Topic: The 3 Major Gaming Systems

360.jpg wii.jpg ps3.jpg


There are three major players in modern day gaming consoles. The XBOX 360, Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii make up the vast majority of the market for the new generation of gaming consoles. All three consoles are backwards compatible so gamers can still play their favorite games from previous consoles. Each console has it advantages and drawbacks which has lead to many gamers owning one, two, or even all three systems and a fierce competition among all three consoles. There is a huge market though for video games which continues to grow as these new systems come out with new games, new technologies, and new methods for drawing gamers of all ages, nationalities, sexes and backgrounds. Video games on consoles have even become a job for some, with many gamers competing in Major League Gaming and other similar professional gaming establishments. Video gaming has become a major force in the world and will continue to grow in the foreseeable future.


Microsoft's XBOX 360

System Specifications:

CPU- Custom IBM Power-PC- 3 symmetrical cores running at 3.2ghz each;
2 hardware threads per core; 6 hardware threads total;
1 VMX-128 vector unit per core: 3 total;
128 VMX-128 per hardware thread;
1 MB of L2 cache.
GPU- Custom ATI Graphics Processor- 500 mhz;
10 mb embedded DRAM;
48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader piplines;
Unified shader architecture.
Memory- 512mb GDDR3 RAM running at 700mhz with Unified Memory Architecture.
Storage- Detachable and upgradeable 20gb hard drive (Premium, Halo 3 special edition, and The Simpsons movie special edition SKUs); 120gb hard drive (Xbox 360 Elite SKU packed in; Premium and special editions are configurable with a 120gb hard drive)
Online Support- Ethernet Port; Wi-Fi capable with 802.11 A, B, and G (needs Wireless Network Adaptor accessory)
Digital Media Support-
Capable of streaming music from portable music devices, digital cameras, Windows XP PC's.
Rip music onto your 360 hard drive.
Windows Media Center Extender built-in
Custom Playlists in every game
HD Game Support- Games supported with 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and now 1080p

Differences between Microsoft's SKU's
As to this date, Microsoft has come out with 5 SKUs in less than 2 years. While all five have the same CPU and GPU configurations, the biggest differences lie within visual design and hardware space. However, it must be noted that the Core SKU is stripped of many add-ons that the other SKUs provide out of the box, though the Core version is fully compatible with all Xbox 360 branded accessories. The five SKUs that are currently listed:

Xbox 360 Core version

Description: Listed as the entry level version of the SKUs, the Xbox 360 Core version is the most stripped down version of the five. Unlike the other four, the Core version does not come with a hard drive, headset, component cables, wireless controller (the controller is wired instead), no chrome finish, no Ethernet cable, and you are unable to connect to Xbox Live and/or download content without a hard drive or memory unit. You will be unable to voice chat with any possible friends and you will not be able to save any game files with the Core version as is. What all of this means is that you are severally limited to what you can do out of the box. While it is priced at a relatively cheap $279.99, making it the cheapest version of the five systems, it is so stripped of functionality that you are better off spending a little more to get the Premium version. Bottom line: Do not buy the Core version.

Xbox 360 Premium version

Description: The Premium console is the standard version that the vast majority of 360 owners have. It comes fully equipped with a 20gb hard drive that will allow you to download content and save game files and also a wireless controller. The Premium version is fully capable right out of the box to allow voice chat with the headset, full HD support with component cables, and an Ethernet cable to get you online with Xbox Live. Starting at a reduced price of $349.99, the Premium version is the second cheapest console of the five. The Premium version also comes with downloaded items on the hard drive such as video game demos, video files, and the Xbox Arcade game Hexic HD, adding even more worth to the Premium version. Finally, it sports a chrome trip that the Core system lacks. Overall, this is the version to consider buying as it strikes a great balance between functionality and price.

Popular Games out now and Coming Soon:

  • Halo 3
  • Madden 08
  • NCAA 08
  • Lost Planet
  • Dead Rising
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Crackdown
  • Forza Motorsport 2
  • Bioshock
  • Mass Effect
  • Assassins Creed
  • Unreal Tournament III
  • PGR 4
  • GTA IV
  • Fable 2
  • Soul Calibur 4
  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
  • Clive Barker's Jericho
  • Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom

Online Gaming Capabilities:

Xbox Live
Being widely regarded as the premier online gaming service for a video game system, many also consider Xbox Live the crown jewel for the 360 console. Xbox Live is the Xbox 360's fully featured online service that govern lots of options and functionality to their users. With the ability to voice chat, video chat, send text and voice messages along with pictures to your friends, and also be able to keep a fully unified friends list no matter what games you play, its not surprising why the vast majority of Xbox 360 owners are logging in and utilizing Xbox Live to the fullest. Some more features include being able to send gaming invites to anyone on your friends list, seamlessly play co-op with your fellow gamer, download numerous of videos and demos for future games from Xbox Live Marketplace, and also download smaller, classic games from Xbox Live Arcade. If there is one small qualm to the Xbox Live service is that it costs $50 a year in order to play multiplayer on games for the Xbox 360. However, many consider this to be fully acceptable, considering the quality features of playing with your friends online.

At the moment there are two services that dictate what you can do online, Xbox Live Silver and Xbox Live Gold memberships. While nearly all of the features are fully presented for the Xbox Live Silver membership, in order to play multiplayer in games, you must purchase an Xbox Live Gold membership, hence the $50 a year, though there are quarterly Gold memberships available as well.

Appeal to Gamers:

With robust online features to allow fast paced multiplayer and a unified friends list to keep track of what your friends are up to, the Xbox 360 is a haven for competitive gamers looking to test their mettle against millions of other gamers. The Xbox 360 is also a massive appeal for someone looking for a all-in-one multimedia machine to play their DVD's, CD's, and keep track of their photos all in one convenient spot.

Sony Playstation 3

System Specifications:

There are several system specifications that make the PS3 tempting to possible customers. PS3 consoles come with either 60GB or 80GB hard drives that allow users ample storage room to save games and media. It also has Memory Stick, Secure Digital and CompactFlash media card slots that provide additional memory The microprocessor is state-of-the-art which makes it more efficient than the old processors and makes the visuals more believable. It has an HDMI (hi-def) connection as well as Dolby 5.1 surround sound to enhance the gaming experience. The six-axis controller allows the player to become part of the game rather than just pushing buttons. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology enable users to connect their PS3 console to wireless internet. The wireless internet capabilities allow players to play their friends online and to download games and other content onto the console. Blue-ray media can be stored on the system and the Blue-ray movies can be played on the console. The console is compatible to Playstation and PS2 games as well as all DVD’s and CD’s so that all of your media can be on one machine.

Popular Games:

  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • The Eye of Judgment
  • Madden 08
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Guitar Hero III
  • NBA Live 08
  • Rock Band

Online Gaming Capabilities:

PS3 gives users the opportunity to surf the web using the PS3 Internet Browser. Playstation Network or PSN allows users to play games online for free. It also allows users to download content from PSN directly to the PS3 hard drive. PSN lets of to 40 players play at the same time, and features match-making and an online community that allows users to communicate via text, voice and video chat.

Appeal to Gamers:

PS3 has the potential to offer outstanding gameplay with its superior hardware. Building hard drives into the system that are customizable allows users to download an unlimited amount of media to their PS3. The PS3 is not just a gaming machine, but a full multi-media system, which includes a Blu-Ray player and recorder, as well as a DVD and CD player. It's also can be use to surf the web, and offers free online gaming. The PS3 is basically 3-gaming systems in one, an audio/video player, web browser, and more. The only question to ask is, "What can't it do?"

Nintendo Wii

System Specifications:

Central Processing Unit (CPU)IBM Broadway 729MHzGraphics Processing Unit (GPU)ATI Hollywood 243MHzSupported Resolution: Up to 480pSystem Memory :88MBInternet ConnectivityWiFi 802.11 b/gInternal Storage: 512MB Flash MemoryOptical Drive for 12cm Wii Disc & 8cm GameCube Disc.Memory Expansion: 1 x SD Memory
backwards compatible with GameCube gamesWii Controller Ports: 4 Wireless controllersGameCube Controller Ports: 4 PortsGameCube Memory Expansion: 2 PortsUSB 2.0: 2 PortsInternet: Opera web browserWireless IEEE802.11b/g or a USB LAN adaptor. WiiConnect 24 persistant connection, even when powered off.Output portsAV Multi-output port, allowing Composite, S-Video and Component.

Wii Controller (Remote):
The Wii remote is sensor-based allowing you to freely move around the room with no wires attached. The remote is motion sensitive and accurate, and contains a pointer with the ability for fine movements. The controller operates with 2 double A batteries, and a convenient button for turning the system on and off. Nintendo has made their controller similar to a television remote so that users are more comfortable using it. The Wii remote is as simply as a regular remote in that it is a point and click format. Similar to a television remote, at the front of the Wii remote lays an LED screen that makes the connection from the sensor bar to the remote. The controller also has a built-in rumble function and can recognize the placement and direction of your hand. In order for the remote to work properly, you must place a sensor bar above your TV set so the pointer can measure the coordinates between it and the remote. If you happen to move outside of the sensor bar with your remote, the pointer can no longer measure the coordinates and the signal will be unresponsive or delayed. The controllers also features a speaker which is used during games. For instance, in Madden 2008, if you try a fake hike, your opponent will hear it through the speaker, which mightm ake him jump off sides. The Wii remote communicates with the system via blue tooth technology and features a slot for plugging peripherals in such as the nunchuck or classic controller. The nunchcuk is used to add an arcade stick to games. It also has motion sensing technology which is implemented in game play. The classic controller is used to for the virtual console, gamecube games, and for games that don't have the motion sensing technology. You can also use Gamecube controllers for most games you would use a classic controller with.
wiimoten.jpg test3.jpg test4.jpg

Wii Remote and Nunchuck, Wii Remote and Classic Controller, and the Gamecube Controller

Popular Games:

  • Metriod Prime 3: Corruption
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Wii Sports
  • Mario Party 8
  • Madden NFL 08
  • Mario Galaxy
  • Super Smash Brothers Brawl
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Battalion Wars 2
  • Man Hunt 2
  • Guitar Hero 3
  • No More Heros
  • The Godfather: Blackhand Edditon
  • Resident Evil 4
  • NBA Live 08
  • Medal of Honor
  • Call of Duty 3
  • Donky Kong: Barrel Blast
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Online Capabilities:
Any game that is made for this system has the ability to be played online if the developers want it to be played online. Current games that have online functionality are Mario Strikers Charged, Madden 2008, Pokemon Battle Revolution. Although only a few games can be currently played online there are many in development that will be playable online as soon as they go gold. Some games in development that will play online are Guitar Hero 3, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Battalion Wars 2, Endless Ocean, Ghost Squad, Medal of Honor and many others. Online play is free but it has a down side. As of right now there is no way to communicate with the people you are playing with. As of right now there are no plans to make a Wii headset which would make communication possible but that doesn't mean one will never be made. Aside from playing games online, there is much more to the Wii's online functionality. With some games, such as Metriod Prime 3: corruption, there are leaderboards online which record how you've done in the game. You can also use a tool in the game to take screen shots of the game and send them to friends over the internet.

Using something called WiiConnect24, your Wii is always connected to the internet through a wireless connection. This is used in many ways. For one, if an update for the Wii comes out, it is automatically downloaded to the Wii, saving you time later. If a new level for a game comes out or a new item, it will also be downloaded automatically to the Wii. Aside from updates, it is also used to get information such as the weather or news in the morning so when you turn the Wii on the next day the information is at your fingertips. It will even update these things in real time if you ask it to.

Virtual Console
Aside from playing Wii and Gamecube games, the Wii also plays SNES, NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Tuberografix 16 games. All games for there systems play on an emulater running in the Wii called a virtual console. For a small fee per game, $10 for Nintendo 64 which is the most expensive, and $2 for NES which is the cheapest, you can play these games as many times as you want on the Wii. They will be saved on the Wii internal hard drive. The nintendo server holds a copy of each game you buy that way if one gets deleted you can download it again at no cost.

Appeal to Gamers:

The Wii has attracted many people because the style of the system. It lets you physically play the games and be involved as if you were doing the activity outside. It has many casual laying games such as Wii Sports and Mario party 8, which tries to target any member of a family. At the same time, it has many games geared toward the hardcore gammer such as Metriod Prime 3 and Man Hunt 2.

Mii Characters
The Wii also has a Mii Channel, which lets you create and customize characters that fit your personality or others. After you have created your character, you can then use them in games are compatible with the Mii’s. You can also attach them to messages and post them on the message board, as well as save them to your Wii Remote. If you save them to your remote, it allows you to use your own personal character when you sync your remote with someone else’s Wii. With the Mii characters you can change: their height, weight, clothing color, style of their hair, position and color of their eyes, mouth and nose, you can even put a hat or cap on them, add glasses or sunglasses, and even a mole. You can edit or erase your Mii after it’s completed to your liking, as well as name them so you know which Mii is which. You can also send Mii’s to friends through your internet connection. After creating your Mii’s, you can find all of them in the Mii channel, where they roam around on your screen. There is also a Mii Parade, where all your Mii’s gather together in a group and run down your screen, and you can also click on the whistle icon near the bottom of your screen, which will put all of your Mii’s in rows so it’s easy for you to identify and click the Mii you want and edit it. Below is an example of people making Mii's to look like themselves.

Web Resources:


Gone gold- A game is completed by it's company and ready for shipment.
SKU- A retailer-defined coding system that is used to distinguish individual items within a retailer's accounting, warehouse, and point of sale systems.


Xbox 360 Links:

PS3 Links:

Nintendo Wii Links: