I have maintained for quite some time that not a single one of the next gen (now current gen) systems has gotten it right. Each system, while each possessing something for someone, has at least a few glaring problems. And by problems, I'm not talking about things like over-heating and such, I'm talking about omissions and additions that have severely hindered the overall product. So here's my breakdown of what each system got right and what they got wrong. PS3: The current internet whipping boy, and in most cases, deservedly so. The PS3 got a lot right. They shipped every system with a decent sized hard drive, top of the line HD output, with the best set of choices to hook the system to your TV. Not to mention an online service that has the potential to be something special by offering free online play and some great downloads through the PS store. Top that of with the ability to play your downloaded games on upto 5 other PS3's. But for all that, Sony severely messed some things up. First off, the addition of the motion sensing to the controller to replace the loss of rumble was, in my opinion, a bad idea. I just don't see the need for it, and I believe it hinders some of the current games for the system. It's a hindrance to people who are relatively still while playing games, as well as those who shake their hands about. There's nothing like moving your hands and causing an undesired juke in Madden. Also, the poor video performance of the PS1 and PS2 emulation is undeniable, though should be fixable with a firmware update. They are also banking on the Blu-Ray format to be a success. While I think that Blu-Ray will offer some serious pluses for games because of the expanded storage, the delay and shortages it caused in the launch have cost Sony some serious ground. Directly related to the addition of Blu-Ray is the overall cost of the system. At $500 and $600 the system is a hard sell for post holiday shoppers. Many people are just too cash strapped from the holidays (or just cash strapped in general) to be able to afford a PS3 right now. To top it off, though you can pay upto $600 for a PS3, you still have to shell out for HD capable cables. That's a pretty low blow by Sony. PS3 Pros: - Graphical capabilities - High quality HD output - Free online play - PS store downloads - Best set of connection options - Hard Drive in every model - Ability to play HD movies via Blu-Ray - Ability to play downloaded content on upto 5 other systems. PS3 Cons: - Cost - Loss of rumble - Poor video performance on PS1 and PS2 games - Delayed launch due to Blu-Ray reliance - Does not upconvert DVD's - PS1 downloads don't play on PS3 yet - Tacked on motion sensing controls - No component or HDMI cable included Xbox360: The 360 did a ton right, but they also committed some serious mistakes that may really come back to bite them. First off, the good. They were first to the market by over a year. They built up a really good userbase. They have the most stable online system at the moment, with some great offering through Xbox Live Arcade, Demos, and Video downloads. Their slightly redesigned Xbox controller makes a great controller. And they have secured a great selection of games for the system. the 360, though, is beginning to show some chinks in the armor. First off, let's start with Live. As the userbase for the competition gets larger, many customers are going to start questioning why they are paying to play games online. And as good as the XBLA has been, the offering have been pretty slim. With over a year lead on the competition, the number of games available should be double what it is now, especially with them allowing retro games on there. Also, the video download service is hit and miss. I like that you can keep the TV shows you download, but movies being deleted after a day or so is unacceptable. also, why are 11 minute episodes of Robot Chicken the same price as hour long episodes of any other show? And with a max 20 Gig HD, that drive can get filled up pretty quickly. MS also decided to put out 2 bundles with entirely different configurations. The worst being that the cheaper bundle doesn't come with a Hard Drive, there by splitting the market and crippling people who bought the cheaper bundle. This forces them to spend another $100 to get a hard drive ( a terrible price for the size of the drive), but still be left without the features of the other set. Microsoft released an add-on HD-DVD drive to praise and worship. However, what many people fail to realize is that the the drive was crippled right from the start. The 360 does not offer HDMI or DVI output. Without an HDMI or DVI connection, the audio output will be limited. Also, when new HDDVD and Blu-Ray discs begin to use HDCP, it will require a digital connection (HDMI or DVI) to output anything above 576P. Xbox 360 Pros: - Easy, enjoyable online service - Ability to redownload games and TV shows if you delete them - Great games out and coming - Excellent controller w/rumble - Good selection of games via XBLA - Video Downloads in both SD and HD - Full HD support - Component cables included in $400 bundle Xbox 360 Cons: - Have to pay to play online - Sparse new releases of games on XBLA, including some very poor game choices for the cost - Not all systems come with Hard Drive and Component cables - Small hard drive can fill up fast - No Digital Output - Movie downloads auto delete after awhile - Poor cost for value on some tv shows - No way to backup tv shows you purchase - HD-DVD add-on could be crippled with future releases because of no digital output Nintendo Wii: For as many people praising the Wii, it sure screwed up more than anyone else. The Wii got very few things right...It's controller, the inclusion of virtual console games, the inclusion of Wii Sports in every purchase and the system price. In my opinion, that's close to it. Let's start with it's video output. Nintendo decided to snub HD output limiting the output to 480P. But not only did the limit it to 480P, they don't even require their games to support that. Nintendo didn't make it a requirement to support progressive scan or 16x9. This means the estimated 33 million new HDTV owners are in for a rude awakening if they buy a Wii. And the controller is great for games built specifically for it, but doesn't add anything to games originally intended for more conventional controllers. The next thing they got wrong was the decision to not include a hard drive. A really bad move considering the ability to download games though the virtual console and reports that some of the Wii channels really eat up the flash memory. To make up for the lack of hard drive, Nintendo went with support for compact flash discs. But they severely screwed that up by not allowing you to run your downloaded content off the drive. Meaning if you fill up your flash memory, and want to play games off the compact drive, you have to delete games off your Wii, then load games from the disk onto the Wii to play them. Cumbersome doesn't begin to describe that process. The next bad decision comes in the form of splitting the controller into 2 separate purchases. Meaning the Wii has the most expensive controller setup if you want to enjoy all the games (not to mention you have to buy a Gamecube or classic controller to play some VC titles). Let's move onto the Virtual Console and its pricing. Bad, bad, bad. Who wants to pay $5 for Balloon Fight, Urban Champion and NES Baseball? How about $8 for Altered Beast or sonic the Hedgehog? That's especially insulting considering you can buy the Sega Genesis Collection for your PS2 for as little as $15. Also, the titles that Nintendo has decided to release have been underwhelming save for a few exceptions like Bonk, Super Mario Bros and most of the TG16 games. And why can't you play the VC titles online, and no support for better video display of the games. PAL owners get hosed with inferior PAL releases of some games. Wii Pros: - Price is quite affordable - Controller is truly revolutionary perfect for games built for it - Ability to download and play games from NES, SNES, TG16, Genesis and N64 - Backwards compatible with Gamecube - Inclusion of Wii Sports - Free online play - Cool Wii channels Wii Cons: - No Hard Drive - Terrible memory management system - No HD support - Not all games will have progressive scan - Bad price scheme for Virtual Console releases - Unable to run VC games off compact flash cards - No ability to play VC titles online - Poor choices in early VC releases - PAL owners get inferior PAL version of some games - No original content being released through VC - No high Quality sound output - Must buy 2 separate pieces to have a full controller - Must buy additional controller to play some VC releases So there you have it. My way too long winded take on all the consoles released so far. And for the record, the only consle I will refuse to buy is the Wii because of the cons I have listed.