The Clash of the Consoles

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

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Having done some reading up recently on what is the best sixth-generation games console, I was curious to know what the Webbies of Web Apps’ opinions were on the matter.

We often stage inter-office tournaments on various consoles, so many of us at Web Apps know our computer gaming, and the results of the preference vote were as follows:

In accordance with various other online poles, the X-Box 360 streaked ahead with the majority of votes, with the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii left trailing in its wake. Online review sites such as gadget-playground.com and whatconsole.com seem to rate the X-Box 360 as the Rolls Royce of gaming power, due to its excellent graphic capability, well-implemented online system and attractive additions such as ‘Kinect’.

But let us not disregard the other 23 voters. Web Applications are largely a male staff, so there were never going to be dozens of female votes, but it initially astounded me to find that three of the four female voters voted for the Nintendo Wii. Is the Wii really that appealing to the girls? whatconsole.com suggests that the Wii is best suited for keep-fit enthusiasts, families and casual gamers, which one could argue are more likely to be female users, so the preference of the Wii by the females is perhaps the logical outcome. However, one female bucked the Wii trend and opted for ‘Other’ (more of that later).

At the other end of the spectrum, the X-Box and PS3 is better for hardcore gamers and they tend to feature action/shooter games, which Wii owners won’t encounter, such as Gears of War, Call of Duty and Bioshock. Users can role-play as hardened criminals, who tend to be clad in metallic armour, armed with a cocktail of weaponry, on a quest to brutally murder the enemy…while Wii players diligently practice their tennis serve.

After a bit of investigation, it became apparent that the majority of those voting ‘Other’ preferred more retro consoles, such as Sega Mega Drive II, Dreamcast and Magnavox Odyssey (I had to google that one), perceiving these past generation consoles to be of better gaming quality than, I quote, the “flashy new rubbish”. My experience of retro gaming is confined to playing ‘Wario’ on a GameCube – a crazy meddly of random games, but most enjoyable ones. The graphics, speed and size of the newer game consoles may be better than ever, but who can debate the simple and straightforward enjoyability of retro gaming? Less complex (and less intimidating?) consoles are perhaps able to draw from a wider pool of users, unlike the newer consoles, which come with specific target markets.

To arrive at one of those irritatingly inconclusive conclusions, it’s fair to say that the ‘best console’ is entirely dependent on the needs (and maybe the demographic) of the user, so it could be argued that in a rather philosophical twist that there are no best consoles, just different ones.