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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Videogame Connoisseur

Next Gen has been around for a little over a year now (by Next Gen I mean all next generation systems: Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3), so lets take a look at where they stand. Xbox came out first, about a year before its competitors, and got into homes early. This gave the Xbox a lead, and by the time the Wii and PS3 came out most people had already spent their money on an Xbox and couldn’t afford to buy another system.

When the Wii came out its launch titles were a little weak, but its innovative control scheme and low price made it a favorite amongst consumers. The PS3 is the most expensive of the Next Gen systems. Its library of games is still weak (the ones everybody is waiting for-Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, et al.-are still in production and won’t be released until later this year) and it is hemorrhaging Sony’s money at an astonishing rate.

The Xbox 360 is pretty secure at this point. As long as new games keep on coming Microsoft is set. The Wii is still facing some shortages, but what will happen once the current demand is met? If they beef up their library a bit and get some more exclusives that aren’t targeted towards children or families, they’ll do fine.

Seriously, Nintendo of Japan is much looser then Nintendo of America. They need to let up on their focus on family-oriented gaming and release more games that are rated M (mature).

The PS3 will either thrive this year or end up buried in a pauper’s grave. The PS3 has been in trouble from the start; high price, system shortages and lousy launch titles are crippling blows from which it has yet to recover. However, there is hope for the PS3; new chances have come with the New Year.

I predict that sales of the PS3 will make a significant jump around tax season when people start getting back their returns. Nothing causes high-price purchases like people receiving large chunks of cash. I also predict that an increase in sales of the PS3 will also be the final nail in HD DVD’s coffin. HD DVD is already losing the battle to BLU-Ray, and the PS3 with its built in BLU-Ray player will help to usher in the BLU-Ray era of home video, but only if the PS3 starts selling.

The Xbox 360 is all set for the foreseeable future; as long as the games keep coming, so will the gamers. The Wii will continue to do just fine unless someone makes a huge blunder. Releasing higher rated titles and getting some exclusives from some popular series would help increase sales some, but this isn’t strictly necessary. This year is the PS3’s time to shine. Without having to compete with other new systems, its sales should go up. And dropping the price or releasing a cheaper model would help considerably. The PS3 could also play a role in the war between HD DVD and BLU-Ray by helping put more BLU-Ray players in people’s homes. It’s a new year and new games are coming, so sit back, grab a controller, and enjoy the ride.