Next Gen Consoles – The Good, the Bad … and Then There's Wii

3 companies

3 new consoles – each one has the potential to be 'The Next BIG thing'

The good news is …

Microsoft released the Xbox 360 to a suspecting world almost a year ago – it had major problems when it first roled off the production line, however Microsoft has resolved those with software patches, new releases and cleaned up assembly. Teething problems as it was, and the 360 ​​is a solid machine for mature gamers wanting a solid console for hard-core games

Sony is still lagging behind with the PlayStation 3 – it has been dogged with delays and fallbacks, and will not take too much to fall behind it's November 17th release deadline for North America. If it is released on time, the PlayStation 3 promises to take gaming to the next level with it's integrated supercomputer core and blue-ray DVD disc that allows for upwards of 50 gb of gaming capacity per disc.

Nintendo is being quiet but deadly in it's marketing – they kept in the shadows behind both Sony and Microsoft and just developed – but what a product they developed. The Wii (revolution) is not so much a powerhouse console as it is a totally new direction in console gaming. With the cordless nunchuck controller, full back compatibility with the Gamecube, and the added online game download library – the Wii looks to be in good standing when it is unleashed on November 19th.

The bad news …

Pricing as always is a factor in any console war – and this time round there is more competition for your dollar than ever before. If you want a literal supercomputer, buy the PlayStation 3 at a list price of $ 599. For a 3 processor monster console that crunches games and lets you play powerfully, the 360 ​​is your game for $ 399. For the more energetic and unique experience, the Wii at $ 250 is a very good choice.

Now for the ugly …

The Xbox has had it rife battle with problems upon release, with the Screen of Death, DVD scratching, early release games having major graphical errors, and so on. Although much has been made of this in the media, people need to remember … this is normal for a brand new console that is in effect a full computer on stereoids.

The PlayStation when it came out, also had it's share of problems with disc read errors, overheating and other such errors. In both cases, the companies stand behind their products and will repair or replace as necessary.

For the 360 ​​- there is an issue if you have a lot of Xbox games … the new console will not needlessly play them all. Check with xbox.com for the latest list before you buy, if you have a large number of titles – to ensure you can enjoy them on the new toy.

PlayStation 3 owners will only have to worry if they are playing games that do not follow the official TRC or Technical Requirements Checklist. The PlayStation 3 has onboard chipsets for the PS2 and original Playstation. So, as Ken Kutagari explains "Either it's accidental or on purpose; there's actually a lot of games that do not follow the TRC." If the game is not written right, do not expect it to be playable.

For the Nintendo Wii – all Gamecube games will be playable on the newest console and you can also use the Gamecube controllers and the Gamecube memory cards.

All in all the newest consoles look to produce excellent fodder for the Console wars. Which one will desire – well now – that, my friends, is up to you. Buy what you want, and play it hard – that's the only way to be sure your choice becomes the leading console.