PS3 vs. Wii

As I have purchased every console at launch in the past 15 years on launch day, I picked up my PlayStation 3 on Friday and my Wii on Sunday.  Here are some quick thoughts on both.

Sony had a year to get right what Microsoft screwed up with the 360 at launch.  They fixed none of it, and in fact, made even more mistakes.  The PlayStation Store appears to be bolted on at best.  Want to download a demo that's 800MB?  Great.  Sit there and wait while the entire thing downloads because you can't do anything else.  (Note that the 360 botched this at launch as well, but rectified it.)  Care to interrupt your demo and resume later?  Sure.  Just don't expect the resume portion of that.  Want to buy the game of the demo you purchased?  Ok.  Go back out of the game, over to the store, add it to the cart, check out, and download the entire game again!  At the moment, there is no integrated online gaming like the 360 with Friends lists and the like.  Say what you will about the 360, but it set the bar pretty high when it comes to a tightly-integrated online gaming console.

The PS3 launch games I've played are abysmal.  People say Resistance is good.  I'm not a big FPS fan so I'll reserve judgement on it, but I personally didn't find it entertaining.  Genji was great when I played it on the PS2 as Dynasty Warriors.  Ridge Racer 7 is Ridge Racer 6 with a new interface.

The PS3 is just unfinished.  The 360 was as had may of these issues and their launch lineup wasn't that great either.  But Sony had a year to catch up to Microsoft and provide an equal gaming experience.  They didn't.  I just hope Sony is smart enough to quickly push updates out the door that rectify their online integration and other deficiencies.

Now, the Wii, on the other hand, has been rather entertaining.  I feared setting up the sensor bar, but it was about half the size I was expecting it to be.  It looks very inconspicuous sitting on top of my new TV.  The online interface and messaging system is pretty spiffy, as is its "always on" feature.  Even when off, the console is in a power-save mode but polling the network for messages, downloading content, etc.

So far I've played 4 of the 6 games I've purchased.  Trauma Center is fantastic.  Excite Truck is a lot of fun.  Super Monkey Ball (a favorite for a long time) takes some getting used to with the new control scheme.  Red Steel is...well...crap.  Now that my component cables have arrived, I look forward to trying Zelda.

Sony needs to catch up.  Nintendo needs to keep the Wii fresh with games that make good use of the interface, and not crummy ports of existing games (NFS: Carbon and the like) that hack on the Wii control interface.  Hopefully we will see some interesting titles from both.