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The console wars have been a staple of video game fandom since the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. With quality competition came quality content from all fronts, and gamers were often split between multiple sides. These days, most households have at least one Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii to meet the needs of the inhabiting video game enthusiasts. Some gamers have only one of the current generation consoles, while others have two or possibly all three. But even after we look at who owns what console, forums, social networking sites, N4G, and major gaming news sites such as IGN are constantly packed with conversations, or rather arguments, between viscous fans claiming that the Wii is for kids, Sony sucks, and Microsoft is a super-powered money vacuum.
When you look at the grand scheme of things, none of these attacks hold any validity. All seventh generation video game consoles have titles that are family friendly; all three companies have made questionable decisions; and in the end, providing quality entertainment is just as important for the big three as making a buck is. They’ve all taken different approaches, but in the end, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are video game console manufacturers, and gamers have the right to choose their favorites among these three video game giants, but they should also respect the decisions of others to choose whatever console they like most.
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Get the Shovelware Out of the Way
Make no bones about it, there’s plenty of shovelware to go around across all three major home platforms. Whether it’s a movie cash-in, a cheap port, or some fitness game, poor titles litter the libraries of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Of course, the Wii is the biggest victim of the three featuring some of the most absurd games in the current generation. Regardless of that fact, shovelware comes with the territory; every video game console is bound to have dozens of trashy titles that make gamers scratch their heads at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. The best we can do is ignore these titles after making fun of them sufficiently and pop in a copy of Gears of War, Heavy Rain, or A Boy and His Blob to meet our quality gaming needs.
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The Games That Matter
Just because a handful of fanboys say the Wii sucks doesn’t make it true. First-party titles such as Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Metroid: Other M offer some of the most enjoyable gameplay not only on the console, but of this entire generation.There are also plenty of third-party titles such as the amazing Monster Hunter Tri, the hilarious No More Heroes, and the stylish MadWorld that are sure to please even the most jaded gamer.
Likewise, the PlayStation 3 may have gotten off to a slow start, but with titles such as God of War III, 3D Dot Game Heroes, and Red Dead Redemption, there’s no denying the force of Sony’s current generation machine. And although the argument can be made that the Xbox 360 isn’t the strongest in terms of exclusives aside from Gears of War and Halo, it is easily the best online gaming console, and it is single-handedly responsible for bringing the achievements system into gaming.
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Online Gaming Options
Ultimately, the merits of all three consoles rest on their libraries and features. Xbox 360 fans are able to pay a small yearly fee for some of the best competitive and cooperative online gaming around. There is also an abundance of stellar downloadable content in the form of indie games, arcade games, and expansion packs for existing titles.
The PlayStation 3 also offers a solid online gaming experience at no cost and an excellent collection of exclusives, which is something that Sony has boasted since the days of the PlayStation 2.
The Wii, on the other hand, offers very few games with online capabilities, and with the exception of a few titles, playing through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection can be a real drag. With that said, Nintendo is a company that thrives on its exclusive franchises. Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong are just three of the properties that Nintendo has had around for years, and because of their household name status, they have a rock solid fan base of gamers new and old. And while the implementation of motion controls may not be perfect in every game, countless impressive titles such as Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption have taken advantage of the Wii’s motion-sensing capabilities, providing immersive experiences that are certainly innovative.
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Why They're All Winners
All things considered, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii have all made some blunders, but they have also made some remarkable movements in the industry, whether it’s through graphical innovation, online features, introducing new IPs, or featuring motion controls. The argument that the console you don’t own sucks is played out, and it really holds no validity. You can be a hardcore gamer who primarily plays the Wii or a child who enjoys family games on the Xbox 360. The great thing about this console generation is that publishers and developers are trying to see how they can push the limits on the big three in new and exciting ways, making for some of the most varied game design ever.
We are all entitled to have our favorite systems, but ridiculing other consoles, or worse, other people for liking certain consoles is just plain weak. You may not like a certain console, but that doesn’t make it a bad gaming machine. The seventh generation of gaming has provided us with some of the most interesting releases, and this is due to the advancements in technology which have encouraged developers to create something different and take risks every so often. This wouldn’t be possible without the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii. So you may not like every console on the market today, but there’s no denying the impact they have each had, in the end making the gamers the real winners of the console wars.