Nintendo 3DS Lo Down – 2 3D or not 2 3D

Well another CES (Consumer Electronics Show) came and went people, from the coverage I saw the tech this year was a little weak (tablets, tablets, tablets, motion controls with your eyeballs, tablets) – but hey it wasn’t a total loss the Nintendo 3DS won one of CNET’s Best of CES awards for 2011. Well-deserved I dare say:

However Nintendo has advised that the 3D mode of the 3DS may not be suitable for kids under the age of six. Nintendo always had warnings on their DS series of consoles so this doesn’t come as much of a shock. What does though is that according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), not only can the 3D mode be used by kids under six without worry (provided their eye sight development is good), but it can also help detect undetected vision disorders in kids by their difficulty in viewing optical 3D in general. What else can I say at this point? Nintendo 3DS, awesome, award winning, miracle machine that will save the eye sight of children everywhere – preorder NOW!!!

Wii – The lo down III

Well ladies and gentleman we come to the end of the lo down segment with Nintendo great white hope, the Wii. Yes this little wonder of Japanese engineering is the love and desire of gamers, and the envy of their competitors. As well all know though, if something too good to be true, it probably is. Does this saying apply to the Wii too? Read on, my friends read on.

Strengths: The blind, deaf and dumb all know that the Wii major strength is it complete control system based on wireless motion movements via infrared sensor bar and their controllers Nintendo DS Lite, Nunchuk and Wii Remote (Similar to the PS3 and PSP but without the motion movements). Now what that means is that whatever motion players make, the character on the screen should make the same motion (i.e. throw a ball, shoot a gun, swing a sword, etc). Of course it depends on the game but you know what, it works surprising well. Which leads me to my next point, this simple style of game play is fun as hell. Sure, you look like you’re have a conniption fit, but you won’t care. Nintendo gives you opinions though in the form of a ‘classic’ controller and the Gamecube controller, so if the whole ‘hokey-pokey’ thing doesn’t work out you can plug them in instead (for most Wii games anyway). Then with the Wii comes with the Nintendo band name games, stuff said there. Oh, their online, which is a cross between Xbox live and Playstation network, also comes with Virtual Console which allows players to download classical (Nintendo or otherwise) games and relive the glory days of the 8 bit era. These reasons alone make the Wii a catch but the real deal breaker is that it’s only priced at $250 plus free game (Wii Sports).

Weakness: As much as I am a Nintendo elitist I must be truthful in all things game otherwise what’s the point? But anyway to start the Wii motion controls are a tricky thing between points. During one point the controls work fine but on others it’s glitchy and inaccurate. It is these types of games that don’t allow the use of standard controllers so you’re doubly screwed and if you want to keep playing the game got to work around this annoying trait. Another thing, the Wii is not a graphical powerhouse compared to the other systems. Sometimes it depends on the game marker, but if the same game is on all systems it won’t look as good on the Wii. The embedded memory storage is a little on the small side (smallest on the three console actually) but you’ll be fine if you get a Secure Digital memory card. The biggest blow to Wii dominance is it online multiplayer; unlike the others where can go online and then go to town on victims. However for the Wii you need ‘Friend codes’ to play online, it’s very annoying; players will have to scour to find these codes and get descent matches online. They still offer random matches, but to say they’re limited would be an understatement.

Overall: The Wii is the latest, biggest thing in gaming; both non and casual gamers find it unique and user friendly. So in turn gives those potential buyers with a family more a reason to buy it. However this tends to push away the Standard and Hardcore gamers, but this is a mistake. With ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles’ and more on the way Nintendo is reaffirming that this is a system for all, and I tend to agreed. If you don’t believe me, call any store, and ask if they have any Wii’s lying around, I dare you. So you all know where I’m leaning towards here; get the Wii as soon as you can. Nintendo got the market and they’re not letting go.

Playstation 3 – The lo down II

Alrighty people, next up in my system check we got the PS3, the ominous obelisk of tech. How will it pan in my judgmental eye, read on a find out.

Strengths: Ok first thing first this is one powerful machine (maybe the most powerful console on the market). Everything looks very real, it’s almost surreal; and of course if you got a HD-TV and surround sound system you’re golden. The next thing they got going for themselves is Blu ray capability. This may not seem like much now, but thanks to both Toshiba for discontinuing the production of HD DVD players and Time Warner for supporting only Blu ray disks (staring in June) for there movies, Blu ray will be the style of player in the future (or at least the majority in the world entertainment market). By buying a PS3 you would be killing two birds with one stone. In my opinion the best feature of this system it the backward compatibilities of the PS3; all you need to do is download the backward compatible data from the ‘PlayStation Network’ (The full online service which is free by the by, take that Xbox live) to your PS3 and play nearly any PS1 & 2 game you have. This blows the crap out of the 360’s backward compatibilities which is still behind even after 2 + years of life (again, take that).

Weakness: Despite having a legendary pedigree, the PS3 has not been popular for one reason and one reason only: pricing. Back when it first hit the stores they are priced at $600 a console ($500 for the ‘cheap’ one). Who has that kind of money just lying around?! Really! Now it would be almost worth it if they had well organized launch titles ready but no; 90% crap all that awaited those unfortunate enough to have bought PS3 during that time. Well I’m glad to say that the state of things improved for Sony and their cursed-mark console; if only slightly. They reduced the console’s price low enough($400 new) to be affordable to more people than just the Prince of Wales. Also the game line up has finally started to pick up steam with titles like: Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The last cross for PS3 to bear is that it’s online (although free) is lacking; a sort of stripped down version of Xbox live. Of course Sony swears up and down that ‘PlayStation Home’ will change all that (and should be ready in a couple of months) hopefully.

Overall: In my opinion the Playstation 3 is the machine of the future; it’s only a matter of time. However presently it’s still the low man on the totem poll; in fact I had to weight my options careful before deciding on buying one myself. In the end I did so three simple reasons:

  1. I wouldn’t be a very good Game Pundit if I didn’t have the ability to review all major gaming platforms (Expect for PSP, don’t get me started).

  1. The evidence above (plus more all over the web) show that Sony will not let its most profitable cash cow die; the games are coming, the (Playstation) network is improving, and the pricing will be adjusted accordantly (although not low enough to cause the Wii to sweat).

  1. The Playstation 1 and 2 libraries as a whole is still playable; it even can play damage disks (some, not all).

So my advice to you all is this console will earn it’s keep in 2010 but you can afford to wait in 2008. Just make sure you keep an eye out for the good deals, you can get these systems cheap with patience and planning.

Xbox 360 – The lo down

Xbox-360

You know, I like all the current the home consoles right now, they are really quite balanced. However for those who are planning to buy a system and need a little straight information on each on you come to right place. The next three entrees will be devoted to a mini-look of the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 (and your welcome); they won’t be technical or in depth but they will be all based on the opinion of a gamer who was all three and skilled in their use, yours truly. Let’s get started with Xbox 360.

Strengths: The king console in the states, their library of current generation games come 2nd to none. Racing, Beat’em ups, Action, Adventure, Role Play, Shooter (home of Halo), you name it’s there. I dare say it’ll fit anyone who buys one, even little kids. While I never commend Halo to a child (not until your 13 young man) it’s no trouble download a simple yet fun game from Xbox 360 Arcade so they can have fun and learn the gaming basics – got to strafe before you frag after all. Which bring me to my next point; this console had the best online network on consoles – Xbox live. One could download game demos, TV shows, movie trailers, Xbox original games like Crimson Skies have video chats with friends, have limited connectivity to one’s PC to extent the 360’s media abilities, and of course, play against people online. Even when users fill up their current memory storage unit they can always buy more so they don’t have to erase anything important like south park episodes or your latest recording run-through of Burnout Paradise. Finally 360’s are quite affordable right now pricing at $250-$350

Weakness: As good as the 360, does have a few problems. The biggest is the ‘Red Ring of Death’; now thanks to God, I never had the problem personally with my machine but it has happened to many others (my condolences). When players would see this ring (which is 75% of a ring actually) it would mean the end of your machine, nothing would work. The worst part is that the number of 360 with the ring was surprising high. Fortunately Microsoft has been very supportive of this condition and extended the general warranty to three years for this problem as well as taken steps to make future 360’s would work property. Another issue I have is that while I’m paying for Xbox live (Gold membership baby) I seem to be bombarded with lag, ALL THE TIME! It’s like I’m give Microsoft money to waste my time, and that’s just sick! Oh well… when I do find a good, lag free game it does run well.

Overall: Xbox 360 is an excellent machine that runs well, has a good library of games and online options up the wazoo. It’s only place the 360 has little fan base is in Japan for some reason; but if you don’t live there then you don’t have a problem. I’ll say it straight – if you can’t find a Wii (or don’t like to excise) and still think the Playstation 3 isn’t worth it then buy the 360, you can’t go wrong.