E3 has come and gone, and now we know a lot more about the upcoming consoles from Sony and Nintendo.
Firstly, Wii, as it’s now been dubbed by Nintendo, looks like a really exciting prospect with its innovative control system. It was quite telling of the versatility of the motion- and position-sensitive controller and accompanying ‘nunchuck’ attachment to see how different developers used it. It was very well received, and although not as powerful as the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, showed that (shock horror) a good, fun game is not all about the graphics.
Things look less rosy for Sony, though. The inclusion of Blu-ray in PS3 has indeed forced the price way up — $599 in the US (or $499 for a cut-down version) and an artificially inflated €599 (or €499) in Europe. Apparently, Sony has also revealed a £425 price tag in the UK.
Sony keep reiterating that PS3 "isn’t a games console" and "what great value it is since it features a Blu-ray player", but this appears to be to the detriment of those who do just want a games console. What they have been particulary quiet about, is the lack of, among other desirable features, an HDMI A/V connector on the ‘cheap’ version of the ‘non-‘ console. This means that once Blu-ray movie discs start shipping with ICT (an ‘anti-piracy’ measure encouraged by US movie studios) enabled, it will not play those movies in high-definition.
The Blu-ray inflated pricing of Playstation 3 looks to have left Microsoft and Nintendo in a very strong position to draw the attentions of gamers who would otherwise have opted for a Playstation 3, but are not willing to re-mortgage their homes for the privilege.