to Nintendo and Sony.
Nowadays, we have our work cut out for us. We need to decide which console — the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, or Microsoft Xbox 360 — is the best of this generation.
There are some who have supported Nintendo over the years that can point to several reasons their favored company should take that prize. They say that the Wii delivered a new style of gaming and changed the industry forever. Moreover, the device has easily beaten all other consoles in overall sales.
Others might point to Sony’s PlayStation 3 as the best console of this generation. They say that the PlayStation 3 combines the best of entertainment with gaming to create a fantastic living room experience. And they might have a point. The device has outstanding graphical capabilities for games, and it boasts a Blu-ray drive. Not bad for $300.
But unlike those folks, I just can’t vote for the Wii or PlayStation 3. Those consoles undoubtedly offer benefits to some customers, but they pale in comparison to the Xbox 360.
As far as I’m concerned, the Xbox 360 trumps the Wii when it comes to games. Although Nintendo’s first-party titles have caught on with millions around the globe, the platform’s entire library isn’t all that impressive. And as developers have indicated in the past, they can deliver more advanced experiences to Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 gamers.
Plus, I don’t think overall console sales should be our guide. Over the last several months, the Xbox 360 has been easily outselling the Wii in the U.S. And Nintendo’s recent decision to drop the price of its console to $150 was a response to the sluggish demand it has been witnessing over the last several months.
So, while the Wii might reign supreme in total sales, it might not have the longevity that its peers have.
On the PlayStation 3 front, the Xbox 360 might have a harder time winning out. After all, the Xbox 360 lacks the Blu-ray drive and its game library is similar. But consider the Microsoft Kinect, which easily bests the PlayStation Move in terms of usability and multiplayer fun, and the Xbox 360 starts to inch its way towards the top.
The trump card, however, is online gaming. Over the last several weeks, Xbox Live has been in operation, allowing gamers to play online. The PlayStation Network has been offline due to last month’s security breach that saw personal information stolen.
Say what you will about that event, but I believe it was the clincher. As nice as the PlayStation 3 is, the console’s users have lost some trust in Sony. And whether or not the company can rebuild that is anyone’s guess.
So, I’m giving this generation’s console crown to the Xbox 360. It might not win in every category, but as a whole, it’s better than its competitors.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think is the best console of this generation?
Let us know in the comments below.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear