The next clash of The Video Game Titans has begun. Even though Nintendo was knocked down for a bit, they certainly were not out. With the release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has done it again and proven to the world why they are one of the most innovative video game companies around. Let’s talk about gaming’s 3 biggest juggernauts, shall we!
The Master Chief Is Born
Let’s start by going over the big green themselves, Xbox. I go into some information on my previous page on controllers. If you’d like to read up on it check it out here – Best Video Game Controller: Hard Ware That Dominates. The Xbox has certainly shown time and time again why it is a console not to be messed with. The Halo series alone brings great praise from Gamers and non-Gamers. I too bow to my steel collectors edition of Halo 2 for the OG Xbox every now and again just to show my respect. Xbox helped improve and mold the first person shooter genre to where it is today.
The hardware that was used in the original Xbox was great to newcomers to video games. The background sound was like aliens talking with one another. This was also the first time that a system allowed you to listen to your own music while playing a game instead of the in-game music. It was mind-blowing! Life couldn’t get any better…until the 360 came along. The 360 fine-tuned what the Xbox laid the foundation for. Tighter graphics, a bigger hard drive (going from the original 8 GB to a 16 GB hard drive, with the option to upgrade), better software to listen to your music while playing a game….. I love my music, so what? It felt like gaming couldn’t get any better than this. Of course, it did, it just felt like it couldn’t at the time.
Introducing the Xbox One. The controversy behind this system has shown companies, for the most part, what not to do. It was huge, and it came with every one’s favorite gadget the Kinect! Of course, I am joking and I know not everyone likes the Kinect, I liked the Kinect back when it first came out though. I thought it was a great idea just poorly implemented. The Xbox One had a terrible launch and a lot of the reason was due to the Kinect. There was a high price for the system set around $500 and people didn’t have a choice, you want the Xbox? You get the Kinect. Period. This led to a lot of people jumping ship and buying PS4’s instead. Not only did they save money but they didn’t have to worry about the Kinect stalking their every move. That gives me the creeps honestly. PlayStation is not without their blemishes but we’ll touch on that later.
Thank the gods Xbox did a 180 on all the terrible ideas they had, like forcing the Kinect down people’s throat, the need for the all in one entertainment device and the need for the system to always be connected to the internet. That also helped bring the cost down for the system which of course brought sales up. They have since come out with two other systems to the Xbox family called the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. Both are slimmer in design with a little more tech added. The One S brought the upgrade to support 4K resolution, bringing the games from 1080P to 4K and has high dynamic range video. Just meaning prettier graphics and video. The One X is an upgraded model of the S with higher end video and graphics, this is really more geared towards people who own 4K TV’s. Thank goodness Xbox smartened up and we were able to get the consoles that we were looking for, hail to the people!
- You can find these great systems on Amazon right here -> Xbox 360 , Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X
The Many Mascot Station
I talked about how Nintendo and Sony were partnered up at one time and that things did not work out in my article on video game controllers. That break up fueled the fire for one of gamings giants, The PlayStation. They were revolutionaries in the industry, going from cartridges to CDs. That gave games a lot more room for memory and better graphics for 3D rendering. The tech, when compared to current systems, doesn’t hold a candle but that’s also comparing a Galaxy 9 to a car phone from the 80s. It’s just not a fair comparison.
The PlayStation was making a name for itself to compete with Nintendo so they tried getting their own mascot. Or really mascots, because they had a lot of ideas of what they were looking for. We all know and love these guys, I am of course talking about Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon. They helped bring the platformer genre into a new light of gameplay. The PlayStation was gaining popularity and kept Nintendo on their toes. This gave rise to the PlayStation 2. A massive system at the time could not only play video games but DVD’s as well! That’s not impressive today I know but it was back then. You no longer needed to spend more money to buy a separate DVD system. The graphics were overhauled and the hits just kept on coming with title after title like Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Kingdom Hearts and who can ever forget the introduction of the God Of War himself, Kratos!
Fall From Grace
With the PlayStation 2, Sony was on top of their game, pun intended. All of the above-mentioned titles went on to have sequels and pretty much all had critical acclaim. Then the PlayStation 3 was introduced. The PlayStation 3 was the first in the then next-gen system to not think about the consumer first and foremost. The PlayStation had upgraded hardware, touted the fact that it also supported BluRay tech and originally promised it would be backward compatible for your PS2 games! All of which got the system to a $500 price tag. Unfortunately, the PS3 did not truly deliver on all of its promises such as the backward compatibility of the system. There were few systems that were sold which had the ability but Sony made sure to put an end to that for one reason or another. This price tag allowed for the Xbox 360 to come in and sweep a lot of customers away because of their more favorable price tag. Now, where did we hear that before?
The PlayStation 3 sales increased over time but that was after the price tag came down a bit. Along came the PlayStation 4 to the market towards the end of 2013 and Sony was back on top! The slimmer and less bulky size set the standard for aesthetics, the controller introduced an integrated touchpad, along with the accelerated processing unit and the high dynamic range video, the PlayStation was back in the fight! It also helped that Xbox had an incredibly high price and was forcing the Kinect to buyers. Who wants a Kinect when you can have two glowing wands right? Right? No? Ok, moving on. Just like the Xbox, the PS4 came out with two other models that improved on the already impressive hardware. The PlayStation 4 slim, which was the same hardware but only smaller and sexier and the PlayStation 4 pro. This system improved on graphics by upgrading the GPU (graphics processing unit) and the CPU (central processing unit) to support 4K gameplay.
- You can pick up one of these amazing consoles on Amazon right here: -> PlayStation 2 PlayStation 4 Slim PlayStation 4 Pro
Nintendo Switch’s It Up
The last system I don’t need to make an introduction for. They have been around for decades and just about single-handedly brought the video game back from extinction! You might be thinking that I am a giant Nintendo fanboy….and you would be correct. I can’t help it! I love saving humanity and shooting monsters as an 8-foot super soldier and killing Gods for murdering my family like the next guy. But sometimes you want to go back to a more heroic character, saving the land of Hyrule from Ganon, saving a princess for probably the 100th time or going around and smacking bad guys around because they stole your banana hoard. Nintendo has been a household name since the 80s and it doesn’t look like they are going to go away any time soon. The Nintendo Entertainment System blew everyone away because it was marketed as a toy. The graphics were better than what was seen before at the time with systems like Atari, Coleco vision, and the Magnavox Odyssey. Sprites looked a lot more detailed on the Nintendo than just looking like blobs on the TV.
The hits just kept coming for Nintendo. The Nintendo Entertainment System’s predecessor was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Because, of course, it was! The Super Nintendo was my go-to console when I was a kid. Mario got a cosmetic touch up because of the 16-bit graphics overhaul, Super Metroid came out and kicked all sorts of butt and a Link To The Past was introduced. I wanted to call out sick from school a lot just to sit home and play video games but my Mom was not having it. From the Super Nintendo then came the Nintendo 64 around 1996. This was Nintendo’s big debut in the 3D world of gaming. This system helped pave the way for modern gaming as we know it. The best title for the system was, of course, Mario 64. Mario was once again overhauled for a new generation to see but this time he was in the 3rd dimension! Arguably the tech has not aged very well but it has made a giant footnote in gaming history because of how they implemented a Y-axis to the existing X -axis, giving way to 3D gaming.
Nintendo had its ups and downs after the N64 had it’s run. The GameCube launched around 2001 to some mixed opinions. The games were being put onto tiny little discs that no one else other than Nintendo was using. I personally liked them because it was interesting but not everyone agreed with me. Some people didn’t like that you couldn’t play CDs or DVDs like the Xbox or PlayStation could. Going against those consoles Nintendo could not compete as well with the more adult-oriented style of gameplay. The system ran until around 2007 and then the Wii was introduced. Nintendo blew the minds off of everyone with the motion controls and the new design of the console. This system was loved by just about everyone young and old alike. Nintendo was able to climb back on top.
The Black Sheep
Nintendo is always the company that is trying to do something that the competition is not. The Wii U was no exception to the rule. The Wii U introduced the GamePad to a lot of gamers nightmares. This thing is clunky, awkward and has the worst battery life because of its touchscreen constantly on. The idea was interesting because of the touch screen and the stylus that came with it. The biggest thing is that Nintendo barely advertised for it. The marketing was so bad and so little that no one even knew that Nintendo came out with a whole brand new console! It launched before the PS4 and the Xbox One even launched and there was barely a whisper about it. Because of this fact, PlayStation and Xbox were able to take a good amount of sales. The system did introduce the pro-controller, which is the first “normal” controller Nintendo developed in years up until that point. It did also come out with some great titles, a lot of Zelda HD remakes and best of all Super Mario maker. Given the option to create your own Mario levels was a dream come true, for those who don’t know how to ROM hack.
The Nintendo Switch
We went over the best Nintendo had to offer back in the day to the worst Nintendo had to offer. As we all may be aware of Nintendo came out with their newest and to a lot of people their greatest console yet, The Switch. This console does not have 4K resolution and does not have insane storage like the other systems. What it has, is character. The system is 100% portable unlike the Wii U, you can go from playing Mario on the couch to playing Mario on the bus. Although it doesn’t have the best graphics it still has around 1080p while docked on the TV which is still alright from a graphics standpoint, and when it’s un-docked it’s around 720p. The focus is on gameplay and getting back to what I always say is the best thing about gaming, having fun. The system comes with two controllers called joy cons and right away you don’t need to spend more money for a second controller! The system is built to be more like a party console, you can bring it anywhere and play at any time. That’s not to say the batteries last forever. If you’re playing a higher end game like Zelda Breath Of The Wild you might get about 4 to 6 hours out of it out of the dock. The switch has snowballed in popularity over the past year, Nintendo is finally working with 3rd party developers again so we will get to play Doom on the go!
Who wins? Who can get to call themselves THE Video Game Titan?! That ultimately comes down to your style of gameplay. The Xbox and PlayStation are powerhouse machines built for superior graphics, high-speed resolution and overall a more adult tone. If you’re looking to get some shooting done like Halo, get some fighting bouts in like Mortal Kombat then these consoles are the way to go! The Nintendo switch’s ability to take some great titles and make them portable is a great selling point as I mentioned before. The joy cons motion sensor and the pro controller definitely make the Nintendo’s hardware a lot more impressive. The party nature of the Switch is one of its best-selling points as well. Who doesn’t want to challenge someone to a Mario Kart race at the airport or on a train ride home? One of the drawbacks is the online chat. It is nowhere near as simple as Xbox or PlayStation’s online chat or play for that matter. They have perfected it whereas Nintendo has recently adopted it. I have no personal winner because I like them each for the quality they bring to gaming, be it graphics or mobility, you have to show a little respect to the three Titans of Gaming.
What did you think? Did this help you learn a little more about some consoles? Leave a comment down below