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Compare Game Consoles: Wii vs PS3 vs Xbox 360

Updated on February 27, 2013
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In 1972, Magnavox released the first video game console designed by Ralph H. Baer – the Magnavox Odyssey. Since then, six new generations of consoles have been put the test of teenagers everywhere, but today three consoles control the gaming market. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 S, Sony’s Playstation 3 Slim and Foxconn’s Nintendo Wii are the only three gaming consoles available to the public as of 2010, each having advantages over the others. Taking that into consideration, the video game console is highly competitive. Three major areas that can make or break a gaming console are the technology used and games and compatibility, the true judgment of success lies in retail.

The technological differences between any two machines that aim for the same goal can make or break the success of said machine. For video game consoles, graphics, both audio and visual, memory / storage, and size are the key points that can push one above another. Graphically, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 dominate the gaming world. Both are HDTV compatible, putting there visual graphics at the top of the charts and both have the most audio options, whereas Wii has one standard audio and visual setting. Memory does not help the Wii gain on the PS3 of Xbox 360 either. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 have detachable SATA hard drives, making it possible to transfer an entire game history of data to another system with ease and there’s no messing around with tiny SD cards and memory sticks. However, the largest hard drive possible for the PS3 holds 70GB more than the largest for the Xbox 360. But, the Xbox 360 has the largest GDDR3 and buffer memory of the three systems. The Wii has very little built in memory, most of it being flash memory, which after being used cannot be fully erased without formatting the machine to factory standards. Also, the Wii depends on cards and sticks to maintain game history after the built in memory is full. In spite of all this, the Wii takes the lead in terms of size. It is 31.14in3 smaller than the Xbox 360 and 24.55in3 smaller than the PS3. This being said it is the lightest at 2.6lbs compared to the Xbox 360 at 7.7lbs or the PS3 at 11lbs. Of course, the downside to being so petit, the Wii doesn’t have the space for the technologies available to the Xbox 360 or PS3.

Games and compatibility also play a huge part in how well a console will do above its competitors. Developers in the gaming world are always trying to use more advanced technologies in order for their consoles to become more universally compatible, and more backward compatible. Universal compatibility is whether or not a console can use media such as DVDs, CDs or Blu-ray discs. Backward compatibility is whether or not a gaming console is able to use cartridges or discs from older consoles of the same company or not. All three consoles have some sort of motion detecting software options. With the Wii, an infrared motion strip and wireless controllers come standard, while the PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect are sold separately. The Kinect and PSMove are more successful because they both come equipped with cameras and infrared sensors. The PSMove can only be controlled through the use of wand like controllers and the Kinect is completely hands free, making it the most advanced video game console option available to the general public. Taking backwards compatibility into consideration, the Wii has the widest range of possibilities. It is completely compatible with all GameCube games and has download options for every FoxConn system since the NES. All PlayStation and PS2 games are compatible with the North American/Japan models of the PS3 with some software updates and only 465 Xbox games were approved to be compatible with the Xbox 360, the rest are available for download via Xbox Originals. The Xbox 360 and PS3 support DVDs and CDs and PS3 supports Blu-ray discs. With regards to exclusive games Xbox Kinect and PSMove games are totally exclusive to their respective system, as are any Wii based games such as Wii Party Games, Wii Sports and Wii Fitness. Other Xbox 360 exclusives include the ever popular Gears of War and Halo empires. PS3 exclusives include SingStar games and God of War 3. Previous Grand Theft Auto titles were originally timed exclusives on the PlayStation 2, before making their release on other platforms, such as the Xbox. However, Grand Theft Auto IV, arrived day one on the Xbox 360 with the release of the PS3 version. Announced exclusives titles for the PS3 such as Assassin's Creed, and Fatal Inertia were released on Xbox 360 as well, with the latter making its release on Xbox 360 before the PS3 version. Such actions by game developers have sparked rumors that all PS3 “exclusive” games will soon be released with Xbox 360 counterparts. This alone has already resulted in declining sales of the PS3 in North America especially.

Retail is the only accurate way to judge how successful one gaming consoles is over another. Prices, sales and release dates determine how accomplished anything on any market is. Technology based market sales are especially dependant on good timing and reasonability of prices. Due to their higher grade technologies, the Xbox 360 and PS3 are much more expensive than the Wii. The Xbox 360 priced at 299.99 (250GB hard drive) and the PS3 at 299.99 (120GB hard drive) and 399.99 (320GB hard drive with PSMove) are no match to the Wii at 249.99 (which includes the console, 2 wireless remotes and protective covers, two nun chuck remote attachments, Wii’s infrared motion sensor, and one Wii exclusive game.) Giving the Wii it’s second of only two advantages over the Xbox 360 and PS3, which makes it even stranger that despite all this, the Wii has more sales worldwide than the Xbox 360 and PS3 combined (Wii: 75.9 million; Xbox 360 44.6 million; PS3’s 41.6 million). According to analyst bloggers on technabob.com, “The 360 has been selling faster than the PS3 and the Wii since their release.”, however it doesn’t seem that the Xbox 360 will catch up in sales before the (rumored) Wii HD is released.

In spite of all of the obvious advantages the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have over the Wii, the Wii still triumphs in sales, confirming suspicions that the gaming industry is one of the most unpredictable industries out there. Personally, I believe it has to do with the fact that kids and teenagers determine success for they are the primary demographic and the minds of youths are forever changing.

Which console do you prefer?

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    • profile image

      Single Shot 4 years ago

      :) No problem!

    • brittanycoughlin profile image
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      Brittany Coughlin 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Single Shot 4 years ago

      Nice Hub.