The End of a Console Era, Review of the Era and Predictions For the Upcoming War

Disclaimer: Specs and sales numbers were taken from, for the sake of accuracy, the rest of the article was written By Samuel Rivera the Editor in chief of the NER site, this article does NOT necessarily reflect the opinion of all the staff in the NER site. Only the opinions of the author are expressed here.

Note from the Author: “This article will get a lot of people on my case (Nintendo Fanboys I am looking your way) however I am only telling the truth face it Sony won, Nintendo was owned and Microsoft made a respectable entry while getting owned by Sony at the same time, I back everyone of my statements with statistical facts, on the ‘Future” sections since no one really can predict the future with facts, on those I will be happy to receive hate email (Nintendo Fanboys I am looking at your way again) and will answer them to the best of my knowledge which is pretty vast and extensive, and will happily get on AIM and argue with such rabid fans (Nintendo Fanboys this is the third time I look at your way), since arguing with Fanboys is one of my joys in life.”

With the release of the XBOX 360, the PS2, XBOX, GC, Dreamcast Era has almost come to an end, and the next-gen war of consoles is about to begin . Here in this article that is sure to inspire anger from various fan boys here at the Never Ending real I will take a look back at how things played out in this past war and about what to expect in the next war.

The Sega Dreamcast

Tech specs:

CPU: SH-4 RISC CPU with 128 bit graphic computational engine built-in (operating frequency: 206 MHz 360 MIPS/1.4 GFLOPS)

Graphics Engine: PowerVR2 CLX2, capable of drawing around 7 million polygons per second.

Memory: Main RAM: 16 MB (Hyundai), Video RAM: 8 MB, Sound RAM: 2 MB

Sound Engine: Super Intelligent (Yamaha) Sound Processor with 47MHz 32-Bit ARM7 RISC CPU core built-in (64 channel PCM/ADPCM)

GD-ROM Drive: 12x maximum speed .

GD-ROM: Holds up to 1.2 GB of data.

Inputs: USB-like “Maple Bus”. Four controller ports.

Dimensions: 189 mm x 195 mm x 76 mm (7 7/16″ x 7 11/16″ x 3″)

Weight: 1.9 kg (4.4 lb)

Color: White

Modem: Removable; 56 kbit/s modem.

Broadband: Sold separately.

Color Output: Approx. 16.77 million simultaneous colors (24 bit)

Storage: Visual Memory Unit (“VMU”) 128 Kb removable storage device and 4x memory cards that hold four times as much data

The system itself was a power house and the most powerful system at the time it was released in September 9, 1999. Sega spent millions of dollars in an amazing ad campaign the “It’s Thinking” mantra stuck with gamers, in its two year stint of life the DC sold 11 million consoles world wide, the console while technically able to match the PS2 graphically, and while also sporting an internet modem built in among other things, never managed to gain momentum. Sony PS2 Hype had successfully prevented DC sales to go up and in early 2001, January actually the console was declared officially dead, Sega did not have the financial pockets to keep the system going.

Key titles : Skies of Arcadia, Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, Shenmue 1 and 2 ( 2 was not released in the states it was later released on the XBOX), 2K sports, Resident Evil Code Veronica, 2-D fighters from Capcom

Pros: excellent console design small, light and attractive , a good controller and the VMUs (the best memory cards of all time). Great selection of titles if Sega had not been in huge debt the console had enough potential to survive the war an even out do Nintendo at the least.

Cons: While some games on the system look better than most games in current consoles not named XBOX, the DC’s technical capabilities were the weakest out of the four competing systems. Sega was in deep financial debt and while the console was moderately successful it wasn’t the huge hit Sega had hoped it would be, and they just couldn’t get out of the hole that the 32X, Sega CD, and Saturn had buried them in. There was a lack of RPGs beloved franchises like Shining Force, and Panzer Dragoon never saw the light of day on the system.

End result: The DC ended up at fourth , after being declared dead in 2001, Sega did all the right things including pretty much getting you online and a DC for almost free, but the PS2 Hype was too much for the great little system. Sega ended up as a third party developer.

The Nintendo GameCube

Tech Specs:

Central processing unit

“Gekko” IBM Core Base: PowerPC 750CXe, 43-mm² die (modified PowerPC 750 RISC with 50 new instructions)

Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre IBM copper-wire technology

Clock Frequency: 485 MHz

CPU Capacity: 1125 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1)

Internal Data Precision: 32-bit Integer 64-bit Floating-point, usable as 2×32-bit SIMD

External Bus: 1.3 gigabyte/second peak bandwidth 32-bit address space 64-bit data bus; 162 MHz clock

Internal Cache: L1: instruction 32KB, data 32KB (8 way) L2: 256KB (2 way)

Graphics processing unit

“Flipper” ATi/Nintendo (Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre NEC embedded DRAM process

Clock Frequency: 162 MHz

Embedded Frame Buffer: Approximately 2 megabytes in capacity Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds

RAM type is 1T-SRAM

Embedded Texture Cache: Approximately 1 megabyte in capacity Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds

RAM type is 1T-SRAM

Texture Read Bandwidth: 10.4 gigabytes/second (at peak)

Main Memory Bandwidth: 2.6 gigabytes/second (at peak)

Fill Rate: 648 megapixels/second

Pixel Depth: 24-bit RGB / RGBA 24-bit Z-buffer

Image Processing Functions: Fog Subpixel anti-aliasing 8 hardware lights 8 pixels pipeline hardware nurbs Alpha blending Virtual texture design Multi-texturing, bump mapping Environment mapping MIP mapping Bilinear filtering Trilinear filtering Anisotropic filtering Real-time hardware texture decompression (S3TC) Real-time decompression of display list Hardware 3-line deflickering filter

Audio specifications

Producer: Macronix

Clock Frequency: 81 MHz

Instruction Memory:

8 kilobytes of RAM

8 kilobytes of ROM

Data Memory:

8 kilobytes of RAM

4 kilobytes of ROM

Simultaneous Channels: 64 channels

Encoding: ADPCM

Sampling Frequency: 48 kHz

206mb graphics

“Dolby Pro Logic II” in analog audio out

AC3 signal through “digital out” with D-erminal cable

Other system specifications

System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability: 10.5 GFLOPS (at peak) (MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total)

Real-world Polygon Performance: 6 million to 12 million polygons/second (at peak) (assuming actual game conditions with complex models, fully textured, fully lit, etc.)*

Main RAM:

Approximately 24 megabytes in capacity

Sustainable latency of 10 nanoseconds

RAM type is 1T-SRAM

Auxiliary RAM: Approximately 16 megabytes in capacity 81 MHz in speed RAM type is DRAM

Disc Drive: Drive type is Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) Average access time is 128 milliseconds Data transfer speed is between 2 megabytes per second and 3.125 megabytes per second

Disc Media: Based on DVD technology Diameter is 3 inches in length Producer is Matsushita Approximately 1.5 gigabytes in capacity

Controller Ports: 4

Memory Card Slots: 2

Analog Audio/Video Outputs: 1

Digital Video Outputs: 1 *

High-speed Serial Ports: 2

High-speed Parallel Ports: 1

Power Supply: AC Adapter DC12 volts x 3.25 amperes

Physical Measurements of Entire System: 110 mm (H) x 150 mm (W) x 161 mm (D). [4.3″(H) x 5.9″(W) x 6.3″(D)]

Released in November 18, 2001 in America in this console rested Nintendo’s last true chance at Console Market domination, after falling deep behind Sony in the 32-64 bit era with dismal N64 sales (32 million world wide to PS1‘s 100 million and counting), despite having two of the greatest games of all time (some would say the greatest games of all time) in Launch title Mario 64 and the Ground Breaking Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the console never reached mass appeal as most 3rd party developer ditched the console for the Sony cheaper to develop and more profitable system, Nintendo brought this upon themselves by going Cartridge among other things.

The GameCube however had the tools to at least on paper take Sony down, as the GC was superior to the PS2 specs wise. However Specs alone a system do not make, and unlike the previous generation where Nintendo’s console was the biggest “baddest” bad boy in town, this was no longer the case as the XBOX made the GC look inferior in technical capabilities.

By the time the Gamecube was launched, the PS2 already had a pretty good head start, And the more powerful and attractive XBOX had released 3-days prior. The GameCube had a damn near disastrous launch line up. Make no mistake nothing could have stopped the PS2 from being successful at that point, but Nintendo might have been able to out do the XBOX but they failed to capitalize on their opportunity. And thus the GameCube is fated to meet a more disastrous end than the N64 as it had only sold 18.5 million units globally by March 2005, and for good reason.

The system lacked a true Mario adventure at launch and throughout its life cycle, Mario Sunshine was more like a side adventure, the system left thousands of disappointed Zelda fans after the unveiling of the cartoony Zelda: Wind Waker, this after prior to the system’s launch Nintendo had shown a tech video of a realistic looking Link fighting Ganondorf, sadly that game never came, as The Legend of Zelda: Twighlight Princess will most likely be making it’s way to the Revolution in what is considered another slap in the face to Nintendo fans, a fan base whose face must be brutally marked because of the dumb decisions that Nintendo has made over the years. In the end the GameCube is collecting dust at most homes who owned any of the other two competing systems, the universally recognized swan song of the system is Capcom’s Resident Evil 4.

Key titles: Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime Games, Star Wars Rouge Leader, Wind Waker, Soul Calibur 2, Super Smash Bros, Resident Evil Remake, and Zero, Sports titles, Animal Crossing and few Multiplayer Mario titles such as Mario Kart Double dash and Mario Tennis.

Pros: The system was more powerful than the PS2 and cheaper than both the XBOX and the PS2. The system has was home to some of Nintendo’s beloved franchises, even if Wind Waker and Sunshine, paled in comparison to their ancestors Ocarina of Time and Mario 64. Capcom delivered two exclusive Resident Evil titles. GBA connectivity. Nintendo has a rabid following of hopeless fan boys, though their numbers are steadily decreasing, which each passing year.

Cons: Stupid console design, a purple square box complete with a carrying handle that looked more like Barney the dinosaur ’s lunch box than a high tech console system, the design helped to improve Nintendo’s “kiddie” image which only kept the majority of gamers (which are adults) away from the system, and thus the poor sales. Disastrous launch, there was no “must own” title on the system at launch (some say there isn’t one up today since RE4 has made a PS2 appearance), Star Wars Rogue Leader was very good, but the somewhat over rated Halo was better .

Nintendo did not have any area in which their system surpassed the competition, if you were a Sports and FPS fan you went with XBOX, if you were an RPG, Platformer, Racing and fighting games fan you went with PS2. Nintendo never released a true Mario 64 sequel for the system or a realistic Zelda. Nintendo went with their own format rather than the more appealing DVD format that was the industry standard during the past generation.

Miyamoto began to show that he was no longer interested in pursuing his franchises and wanted to create original weird stuff like Pikmin, which again pissed fans. This is the reason that Star Fox was handed to Namco who in turn ruined the great series. The GC also lacked a defining must have title until late in its life with RE4 which was later ported to the PS2. There was a lack of RPGs, you can count the system’s good RPGs in one hand, Tales of Symphonia and Skies of Arcadia (which was a DC game either way). While Nintendo did manage to get Squaresoft back into developing for them, Square gave them the 3rd string Final Fantasy Cristal Chronicles title instead of a full blown quality RPG.

As custom Nintendo followed the beat of his own drummer by holding the GC back from ever entering the online Arena, with its competitors. Judging by how many mistakes Nintendo made, the GC actually performed well as the XBOX only has a 4 million console sale advantage (as of March 2005) but a far far cry from PS2’s 100 million and counting.

End Result: Nintendo finished 3rd ( with 18.5 Million consoles sold) as they keep tradition of giving its consumers what Nintendo thinks the consumers wanted rather what the consumers actually wanted.

Future: Its down hill from here, the GC’s successor the Revolution seems to be at a cataclysmic disadvantage when matched against the technical specs of the 360 and even more so against the PS3. Nintendo has literally no momentum going for them into the next gen console war, as they have refused to unveil any tech specs for their system because A.) they might still be working in the chip or B.) (the most likely option by the way) they are too embarrassed to show it’s weak tech specs.

Nintendo is betting all on the line on their “Revolutionary” new controller scheme, which might prove fatal if Nintendo can’t find a way to make game that truly takes advantage of the bizarre controller (even though the Nintendo fan boys, seem to know before hand that this is the greatest controller in history which is the absolute proof of ultimate stupidity since no one can claim anything is the greatest thing ever before trying it out with an actual game), as third party companies might be wary of porting multiplatform games to the system since they would have to go through the hassle of making the controller work with their game. Once again it appears Nintendo will alienate third party publishers, apparently Nintendo hasn’t learned from its past mistakes because they keep repeating them almost intentionally.

The only thing the Revolution at this point has going for it the big possibility that Twilight Princess will be a launch title for the system. But this also means they might have to suffer from a boycott of possible angry GC owners who were expecting the game on that system instead. My prediction after many years of studying the industry and from my learning experiences in marketing college courses…is that well… I have come deduct (an easy deduction by the way) that Nintendo has made far too many mistakes to come out of the hole in which they had placed themselves in, and the underpowered, bizarre and at this point mysterious Revolution does not seem to be the way out it. Even the fact that you can download old Nintendo games into the system for fee( This is along with the controller remote shaped controller is the Revolutions current sales pitch), seems pointless since there is something out there called ‘emulators’ that already allow you to play those very same games, and get this (*Drum roll*): FOR FREE! So by 2009 at the latest you can expect Nintendo to withdraw from the console market after the Revolution tanks, and focus on portable gaming and/or become a third party publisher and developer which will be the best thing for us all (but Nintendo’s pride will keep them from doing that) there is no realistic way in which the Revolution out sells 360 or PS3 and Nintendo seems to know that as Miyamoto has stated that he doesn’t see the 360 and PS3 as competitors for their upcoming Revolution “The more we can get the media to point out that we (Nintendo) are not competing with them (Sony and Microsoft) and they are not competing with us then that leaves us with no competitors and then we are number one! [laughs]” (taken from an interview made to Miyamoto by Game Informer issue # 152) Mister Miyamoto no doubt a gaming genius (but has shown signs of going over the edge sometimes and here he is again with another shockingly silly statement.) apparently is living somewhere in Mushroom Kingdom, by the look of things.

The statement points out to the main problem Nintendo has and the problem that left them in the dust, they never moved along with the rest of the industry as they are living in their own little fantasy world where Sony and Microsoft don’t exist, unfortunately for them the rest of us live in the real world.

The Xbox

Tech Specs:

CPU: 32-Bit Micro PGA2 733 MHz Intel Pentium III, soldered in. processor, with a 133 MHz FSB

368 double precision MIPS (Whetstone) per CPU

605 integer MIPS (Dhrystone) per CPU

Graphics Processor: 233 MHz custom chip named the NV2A, developed by Microsoft and nVIDIA (based on of the GeForce 3 but with 2 vertex shaders to the GeForce 3’s single vertex shader, and a lower core clock speed) Total (shared) Memory: 64 MB DDR SDRAM running at 200 MHz, supplied by Hynix or Samsung depending on manufacture date and location Memory Bandwidth: 6.4 GB/s Polygon Performance: 125 million flat-shaded polys/second

Sustained Polygon Performance: 100+ M/s Micropolygons/particles per second: 125 M/s Particle Performance: 125 M/s Simultaneous Textures: 4 Pixel Fill Rate – No Texture: 4.0 G/s (anti-aliased) Pixel Fill Rate – 1 Texture: 4.0 G/s anti-aliased Compressed Textures: Yes (6:1 through DDS) Full Scene Anti-Aliasing: Yes Micro Polygon Support: Yes Storage Medium: 2-5x DVD (XFAT), 8 gigabyte hard disk (new consoles contain a 10GB physical hard drive, though it is formatted to only use 8GB, uses XFAT), optional 8MB memory card for savegame transfer I/O: 2-5x IDE DVD, 8 or 10GB IDE hard disk, USB memory card (flash) Audio Channels: 64 3D channels (up to 256 stereo voices) 3D Audio Support: Yes, 5.1 MIDI DLS2 Support: Yes AC3 (Dolby Digital) Encoded Game Audio: Yes (via TOSLINK) Broadband Enabled: Yes (10/100base-T ethernet) DVD Movie Playback: Yes (separate DVD Playback Kit/Remote required by software) Maximum Resolution (2x32bpp frame buffers +Z): 1920(vert.)x1080(horiz)

Note: NTSC TV’s have less than 500 horizontal lines. PAL TV’s have less than 600 horizontal lines.

EDTV and HDTV Support: 480p/720p/1080i (see game boxes for supported resolutions) 1080p is possible, but no games support it because of system limitations. Controller Ports: 4 proprietary USB ports Weight: 3.86 kg Dimensions: 324 × 265 × 90 mm (12.8 × 10.4 × 3.5 inches)

The Xbox saw the light of day in November 15, 2001, it was Microsoft first foray into the home console business, and they came prepared with the most powerful system of the generation. However while the Xbox was not as successful as Microsoft would had liked, it was successful enough to get ahead of Nintendo with at least 4 more million consoles sold (By March 2005 it had shipped 22 million world wide), and while it’s safe to say that the PS2 completely dominated the last console generation Microsoft made sure to give Sony something to think about.

To begin things out of the four consoles that launched in the generation Microsoft had the second strongest lineup at launch ( the Dreamcast had the best launch line up), it was good but it wasn’t revolutionary, but at least it had a game that was not possible on the other two systems, and that was Halo.

Halo helped Microsoft establish itself in the business, as it was a game that did things that truly showed the power of the Xbox over the other consoles, that being said the game was and still is incredibly over rated, the N64 Golden Eye was more impressive in its hey day. Either way Halo coupled with the awesome looking DOA 3, took the spark out of GC’s weak launch line up (Luigi’s Mansion anyone).

The Xbox was the console of choice for FPS and Sports fans, as the games looked better there and because of the included hard drive there was an unlimited amount of storage for games in the system ( so no buying expensive memory holding devices!!), Microsoft however never managed to have any Japanese RPG or even any Japanese support besides Sega and Tecmo and thus the system flunked in Japan, and never really had a chance to catch up to Sony anywhere as the PS2 had the better quality and quantity of fighters, RPGs, Racing games, and other genres that were not FPS.

XBOX Live is currently the best way to get online right now and since the XBOX allowed for Faster frame rates and better graphics it is obvious that players would prefer the XBOX to be their console of choice for online gaming. It is XBOX live and its strong reputation with adult gamers that has given the XBOX 360 some momentum to at least get closer to Sony sales wise in this upcoming generation.

Key Titles:

Halo1 and 2, Chronicles of Riddick, Morrowind, Fable, Jade Empire, KOTOR1 and 2, DOA 3,Ultimate, Beach Volley ball, DOOM 3, Half-Life 2, Ninja Gaiden, Splinter Cell titles, Sports games, Panzer Dragoon Orta. GTA games, Forza Motor Sport

Pros: Graphical horsepower, that can at times compare to the graphics pushed by a High end PC. Hard Drive, the home of the best FPS and sports games of the generation, and well thought out online service, great Third Party support every where (except Japan). Strong focus on Adult oriented games.

Cons: Never really took off in Japan thus high profile Japanese developers skipped the console, and subsequently the system lacked Japanese RPGs and Platformers, Buying Rare, really now they really didn’t do anything of what they promised for the console.

Besides FPSs it never had any great titles of remembrance that were exclusive to the console (Besides the Tecmo Games, and Bioware‘s titles), other than that Gates, J Allard and Co, did everything on their power to try to make the XBOX the best system out there.

End Result: the Console finished 2nd Some what comfortably ahead of Nintendo but a far cry from Sony, however it earned enough credibility and momentum for some analysts to predict a victory of its Successor 360 over PS3.

Future: One number: 360, it seems Microsoft has taken a page out of Sega’s book by going out of the gates first. Great idea or big mistake? Great idea! If only for the single fact that if they would had left Sony out first we would have had a repeat of the past console generation in this one, now Microsoft hopes they will get a decent enough head start to beat Sony, after all the Dreamcast even though it was released under less hype than the 360 performed remarkably well, had Sega been a financially stable company, maybe today the Dreamcast would have been at #2, that is perhaps the line of thought at Microsoft at this point.

Unfortunately they also have some things going against them, I don’t believe the Sony hype has died down at all, and the 360 so far looks more like a “blah” than “Wow” in the tech department. Sure its games look better than XBOX games, but it’s not the Huge leap gamers expected, so far all the games I have played in the system are really prettied up XBOX games. That is the reason why a lot of people are waiting to see if Sony can Deliver the kind of Shock and awe one expects from Next-Gen consoles (we know Nintendo’s Revolution is going to be far less powerful than the 360 so no expectations of “awe” there, unless they do some truly revolutionary (no pun intended) gameplay wise and that is anyone‘s guess right now), The only impressive looking game that I can think about right now in 360’s upcoming games is Gears of War, but the PS3’s Metal Gear Solid 4 and Killzone 2, look leaps an bounds better.

Also the 360 has pretty much met with disaster at Japan, since Microsoft didn’t manage to secure any good Japanese games at launch, and since Squaresoft seems more interested in PS3 than anything else, Microsoft is left with Mistwalker (which some of us consider the real Squaresoft as FF Creator Sakaguchi leads that company) while this is a positive sign, the announcement hasn’t necessarily excited many and Mistwalker may also develop for the PS3, especially if that system quickly conquers Japan (as expected). Tough battle ahead for Microsoft, history has shown that if you don’t conquer Japan your console is doomed, we shall see.

The Playstation 2

Tech Specs:

CPU: 128 bit “Emotion Engine” clocked at 294 Mhz ,10.5 million transistors

System Memory: 32 MB Direct Rambus or RDRAM (note that some computers use this type of RAM)

Memory Bus Bandwidth: 3.2 GB per second

Main processor: MIPS R5900 CPU core, 64 bit

Co-Processor: FPU (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 1, Floating Point Divider × Vector Units: VU0 and VU1 (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 9, Floating Point Divider × 1), 128 bit

Floating Point Performance: 6.2 GFLOPS

3D CG Geometric Transformation: 66 million polygons per second (1)

Compressed Image Decoder: MPEG-2

I/O Processor interconnection: Remote Procedure Call over a serial link, DMA controller for bulk transfer

Cache Memory: Instruction: 16KB, Data: 8KB + 16 KB (ScrP)

Graphics: “Graphics Synthesizer” clocked at 147 MHz

DRAM Bus bandwidth: 47.0GB per second

DRAM Bus width: 2560-bit

Pixel Configuration: RGB:Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8, 15:1 for RGB, 16, 24, or 32-bit Z buffer)

Maximum Polygon Rate: 75 million polygons per second (*)

Dedicated connection to: Main CPU and VU1

Sound: “SPU1+SPU2”

Number of voices: 48 hardware channels of ADPCM on SPU2 plus software-mixed channels

Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz (selectable)

I/O Processor

CPU Core: Original PlayStation CPU (MIPS R3000A clocked at 33.8 MHz or 37.5 MHz)

Sub Bus: 32 Bit

Connection to: SPU and CD/DVD controller.

Interface Types: 2 proprietary PlayStation controller ports, 2 proprietary Memory Card slots using MagicGate encryption, Expansion Bay (DEV9 or PCMCIA on early models) port for Network Adaptor, Modem and Hard Disk Drive, IEEE 1394 (2), Infrared remote control port (2), and 2 USB 1.1 ports with an OHCI-compatible controller.

Disc Media: DVD-ROM (CD-ROM compatible) with copy protection. 4.7GB capacity, a few are DVD-9 (8.5 GB)

(*) Polygons per second under ideal circumstances (e.g. no texturing, lighting, or vertex colors applied). Some criticize these figures for being unrealistic, and not indicative of real-world performance. The true polygons per second figure with full textures, effects etc. is around 13 million.

“Nintendo” was once a word that was synonymous to Video Games in American households that word over the past decade has been supplanted by “Playstation”. The PS2 is the fastest Selling Console in Video game history selling 100 million units 3 years faster than it’s predecessor the PS1 who held the record before. The console debuted in the US in October 26, 2000. Even though it was (the PS2) underpowered by the looming Gamecube and Xbox, and behind in sales to the DC which launched a year before it, its hype and strong rep earned in the previous gen gained it enough momentum to squash all the other consoles even when two of them hadn’t even seen the light of day.

It wasn’t dumb luck or over hype either, the PS2 had the greatest library of games in the last gen by far. While the PS2’s launch lineup sucked ( it had the worst lineup of the four systems) gamers knew that the system would eventually gain great titles in droves and they were right.

Nintendo’s once upon a time advantage over Sony (its beloved franchises) was now gone. As Sony during their successful PS1 stint created beloved franchises of their own (along with third parties like Namco and Squaresoft) Game series like Final Fantasy, Tekken, Gran Turismo, among others now carried the same prestige and attention as series like Zelda and Mario. Sony really covered all the genres with PS2 and bested the competition in each one of the genres except in the FPS and Sports department (The XBOX ruled the FPS market and was a better console for sports game thanks to it’s hard drive and horsepower) the PS2 also created other franchises, that will go on to enchant future generations such as the Jak and Daxter series, Ratchet and Clank, Shadow of the Colossus, among many others. The console like its predecessor is the console of choice for RPG gamers as it really was a no contest, it backwards compatibility insured that older PS1 RPGs could be played on it, and the console was also home to most of the current Gen RPGs.

With out a doubt the PS2 lived up to it’s hype and more, it has given Sony the upper hand in the next-gen console wars.

Key Titles: Where to start? Final Fantasy X, GTA series, Metal Gear Solid Series, Tekken series, Shadow of the Colossus, Sports games, Jak and Daxter series ( the best platform games of the generation). Ratchet and Clank series, Atlus’s RPGs, Star Ocean 3, Kingdom Hearts Series, Dragon Quest VIII, Gran Turismo series, and many more (also it is important to note that the PS2 is having a lot of games being released in 2006 some that will undoubtedly be worthy of being called key titles.)

Pros: Brilliant Marketing, Slick design, the best platformers, action games and RPGs of the generation, and it has just about any type of game for any type of gamer, great selection of third parties, backwards compatible, and could play DVD movies right out of the box ( the XBOX can do that too but you need to buy a remote controller made by Microsoft to unlock the feature). It did a heck of a job attracting adult gamers towards it.

Cons: It is technically underpowered while at best it could compete with the GC, it was never a technical threat to the XBOX which therefore rendered Sony’s console almost obsolete when it came to great FPSs a genre, which gained an absurd amount of popularity during the generation and this allowed Microsoft to gain some ground. Other than that the PS2 was flawless and the 100 million and counting sales figures are a testament to that.

End Result: a First Round KO of Sega, 2nd round KO of Nintendo, and a 9 round destruction of Microsoft, Sega was out in the first round and died from complications soon there after , Nintendo gave Sony two rounds of unheated battle before going down, and Microsoft managed to almost go the distance, but Sony shut them out easily before stopping them.

Future: Seems very bright! Microsoft hasn’t impressed many and has flunked in Japan, Nintendo…no one knows (or possibly cares) what they are going to do since they are in lala land at the present time. All Sony has to do is launch impressively with MGS4 and Killzone 2 this while flexing their powerful PS3 graphical Muscle, and Nintendo will be slapped back into reality and go home crying like a school girl soon after. Once again Sony will shut Microsoft out in sales, though Microsoft will do better than last time out.

Sony has the momentum a strong launch with Jaw dropping titles, should be enough to again secure them a victory. That Unless Nintendo shocks the world by launching a Console which is at least as powerful as the 360 with an original Mario, and Zelda at launch and even then Nintendo is in for a rough one….Sony wins the next gen wars !!! Remember where you heard it first!

Tell your friends!

By Samuel Rivera

An avid video game player and book reader, Samuel has been playing video games for the last 31 years. He has played nearly every PS1 JRPG known to man, and loves Ocarina of Time more than any other game.