So, I've been thinking about the next generation of video games today, mostly because I was reminded by EA announcing they were developing six titles for the Wii. What occured to me was that all three systems of the currently dawning generation of Video Game consoles are being put out with some major mistakes by their respective manufacturers. So, lets go down the list.
Microsoft's X-Box 360 launched buggy, and with an overheating power supply. Combined with woefully inadequate production numbers, one is left to believe that the overall console was rushed. Its legacy support was also fairly spotty, and occasionally several titles that would work with earlier versions of the system software would stop working with later updates. Now, they still delivered a solid console in the end, and hardware issues will likely be completely sorted out by the time the other big two launch their new consoles. This doesn't change the fact that, in the end, many were left with a bad taste in their mouth. The console retailed for a higher price ($400) than any launch system since the Panasonic FZ-1 3DO (although Sony would shock us later).
Nintendo is probably the least mistake prone for this upcoming generation, but is far from innocent. First off, they let people get too attached to the system's codename (Revolution). It was also far too cool of a codename, and people really liked it. So, when Nintendo announced they were giving the console the name "Wii" (which is a stupid name to begin with) people were shocked. The system also will not provide graphics equivalent to the other two systems, but it will allow Nintendo to launch the system at a far more affordable price (about $250). Really, the only mistake Nintendo has made with this system is the name - and I plan on buying a Wii.
Finally, I'll talk about Sony's PS3. The world was excited about the PS3 at first - it would play all of our PS1 and PS2 games, it was going to have a next-gen High def DVD format (Bluray), and Bluetooth wireless controllers... it seemed like a dream. Except, then Sony told us it was going to cost $600. Yeah, that's right, it'll cost $600. At that point I went from going "Man, that PS3 is going to be so friggin' cool!" to "F*** that noise!" I mean, Sony apparently hasn't learned the 3DO lesson - it doesn't matter if your system has the latest technology, the best graphics, and some wonderful games: If no one can afford it, they'll buy the cheaper alternative. Parents buying for kids will purchase one of the two cheaper consoles (or as Microsoft has advocated, buying both of the other two consoles), and Sony's presumptive attitude has put off many hardcore games - as they feel they've been taken for granted.
All three of these companies have done something wrong, but Sony seems the most likely to hang themselves...