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The PS3: The Casual Gamer’s Console of Choice?

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For the past year, the console wars have raged on, and so far, one clear choice has emerged as the casual gamer’s console of choice: the Nintendo Wii. Casuals have flocked to the friendly line-up of easy-to-play minigame compilations and non-traditional games, leaving the PS3 and Xbox 360 pretty much to more hardcore gamers.

But it's not the Wii that may end up being the casual console of choice. It may very well be the PS3.

Why? There are six strong reasons that could appeal to casual gamers:

1. Nintendo has lost total control over the Wii's developers. They're now content with pumping out waggle-enhanced minigames and ports instead of focusing on original titles, and in the end, it will cripple the Wii as the console of rehashed crap. The PS3, meanwhile, continues to see new franchises pushed to the front, even if they do end up sucking like Heavenly Sword. Even having that tiny bit of something new that's great from a first or third-party developer helps push the PS3 ahead of the Wii. I'm already growing sick of my Wii and have spent many more hours playing games on the 360 because Nintendo won't clamp down and tell their third parties to stop doing this. It's almost like Yamauchi is still running the show and using Iwata as a puppet.

2. Blu-ray. The PS3’s biggest selling point since its debut, Sony now stands alone in the next-gen DVD format wars. Their PS3 is already the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market, and until the 360 becomes Blu-yay enabled or Blu-ray player prices drop, will be the easiest option for movie buffs who need a Blu-ray player. However, some of these buffs might also be gamers, and the fact that the PS3 is a Blu-ray player that’s also a gaming console might make it tantalizing. Sony employed a similar situation with the PS2 – making it the cheapest DVD player on the market – and it worked amazingly well. Who’s to say that strategy can’t succeed again? All they need to do is push Blu-ray as important.

3. Free online. The Wii has free online, but it’s limited and arguably pretty complex to get to work sometimes. Xbox Live is much simpler… but also costs you $50 per year to play multiplayer. Sony has managed to take the best of both worlds, offering a simple, yet free, online connection service that will only improve as this generation wears on and Sony fixes some of the issues with their online service. Casuals may be willing to pay for their online service if they play a lot of games that use it, but the fact that Sony has free online for their games (and that games like Warhawk make great use of it) might be tempting to the casual consumer.

4. Comparable choices for casual gamers on PSN. When Xbox Live Arcade launched, it set the standard for what downloadable content services were to be, but the Playstation Network store has caught up to the 360. Many XBLA releases find their way to PSN, and the ones that don’t seem to be making the jump are a mixed bag. Some are great, while others are just awful. However, the PSN has built up a fine network of exclusives, including Super Stardust HD, Everyday Shooter and the upcoming LittleBigPlanet. XNA might tilt the advantage back in Microsoft’s favor, but we’ll have to wait and see if that happens.

5. Home as more than a gimmick. Home started out looking like nothing more than a cheap gimmick, an attempt to steal a little bit of thunder from the Wii’s Mii feature. But the more we’ve learned about Home, the more impressive it has become. Warhawk, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Resistance: Fall of Man will all have features exclusive to their Home lobbies that add an interesting twist to the service. Whether it’s being able to stroll through the game’s levels at your leisure or get together in a pre-game war room to discuss strategy for upcoming matches, Home brings something unique to the PS3 that neither the 360 nor Wii can match at this moment.

6. A strong 2008 line-up. Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance 2, The Agency, Gran Turismo 5. All reasons to buy a PS3 in 2008, as all are expected to come out this year for the PS3 and PS3 alone. Add to that multi-platform titles like Grand Theft Auto IV, Prototype, Fallout 3 and Soulcalibur IV (with the PS3 getting fan-favorite Darth Vader), and the PS3 looks incredibly strong this year. Expect big software sales to come with increased console sales in 2008.

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About Brian Szabelski

  • Truef

    That was one of the worst written articles i have read, it was a blatent attack on the wii and 360 written by one of the most retarded ps3 fan boys a have ever heard. How can you be content on writing an article which is just a re-hash of all news ?

  • @ Truef

    This article hit the nail directly on the head. I own all 3 consoles and the PS3 is by far the most used.

    The Wii got old fast and I don’t see myself spitting out any money for online gaming which I could get free on the PS3.

    And “Home” is going to be great.

  • zeal

    Good Article, you hit the nail on the head. PS3 is truley impressive and will move big numbers this year.

  • Pricey

    Yes the PS3 is so great everyone will want one. Thats why they are all buying a Wii. People will buy what people want. If they want mini games they are getting them by the bucket load. Thats their choice. Nintendo has a core of fans who have Zelda and Mario games available and Mario Kart and SSBB to look forward to soon. Nintendo will always make quality innovative titles that push the boundaries. This article was very much written by a sucker who paid top dollar for a PS3.

  • Ivan_PSP

    OMG Heavenly Sword rulez is one of the greatest game of all times [personal attack deleted]. And everyone knows the Wii suck and the Xbox 360 is dying really fast PS3 is the only real next gen gaming system. Again Heavenly Sword doesn’t [personal attack deleted].

  • Pete

    As the first person said, the article uses things already on the web. That means it is the opinion of MANY people, quite a few highly respected people in the industry.

    Wii will continue to get family oriented casual gamers while Xbox 360 will continue to get their hard core gamers. I see the PS3 as going after both sets of people. Sony knew if they could win the HD DVD war that they would gain a huge fan base of people after quality graphics and sound.

    Why buy an expensive HD TV without a DVD player (& gaming system) to match? Anyone willing to spend money on a good HD TV is someone willing to spend a few more dollars (I got my 60 GB fully backwards compatible PS3 from the Sony Store for $350 plus tax — including 5 free Blu-ray movies) for a quality entertainment system.

    My PS3 is my upscalable DVD player (I truly believe that Blu-ray is the next DVD standard), my sound system (plays & rips CDs), and game system (PS2 games look FANTASTIC on the PS3).

    Wii games tend to look squashed and feature last gen graphics.

    Rumble, Home, Trophies & Blu-ray 2.0 are arriving for the PS3 so most of Xbox 360’s selling points are countered by the PS3.

    Eventually, Nintendo & Microsoft will have to put out a new system to compete with the PS3 but they will be getting a late start. Xbox 720 with a SONY Blu-ray player sounds a bit funny.

    Currently, PS3 is the only gaming system with HD DVD support and that is a huge seller for HD TV users.

    Yes, nothing I said is remotely new or original since it is all general knowledge that industry leaders know all too well. PS3 is the only future oriented system on the market today.

    Cute games = Wii; Last gen hard core gamers – Xbox 360; The future of gaming/video = PS3

  • Torgen

    Yamauchi was the original king of clamping down on third parties, so I don’t know how point 1 makes any sense at all.

  • Roffles

    i have a 360 and a ps3 and i believe that they will both do well this generation. I do, however, think that the ps3 will be the better in the end. its going to last longer, have exclusives with better graphics and larger games (thanks bluray) and is a complete home entertainment system. as far as this being an attack on the other two, that may be true, but you have to remember that the writer of the article even said that he played his 360 which means that he owns multiple systems and isnt a fanboy of one.

  • Stickemup

    I completely agree. The PS3 is looking awesome this year, the 360 had it’s day in the sun with the release of Halo 3, Bioshock, and Mass Effect. And now the Wii is getting theirs with the release of Galaxy and Smash. Soon the PS3 will have those huge lines of kids outside of stores waiting to buy Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone, and Little Big Planet. Plus Sony has way more first party studios working on games then the 360 and Wii. Not a lot of people know that. There are games that not even the most knowledgable gamers know about. Games might be looking the same on the 360 at this moment, but mark my words. In about a year from now there are going to be games on the PS3 that will look WAY better then anything on the 360, and they wont just be visually superior but will have have things like HUGE environments, crazy facial movements, and tons of enemies on the screen with great AI. It’s only a matter of time.

  • The PS3 won’t be big with casuals until it has loads and loads of games on it that only your great aunt would buy you.

    Oh, you wanted me to be serious? New price point of $400 is a step in the right direction, but the games coming in 2008 are mainly for the hardcore gamer.

  • Reese

    Some of the article’s points are hard to grasp, but easy to understand. I like how the first responses were overly dramatic and egotistical.