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"Consoles of the Noughties"

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Thu 17/12/09 at 09:42
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
As we approach the end of the decade with the silliest name (noughties), I thought we should take time to have a little reflection upon the busiest 10 years gaming has seen in term of hardware releases.

Sega Dreamcast
European Release: Oct 1999

With a release in 1999 the Dreamcast was released just before the noughties began but it merits inclusion as it was still in nappies when the year 2000 came round.

The Dreamcast is a bit of a sob story, a fanstastic console but a sales failure which saw Sega call it a day as a console manufacturer, an unthinkable move for those of use who great up
with Sega consoles.

The Dreamcast was the closest you could comes to having a Sega arcade machine in your house but it wasn't enough to tempt the Playstation generation away from Sony.

The online functions that gamers take for granted these days were kick started by the Dreamcast with its inbuilt 56K modem. Online multiplayer and internet browsing were now all possible for console gamers. Those of you who played the likes of Quake 3 Arena and Chu Chu Rocket will know the online features worked exceptionally well albeit with a little lag at times but even broadband isn't a lag free zone.

Sega intriduced memory cards like no other for the Dreamcast. The Visual Memory Units (VMUs) are best descibed as being like little Gameboys and could be used to play basic games outwith the Dreamcast. 2 VMUs could be plugged together for multiplayer action. The internet had games (e.g. a Pac-Man clone) which could be downloaded onto the VMU. It was a unique memory card but never really fully exploited.

The Dreamcast can even boast 2 very good Sonic games, something most recent consoles can't say they have.

Sony Playstation 2
European Release: Novemeber 2000

Sony released the follow up to the hugely successful PS1 at the start of the new century. To get straight to the point, this is
the best selling console ever which is not bad for a company releasing only their 2nd console.

Sony predicted a sell out and came up with a pre-order scheme. Silly people, like me, found themselves queuing up at silly o'clock
in the morning in an attempt to secure a PS2 on release day. It was a widely criticised scheme and has never been repeated.

Unlike the Dreamcast, the PS2 had no online focus although this did come along in response the the xbox but fell short of the online offerings by Microsoft, not that it damaged the PS2's reputation or sales in any way.

An important feature for the PS2 was backwards compatibility with all PS1 games, memory cards and controllers which was a key feature especially since the PS1 was supported long after the release of the PS2.

For the PS2 Sony introduced the Dual Shock 2 contol pad which had pressure sensitive buttons but you would need to go on a treasure hunt to try and find a game that made use of the feature.

The PS2 may never have got its Golden Eye or Halo beaters but with light guns, dance mats, the eye toy camera and every major
release from independent publishers, it had a bigger choice of games than the competitors.

As it did with the PS1, Sony eventually released a slimmed down version on the PS2 which arrived 4 years later and had lost something like 70% of its size.

Microsoft Xbox
European Release: March 2002

After working with Sega in getting Windows CE onto the Dreamcast, Microsoft decided its next step was to launch its own console.

The Xbox was a big beast in size and came with a drive, a first for consoles. Microsoft also took Sega's lead with the
online gaming and introduced the world to Xbox Live. This was a subscription based service which allowed gamers to play online as well as download content onto the hard drives.

Microsoft bought Bungie and Halo was an Xbox launch title. Halo took over from Golden Eye as the widely regarded best first person shooter on a console and just like MArio 64 in the last generation, this was the game to beat in this generation and most people (except me) think it was never achieved.

The Xbox was dismissed by many as simply a PC designed by a console but while it never threatened Sony's lead with the PS2, it did outsell the Gamecube. And with Microsoft reporting 250,000 Live subscribers within 2 months and 1 million 2 years after the launch, console gamers were showing they were ready for online.

Nintendo Gamecube
European Release: May 2002

Gamecube. It's not the most extravagent name a console has ever had but it is cube shaped and it plays games so it is certainly fitting. The Gamecube was the first Nintendo console to use optical disc based media rather than cartridges. Mini DVDs were the chosen disc format but this means that DVD vidoe play back and audio CD playback from full sized discs were not supported as they were with the PS2 and the Xbox.

In terms of graphical capabilities the Gamecube is widely regarded as being between the Xbox and the PS2, the little cube
certainly was a very capable machine which was probably best demonstrated by Metroid Prime.

The N64 games library suffered a bit from the lack of 3rd party support and the same can be said for the Gamecube. For the
Nintendo fan there was plenty of gaming delights to be had including another 3D Mario game in the shape of Super Mario Sunshine, although Nintendo couldn't quite rediscover the magic from Mario 64. Big sellers such as Grand Theft Auto 3 which could be found on the PS2 and the Xbox could not be found on the more family friendly Gamecube.

The Gamecube saw some Nintendo IP's go into the hands of other developers. Sega released the excellent F-Zero GX and the Metroid series went to Retro Studios who turned the franchise into first-person shooter platformer/adventure romp and truly did a wonderful job. Halo was always touted as the best shooter but in my humble opinion, Metroid Prime was its superior in every way.

The Gamecube was capable of online play like the Dreamcast but unlike the Dreamcast this capability was not out of the box as an adapter was needed and it was also not very well supported.

Nintendo saw how popular backwards compatibility was for the Playstation but it couldn't offer the same as all previous Nintendo
consoles were cartridge based. Nintendo did the next best thing and offered compatibility with the GBA.

Sadly the Gamecube sales came behind the PS2 and the Xbox and by the end of its supported lifespan it had sold less than the N64.

Nintendo DS
European Release: March 2005

Nintendo followed up the Gameboy with the dual screen, touch screen enabled DS. The DS is similar to some of the old Game & Watch handheld devices Nintendo released in the 80s with the clam shell design and 2 screens.

With the DS, Nintendo started its drive to change the way people play games. The lower screen on the touch screen is touch sensitive meaning players can interact with the DS using the
stylus, their finger or the little plastic tab attached to the wrist strap. In addition to the touch screen, the DS came with an inbuilt microphone which added to the different ways in which players could interact with their games, players were not just pressing buttons anymore, they were touching icons on screen, controlling with touch and they were even able to talk to the console (as strange as that sounds).

The DS was a much more powerful machine than the DS and Nintedo saw no better way to illustrate this than releasing Super Mario 64. Being able to successfully run the best 3D platformer on a hand held machine was quite some bonus for the DS. The DS is also backwards compatible with GBA software meaning it had a huge catalogue of games it could play from day 1.

The DS has built in Wi-Fi meaning (free) online play and with the microphone online chat was possible. Games like Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario 64 showed that this was a very capable little handheld.

Nintendo has had huge success with the Gameboy and Gameboy Advance and the DS was and still is hugely successful. Nintendo, it seems, can do no wrong in the handeld market.

Nintendo followed Sony's idea and put the DS on a diet. The DS Lite came along shortly after which was then followed by the DSi and the DSi XL. The DSi removed the GBA slot and replaced it with an DS card slot, expanded on the online capabilities with an internet browser and the ability to download to SD card. And Nintendo chucked a coupe of cameras in as well.

Sony PSP
Eurpoean Release: September 2005

Sony clearly decided dominating the home market was not enough and not far behind the DS the PSP was released. When the PSP was first shown everyone wanted one. It was a stunning looking machine, had a huge screen and could play close to Playstation 2 quality games. There was no doubt, this was more pwerful than the DS and it could play films, music via MP3, could store photos, had built in wi-fi, it seemed to do it all.

Things haven't quite gone according to plan and Sony haven't found Nintendo's grip on the handheld market easy to loosen. The PSP suffered from not having a focus, it could do everything but ultimately suffered from a poor battery life and games which didn't quite live up to potential. As much as the PSP could come close to PS2 quality games, it didn't have a 2nd analogue stick meaning the control system wasn't suitable for some of
these games. This is something the DS didn't suffer from as the touch screen could be used as an analogue stick to go along with the d-pad.

The PSP has come in a few variations. The PSP 2000 (slim n lite) reduced the size a little, improved load times and battery life. The 3000 improved the LCD screen to reduce ghosting and improve visibility in sun light as well as adding a microphone. And finally the PSP Go is a complete redesign with the screen being slid up to reveal the buttons but more drastically, the UMD drive has been removed and replaced with 16 GB of internal memory. The Go is designed purely for the digital distribution era.

2009 has been a good year for the PSP, the focus has increased on games and the Playstation Store now offers Apple App Store like minis and comics to read via the Comic Reader.

Microsoft Xbox 360
European Release: December 2005

Microsoft decided the key to success for the successor to the xbox was to release it before Sony and Nintendo released their follow up consoles. And that is exactly what they did and probably
explains the high failure rate of the console. The number of consoles that ended up with the Red Ring of Death (RROD) forced Microsoft to change the standard 1 year warranty to 3 years.
Had Sony been quick off the mark then perhaps Microsoft wouldn't have got away with such poor build quality, Sony missed a real chance here. The RROD does take away from what is a fine console with some fine games.

The 360 launched with 2 versions, 1 with 20 GB hard drive and one without. Since then there have been a few different variations with 120GB hard drive and a 60GB hard drive arriving.

The 360 stayed with DVD as the media although did offer an HD DVD player for high def films.

The "next generation" introduced wireless controllers. Microsoft and Nintendo opted to use replacable batteries and Sony went for a fixed battery but either way there is now no tripping over the wires.

Microsoft and Sony have traded a lot of blows with their current consoles trying to prove to the public that their offering is the most powerful with Microsoft trying to prove the lack of HD media is not
an issue.

Having seen the success of the Wii, this year Microsoft announced Natal. This goes beyond what is offered by the Wii and offers full body motion control and voice recognition. Only time will tell if consumers prefer this to the Wii but I personally think the market Nintendo have captured with the Wii are not going to move to the 360 or PS3.

Nintendo Wii
European Release: December 2006

A year after the 360, Nintendo released the Wii and took everyone by surprise. Nintendo had competed in muscle power with the N64 and Gamecube and lost out with both but this time around Nintendo chose a different path, the one it started with the DS. Nintendo again changed how players interact with their games. The Wii works on motion control and if the adverts are anything to go by, a general aim is to make the player look as silly as possible.

The Nintendo Wii has gone down a storm in all countries. Microsoft and Sony with their graphical power houses could only look on in jealousy. Nintendo had tapped into the untouched market of the so called casual gamer, suddenly people who had never looked twice at video games were snapping up the console.

The concept behind Wii is not for the solitary gamer playing games on his own or over the internet, the Wii is all about getting people together to play games in the same room. And make them all look silly!

The Wii comes with Wi-Fi for online play and the Virtual Consoles offers a variety of retro games from several platforms for download.

Nintendo release the Motion Plus this year to make the motion control more accurate although this is still in its infancy with games.

With the Wii there is no focus on having the best graphics, there is no HD, there is no new model every 6 months and the world loves it.

Sony Playstation 3
European Release: March 2007

Sony was last to join the party and missed a glorious chance to cash in on the 360's reliability issues. Sony have found things a little different with the latest in the Playstation range. With the PS1 and PS2 they found success relatively easily but it hasn't been the same with the PS3.

On its delayed release, the PS3 came out at a much higher price than the now reduced 360 and a Blu-Ray player, in built wi-fi (360 needs an external adaptor sold seperately), memory card reader, free online play via the Playsation Network and PS1 and limited PS2 backwards capability weren't enough to tempt as many gamers as Sony expected.

With struggling sales it wasn't long before Sony released a new version with less features (smaller hard drive, no PS2 backwards compatibility, no card readers and a lower price point.

Some developers have struggled to get to grips with the more complex PS3. The 360 is more like a PC and easier to develop for and therefore in the earlier days the multiplatform releases tended to be better on the 360.

PSN was criticised for being a worse offering than the subscription based Xbox Live but Live had been introduced with the Xbox and expanded with the 360, this was Sony's first attempt and has been improved since and the gap is much less now.

The PS3 has finally got into its stride and depending who you listen to is either trouncing the 360 or being trounced by the 360. Multiplatform games are now on par and Killzone 2 is widely regarded as having the best graphics in the current generation.

As with all Playstations, the PS3 recently went on a diet although not a big a diet as the PS2 went on but it did find itself a larger hard drive in the process.

At the same time as Microsoft was announcing their Wii beater, Sony were doing the same with there so far nameless technology.

Summary
So there we have it, the main releases of the decade and I'm sure you will agree there has been a lot to talk about. Each and everyone of these consoles deserves more coverage than what I've done here but this thread would end up turning into a book.
Wed 23/12/09 at 18:44
Regular
"PS2 Gamer."
Posts: 31
Edgy wrote:
> What about the Nintendo DS?


Worldwide: 113.48 million, including DS Lite and DSi units (as of September 30, 2009)
Wed 23/12/09 at 15:47
Regular
Posts: 15,681
What about the Nintendo DS?
Wed 23/12/09 at 12:21
Regular
"PS2 Gamer."
Posts: 31
Edgy wrote:
> Very informative :)
>
> Although the information about the PS2 being the best selling
> console is not quiet accurate anymore I believe :P
>
> Great post though! Sounds like a description of my gaming decade
> to some extent...


The PS2 is the best-selling console to date, having reached over 138 million units sold as of August 18, 2009

As of December 2009, the Wii leads the generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales

The nintendo Wii : Worlwide: 56.14 million (as of September 30, 2009


:P
Fri 18/12/09 at 07:08
Regular
Posts: 15,681
Very informative :)

Although the information about the PS2 being the best selling console is not quiet accurate anymore I believe :P

Great post though! Sounds like a description of my gaming decade to some extent...
Thu 17/12/09 at 09:42
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
As we approach the end of the decade with the silliest name (noughties), I thought we should take time to have a little reflection upon the busiest 10 years gaming has seen in term of hardware releases.

Sega Dreamcast
European Release: Oct 1999

With a release in 1999 the Dreamcast was released just before the noughties began but it merits inclusion as it was still in nappies when the year 2000 came round.

The Dreamcast is a bit of a sob story, a fanstastic console but a sales failure which saw Sega call it a day as a console manufacturer, an unthinkable move for those of use who great up
with Sega consoles.

The Dreamcast was the closest you could comes to having a Sega arcade machine in your house but it wasn't enough to tempt the Playstation generation away from Sony.

The online functions that gamers take for granted these days were kick started by the Dreamcast with its inbuilt 56K modem. Online multiplayer and internet browsing were now all possible for console gamers. Those of you who played the likes of Quake 3 Arena and Chu Chu Rocket will know the online features worked exceptionally well albeit with a little lag at times but even broadband isn't a lag free zone.

Sega intriduced memory cards like no other for the Dreamcast. The Visual Memory Units (VMUs) are best descibed as being like little Gameboys and could be used to play basic games outwith the Dreamcast. 2 VMUs could be plugged together for multiplayer action. The internet had games (e.g. a Pac-Man clone) which could be downloaded onto the VMU. It was a unique memory card but never really fully exploited.

The Dreamcast can even boast 2 very good Sonic games, something most recent consoles can't say they have.

Sony Playstation 2
European Release: Novemeber 2000

Sony released the follow up to the hugely successful PS1 at the start of the new century. To get straight to the point, this is
the best selling console ever which is not bad for a company releasing only their 2nd console.

Sony predicted a sell out and came up with a pre-order scheme. Silly people, like me, found themselves queuing up at silly o'clock
in the morning in an attempt to secure a PS2 on release day. It was a widely criticised scheme and has never been repeated.

Unlike the Dreamcast, the PS2 had no online focus although this did come along in response the the xbox but fell short of the online offerings by Microsoft, not that it damaged the PS2's reputation or sales in any way.

An important feature for the PS2 was backwards compatibility with all PS1 games, memory cards and controllers which was a key feature especially since the PS1 was supported long after the release of the PS2.

For the PS2 Sony introduced the Dual Shock 2 contol pad which had pressure sensitive buttons but you would need to go on a treasure hunt to try and find a game that made use of the feature.

The PS2 may never have got its Golden Eye or Halo beaters but with light guns, dance mats, the eye toy camera and every major
release from independent publishers, it had a bigger choice of games than the competitors.

As it did with the PS1, Sony eventually released a slimmed down version on the PS2 which arrived 4 years later and had lost something like 70% of its size.

Microsoft Xbox
European Release: March 2002

After working with Sega in getting Windows CE onto the Dreamcast, Microsoft decided its next step was to launch its own console.

The Xbox was a big beast in size and came with a drive, a first for consoles. Microsoft also took Sega's lead with the
online gaming and introduced the world to Xbox Live. This was a subscription based service which allowed gamers to play online as well as download content onto the hard drives.

Microsoft bought Bungie and Halo was an Xbox launch title. Halo took over from Golden Eye as the widely regarded best first person shooter on a console and just like MArio 64 in the last generation, this was the game to beat in this generation and most people (except me) think it was never achieved.

The Xbox was dismissed by many as simply a PC designed by a console but while it never threatened Sony's lead with the PS2, it did outsell the Gamecube. And with Microsoft reporting 250,000 Live subscribers within 2 months and 1 million 2 years after the launch, console gamers were showing they were ready for online.

Nintendo Gamecube
European Release: May 2002

Gamecube. It's not the most extravagent name a console has ever had but it is cube shaped and it plays games so it is certainly fitting. The Gamecube was the first Nintendo console to use optical disc based media rather than cartridges. Mini DVDs were the chosen disc format but this means that DVD vidoe play back and audio CD playback from full sized discs were not supported as they were with the PS2 and the Xbox.

In terms of graphical capabilities the Gamecube is widely regarded as being between the Xbox and the PS2, the little cube
certainly was a very capable machine which was probably best demonstrated by Metroid Prime.

The N64 games library suffered a bit from the lack of 3rd party support and the same can be said for the Gamecube. For the
Nintendo fan there was plenty of gaming delights to be had including another 3D Mario game in the shape of Super Mario Sunshine, although Nintendo couldn't quite rediscover the magic from Mario 64. Big sellers such as Grand Theft Auto 3 which could be found on the PS2 and the Xbox could not be found on the more family friendly Gamecube.

The Gamecube saw some Nintendo IP's go into the hands of other developers. Sega released the excellent F-Zero GX and the Metroid series went to Retro Studios who turned the franchise into first-person shooter platformer/adventure romp and truly did a wonderful job. Halo was always touted as the best shooter but in my humble opinion, Metroid Prime was its superior in every way.

The Gamecube was capable of online play like the Dreamcast but unlike the Dreamcast this capability was not out of the box as an adapter was needed and it was also not very well supported.

Nintendo saw how popular backwards compatibility was for the Playstation but it couldn't offer the same as all previous Nintendo
consoles were cartridge based. Nintendo did the next best thing and offered compatibility with the GBA.

Sadly the Gamecube sales came behind the PS2 and the Xbox and by the end of its supported lifespan it had sold less than the N64.

Nintendo DS
European Release: March 2005

Nintendo followed up the Gameboy with the dual screen, touch screen enabled DS. The DS is similar to some of the old Game & Watch handheld devices Nintendo released in the 80s with the clam shell design and 2 screens.

With the DS, Nintendo started its drive to change the way people play games. The lower screen on the touch screen is touch sensitive meaning players can interact with the DS using the
stylus, their finger or the little plastic tab attached to the wrist strap. In addition to the touch screen, the DS came with an inbuilt microphone which added to the different ways in which players could interact with their games, players were not just pressing buttons anymore, they were touching icons on screen, controlling with touch and they were even able to talk to the console (as strange as that sounds).

The DS was a much more powerful machine than the DS and Nintedo saw no better way to illustrate this than releasing Super Mario 64. Being able to successfully run the best 3D platformer on a hand held machine was quite some bonus for the DS. The DS is also backwards compatible with GBA software meaning it had a huge catalogue of games it could play from day 1.

The DS has built in Wi-Fi meaning (free) online play and with the microphone online chat was possible. Games like Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario 64 showed that this was a very capable little handheld.

Nintendo has had huge success with the Gameboy and Gameboy Advance and the DS was and still is hugely successful. Nintendo, it seems, can do no wrong in the handeld market.

Nintendo followed Sony's idea and put the DS on a diet. The DS Lite came along shortly after which was then followed by the DSi and the DSi XL. The DSi removed the GBA slot and replaced it with an DS card slot, expanded on the online capabilities with an internet browser and the ability to download to SD card. And Nintendo chucked a coupe of cameras in as well.

Sony PSP
Eurpoean Release: September 2005

Sony clearly decided dominating the home market was not enough and not far behind the DS the PSP was released. When the PSP was first shown everyone wanted one. It was a stunning looking machine, had a huge screen and could play close to Playstation 2 quality games. There was no doubt, this was more pwerful than the DS and it could play films, music via MP3, could store photos, had built in wi-fi, it seemed to do it all.

Things haven't quite gone according to plan and Sony haven't found Nintendo's grip on the handheld market easy to loosen. The PSP suffered from not having a focus, it could do everything but ultimately suffered from a poor battery life and games which didn't quite live up to potential. As much as the PSP could come close to PS2 quality games, it didn't have a 2nd analogue stick meaning the control system wasn't suitable for some of
these games. This is something the DS didn't suffer from as the touch screen could be used as an analogue stick to go along with the d-pad.

The PSP has come in a few variations. The PSP 2000 (slim n lite) reduced the size a little, improved load times and battery life. The 3000 improved the LCD screen to reduce ghosting and improve visibility in sun light as well as adding a microphone. And finally the PSP Go is a complete redesign with the screen being slid up to reveal the buttons but more drastically, the UMD drive has been removed and replaced with 16 GB of internal memory. The Go is designed purely for the digital distribution era.

2009 has been a good year for the PSP, the focus has increased on games and the Playstation Store now offers Apple App Store like minis and comics to read via the Comic Reader.

Microsoft Xbox 360
European Release: December 2005

Microsoft decided the key to success for the successor to the xbox was to release it before Sony and Nintendo released their follow up consoles. And that is exactly what they did and probably
explains the high failure rate of the console. The number of consoles that ended up with the Red Ring of Death (RROD) forced Microsoft to change the standard 1 year warranty to 3 years.
Had Sony been quick off the mark then perhaps Microsoft wouldn't have got away with such poor build quality, Sony missed a real chance here. The RROD does take away from what is a fine console with some fine games.

The 360 launched with 2 versions, 1 with 20 GB hard drive and one without. Since then there have been a few different variations with 120GB hard drive and a 60GB hard drive arriving.

The 360 stayed with DVD as the media although did offer an HD DVD player for high def films.

The "next generation" introduced wireless controllers. Microsoft and Nintendo opted to use replacable batteries and Sony went for a fixed battery but either way there is now no tripping over the wires.

Microsoft and Sony have traded a lot of blows with their current consoles trying to prove to the public that their offering is the most powerful with Microsoft trying to prove the lack of HD media is not
an issue.

Having seen the success of the Wii, this year Microsoft announced Natal. This goes beyond what is offered by the Wii and offers full body motion control and voice recognition. Only time will tell if consumers prefer this to the Wii but I personally think the market Nintendo have captured with the Wii are not going to move to the 360 or PS3.

Nintendo Wii
European Release: December 2006

A year after the 360, Nintendo released the Wii and took everyone by surprise. Nintendo had competed in muscle power with the N64 and Gamecube and lost out with both but this time around Nintendo chose a different path, the one it started with the DS. Nintendo again changed how players interact with their games. The Wii works on motion control and if the adverts are anything to go by, a general aim is to make the player look as silly as possible.

The Nintendo Wii has gone down a storm in all countries. Microsoft and Sony with their graphical power houses could only look on in jealousy. Nintendo had tapped into the untouched market of the so called casual gamer, suddenly people who had never looked twice at video games were snapping up the console.

The concept behind Wii is not for the solitary gamer playing games on his own or over the internet, the Wii is all about getting people together to play games in the same room. And make them all look silly!

The Wii comes with Wi-Fi for online play and the Virtual Consoles offers a variety of retro games from several platforms for download.

Nintendo release the Motion Plus this year to make the motion control more accurate although this is still in its infancy with games.

With the Wii there is no focus on having the best graphics, there is no HD, there is no new model every 6 months and the world loves it.

Sony Playstation 3
European Release: March 2007

Sony was last to join the party and missed a glorious chance to cash in on the 360's reliability issues. Sony have found things a little different with the latest in the Playstation range. With the PS1 and PS2 they found success relatively easily but it hasn't been the same with the PS3.

On its delayed release, the PS3 came out at a much higher price than the now reduced 360 and a Blu-Ray player, in built wi-fi (360 needs an external adaptor sold seperately), memory card reader, free online play via the Playsation Network and PS1 and limited PS2 backwards capability weren't enough to tempt as many gamers as Sony expected.

With struggling sales it wasn't long before Sony released a new version with less features (smaller hard drive, no PS2 backwards compatibility, no card readers and a lower price point.

Some developers have struggled to get to grips with the more complex PS3. The 360 is more like a PC and easier to develop for and therefore in the earlier days the multiplatform releases tended to be better on the 360.

PSN was criticised for being a worse offering than the subscription based Xbox Live but Live had been introduced with the Xbox and expanded with the 360, this was Sony's first attempt and has been improved since and the gap is much less now.

The PS3 has finally got into its stride and depending who you listen to is either trouncing the 360 or being trounced by the 360. Multiplatform games are now on par and Killzone 2 is widely regarded as having the best graphics in the current generation.

As with all Playstations, the PS3 recently went on a diet although not a big a diet as the PS2 went on but it did find itself a larger hard drive in the process.

At the same time as Microsoft was announcing their Wii beater, Sony were doing the same with there so far nameless technology.

Summary
So there we have it, the main releases of the decade and I'm sure you will agree there has been a lot to talk about. Each and everyone of these consoles deserves more coverage than what I've done here but this thread would end up turning into a book.

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