Video gamers anxiously await PS3 and Wii release

By Drake Baer

The next entries into the gaming console market are will be descending upon campus over Thanksgiving break. The Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii are being released on Nov. 17 and 19, respectively. Retailers recently began accepting pre-orders for the systems, and in many cases, the demand has exhausted the supply.

“The ones that got them were pretty happy,” said a local EB Games employee, who wished not to be named. He said that there were people upset about not being able to place a pre-order, as there were “more than enough people in line both days” to exhaust the supply of allotted systems. The number of PlayStation 3 consoles available will be “pretty tight for a while,” he said, but the Wii will have much greater availability.

Sony wants to show that they have the most powerful system and that they have the best graphics, whereas Nintendo is creating a system for people who want to enjoy their games in a different way, the employee said.

The two systems should be able to coexist in the market, he said, as they fill different roles. Customers have been more excited about the Wii than the PS3, he said. He added that people have said that they will be camping out in front of the store on the nights that both systems are released.

Brad Boye, sophomore in LAS, said that the PlayStation 3 has a lot of exciting technology but is very expensive. Its cost would prohibit people from buying it, Boye said.

The PlayStation 3 will cost $500 for the base system and $600 for the premium, which will include extras like wireless technology. The Wii will debut at $250.

“The Nintendo Wii is very cool, and the price is amazing,” Boye said. He said that he liked the idea behind the motion control, the ‘Wii-mote.’ He said that for Nintendo, the Wii is a risk; it will be either a grand success or dismal failure.

Izaak Neveln, sophomore in Engineering, said that he has done a considerable amount of research on the subject. He said of the PlayStation 3, “I used to think it was a bit overpriced, but Sony’s determined to produce a high definition media center of the future, so the price is more sensible.”

He added that the PlayStation 3 includes a Blu-ray disc player. Blu-ray is a new technology that enables better graphics by storing up to 50GB of data on a disc that appears similar to a CD or DVD.

“When Nintendo announced the controller (for the Wii), it was evidenced that they were going a different route,” Neveln said.

He said that the Wii will provide a different kind of experience than the PlayStation 3. It is very much a video game console, he added, and not a media center.

“Its innovation lies in the remote, the ‘Wii-mote,'” Neveln said.

Neveln said that the Wii better suits college students.

“Most college students don’t have hi-definition TVs or the money for Blu-ray discs,” he said. The Wii is the get all your friends together and play kind of system, he added.

The Wii will launch with a “killer app,” or a game designed to sell many units. It will be “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,” said Neveln.

“The PlayStation 3’s ‘killer app’ will be ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,'” said Nevlen, “but it won’t be available at launch.” The PlayStation 3 will also continue the Final Fantasy franchise of games created by Squaresoft, a leading series of role-playing games, he added.